Myla Lahti and Abby Lahti Represent at 4H State Horse Expo


Paige Lahti

Skipa Dee Doo Dah & Myla Lahti & Majestic Kay Too & Abby Lahti

Myla Lahti, Director of Social Media

The 52nd 4-H State Horse Expo was held over several days, spanning the 13th through the 17th of  September. The State Horse Expo is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Wisconsin State Fair Park.  Competitors can compete in a variety of events how showing horses to submitting various art projects- drawing, quilting, creative writing, poster and pictures. When you compete at State, you need to be prepared to explain face-to-face with the judge, your project. Showing horses is slightly different in that you do not have to interact with the judge. However competitors do have an opportunity to flip the script and judge other horse & rider combinations and participate in a judging class. I traveled with my cousin Abby and our horses. After all our showing classes were done, I participated in the judging classes. There were four different divisions, senior with reason, where you can explain your thoughts with the judge, senior without reasons, junior with reasons and junior without reasons. Everybody that signed up for any of them all went into the arena and split into different groups based on codes that were given to us. Once we were all separated, they split the arena into thirds, where the three different types of horses rotated in front of us – Fjords, Hunter Horses, and Saddle Seat horses. After we got done judging them, we sat in the bleachers and judged three riding classes – English Pleasure, Western Horsemanship and Saddle Seat Pleasure. There were five members on the Bayfield County Horse Expo Team, which consisted of Bryce Tonn, Brinley Tonn, Talia Martens, Abby Lahti, and myself. This was Abby’s first time ever experiencing this while this is my fourth time going.

My cousin Abby and I left on Wednesday, September 13. After some frustrating and delaying truck problems we arrived nine hours later – I should mention this is usually a six hour trip! – at State Fair Park. We met up with the Tonns at the stalls in the horse barn. After we got situated we rode in the coliseum and washed Abby’s horse, Majestic Kay Too, better known as Kay. There are lots to do upon arrival and after three or four hours of settling in, we checked into the hotel and swam in the pool for a bit before calling it a night.

The next day Abby had an early wake-up call, she competed first thing in the morning at 7 a.m. making her State Expo debut in English Showmanship. Abby had to quickly change all of her attire and her makeup, which Abby never wears makeup. She quickly changed and was ready for Western Showmanship. She had very good patterns but unfortunately did not place. The next day she did Western Horsemanship and had no placing.It should be noted that people who compete at State are often seasoned, experienced horse and rider combinations who are familiar with the level of work required to be “in the ribbons”. Thus, it is quite common for first-time state competitors to have the “this is a good experience” talk & to get exposure to the heightened expectations. Abby & Kay turned out nicely & looked the part & while they did not place, the experience will stand them good stead because I think they will have more state trips in their future. Abby is a hard-worker and her family is very proud of her for competing at the highest level of 4-H. It was a great experience for her. “I liked spending time with my horse and my family.”

I did not show until Friday and Saturday.  On Friday I competed in Western Horsemanship and Western Riding. Me and my horse, Skipa Dee Doo Dah- I call him Hank- ended Friday with two top tens. Friday night I did the educational judging. I ended up 14th out of 30 people in the senior with no reasons, which is great for my first time judging. Saturday was a big day for me, as I competed in five of my events. I competed in Western Showmanship, English Showmanship, English Pleasure, Western Pleasure and Trail. I placed in all the classes except two. I ended the trip with five top tens. This year has been a year to remember, my horse Hank and I have been the best since I have had him. He is simply a treasure to have.

Bayfield County was represented very well. All together we came home with two Grand Champions, one Reserve Champion and seven top tens.