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Team Howard County competes at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress

By Jean Caspers-Simmet

Date Modified: 11/22/2012 7:00 PM

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CRESCO, Iowa —Team Howard County members Thea Hartzell, Abby Kennon, Emi Frohn and Stephanie Reicks represented Iowa at the 4-H Youth Quiz Bowl competition Oct. 16 at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio.

They placed 15th out of 21 teams from other states.

The group started meeting last December to prepare for the state quiz bowl competition held at the Iowa Horse Jamboree in March. They studied everything from how to buy a horse, to feeding and caring, anatomy, tack identification, health issues, equine careers, colors, breeds and hoof care. The competition consists of questions on horses and horse care. Teams must buzz in with correct answers in order to earn points.

Kennon, 15, is the daughter of Tess and Jeff Kennon and a freshman at Crestwood High School. Reicks, 17, is a Crestwood senior, and her parents are Rob and Barb Reicks. Hartzell, 15, is a Crestwood freshman. Her parents are Jim and Jana Hartzell. Frohn, 15, is a Crestwood sophomore. Her parents are Bob and Lisa Frohn, and she is a member of Howard Center Stars 4-H.

Kennon, Reicks and Hartzell are members of Flying Hoofs 4-H.

"I learned different strategies for when to buzz in and how to study and prepare yourself," said Kennon.

"I learned how to play the game better," said Reicks. "Before I thought it was all knowledge, but I learned there is a lot of strategy involved."

"It would have been helpful to look at the sources from the top states and other states throughout the country," said Hartzell.

"Even with intimidating questions that might be a little scary, sometimes the answers are really simple," said Frohn.

When they were fundraising for their trip, a Lime Springs veterinarian asked them what enables a horse to sleep standing up. The answer is a stay apparatus in the leg ligaments. At the national contest that question was asked, but someone beat Howard County to the buzzer.

"Sometimes they asked trick questions," said Kennon. "They asked what are the characteristics of the Cream breed? The answer is none because it's a color, not a breed."

Frohn competes in pleasure shows and is starting dressage. She shows draft horses and participates in the Iowa State Fair, the World Percheron Show and the Iowa Games. She has two horses and a pony.

Kennon is interested in Pleasure showing and would like to try English riding. She is training a horse and hopes to learn more techniques. She has four horses.

Reicks has been training horses for four years and likes mules. She's taken mules to the Howard County Fair and shows at the Minnesota State Mule Show. She has gone riding in the mountains in the West and is getting into Morgan World shows. She plans to major in animal science at Iowa State University and then go to veterinary school.

Hartzell has five horses, a pony and a donkey. She shows at the county fair and other small shows but likes trail riding better than showing.

Team Howard County is coached by Tess Kennon, Barb Reicks, Lisa Frohn and Jana Hartzell. Darlene Vsetecka, who five years ago started Team Howard County with her daughter, Andie, coaches horse judging.

This weekend Team Howard County will participate in the state horse judging contest at Iowa Falls. Joining Hartzell, Reicks, Kennon and Frohn are Rachel Stika, Kate Grover, Natalie Knoblock, Cassy Kennon and Judd Grover.