Virginia Cooperative Extension’s 4-H horse program will participate in the inaugural parade for Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe in Richmond on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
The parade begins immediately following the swearing-in ceremony that begins at noon in Richmond’s Capitol Square.
"The 4-H horse program is honored to be invited by incoming Gov. Terry McAuliffe to represent the Virginia Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development Program and the equine industry in Virginia," said Celeste Crisman of Virginia Tech, who serves as the Extension horse specialist in charge of youth equine programs.
Parade units will travel though downtown Richmond and pass in front of reviewing stands at the Virginia Capitol Building.
Marshall Cofer of Bedford County will lead the 4-H delegation with his champion Percheron team pulling a wagon of 4-H'ers from Hanover, Henrico, Frederick, Albemarle, and Pittsylvania counties. Marshall grew up in Virginia participating the 4-H horse program and competed in the very first State 4-H Horse Show in 1963.
Riding and driving their equine partners in the parade are volunteer leaders and 4-H members:
- Faye Strickler, volunteer leader, and daughter Morgan Strickler of the Golden Horseshoes 4-H Club in Frederick County;
- Hunter Liles of the Sycamore Saddles 4-H Club in Pittsylvania County;
- Bertha Durbin, volunteer leader, and Julia Hartman of the Hoof-N-Woof 4-H Club in Albemarle County;
- Rachel Buehren of the Silver Stirrups 4-H Horse Club in Hanover County will be driving her miniature horse; and
- Cameron Panten of the Varina Rising Stars 4-H Horse Club in Henrico County will be driving his miniature horse.
The program is rich with learning experiences where young people partner with caring adults and volunteers in a fellowship unlike any other program available to youth today. Through 4-H, young people are encouraged to participate in a variety of activities that emphasize 4-H's "learning by doing" philosophy of youth development.
The 4-H horse program in Virginia is the one of the largest of all of the animal-science-related programs and includes more than 4,000 projects annually. The program offers opportunities for education and competition, learning, and leadership utilizing the horse as the primary draw and tool for learning. It is available to 4-H members whether or not they have a horse.