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Thompson jumps into another state horse show championship
lauren jumping
Lauren Thompson, a rising senior at South Effingham High School, won the senior hunt seat division at the Georgia 4-H horse show in Perry. - photo by Photo provided

Effingham County 4-H’er Lauren Thompson placed first in the senior hunt seat division at the 2012 Georgia 4-H State Horse Show.

She is the daughter of Mike and Laura Thompson and is a rising  senior at South Effingham High School. She has been riding since she was in the third grade and with her current trainer, Eleanor Ellis of Evermore Farms, since the fifth grade.

Nearly 300 4-H’ers from across the state traveled to Perry during the week of June 13-16, to compete at the 2012 Georgia 4-H state horse show. The young equestrians competed in various areas, including stock seat, hunt seat, and saddle seat divisions.

For her win, Thompson received the perpetual trophy and a $500 scholarship for college.  She and her horse Timbucktoo have won the Georgia State 4-H Hunt Seat Show three times. They first won when Thompson was a Junior 4-H’er, following her eighth grade year, and again following her 10th grade year as a Senior 4-H competitor.

There are many pieces to the horse show competition.  Before competition begins,  each participant must take a written test taken from the 4-H horsemanship handbook.

Thompson spends many months studying and preparing for this portion of the competition. The test, along with placement in each class, factors in to determine the winner of each division. The classes include dressage, flat equitation, jumping equitation, hunter under saddle jumping, and jumpers, where they jump over three-foot rails in a timed course.

A combination of scores from the written test and all classes landed Thompson her first place win again.

State winners in project areas, special events, leadership in action, current state 4-H officers, and state scholarship winners will be recognized at the 4-H state congress annual banquet, to be held at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta.

Following the 4-H State Horse Show, top exhibitors in each division are eligible to move on to compete at the 2012 Southern Regional 4-H Horse Show, where they ride against other 4-H’ers from the 13 southern states. Georgia will serve as host for the Southern Regionals in early August in Perry at the Agricenter where Thompson will compete in the Hunt Seat Division.