first printed in the November 2017 Equiery

The University of Maryland Extension 4-H Youth Development Program held its 31st annual Maryland 4-H Horsemen’s Party on October 8 at the Grandstand Grille in Timonium. Although the party is primarily a fundraiser event, 4-H members, volunteers and partner organizations are recognized for their accomplishments and support during the dinner.

The Youth Development Professional of the Year Award was established in 1994 to honor a Marylander of outstanding character who has contributed significantly to the development of youth horse interests in Maryland. Sheri Chisholm, Assistant Professor of Biology at West Virginia University – Potomac State College and resident of Washington County, was presented with this year’s award. Sheri first became acquainted with 4-H through her daughter’s interest in horses, and her involvement with the 4-H Horse program grew during her daughter’s time as a 4-H member competing in Hippology and Horse Judging events. Over the years Sheri has made many anatomy-focused presentations to the State 4-H Horse Teams, and she regularly serves as an official for the State 4-H Horse Competitive Events Program. Sheri works closely each year with DarryllAnn Buschling, State 4-H Hippology Team Coach, and says that she stays in touch with several past team members who have gone on to become nurses, veterinarians and lawyers; each claiming that having been exposed to anatomy and physiology through the 4-H Hippology program helped them throughout college and their careers.

The Maryland 4-H Horse Program Volunteer of the Year was established in 2005 to recognize a University of Maryland Extension Volunteer that has made significant contributions of the Maryland 4-H Horse Program. This year’s award winner was PJ Cooksey of Charles County. PJ has been a Maryland 4-H Horse Program volunteer since 1998; at that time she assisted with the Barn Buddies 4-H Club in Charles County. She helped start the Stablemates 4-H Club in Charles County in 2000. Today, she is an active county and state volunteer that loves to help many youth, including her grandchildren, with a variety of 4-H projects. PJ is well-known by many 4-H families across Maryland from her role as Barn Manager of the Maryland State Fair 4-H Horse Show. This is a role she has filled since 2001.

The Maryland 4-H Horse Program Industry Partner of the Year Award was established in 2014 to recognize an individual, organization, or business that has made significant contributions to the Maryland State 4-H Horse Program in the area of youth development and horsemanship. Cricket Goodall and the Maryland Horse Breeders Association were presented the 2017 award. Cricket, a Maryland native, spent her formative years showing horses and working with Thoroughbreds at racetracks, farms, and auction sales. In 1986 she began working with special programs and events at the Maryland Horse Breeders Association. Since 2003 she has served as the Executive Director of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association (MHBA) and Maryland Million Limited. As a service organization the MHBA has provided educational opportunities and legislative representation to its nearly 1,000 breeder-owner members. Through the years they have been supportive of the Maryland 4-H Horse Program and its events including the Horse Jamboree, the State 4-H Horse Competitive Events Program, and the Maryland 4-H Horsemen’s Party.