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State 4-H and Celebration Impact Local Economy



4-H Members Relax at State 4-H Horse Show



Since 1984, the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration has been the home of the Tennessee State 4-H Horse Championships.  The annual event ended this past Saturday with youth participating in over 2,000 entries, 409 4-H members and 577 horses representing 60 Tennessee counties.  One of the most significant things about the 4-H Championships is that the Celebration® has provided the entire event since its inception at no charge to the 4-H Horse Program, a division of the University of Tennessee College of Agriculture Extension Service.  The Celebration’s contribution allows the Tennessee 4-H families to travel to Shelbyville and participate at their Championship show at much reduced costs.

Although the Celebration® provided their facility at no charge, the Shelbyville-Bedford County area are large benefactors of the championship show.  Approximately $750,000 in direct spending was infused into the local economy.  The “Big Three” – food, fuel and lodging, account for the significant expenditures of the 4-H members and their families during the 7 days and 6 nights of the state 4-H home show.

This family oriented event provides opportunity for the 4-H youth to exhibit virtually every breed of horse and pony as well as participate in educational activities such as clinics and horse judging contests.  Dr. Bridget McIntosh, University of Tennessee Extension Horse Specialist and director of the event said, “We salute the Celebration® for allowing us the opportunity to provide a quality event at a fantastic facility at extremely low entry fees and family costs.  The number of stalls and overall size of the grounds makes having multiple divisions competing at the same time much easier.”  Dr. Doyle Meadows, Celebration CEO and former University of Tennessee Horse Specialist has been on both sides of the Celebration® community contributions for 4-H.  “It is a great event and a tremendous economic boost for our community.  The Celebration® is proud to support these 4-H activities,” says Meadows.  The event has been held the fourth week of June for several years, and Shelbyville has always been the home of the Tennessee State 4-H Horse Championships.

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