Congratulations to Megan Charrier and Nicole Jordan for winning the 2011 Eastern National 4H Horse Round-Up Champion Team Presentation in Kentucky earlier this month. Megan and Nicole were awarded a $500 scholarship from AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) and, below, tell about their experience in their own words. Congratulations and good luck next year Megan and Nicole!
Take us through your day
Megan: The night before giving our speech was the worse for me, I laid in bed in a fetal position afraid I was going to puke. I went over not only my part but Nicole’s part as well in my head. After going through the speech I decided that if I can say Nicole’s part along with mine I really don’t need to be nervous. The morning we gave our speech I didn’t actually get nervous until we were in the room and Nicole started talking. My heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest. I felt like my voice was shaking. I actually impressed myself after watching the video how calm and collected I sounded. At the award ceremony I literally felt like I was in some sort or torture device. We sat through five different peoples welcoming speeches, all ten categories of Hipology, and individual speech placing before getting to team demonstrations. And after all that we had to wait while they placed ten through first. When they got to our category Nicole and I would hold hands till they said the state then clap then hold hands again. My dad said we looked like little mice. It’s still kind of surreal that we won, but National Champions has a nice little ring to it.
Nicole: Well waking up at 6 o’clock on a Saturday wasn’t very fun, but the nerves for the competition didn’t start until we arrived at the Exposition Building at the Kentucky Fair Grounds. Megan and I were subject to a ton of weird looks since we were both dressed in costume for the speech, and there was even a Wrangler product representative who asked to take a picture of my dyed green Wrangler jeans! When we entered the room to give our speech I felt like the entire audience could feel my heart pounding, but when we started talking all of my nervousness went away. It was definitely the speech of a lifetime, and I was very proud of both Megan and myself.
What was your favorite part of the whole experience?
Megan: Although the whole experience was thrilling I would have to say my over all favorite and most meaningful experience was the support from back home. I was getting texts and comments on Facebook from people who had just heard of us through friends. When we got home form Kentucky walking through the gates at the Boise airport most all of our 4H group was waiting for us at 12:00 at night. Just to say congratulations and give us hugs, not to mention grab bags and carry stuff. I have to say that I am thankful to have so many people behind me and supporting me.
Nicole: My favorite part of the whole experience is definitely a tie between all of the places we went, such as the Kentucky Horse Park, Kentucky Derby Museum, and Churchill Downs, and the feeling of accomplishment I felt when finishing my speech.
What did you think of Kentucky?
Megan: It was really cool to be able to go to Louisville for nationals because there is so much history there. On Friday we drove to Lexington and spent the whole day wandering around the Kentucky Horse Park. I learned a lot about the history of the horse, and different breeds, and race horses.
Nicole: Kentucky was one of the most amazing places I have ever been, and I have traveled to quite a few areas. After viewing the beautiful landscape and scenery, and visiting all of the major attractions, I can say that I will be seriously considering attending college in Kentucky or moving there at some point in my life.
Tell us about your 4-H experience.
Nicole: This year will be my 7th year in 4H, and I still value the program as much or more now than when I first started. I have learned so many valuable life and horse skills through the 4H programs, and I have met so many wonderful friends such as Megan. 4H has given me opportunities to advance myself and my abilities that I would have normally never been able to be a part of. I highly recommend 4H to any child of any age to participate in 4H because it is such a great learning experience, and you are able to make friendships with people that have the same interests as you.
Megan: As weird as it sounds the next step for Nicole and I is to start working on our speech for next year. If I remember correctly we go to our county contest in February. Pretty much we start from the bottom and hopefully work our way back to Nationals for next year.
Nicole: Well now we start all over again with a new speech topic, new speech, and new mannerisms. We will hopefully find as much joy in it as we did the first one, but if we never make it this far again, this has been the experience of a lifetime, and I am so grateful to everyone who made it possible for us.