Tristan Williams of the Happy Hustlers 4-H club has always loved animals and plans on becoming a vet someday. It was because of this love, especially for horses, that inspired her to become involved in 4-H and more recently to win a statewide competition.
“Just for fun,” Tristan entered a statewide logo-design contest for the Kansas 4-H Horse Panorama in Manhattan, and won first place.
Besides receiving a first place ribbon, Tristan’s logo will also be featured on the cover of the 4-H Horse Show Program at the Kansas State Fair.
Tristan’s mother, Sheila, said Tristan was shocked when she won.
“Some were so good that it would have been very hard to choose just one if I were the judge,” Tristan said.
The contest was open to all 4-H horse project members ages 9 to 18. Contestants had to submit an original hand drawn design in black and white. This was the first time Tristan had entered a logo.
Her logo consisted of a horse jumping over a brick wall with the caption “Not even fences can come between friends.” It took her about a week to complete, Sheila Williams said.
The idea came from a commercial Tristan saw that featured Clydesdale horses.
Tristan took an interest in horses after her dad, the late Doug Williams, passed.
“It was a way to help ease her grief,” Sheila Williams said.
At first Tristan participated in the horseless horse program, and began working with Deana Olsen and her miniature horses.
“She used Olsen’s horses so she could show horses but kept dreaming of her own horse,” Sheila Williams said. “Her prayers were answered when she received a miniature horse, Mira, in October of 2012.”
Mira had been rescued from her previous owners after they failed to properly care for her, but since miniature horses are not meant to be ridden, Tristan was still dreaming of owning one she could ride and show.
Last fall Tristan’s dream came true when she received a horse, Smokey, from a family friend. With the help of her grandma, Wanda Williams, and uncle, Jeff Williams, a corral and building were built for Smokey.
“They became fast friends, and Tristan spends as much time as she can at the farm working with her horses,” Sheila Williams said.
Tristan also participates in foods and rabbit programs, is a member of National Honor Society and Marion Elementary School, is in the band, and is a member of Aulne United Methodist Church and praise band.
Happy Hustlers member Larry Zieammermann received grand champion for his demonstration titled “Equine First Aid” in the intermediate division. Fellow member Cara Martin placed third in the senior division with a talk on Native American Horsemanship. All three also competed in an open quiz bowl and Hippology contests at the panorama.