4-H Star: Earning 4-H awards

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Kagen Perez

At age 13, Kagen Perez earned Bonneville County’s 4-H Gold Seal Equestrian Award.

And he’s almost attained a 4-H Agriculturist Award, too.

Kagen, of Idaho Falls, devoted four years to earning the equestrian award. It requires competency in working ranch horse, driving, English equitation and Western equitation. Kagen relied on his grandmother, Bonnie Bolender, of Idaho Falls, and her expertise with horses to achieve the award. Kagen’s parents are KC and Tami Perez, of Idaho Falls.

“It was gratifying to get the award because it was difficult,” he said, and Tami Perez added, “My mom is passionate about horses and she was the one who helped Kagen get the award. She took him to every 4-H meeting and helped him meet all the requirements; it was their passion together. We don’t have horses here; we are into the livestock side of 4-H.”

The award was adopted by a county 4-H committee about four years ago as a way for kids to learn additional skills and versatility in horsemanship. Kagen learned to drive with Blue, a Shetland. On an Arabian named Awesam, they did English equitation, Western equitation and the working ranch horse class. Roping on Awesam was a challenge.

“Roping is not his thing. It took a long time to teach him and he still doesn’t like it,” Kagen said.

For the agriculturist award, Kagen has met the requirements with a pig, beef, sheep and a dairy cow. He’s working on market goat and dairy goat projects. Some of the requirements are demonstrations, showing in quality and showmanship. He’s also on the traveling Idaho Falls Eagles Hockey team.

“I’m pretty much dedicated to 4-H in the summer,” he said. “I’m out there working with animals all the time.”

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