Youth Thrive at a Horse Show and Convention Just For Them

Youth Thrive at a Horse Show and Convention Just For Them

On August 1, The Youth National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show came to an end after eight days of top-level horse show competition, a shopping expo and the Arabian Horse Youth Association (AHYA) Annual Convention. This was the show’s 17th year in Albuquerque and is estimated to bring about $10.2 million to the city.

The largest class, Arabian Hunter Pleasure Junior to Ride, age 14-17, hosted 79 horses and was won by Kool Enuff, owned and ridden by Kirsten McKillop of Alamo, Calif. VJ Berryance, owned and ridden by Leah Perczak from Westminster, Colo. took home Reserve Championship honors. A total of 945 horses were shown, making 2,691 entries.

The week began with the AHYA Annual Convention where Austin Garret of San Marcos, Calif. was elected AHYA President; Katie Pelphrey of Louisville, Ky., Vice President; Nikki Burns of Silex, Mo., Secretary; and Amanda Kelley of Alamo, Calif., was elected Treasurer. “Being a part of AHYA is a chance to learn a little bit about how things happen at AHA. It isn’t really about changing things right away. What we say today is going to be affecting people tomorrow,” says new Vice President, Katie Pelphrey. After years without a resolution on the floor of the AHYA convention, Pelphrey helped spearhead this year’s resolution, which asked for a rule change in equitation classes. The resolution passed and will move on to the AHA Annual Convention in November. “The youth want to make a change that people will actually see,” says Pelphrey.

Once again, the Arabian Professional and Amateur Horseman’s Association (APAHA) hosted a free clinic, open to exhibitors and the public, on Saturday, July 25, 2009. This year’s clinicians were Andrew Sellman and Vicki Humphrey. Both Sellman and Humphrey have been recipients of the prestigious APAHA Horseman’s Awards, Sellman for halter and Humphrey for saddle seat. Twelve Youth Nationals exhibitors were picked to experience tips from Sellman and Humphrey during the clinics.

Other activities included a Hippology contest, a novice horse judging contest and clinic, the parade of regions, a community program called T.A.I.L. (Total Arabian Interaction & Learning) and several Youth Program fundraisers.