19th Annual Youth Nationals Offers Big-Time Competition and Educational Opportunities

June 29, 2011 Off By Roberta Johnston

The Arabian Horse Association (AHA) kicks off the 2011 national show season with the Youth National Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show (Youth Nationals), July 23-30, 2011 at Expo New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M. The equine industry’s shining young stars, ages 6-18 (although you might find some remarkable 3 year-olds in the lead-line classes) will swagger into Albuquerque with their Arabians, Half-Arabians, and Anglo-Arabians to present the work they’ve put in at the practice pen since last year’s Youth Nationals.

Approximately 950 of the world’s best kid-toting horses will be trailered in from about 40 states and three Canadian provinces and will compete in dozens of different classes, spanning almost every possible discipline, boasting the versatility of the Arabian horse and their Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian siblings. Looking for halter, side saddle, jumping, reining or English pleasure classes? Youth Nationals has them all and more.

The excitement begins with some education thanks to the 8th Annual Arabian Professional & Amateur Horseman’s Association (APAHA) Youth Nationals Clinics on July 21 from 2 – 5p.m. in the Horse Arena. This year’s clinicians are the 2010 APAHA Horseman of the Year, Bob Battaglia, and Horsewoman of the Year, Vickey Bowman. The clinics are free and open to the public.

It’s down to business on July 22 from 2-5 p.m. with the Arabian Horse Youth Association (AHYA) Youth Board Meeting and Convention where youth delegates vote on the coming year’s leadership and listens to the always-popular keynote speaker. This year’s pick, professional photographer Mike Ferrara will give convention-goers a look at the horse industry from behind the lens.

http://www.arabianhorses.org/competitions/nationalevents/youthnationals/2011/docs/11YNL_Schedule.pdf Classes kick off July 23 and last through July 30 with three sessions each day, with the exception of an evening session July 23 and July 27. New this year is a special two-day cutting clinic, July 28-29. The Arabian Cutting Horse Association is hosting this unique opportunity to “test-drive” a finished cutting horse to youths interested in learning more about this exciting discipline. Following the live cattle practice, youth riders will be offered the opportunity to compete for a Vinton Saddlery cutting saddle and other prizes for the nominal fee of $50 per person.

A selection of youth-focused http://www.arabianhorses.org/youth/youthevents.asp#ref3 activities, from a stick-horse-making workshop to an ice cream social, provide plenty of activities for kids while their not showing or watching the arena action.

The Youth Nationals Shopping Expo provides an array of equine life-style products-tack, clothing, jewelry and art for exhibitors and the public to browse in Lujan A from 10 a.m.- 7 p.m., July 23-30.

Admission to the show and shopping expo is free and open to the public. For more information about Youth Nationals, contact the Arabian Horse Association at (303) 696-4500 and choose option #4 or contact [email protected].