Young Horse Development Scholarship Winners

Four AQHYA members earned a total of $5,000 in scholarships through the 2015-16 AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program.

American Quarter Horse Association

Boykin’s project is the 2015 chestnut filly Special Frenchmans by Frenchmans Fire Fox and out of Colonels Glitter by Coyote Colonel. (Photo courtesy of Kaitlyn Boykin)

By recording their progress training a yearling bred by an American Quarter Horse Association Ranching Heritage Breeder, four American Quarter Horse Youth Association members were named scholarship winners through the 2015-16 AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program

Earning first place, a $2,000 scholarship and a Montana Silversmiths belt buckle was Kaitlyn Boykin of Elizabeth, Colorado. Boykin’s project is the 2015 chestnut filly Special Frenchmans by Frenchmans Fire Fox and out of Colonels Glitter by Coyote Colonel. Special Frenchmans was bred and donated by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders Jim and Joni Hunt of Open Box Rafter Ranch in Faith, South Dakota.

Second place was awarded to David Gringeri of Fair Haven, Vermont, who worked with Centenial Drift, a 2015 sorrel filly by Flit Drift and out of Centenial Pride by Coyote Colonel. The filly was also bred by the Hunts’ Open Box Rafter Ranch. For placing second, Gringeri received a pair of Justin boots and a $1,500 scholarship. 

Rebekah Eilert of Powhattan, Kansas, placed third, working with the 2015 palomino filly French Flit Takota by French Flit and out of Chileta Te by PC Cisco Frost. She, too, was bred by the Open Box Rafter Ranch. Eilert received a $100 gift certificate from Wrangler and a $1,000 scholarship. 

Fourth place went to Anthony Luna of Flagstaff, Arizona. Luna’s project is the 2015 blue roan filly RO Bluechip Dividend by Hancock Dividend and out of RO Pepto Winner by Dual Winner. She was bred and donated by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder O RO Ranch of Prescott, Arizona. Luna received a $100 Wrangler gift certificate and a $500 scholarship. 

The Young Horse Development Program was created in 2011 to give AQHYA members an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of horsemanship. The horses used in the program were bred by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders, which consist of working cattle ranches with a remuda of at least five AQHA-registered mares that produce ranch horses. The participating Ranching Heritage Breeders donated weanlings for the program participants to evaluate, raise and train.

“The Young Horse Development Program was developed to help youth gain hands-on experience in raising and training horses,” said AQHA Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines. “The program gives youth a mentor to learn from and showcase their hard work and dedication to their project. This will, in turn, give participants a skill set that will set them apart when applying for scholarships, college and jobs.”

For the 2016-17 Young Horse Development Program, participants will raise their weanlings-turned-yearlings and document their monthly progress; participate in monthly webinars; complete monthly management assignments; track goals, such as competing in AQHA, 4-H, FFA or local horse shows; engage in mentoring sessions with local AQHA Professional Horsemen; and compile a video of themselves with their horse completing an in-hand trail pattern. Following project completion, a select number of scholarships and prizes will be awarded. 

The deadline to apply for the 2017-18 Young Horse Development Program will be in August of 2017. To learn more about the program, visit www.aqha.com/yhd.

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