Congratulations to Team USA on bringing home the gold. Photo © 2018 Youth World Cup Team

2018 Youth Quarter Horse World Cup Results & Slideshow

Every four years when the Youth World Cup is hosted by the United States, we combine it with YES. This year, the YES participants and the Youth World Cup attendees had several opportunities to mingle during a tour of Texas A&M’s Thomas G. Hildebrand, DVM ‘56 Equine Complex. The creative youth even engaged in a lip sync battle along the way. They also participated in horsemanship clinics, a career expo and the Youth World Cup opening ceremonies.

This is not an easy dual event to put together. I take my hat off to the organizers – volunteers, youth members, youth advisers and AQHA staff – who put on these two events. What a big job!

Two years ago, the Youth World Cup was hosted by the Australian Quarter Horse Association. This year, the unique event came back to Texas, with 19 teams participating in horsemanship clinics and two shows. Youth from 19 countries rode for gold medals in cutting, reining, horsemanship, ranch riding, trail, hunt seat equitation, hunter under saddle and showmanship.

New in 2018, the YWC organizers presented a daily YWC Steward’s Award. A yellow T-shirt and a wooden sign were awarded to a team member that exhibited good sportsmanship, teamwork or outstanding horsemanship. One YWC participant who got a yellow T-shirt was Team Paraguay’s Federico Torlotting, who – even though he had other duties – was seen holding one of his team’s horses so a visiting child could pet the horse. Federico, who has been raised on a ranch near Boqueron, Paraguay, is proof that our youth know it’s critical to take every opportunity to let kids of all ages engage with our American Quarter Horses.

Youth World Cup organizer Dawn Forest says Team Japan’s Ryota Ide hasn’t quit smiling since being presented the Steward’s Award by AQHA directors Richard Harris, Willard Nordick and Joe McAllister, who are serving as AQHA show stewards at the event. “Seeing those smiles makes all of the work worthwhile,” she adds.

I’ve also been impressed with the horses that were loaned to the Youth World Cup for the teams to use for the two shows. A huge thank you goes out to the owners who lovingly loaned their four-legged equine family members for the event. With 19 teams, there was a need for more than 60 horses, and a lot of owners in South Texas and other places stepped up to the plate.

It has been fun to see the owners watching the competition as intently as the parents of the youth. Semmie Wicker’s horse, Zippin Awesome, helped Team Italy win hunter under saddle on Thursday.

The owners are astounded at how much the youth love their horses. I’d say our youth love horses whether they own them or are simply borrowing a ride. During the trail class on Wednesday, trainers and parents were proud and touched to see Team USA’s Mallory Vroegh dismount when the horse she was showing refused an obstacle. With a world title on the line, Mallory patted the horse’s neck, talked quietly to him and then successfully led him across the obstacle. Then she mounted back up and the pair finished the pattern. Now that’s stewardship and horsemanship at its best.

In addition to the organizers, horse owners, parents and trainers, I’d like to thank the AQHA Professional Horsemen who put on clinics for the youth. There is no way to ever measure the full effects of our participation in our AQHYA members’ lives, but we’re paying it forward with the hope that these youth take our place and do the same thing.

Congratulations to Team USA on bringing home the gold.

CLICK HERE to view more results and coverage of the competition

View a slideshow of pictures from the 2018 Youth World Cup below.