"Congratulations to all of those who achieved their goals, whether big or small, and made new ones for next year. I wish you the best of luck," says Michaela. Photo © Terri Cage Photography

Wrapup from 2018 AQHYA World Show with Michaela Darroh

Editor’s Note: GoHorseShow debuted a “guest reporter for a day” series last year where exhibitors and trainers reported on exciting things that went on during the show. It was a big hit, so we decided it would be fun to do it again this year from the AQHYA World Show. Read the final report here from youth exhibitor, Michaela Darrah.

Final Report – Michaela Darroh, Texas

The last day.

Horse Shows are exciting, fun and give you an excellent opportunity to grow in a pleasant environment. I’ve witnessed this here at the Youth World. I’ve made new friends and had a chance to chat with different people.

On the last day, everyone is scattered about, running their errands, paying off their tabs (that have only ice cream and sweet tea on them ), and getting ready to show in the finals for their respective classes. But most of all, packing to go home. Or to the NSBA World.

Many new champions had been crowned and awarded globes and ribbons. New faces coming up into the equestrian world in the 13 and under now available at the Youth World.

This is another Youth World coming to an end, but everyone is already ready for the next one! This was my first and last year at the Youth World with my horse, Vinn Diesel. He holds such a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for us.

Congratulations to all of those who achieved their goals, whether big or small, and made new ones for next year. I wish you the best of luck.

Report #8 – Lily Richardson, Washington

Hi! My name is Lily Richardson of Duvall, Washington. I am reporting on the eighth day of the AQHYA World Show.

On Thursday, I decided I wanted to report on one of the largest classes of the show – the Level 2 Horsemanship. It was a large class with a total of 162 competitors. Leah Anderson, from Monroe, Washington, and her horse, Gun Powder N Smoke, aka “Scotty,” were the champions of the horsemanship class. Leah and Scotty have been training together since November. Her trainers, Mike and May Edwards, are very excited to see how far they’ve come in such a short period.

It’s even more amazing considering how this partnership came about. Leah’s older sister, Payton, who was on the equestrian team at the University of Georgia, met “Scotty” at the school. The Lawrence Family donated Scotty. Unfortunately, Scotty sustained an injury, and the demands of the team’s schedule made it difficult to give Scotty the time off he needed, so they were looking to rehome him. The Anderson family took a risk on Scotty, and it has paid off.

Here are the results of the class:
L2 Horsemanship:
1- Gun Powder N Smoke/Leah Anderson (pictured right)
2- Hez A Crowd Pleaser/Lily Anderson
3- Sudden Top Notch/Tierney Horton
4- Greedy Ghost/Jo Jo Roberson
5- Dancing Western/Reed Kolb
6- One Dynamic Krymsun/Bella Rosa
7- Good Ridin Machine/Madison Musser
8- Huntin Potential/Elizabeth Wright
9- Cool Lopin Lady/Allison Travis
10- VS Costar/Gentry Shandley

The L2 Horsemanship gives AQHYA competitors another opportunity to compete at the AQHA Youth World Show.

Report #7 – Sara Koster, Michigan

Hi Everyone! I’m Sara Koster from Spring Lake, Michigan reporting from Oklahoma City here at the Youth World Show. I’m here showing my horse, Invious Mister.

With the new 13&U classes, competitors have been having much success, like Bella D’Onofrio and her two horses, Nearly Chocolate (Curly), who she shows in the all-around events and N A Heartbeat (Valentino), her hunter under saddle horse.

So far, Bella will be bringing home three bronze globes. “It was an awesome feeling getting in the Top 3 with both horses. Both of my horses are talented in different ways.” Bella placed third in the showmanship and horsemanship with Curly and third in the hunter under saddle with Valentino. She explained that it is exciting to know that all your hard work has paid off when you realize you’re in the Top 3.

This is Bella’s last year in 13 and under, but she is ready to move up into the 14-18 classes. “I am excited to enter the 14-18 division and the super challenging patterns they perform. You can tell they have spent their lifetime perfecting those advanced maneuvers.”

We wish Bella the best of luck for the rest of the week with her two amazing horses.

Report #6 – Emma Garcia, Illinois

Hi Everyone! I’m Emma Garcia from Willow Springs, Illinois and I have been showing AQHA for six years. I’m 19, a sophomore in college, and this is my last year in youth. I am here at the Youth World showing my new horse, HRZ Elegant And Blue, in the Level 2 and Level 3 Hunter Under Saddle and representing Illinois. I competed today in the Level 3 Hunter Under Saddle Prelims, and we made it to the finals which will be held on Friday.

The Level 3 14-18 Hunter Under Saddle had 54 entries, and there were three splits, a semifinals and the Top 15 were taken out of the semis. There was a fantastic group of horses in the hunter under saddle, and the competition was fierce.

The Level 3 14-18 Hunt Seat Equitation had over 80 entries, and the judges picked their Top 21 to do the rail work. I got a chance to watch the rail work, and it was tough. The judges had these riders showing just how good they are and how connected they are to their horses. The rail work started with stirrups, but once they broke to the walk, they were asked to drop their stirrups and did a sitting and a posting trot, and they cantered without stirrups. I was impressed to see that everyone looked very natural which probably made it hard to decide who would make it back to the Top 15.  Congrats to everyone who made it to the finals today.

The addition of the 13 and Under classes gave more opportunities for exhibitors to show and compete. The 13 and Under Top 3 Champions all got globes this year. It makes showing at the Youth World much more inclusive, and it gives everyone an equal chance to compete for a globe.

The finals of the Level 3 Hunter Under Saddle and Hunt Seat Equitation will be held on Friday as well as the Level 2 Hunter Under Saddle and Equitation. Good luck to all exhibitors.

Report #5 – Bella Rosa, California

Hi! I’m Bella Rosa reporting to you from Oklahoma City at the AQHA Youth World. Today was very eventful starting with the pole bending, barrel racing and stake race in the Jim Norick Arena and the Boxing in the Performance arena.

After these events, the Jim Norick arena moved on to the Level 3 Western Riding prelims and the Level 2 Western Riding finals. Fifteen people made it back to the Level 3 Western Riding finals which will be held on Thursday. Winning the Level 2 Western Riding was Emily Maul and her horse, Hez Raising The Bar, with a score of a 230.5. Congrats Emily!

Once the Western Riding finished, the Level 3 14-18 horsemanship finals began. This was a tough class filled with very talented horses and riders. Natalia Devencenty laid out a beautiful pattern without stirrups and took home the gold globe. Great ride Natalia! (Natalia pictured right with Cori Cansdale)

The last event in the Norick arena was the 13 and Under Horsemanship finals where Isabella Himes won the first 13 and Under globe. Great job Isabella!

After the boxing was completed, the Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge was held in the Performance Arena. Only four riders made it to the finals after tough prelims and semifinals. Congratulations to Kelsey Jung, Avery Ellis, Bailey Anderson and Graysen Stroud. The finals will be held on Tuesday in the Jim Norick. Good luck to the competitors.

The last event of the day was the Parade of Teams where all of the different states showed off their spirit as they walked across the  Jim Norick Arena. I asked PCQHYA president, Gracie Hare, what is her favorite aspect of this event. “My favorite part of the Parade of Teams would have to be watching each team walk down the center of the arena,” Gracie told me. “It’s so fun to see all the team members get together and support each other since this is such an independent sport. It really brings everyone together, and I think that’s cool.”

I agree entirely with Gracie, Thank you!

Today was a very busy, but exciting day. Congratulations to everyone that competed today and good luck to everyone showing in the upcoming days! 

Report #4 – Jentry Shandley, Colorado

Hi all, my name is Jentry Shandley and Day 4 of the 2018 Youth World was action-packed. The level 3 Working Hunter Finals kicked things off in the Norick Arena. Mackenzie Njoo and A One Nite Stand of Jones, Oklahoma got their first World Championship in Working Hunter with a score of 306. Classic Circle, owned and shown by Madeline Keyes of Middleport, NY, took home the gold in both Equitation Over Fences and Hunter Hack.

Wrapping up the Over Fences this morning, 14-year-old Samantha Taylor from Sheridan, WY took home both the Gold and Silver Globes on her horses, Chances R Wild and A Red Bird, consecutively after two fault-free rides. Samantha was draw 1 in the finals, and after laying down a solid ride on her first horse, Chances R Wild, she knew she would have to ride hard to best it with her second horse. In the end, the 22-year-old Chances R Wild posted a time that would hold through the rest of the finals.

Showmanship took center stage next in the Norick Arena with a whopping 120 goes in Level 3 and 161 in Level 2. At the time this was written, the Level 2 was still showing, so I would like to congratulate all those that made the finals in advance. The Level 3 finals will take place on Wednesday the 8th after the Cutting finals with 15 exhibitors including last year’s World Champion, Mallory Vroegh and Krymsun Belle. The finals pattern is very technical with a small extended trot circle and an old school line up.

Ranch Riding went almost all day over in the Performance Arena with 121 goes in Level 2 and well over 100 in Level 3. Best of luck to the 22 teams that made the Level 3 finals. Quincee Clark and A Vintage San from Mississippi, took home the big win in Level 2 Ranch Riding. The Level 3 Finals will be held in the Norick on Tuesday the 7th.

Stepping away from the competition, I checked out The Paws Cause, organized by Ruth Ellen, and held in the Sales Pavilion. The Paws Cause has been held every year since 2014. Twenty-three dogs were adopted today. The event also served as an excellent way for youth members to get involved and help these pups find their forever homes. Four fabulous groups brought dogs for the adoption event including the Underdogs Rescue.

Ruth did a fantastic job of organizing and keeping the event running smoothly. In case you missed the event, follow the Underdogs Rescue and The Paws Cause on Facebook for updates on dogs looking for their new families. Thanks to volunteer and fellow exhibitor, Isabella, I’m a new puppy mom. Ruth said one of the reasons she started this event was that, “Horse show people never leave a dog behind,” and this statement held true as almost every dog was adopted.

I caught up with first-time world show exhibitor Alex Krebs and her partner, Oh My Lord Charlie, aka Charlie, in between her L 3 and L 2 showmanship goes. Alex said she has had a great time at the Youth World so far and has loved being a part of Team Colorado, especially all the fabulous stall decorations. Alex is competing in both levels of horsemanship, showmanship and trail. When asked about Charlie, Alex quickly replied about how big of a personality he has. She explained, “He’ll smile, he’ll be nosey, but he knows whenever its showtime, its showtime.” Good luck Alex and Charlie.

On Monday the 6th, there will be Speed Event finals, Western Riding prelims for Level 3 and finals for Level 2, along with the horsemanship finals for Level 3 and 13 and Under. Boxing will take place in the Performance Arena followed by the Collegiate Horsemanship Prelims.

Congrats to our new World Champions and good luck to everyone still in pursuit of the Gold!

Report #3 – Matthew Siefker, Ohio

Hello everyone! My name is Matthew Siefker and today marked the third day of the AQHYA World Show. I was able to chat with fellow Ohio team member, Emma Brown, about her fantastic run in the trail preliminaries. This landed her a spot in the finals which are to be held on Tuesday.

I caught up with Emma after her run in the prelims, and I asked her about her go. “I was an early draw, so that worried me a little bit, but I ended up scoring a 234 which I was thrilled with. Brett gave me his all today, and that’s all I could ask for.”

I asked Emma about her horse, Some Hot Potential, aka Brett. “He would best be described as my best friend. He makes me so so happy, and every time I ride him, I fall more in love with him. I know that he will give me his all, and I will show my best in the finals. This year marks my eighth and last Youth World. I couldn’t be any more excited to show in the trail finals…especially with Brett who is my once-in-a-lifetime horse.“

Emma has competed for many years, and for me, this is my first year showing AQHA, so I asked for her insight for those who just started showing.

“The best advice I could give to someone would be to live in the moment because it goes by so fast. I wish my youth career wasn’t coming to an end, but it’s been an amazing journey so far, and I’m beyond excited for the rest of my last Youth Worlds and the NSBA World Shows.”

I wish Emma the best of luck on Tuesday. I  would also like to congratulate the youth who have been crowned world champions so far. #getthatglobe

Report #2 – Colton Smith, Ohio

Hey everyone! My name is Colton Smith, and I’m from Bellefontaine, Ohio, and I’m 11 years old. This is my second year to show at the AQHYA World Show. I showed an Aged Gelding, PF Chromed Rimz, and a two-year-old mare, Prema Valentina. It’s been a busy two days for all of us halter kids. Many of us show multiple horses while we are here at the Youth World.

Some of the hardest things about showing in the halter are that most of our stock is young. When you compete with a horse for the first time at the youth world, you and your horse will experience things like walking down the tunnel, aka Gateway of Champions and showing in an arena that is air-conditioned for the first time.

One of the main things that you have to remember when showing a young horse is to keep your nerves under control. If you’re nervous, it will transfer right over to your horse and, trust me, you don’t want that.

One of the best things about showing at the Youth World is getting to hang out with your friends from all over the United States. Another cool thing is getting to show in the same arena as the Open guys show in and win their World Championships. Let me tell you, the lights in that arena are bright. It’s AWESOME!

The only change that my friends and I would like is if they would spread out the days that we show the halter because, then, our parents would have to stay in Oklahoma City for longer. That would give us a chance to walk in the parade of teams with our state, hang out with our friends longer and maybe even talk our parents into taking us to the water park.

Well, that’s a wrap on day two of the Quarter Horse Youth World. Safe travels home to all my friends, see you down the road.

Report #1 – Taylor Searles, Arizona

Hey y’all, it’s Taylor Searles! I’m here in Oklahoma City reporting day one of the Youth World. This is my tenth and final Youth World, and I am so excited for this week. I will be showing the all-around events with three horses, so like many other exhibitors, it will be a busy week.

Competition got underway today with Aged and the Performance Halter. In the midst of this busy first day, I caught up with the newly elected AQHYA President and multiple world champion, Olivia Tordoff, as she was banding her horse, Lookin Lazy.

I asked her about her new position and why she decided to run for office, to which she replied, “I have always wanted to share my voice on a larger scale ever since I started working on the Ohio Quarter Horse level and found out about AQHA’s leadership opportunities, so I decided to jump in.”

Olivia’s goal, while she is in office, is to “educate the members about the great programs in and out of the show pen, specifically the Young Horse Development Program and Collegiate Riding. I just want to do my best to make everyone aware of these opportunities.”

I also believe that it is important that youth exhibitors recognize what collegiate riding has to offer them. This year at the Youth World, the Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge, which was previously held in November during the Open World, will take place. The Challenge is an excellent way for youth who are interested in riding in college, but not sure what it’s all about, to get to watch and experience the thrills of collegiate horsemanship.

Olivia also plans to grow the youth membership and involvement. She is happy to see that this year’s Youth World has seen a growth in entries with almost 3,500 entries from five countries.

Finally, I asked Olivia what her advice is for those who are competing at their first Youth World or are nervous about competing. She recommends “always set goals but make sure that they are attainable. Reaching these goals requires hard work and the gold is not just handed out. But as far as advice for once you’re here, trust yourself. You have put in hard work all year, so don’t try to change anything last minute… you are ready.” Thank you for sharing Olivia, I agree with this!

The World Show is what we work toward all year long. We are competing against the best of the best, and we are all trying to peak at the right time. So, I guess you could say that all the hard work does come down to this but that doesn’t mean to stress out. As long as you have worked hard, you are as prepared as you can be. Do not let the little things bother you. But, the most significant piece of advice that I can offer is to enjoy every moment. When the days start running together, and you get frustrated, remember why you compete in this sport. It’s for the love of the horse, so give your horse an extra peppermint and have fun.

As the first day comes to a close, I would like to congratulate the first few newly crowned World Champions; Margaret Carter, Erin Mask, Cooper Dobbs and Savannah Hauer. Tomorrow, more World Champions will be crowned, and the first set of prelims will be held. Best of luck to everyone competing this week and please do not forget to enjoy every moment!