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Youth in Action: Unforgettable Experience

The chance to assist with special events at the Ford Youth World made Summer 2013 a chart-topper for this AQHYA director.

By Lindsay Brush, AQHYA Region Four director
The American Quarter Horse Journal
November 11, 2013

AQHYA Director Lindsay Brush awards exhibitors at the 2013 AQHA Youth World Show

Lindsay Brush (right) used to wonder if AQHYA directors ever tired of having their picture taken. She found at the 2013 Ford Youth World that for her, the answer was a big “No.” (Journal photo)

It was June 30, 2013, and I was about to begin one heck of an amazing adventure.

Thanks to the American Quarter Horse Youth Association and the help of Robin Alden, manager of AQHYA, I was able to travel to Oklahoma City to attend the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.

Over my 12-day stay, I helped run fantastic events, passed out awards and made countless ever-lasting friendships. That trip will forever inspire me to be the best leader I can be, and I cannot wait to see what the rest of this year brings.           

One of the most memorable events at the Ford Youth World was helping with the judging competition. Not only did I get to go on crazy golf cart runs with the score cards, I also got to compete in the halter portion of the judging contest with a non-halter horse. It was pretty funny trying to get a horse that had never even done showmanship before to present for the judging contestants.

The affiliate pin exchange was also one of my favorite activities. The aim was for everyone to compare pins and run around exchanging them, meeting fellow Ford Youth World attendees from the country and seeing just how many pins we could cram on our lanyards.

On the more serious side, I helped make sure meetings ran smoothly and was fortunate enough to participate in a meeting with representatives from AQHA Corporate Partner Justin Boots. It was so cool to be able to talk to the makers of the boots, and look at all the new designs they can actually make in the leather! The Justin reps were so kind, too! I am extremely grateful that our organization is supported by such a wonderful sponsor.

Sometimes I wonder if AQHYA directors ever tire of having their picture taken, and I found out for me that was a big “No.” I absolutely loved passing out the Ford Youth World awards and getting my picture taken with the recipients who worked so hard for that achievement.

Some of the best moments of the show, though, were waiting in the tunnel with my fellow directors, giving us precious moments to bond. I have honestly never become so close to an amazing group of people. Being able to take part in the awards ceremony was all together just an amazing experience.

We did get a little adventurous at the end, though, and crawled down one of the creepy tunnels under the announcers stand. That was some serious fun.

Between passing out world-finalists awards and attending the judging contest awards ceremony, I just loved being able to help out at events like those and to be able to talk to with some of the AQHA Executive Committee members.

I can proudly say that I love all of my fellow AQHYA directors to death, and I am so excited to stay in touch with them and be able to have friends all over this country. Even better, I had the chance to reunite with them at the All American Quarter Horse Congress!

I am so eager to see what the rest of my term brings. I also cannot thank AQHYA enough for giving me the opportunity to go on this trip. It was an experience I will never forget, and this summer has definitely topped my favorite-summer-ever list! 

Opportunities abound for horse-interested kids and a new AQHYA blog, Youth in Action, is going to chronicle those ventures. Learn more about the endless prospects for young horsemen through AQHYA at www.aqha.com/youth-in-action.