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<em>Journal</em>

Crowns In Two Arenas

AQHYA world champion Abby Floyd is 2013 Miss Arkansas Teen USA.

By Christine Hamilton
The American Quarter Horse Journal
January 10, 2013

2012 yearling mares

Candys Mirror Image and Abby Floyd of Searcy, Arkansas, win yearling mares at the 2012 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show. (Journal photo) BELOW: Watch Abby's Journal Winning Run interview from the 2012 Ford Youth World.

Abby Floyd of Searcy, Arkansas, the 2012 youth yearling mares world champion with Candys Mirror Image, was crowned 2013 Miss Arkansas Teen USA on January 6.

Sixteen-year-old Abby competed against 38 other young women for the pageant title and will now travel to the Bahamas this summer to compete for the national title, which will be awarded July 28.

In addition to winning the state title, the AQHYA member was also the “People’s Choice” winner for the competition. In that part of the competition, Facebook fans give a donation to the nonprofit Warriors for Ross and can vote for their favorite contestant.

“I’ve modeled since I was 13,” Abby told The American Quarter Horse Journal. “I knew (the Miss Teen USA competition) would offer some great opportunities so I thought I’d give it a shot last year and it was a lot of fun. So I worked a lot harder this year and it paid off.”

She especially appreciated “the support the other girls gave me. They were glad for me when I won.”

Fitness is a big part of the competition, Abby said, and she has a trainer to help her work out and maintain a healthy diet. She also has a coach who helps her with her stage presence and interviewing skills.

“It’s important to learn how to carry yourself,” Abby said, adding that she thinks learning public speaking and communication skills can go by the wayside in today’s young people. She said that the competition is a challenge to your self-confidence, “but it builds you back up as well.”

Abby enjoys the interview portion of the competition. Her coach has a list of possible questions for her to go through: “I put myself in the interview setting, and I work on really knowing my views on different things. So when you are put on the spot, you know where you stand.”

In the Arkansas contest, one of the questions she was asked regarded a statistic of approximately a quarter of American high school students not graduating: “Do you think this is an issue of poor teaching, inadequate teaching or bad parenting?”

Her response was: “All three. We need a good support group of family and friends, and we need teachers to push us to strive for educational excellence.”

Abby will have to “slow down a little bit” in her horse showing this year in preparation for the Miss Teen USA national competition, but she still hopes to compete at the 2013 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show in August in Oklahoma City.  

She’ll show Candys Mirror Image in 2-year-old mares, a filly by Dominates Image and out of Casino Candy by Casino Cool, bred by Wallace Heck Jr. of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her western pleasure horse is Hot And Dreamy by Blazing Hot and out of Lopins Dream by A Good Machine, bred by Jessica Matthews of Ward, Arkansas.

A junior, Abby will have public appearances to make as Miss Arkansas Teen USA, but she says she’s not missing the Dixie National and the Redbud Spectacular.

“I want to keep with the horse stuff, for sure!”