Youth Scholarships Up for Grabs

The Southern Ohio Quarter Horse Youth Association will offer scholarships to all-around winners at its April AQHA show.

By Connie Lechleitner
The American Quarter Horse Journal
March 1, 2013

Southern Ohio Quarter Horse Youth Association NYATT Team 2012

The funds raised at the SOQHYA April show are used to provide outfits for SOQHYA’s youth team that participates in the National Youth Activity Team Tournament at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. (Photo courtesy of SOQHYA)

When the Southern Ohio Quarter Horse Youth Association hosts its annual AQHA show April 13-14 in Wilmington, Ohio, youth exhibitors can compete not only for points and prizes, but also for scholarship money. The show will present a 14-18 division youth with a $1,000 scholarship and a second 14-18 youth with a $500 scholarship in the first Youth Scholarship Challenge.

Youth adviser Cami Claypool said the association got the idea from the Fort Worth Stock Show.

“We had heard about it from another exhibitor, and we thought it was a perfect fit for our youth show,” she said. “We are also presenting an award to our first-place youth 13-&-under, Novice youth and small fry with $500 savings bonds, and $250 savings bonds to each reserve winner.”

In order to qualify for the Youth Scholarship Challenge, Cami said exhibitors will be required to enter a specific number of classes, although there is no entry fee.

“We’re asking exhibitors to sign up in the office and declare three performance classes and a halter class to count toward the scholarship awards,” she said. “We wanted to even the playing field for as many youth as possible to be eligible.”

The rules for the scholarship challenge include:

  • Youth may enter multiple divisions – Novice and 13-&-under – but must sign up for both divisions;
  • Points will be awarded using a nine-point scale, which is based on the number of horses in each class. If there are nine or more horses in the class, the winner would get nine points, second place would get eight, etc.; if there are fewer than nine horses, the winner gets one point for each horse. In this example, a five-horse class would award five points to first place, four to second, etc..;
  • Ties will be broken by the person with the highest placings under the tie-breaker judge

The youth association is thankful for its sponsors who have made the scholarship challenge possible. So far, they include Claypool Ranch, Finks Harley Davidson, Mil Max Quarter Horses, Pine Meadows Quarter Horses, Puthoff Performance Horses, Repeated In Red and The Sweet Shop.

SOQHYA has joined forces with Mark Harrell Horse Shows to manage the show.

“We’re very excited to be working with Mark Harrell and his team, and it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Cami said. “Mark’s team has been wonderful to work with so far and a great resource to us.”

The show will feature four judges and a $275 all-inclusive fee that includes the stall, as well as all AQHA classes and office fees, with the ability to cross-enter into open, amateur, youth and Novice youth classes.

“We plan to have a number of fun games during the show, like some ‘Minute to Win It’-type games and other surprises throughout the show,” Cami said.

The April AQHA show is the youth association’s main fundraiser for the year, she added. The funds raised are used to provide outfits for SOQHYA’s youth team that participates in the National Youth Activity Team Tournament at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. Cami and the youth members are in the process of soliciting sponsors for the all-around awards.

She said interest in the SOQHYA NYATT team has increased dramatically in 2013.

“This is just my second year as adviser,” she said. “Last year, we had 11 youth on our team, and this year, we have almost 30 kids interested in being on the team.”

Part of that increase in interest could come from Cami’s philosophy of making the youth meetings fun.

“When we first started having meetings, I would get a lot of blank stares and not much talking,” she said. “I decided that if I made the kids play games, at least they could make fun of themselves and have something to talk about.”

The strategy worked, with greater interaction and participation among the group.

“I have kids bringing ideas for games to the meetings now, so it has gone really well.”

To learn more about the Southern Ohio Quarter Horse Youth Association or its AQHA show, visit www.soqha.com.