angle-left The Path to Becoming an AQHYA International Director

The Path to Becoming an AQHYA International Director

This AQHYA Region 11 director is doing her part to make the Quarter Horse the world’s most popular horse.

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By Julia Bastian

How did I become an AQHYA Region 11 director? It’s not quite the story you’d expect.

In 2014, at the Quarter Horse Association Luxembourg annual general meeting, fellow AQHYA member Jim Stors approached me five minutes before he was due to go on stage and present his newest plan. Jim didn’t reveal his secret immediately, but he told me he needed my help to make it happen. I was intrigued. As it turned out, Jim’s newest plan, and “great opportunity” for youth Quarter Horse fans from Luxembourg, was to create an official AQHYA youth affiliate in our country. Jim asked me to be vice president of our newly formed youth affiliate. He would have nominated me for the position no matter what my answer, but I agreed. This big plan was a turning point for youth in Region 11.

Later that year, Jim went with Team Luxembourg to the American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup in College Station, Texas. While there, Jim participated in the Youth Excellence Seminar and was elected as an AQHYA director for Region 11 -- one of the first two ever! I wasn’t surprised Jim wanted to be involved, but I was a bit surprised that as the end of the Jim’s term approached, he convinced me to run for a Region 11 director position, too. Jim was right again. Being a director is a great opportunity for me to get more involved with AQHYA and to promote and help develop the presence of youth members all over the world.

Being an AQHYA Region 11 director has made me realize there are so many more ways to be involved than one would think. The majority of youth members in Europe didn't even realize a directorship was a possibility for them, but now, as a result of the work Jim and I have done, this is slowly starting to change. Part of our work is reaching out to various affiliates, introducing ourselves as directors, and talking to them about all the different possibilities with AQHYA. We encourage them to follow Jim’s plan and create their own official AQHYA affiliate. In Luxembourg, we started with four youth members in 2014. Now we're looking at 17 members, and our association is only going to keep growing! These numbers aren’t small. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day.

I originally joined AQHYA for the sole purpose of being able to compete in the AQHA classes with my leased American Quarter Horse. I never thought I would become vice president of the Luxembourg youth affiliate or an AQHYA international director. It is important to me that the contributions I have made are making a difference. And the best part is I wouldn’t change a thing.