Young Horse Development Scholarship Winners

Young Horse Development Scholarship Winners

Four AQHYA members earned a total of $5,000 in scholarships through the 2022 AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program.

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Since January, 36 American Quarter Horse Youth Association members have recorded their progress training a yearling bred by an American Quarter Horse Association Ranching Heritage Breeder. Recently, four AQHYA members were named scholarship winners for the 2022 AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program.

In first place, earning a $2,000 scholarship and custom belt buckle is Adrian Davis of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. Davis’ Ranching Heritage-bred horse is Hickory San Dunit, a 2021 bay colt by Peppys San Dunit out of Harlans Miss Hickory by Son Of Hickory. The colt was bred by Jack Clark of Clark Farms in Hustontown, Pennsylvania.

Second place goes to Lindsay Beyer of Luxemburg, Wisconsin. She receives a $1,500 scholarship and a Justin Boots gift certificate. Beyer worked with RWS Rios Plan B, a 2021 sorrel colt by Rios Santana out of RWS Ms Sonora Badger by Solito Badger. RWS Rios Plan B was bred by Georga Sutton of Raymond Sutton Ranch in Gettysburg, South Dakota.

Ava Blyth of Bend, Oregon, was third with her filly, Weavers Pretty Kat. The 2021 sorrel filly is by Bet Hesa Echo Cat out of Weavers Tuf Pretty by Ima Tuf Lena. The filly was bred by Stan and Nancy Weaver of Weaver Quarter Horses in Big Sandy, Montana. Blyth receives a $1,000 scholarship and a $100 Wrangler product gift certificate.

Fourth place goes to Lili Drinkall of Milledgeville, Illinois. She receives a $500 scholarship and a $100 Wrangler product gift certificate. Drinkall worked with Sunups Lil Skipper, a 2021 buckskin filly by Zans Tyree Drifter out of Tyrees Amber Skip by Watch Tyree Two. The filly was bred Mr. and Mrs. Reed Kettlewell of Sunup Ranch in Brainerd, Minnesota.

The Young Horse Development Program was created in 2011 to give AQHYA members an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of horsemanship and celebrated it’s 10-year anniversary with the 2022 class. In the 10 years since the program’s inception, nearly 400 horses have been donated with an estimated value of $1.4 million. The horses used in the program are bred by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders, which are working cattle ranches with a remuda of at least five AQHA-registered mares that produce ranch horses. The participating Ranching Heritage Breeders donate weanlings for the program participants to evaluate, raise and train. Young Horse Development Program participants get to keep their horses.

“The Young Horse Development Program was designed to allow youth participants an opportunity to get hands-on horse experience,” said AQHA Interim Chief Show Officer Karen McCuistion. “The program is an excellent opportunity to connect these young adults with the equine industry and provides a solid foundation for their education and future career path. In turn, their experience in the program turns into a valuable set of skills that will carry them forward as members of our industry.”

The Young Horse Development Program participants raise their weanlings-turned-yearlings and document their monthly progress; participate in webinars; complete monthly management assignments; track goals; engage in mentoring sessions with local AQHA Professional Horsemen; and compile videos of themselves with their horse completing assignments including trailering, an in-hand trail pattern and more. Following project completion, a select number of scholarships and prizes are awarded. 

To learn more about the program and sign up for a notification of the 2024 application release, visit

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