Ten Youth Attend National Racing Experience

Youth Racing Experience returns to the Challenge Championships.

Q-Racing Journal
October 24, 2013

idaho youth racing experience

Idaho will send a representative from their youth racing experience (pictured).

The AQHYA Youth Racing Experience will again be held in conjunction with the Bank of America Challenge Championships and Racing Conference at Los Alamitos on November 7-10.

AQHA Manager of AQHYA and Youth Development Robin Alden and Wendy Davis of the University of Arizona will be working with the kids. As in previous years, the youth will be assigned to a trainer for hands-on experience on the backside of the racetrack. In the afternoons, the youth will attend informational sessions on various aspects of the industry, from frontside jobs such as the stewards and announcer to the starting gate, jockey’s room, test barn and a visit to a stallion farm. They will also attend racing committee meetings and attend the races.

This year, there will be 10 students attending the Youth Racing Experience. Of those, eight attended regional racing experiences, with the remaining two chosen from at-large candidates.

The youth will be vying for college scholarships totaling $6,000. Three awards will be given to the high-scoring students completing two workbooks and a practical test. New this year will be a special sportsmanship award to be voted on by peers and coaches.

The youth attending the AQHYA Youth Racing Experience includes:

Makayla DeMoss of San Tan Valley, Arizona   
Emily Albitz of Katy, Texas
Austin Brewer of Nampa, Idaho
Megan Shepard of Florence, Mississippi
Jacy Nelson of Iowa Falls, Iowa
Crystal Malo of Hector, Minnesota
Kacee Kugler of Ashley, Indiana
Casey Reimler of Rozet, Wyoming
Zoey Oropallo of Tallahassee, Florida
Annise Montplaisir of Moorhead, Minnesota

Two AQHYA officers, Vice President Kalee McCann of Walnut Grove, Mississippi, and Treasurer Mary Claire Cornett of Purvis, Mississippi, will also attend the event. Both of the officers attended the Louisiana youth racing experience, and will be blogging and providing social media updates during their trip (look for their blog “Youth in Action” on www.aqharacing.com). Generous sponsors, including the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association, Paris Wixon, Suzie Fuller, Tom and Suzy McBeath, Mary Bess Woodruff, MCM Farms and Rob Seal, contributed to the scholarships that allowed the two officers to attend.

“As AQHYA focuses on the youth of tomorrow, we are proud to reinvigorate our regional race experiences and National Racing Experience,” Alden said.

A new project that is being launched this year is a mentorship program for the graduates of the Youth Racing Experience.

This program will match interested Racing Experience graduates with a racing mentor. The mentors will provide advice and guidance for the youth, with the purpose of assisting youth in pursuing a career in racing. The mentors include influential and respected horsemen from all areas of the country and with a wide range of expertise. AQHYA will match the youth with a mentor based on goals, interest and experience.

“Sometimes a youth who loves racing may just need a friendly face to help them get that final push into the industry,” Alden said. “We hope that the mentors will be able to provide their expert advice to help their youth on their path to working in the racing industry.”