Busy Days at YES and Youth World Cup

Youth officer and Team USA member Alan Hinds describes the first busy days at the Bank of America Youth Excellence Seminar and American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup.

American Quarter Horse Journal

2017-18 AQHYA officer Alan Hinds takes photos during his time on Team USA for the 2018 American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup.

2017-18 AQHYA officer Alan Hinds takes photos during his time on Team USA for the 2018 American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup. (Larri Jo Starkey photo)

As a 2017-2018 AQHYA Executive Officer and a member of Team USA, I had one interesting week!

On June 25, I left Kansas for College Station, Texas, where I met up with the 2017-2018 AQHYA youth board.

This year, the Bank of America Youth Excellence Seminar was in conjunction with the American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup, and I was a Leadership member of Team USA.

YES attendees were able to attend the opening ceremony of the YWC on June 29. The overlap in activities kept me busy as I was both a youth officer and a team member.

At YES, I assisted candidates for director and officer positions, especially new director candidates in preparing for their interviews and speeches.

The first evening of YES, Team USA came to the YES Mix ‘n Mingle as well as the dance. That evening, I led an icebreaker that required all YES attendees and Team USA members to go in circles and learn each other’s names and a few facts about themselves.

Typically, the YES dance is held the second night, but due to scheduling, it was a great icebreaker on the first night!

On June 29, candidates campaigned for regional director positions in the morning. Shortly before lunch, YES attendees went to the Youth World Cup opening ceremony. The ceremony was similar to an Olympic Games opening ceremony. Each nation was announced and walked in as that country’s national anthem played.

I was blessed to have the opportunity to carry the American flag as Team USA walked in. After all of the countries had lined up, teams drew for groups of horses that they competed on during the following week.

Back at YES, elections were held for regional directors, and regions held their annual meetings. That evening, all YES attendees and Youth World Cup teams attended dinner and a lip sync session with each team participating as well as the 2017-2018 youth board.

First-time Youth World Cup attendees from South Africa won the lip sync with their rendition of “Single Ladies.”

On June 30, YES was packed with leadership activities! First thing in the morning, candidates for officer positions campaigned before our Books and a Blanket service project in which attendees brought books and made blankets to be distributed in the Bryan-College Station area to children in need.

Then we listened to inspiring words from Dr. Tobin Redwine who taught us about love and purposes in leadership and in our lives. Then officer candidates gave speeches and attendees voted.

After the election, I returned to Youth World Cup to help with decorations and cleaning our stalls and aisles.

That night was the final night at YES and the awards banquet, where the past year’s youth board was recognized, the 2018-2019 officers and directors named and the Wrangler Aspire Award was presented.

The following morning, I attended the new youth board training with several retired board members.

For lunch, I joined Team USA and the Youth World Cup for the gift exchange in which each country exchanged gifts from their country to the other countries.

It was a great opportunity to meet and get to know fellow competitors.


Several Team USA members had the opportunity to participate in clinics for the events that they will be competing in. I was fortunate that my team chose me to represent Team USA during the ranch sorting clinic that was in part put on by 2017-2018 AQHYA President Ty Cornelius. I was lucky enough to ride with Ty. Though Ty and I did not win, it was great learning opportunity for me as well as the representatives from other countries who often had never heard of ranch sorting.

The first day of competition was July 3 at the Nueces Canyon Ranch. Mattie Dukes and Teri Dawn Haws competed in the cutting with Mattie placing first under both judges!

Like the ranch sorting, the majority of countries and participants had never cut before and were able to practice on a flag before they actually cut.

We supported out teammates with themed apparel and I was able to practice some photography during the competition as well!

When Mattie was announced as the winner, our team and parents lit up with applause! In celebration and as a treat, we went to Blue Bell Creamery for some great ice cream and to conclude a great start to the competition part of Youth World Cup.

That was just the first week!