Strive for Success at YES

Motivational speakers challenge AQHYA members to reconsider their ideas about success during the Youth Excellence Seminar and Youth World Cup.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Candidates for national AQHYA director positions made friends July 8 at the 2014 Bank of America Youth Excellence in Bryan, Texas. (Larri Jo Starkey photo) For more photos from YES and the American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup, scroll to the slideshow below.

Overcoming adversity to achieve success was the theme July 8 at the 2014 Bank of America Youth Excellence Seminar in Bryan, Texas.

At lunch, two AQHA Professional Horsemen spoke about their personal life challenges to AQHYA members gathered for the annual leadership conference.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal,” Genny Miller quoted Winston Churchill. “Do you have a personal point of view or do you just follow your friends and risk your future based on what others think?”

Genny, who trains horses in Ellensburg, Washington, talked about her battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and how it focused her efforts.

“Is what you are doing in life really worth the effort?” Genny said. “Do you want a future in what you’re doing? Then you need to be tenacious about it.”

The lunch crowd was a combined group of youth attending YES and the American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup.

Marty Oak Simper
of Ogden, Utah, spoke about a broken neck he suffered while training a horse.

“Life is not always as glamorous as we want it to be, but looking backwards, it made me a stronger person, made me work harder and never give up,” Marty said. “It was a time for learning and appreciating those things in life that we might sometimes take for granted such as family and friends and mentors. Vince Lombardi once said, ‘Whether we win or lose, as long as we applied ourselves the best we can, we are winners.’ Everyone here is a champion.”

At the evening meal, motivational speaker Josh Sundquist joked about the perils of trying to be an anonymous prankster when everyone in his hometown knew he was the only one-legged guy living there.

“Not everything bad that happens is a joke, but we have a choice about how we react to bad things in life,” said Josh, author of “Just Don’t Fall” and an international para-athlete in skiing and soccer. “When you fall down, if you get back up and keep walking, you’ve already won. That’s a choice you make every day.”

When Josh was working to make the U.S. Paralympic ski team, he wrote “1mt 1mt” on his ski tips.

“That means one more thing, one more time,” Josh said. “Success comes in trying one more time, and in March 2006, I walked into the Paralympic opening ceremonies in Torino, Italy.”