Region Six Championships: July 19

A Luxembourg youth joins the fun and competes at the 2015 Merial AQHA Region Six Championships.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Julia Bastian, an AQHYA director from Luxembourg, competed at the 2015 Merial AQHA Region Six Championships. (Credit: Journal)

Region 6 AQHA members love their annual regional championship show. Their passion for the event is contagious, which often encourages exhibitors who have never attended the event to try it.

Last summer, Julia Bastian of Koerich, Luxembourg (a small European country between Belgium, France and Germany), spent time in Maine visiting her mother’s family.

“I wanted to become more competitive and stay in shape while I was away from home,” she said. The 17-year-old regularly competes in reining, ranch riding, horsemanship, pleasure and showmanship at AQHA shows held through the Luxembourg affiliate.

Before arriving in the states, she searched the AQHA Professional Horseman directory and found Wanda Lounder of Double L Stable in Hancock, Maine. Julia arranged for lessons and spent the summer improving her horsemanship skills. Her time at Wanda’s coincided with the stable’s preparation for the 2014 Region Six Championships.

“Wanda was talking a lot about the show and explaining all of the events that take place there. It sounded like fun,” Julia said.

Knowing she would be back in 2015, Julia asked Wanda if she could enter the show, too. Wanda readily agreed and paired Julia with a horse from her barn.

So, Julia came back to the United States to attend the 2015 Bank of America Youth Excellence Seminar in Amarillo and prepare for the 2015 Merial AQHA Region Six Championships with Wanda's help.

Prepping for the show was a learning experience for both Julia and Wanda. Even though the European affiliates host many of the same classes as those offered in the United States, there are significant differences between the events, training techniques and equipment in both countries.

“The quality of showing is a lot higher in the United States,” Julia said. Specialized breeding to achieve top-notch hunter, pleasure or performance horses relies on crossing multiple bloodlines. “There is more variety in the bloodlines here. At home you hear a lot of the same names over and over again.”

Wanda admitted that working with Julia added a lot to her barn.

“She brings a different view and different riding style," Wanda said. "We’ve been able to show her the clothing and tack that is recognized in the states and learn how it’s different in Europe."

At the end of July, Julia returns to Europe and begins her role as the newly elected AQHYA Region 11 director. She will represent youth in Europe alongside Jim Stors also from Luxembourg. Julia believes serving as a director is the perfect opportunity to increase the presence and accessibility of AQHA and AQHYA in Region 11, specifically Europe.

“My main goal is to make AQHYA a more international-friendly environment," Julia said. "This would encourage more involvement and also meet the needs of many International members.”


Journal Coverage of the Region Six Championships

  • June 19 – A Luxembourg youth joins the fun and competes at the 2015 Merial AQHA Region Six Championships.
  • July 18 – This Level 1 exhibitor is learning to love showmanship.
  • July 17 – The Merial AQHA Region Six Championships celebrates its 10th year.