AQHYA Members Pair Up With Weanlings

Twenty-five young horsemen and -women have been selected to participate in the 2015-16 AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program.

The American Quarter Horse Association

The AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program pairs AQHYA members with weanlings raised by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders. (Journal photo)

Twenty-five American Quarter Horse Youth Association members have been selected to participate in the 2015-16 American Quarter Horse Association Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program. This program engages the youth in raising yearlings, completing projects and furthering themselves as horsemen to earn scholarships and prizes. 

This fall, the young horsemen and -women received or purchased weanlings from AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders. The 2015-16 Young Horse Development Program participants include:

  • Jynsen Bibler of Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Cody Austin Tibbetts of Bow, New Hampshire
  • Devynn Osborne of Fort Backmore, Virginia
  • Lucy Cluff of Charleston, Rhode Island
  • Kaleigh Hanzlick of Channing, Texas
  • Baili Kerth of Sylvan Grove, Kansas
  • Hope Gabriella Kanning of Columbia City, Indiana
  • David Gringeri of Fair Haven, Vermont
  • Kaitlyn Boykin of Elizabeth, Colorado
  • Rebekah Anne Eilert of Powhattan, Kansas
  • Lisa Steward of Kimberly, Idaho
  • Bailey Alexander of Millville, California
  • Anthony Luna of Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Saryn Paulsen of Hutto, Texas
  • McKenzie Woodall of Kingsville, Texas
  • Keylee Frans of Thomas, Oklahoma
  • Isabella Peyton Moore of Bullard, Texas
  • Molly Witzeling of Waterford, Wisconsin
  • Nicole Goss of Aberdeen, Idaho
  • Laura Croghan of Hardyville, Kentucky
  • Shaylynn Taylor of Trenton, Florida
  • Marie Crochet of Houma, Louisiana
  • Mercedes Ogden of Prescott Valley, Arizona
  • Ariel Mae Olvey of Phoenix
  • Kyndra Bibler of Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Wade Smith of Oldfield, Missouri
  • Jordan Sandberg of Somerset, Wisconsin

The Young Horse Development Program was created to give AQHYA members who want to participate in hands-on horse training an opportunity that will teach them the fundamentals of horsemanship. The horses used in the program were bred by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders, which consist of working cattle ranches with a remuda of at least five AQHA-registered mares that produce ranch horses. The participating Ranching Heritage Breeders offered weanlings for the program participants to judge, select or purchase, raise and train.

Several generous AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders donated weanlings to this year’s program.

Donors include:

  • Anderson Quarter Horses of Blue Ridge, Texas
  • Bar LD Ranch of Lemmon, South Dakota
  • Big Valley Ranch of Monterey, Virginia
  • Browning Quarter Horses of Ethel, Louisiana
  • Campbell Ranch of Seligman, Arizona
  • Clark Farms of Hustontown, Pennsylvania
  • Flat Creek Ranch of Rogerson, Idaho
  • KT Ranch of Connell, Washington
  • Killian Ranch of Safford, Arizona
  • Markway Ranch of Eldon, Missouri
  • O RO Ranch of Prescott, Arizona
  • Open Box Rafter Ranch of Faith, South Dakota
  • Raymond Sutton Ranch of Gettysburg, South Dakota
  • Rob A. Brown Ranch of Stinnett, Texas
  • Seven L Ranch of Devers, Texas
  • Sid Miller Horses of Stephenville, Texas
  • Singleton Ranches of Lamy, New Mexico
  • Weaver Quarter Horses of Big Sandy, Montana
  • Wise Farm of Russelville, Alabama
  • Yavapai Ranch of Seligman, Arizona

“The Young Horse Development Program was developed to help youth gain hands-on experience in training horses,” said AQHA Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines. “The program gives youth a mentor to learn from and showcase their hard work and dedication to their project. This will, in turn, give participants a skill set that will set them apart when applying for scholarships, college and jobs.”

While raising their weanlings-turned-yearlings, the program participants will document their monthly progress; participate in monthly webinars; complete monthly management assignments; and track goals, such as competing in AQHA, 4-H, FFA or local horse shows; engage in mentoring sessions with local AQHA Professional Horsemen; and compile a video of themselves with their horse completing an in-hand trail pattern. Following project completion, a select number of scholarships and prizes will be awarded. 

  • 1st place: $2,000 scholarship and a Montana Silversmiths belt buckle
  • 2nd place: $1,500 scholarship and a pair of Justin boots
  • 3rd place: $1,000 scholarship and a $100 Wrangler gift certificate
  • 4th place: $500 scholarship and a $100 Wrangler gift certificate

To learn more about the Young Horse Development Program, visit

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