Participants Selected for National Youth Racing Experience

The 2016 National Youth Racing Experience allows AQHYA members a first-hand glimpse into the American Quarter Horse racing industry.

Quarter Racing Journal

The scholarship winners will be announced Saturday night at the conclusion of the National Youth Racing Experience.

In October, the American Quarter Horse Association will host 10 American Quarter Horse Youth Association members during the National Youth Racing Experience at Los Alamitos Race Course in Los Alamitos, California, during the Bank of America Challenge Championships.

“The primary avenue for being selected for this program is by attending an AQHYA Regional Race Experience and earning a recommendation from their affiliate,” said Jacy Bradford, AQHA manager of youth development and AQHYA.

Those selected for the national program receive an all-expense-paid trip to get first-hand experience in the racing industry. They will be matched with professional racehorse trainers to allow them to experience daily life in a racehorse barn. In the afternoons, the youth will attend informational sessions on various aspects of the racing industry, from jobs such as the stewards and announcer, to the starting gate, jockeys room, test barn, as well as attending the racing committee meeting and field trips to nearby equine establishments. 

The 2016 youth participants: 

Garrett Barnes of Star, Idaho

Garrett Conway of Muncie, Indiana

Hunter Duncan of Terre Haute, Indiana

Alan Hinds of Lawrence, Kansas

Kara Horton of Omaha, Nebraska

Charles Lee of McAllen, Texas

Erica Mehlhaus of Boone, Iowa

Jayden Muench of Ogden, Iowa

Katie Orth of Randall, Minnesota

Timothy “Wes” Thibodeaux of Elmer, Louisiana

These youth will gain not only priceless education but also will be competing for scholarships. The scholarship winners will be announced Saturday night at the conclusion of the National Youth Racing Experience.  

Interested youth can visit to locate a regional racing experience. To be a part of next year’s National Youth Racing Experience, stay tuned to for the application. For the latest in American Quarter Horse racing news, visit

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHAnews on Twitter and visit