AQHA Young Horse Development Program

Young Horse Development Program

Learn more about the AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program for AQHYA members.

Samantha has been working hard with RWS Scarlets Cutter,

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The AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program (YHD) showcases the stock being bred and raised by AQHA Ranching Heritage members by matching donated weanlings with AQHYA members. Youth in this program are engaged in the horse industry at a fundamental level that is both fun and educational.

Participating Ranching Heritage breeders donate young horses for Young Horse Development participants to raise and train. Young horsemen and women learn responsibility and goal-setting, important components of horse ownership - and life skills that can follow them for years to come. Encouraged by good fun, as well as key education in the horse industry, youth learn to raise and train their weanlings.

About the Young Horse Development Program

Developing Horsemanship Skills

Through the Young Horse Development program, AQHYA members 13 years and older receive a hands-on horse training opportunity focusing on the fundamentals of horsemanship. The program is not only an excellent educational experience, it is also a lot of fun! Prizes and scholarships are at stake. Participants can showcase the skills and knowledge they have acquired for chances to win scholarships and awards.

Prioritizing Equine Wellness

Throughout the program, participants further their knowledge in horse health by prioritizing equine wellness. Participants are encouraged to help ensure their horse’s health by working closely with a veterinarian outlining key aspects of horse health care to help build a solid foundation of equine wellness for both the horses and youth members. To help the weanlings excel in both health and performance, participants can record veterinary wellness exam details, including core and risk-based vaccinations.

 Program Details and Deadlines

The priority application deadline for the 2023 program will be August 15, 2022, and the late application deadline is October 1, 2022. Apply by the priority deadline for the best chance of admission into the program and the most likely match with a horse closest to your home. Participants may be selected and matched with horses any time after August 15, with the majority being selected and matched with horses October through December 2022.

Youth can participate in the Young Horse Development Program with a donated foal or purchasing a Ranching Heritage Challenge-enrolled foal from a Ranching Heritage Breeder. 

View the 2023 Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program Application Form here

To learn more about program requirements and guidelines, please view the 2022 YHD Program Record Book.

2021 Scholarship Winners

In first place, earning a $2,000 scholarship and custom belt buckle is Lily Thomas of Longmont, Colorado. Thomas’ Ranching Heritage-bred horse is Setumup Badger, a 2020 buckskin colt by Setumup Bucky out of Smart Boons Badger by Peppy From Heaven. The colt was bred by Scott West of West Brothers Inc. in Lusk, Wyoming.

Second place goes to Paige Soper of Baldwin City, Kansas. She receives a $1,500 scholarship and Justin Boots gift certificate. Soper worked with Boxo Heavens Joan, a 2020 sorrel filly by SNW Heavens King out of Heel A Strait Lady by Bar Heels Jack. Box Heavens Joan was bred by Jecca Ostrander of Box O Quarter Horses in Gordon, Nebraska.

Mesa Svedberg of Hardin, Montana, was third with her colt, Si Di Royal Rojo. The 2020 sorrel colt is by Si Di Olena out of Carrie D Royal by CD Royal. The colt was bred by Dan and Marcy Davis of Davis Quarter Horses in Sonnette, Montana. Svedberg receives a $1,000 scholarship and $100 Wrangler gift certificate.

Fourth place goes to A. J. Kendrick of Shallowater, Texas. He receives a $500 scholarship and $100 Wrangler gift certificate. Kendrick worked with Spade Pepto Celia, a 2020 sorrel filly by Whos Foolin out of Spade Delivery Celia by Range Delivery. The filly was bred by Wesley Spade of Spade Ranches Ltd. in Lubbock, Texas.

In 2021, 40 youth participated in the Young Horse Development Program. The program was highly competitive, and the excellence achieved by participants was impressive. In addition to recognizing the four scholarship winners, AQHYA would like to acknowledge youth placing fifth through tenth in the program. These individuals will be awarded a rosette from AQHYA.

5. Lily Krumm of Ranchester, Wyoming with Miss Sanfrostcisco bred by Open Box Rafter Ranch/Jim and Joni Hunt

6. Kaylee Klein of Edawall, Washington with KT Double Whammy bred by KT Ranch

7. Sylvia Speelman of East Berlin, Pennsylvania with My Shinin Catillac bred by Clark Farms/Jack and Tina Clark

8. Allison Slaughter of Corydon, Indiana with Chex Four Bel bred by Haythorn Land & Cattle Co./Kelley Haythorn

9. Rebecca Kennedy of Godley, Texas with Rebeccas Baby bred by Hal Bogle Estate/Stuart Bogle

10. Charlsie Reeder of Wellsville, Utah with Mis Catty Candy bred by Mill Iron S Ranch/Avery May

We would like to extent a special thank you to all of the Ranching Heritage Breeders who donated weanlings to the 2021 Program:

7X Ranch/Koberstein Family, Box O Quarter Horses/Jecca Ostrander, Campbell Ranch/Joe and Vivian Campbell, Chesterfield Farm/John Nicely, Clark Farms/Jack and Tina Clark, Davis Quarter Horses/Dan and Marcy Davis, The Daube Company/Sam Daube, Durrett Cattle/Will and Romni Durrett, Freeman Family Ranch LTD/Mark Freeman, Hal Bogle Estate/Stuart Bogle, Harlan House, Haythorn Land & Cattle Co./Kelley Haythorn, KT Ranch, KT Cattle Co./Amy Best, Lazy K Ranch/Sherry Knapp, Mahlstedt Ranch Inc./Tana Canen, Mill Iron S Ranch/Avery May, Nixon Ranch/Mikael Nixon, Oleen Brothers/Jan Oleen, Open Box Rafter Ranch/Jim and Joni Hunt, Raymond Sutton Ranch/Georga Sutton, Spade Ranches LTD/Wesley Spade, St. Clair Farms/Michael and Kim St. Clair, Timmerman Quarter Horses/Roger and Joan Timmerman, Waters Ranch/Louis and Wanda Waters, West Brothers Inc./Scott West, Wetz Stirrup Ranch/Leroy and Shirley Wetz

2022 Program Participants

The following AQHYA members are participating in the program for 2022:

  • Adrian Davis of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Clark Farms of Hustontown, Pennsylvania 
  • Amber Wortham of Wimberly, Texas
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Waters Ranch of Utopia, Texas
  • Ava Blyth of Bend, Oregon
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Weaver Quarter Horses of Big Sandy, Montana 
  • Ava Williams of Kingston, Washington
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: K T Ranch of Connell, Washington
  • Avery Ridgely of Jonesburg, Missouri
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Oleen Brothers of Dwight, Kansas
  • Brodie Childs of Chico, Texas
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Nixon Ranch of Nara Visa, New Mexico 
  • Brooke Hoven of Polk City, Iowa
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Schofield Quarter Horses of Philip, South Dakota
  • Carson Zacharias of Gill, Colorado
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Open Box Rafter Ranch of Faith, South Dakota
  • Charylet Lee of McAllen, Texas
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: LC Ranch of Crockett, Texas 
  • Colton Boatman of Jennings, Oklahoma
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Harlan House of Goodland, Kansas 
  • Colton Lueck of Gilbert, Arizona
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: ORO Ranch of Prescott, Arizona
  • Connor Lovell of Ault, Colorado
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Dikoff Ranch of Hermosa, South Dakota
  • Cooper Campbell of Idalou, Texas
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: St. Clair Farms of Kahoka, Missouri
  • David Kendrick of Shallowater, Texas
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Harlan House of Goodland, Kansas
  • Elizabeth Jolley of Victor, Idaho
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Raymond Sutton Ranch of Gettysburg, South Dakota
  • Estella Cook of Nibley, Utah
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Flat Creek Ranch of Rogerson, Idaho
  • Faith Gilbreath of Gilmer, Texas
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: The Daube Company of Ardmore, Oklahoma
  • Grace Peterson of Buffalo, Wyoming
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Wetz Stirrup Ranch of Vale, South Dakota 
  • Grace Van Dyke of Sheridan, Wyoming
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: West Brothers Inc. of Lusk, Wyoming
  • Graci Reeder of Mason, Michigan
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Clark Farms of Hustontown, Pennsylvania
  • Grady Claybrook of Highlandville, Missouri
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Haythorn Land & Cattle Co. of Arthur, Nebraska
  • Guadalupe Carrasco of Malaga, New Mexico
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: KT Cattle Inc. of Amado, Arizona
  • Kasen Wink of Post, Texas
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Bagley Performance Horses of Dimmitt, Texas
  • Kasey Edmonson of Ozark, Missouri
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Nixon Ranch of Nara Visa, New Mexico 
  • Kennedy Lyson of Baker, Montana
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: West Brothers Inc. of Lusk, Wyoming 
  • Kynley McCullough of Loving, New Mexico
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Durrett Cattle Co. of Wildorado, Texas
  • Lili Drinkall of Milledgeville, Illinois
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Sunup Ranch of Brainerd, Minnesota
  • Lindsay Beyer of Luxemburg, Wisconsin
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Raymond Sutton Ranch of Gettysburg, South Dakota 
  • Madison Meyer of Meyersville, Texas
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Bogle Brothers LLC of Dexter, New Mexico
  • Madison Moore of Wellington, Colorado
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Open Box Rafter Ranch of Faith, South Dakota
  • Madison Wachtel of Wells, Nevada
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Open Box Rafter Ranch of Faith, South Dakota
  • Rylee Erickson of Benson, Minnesota
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Most Quarter Horses of Ogallala, Nebraska
  • Shelby Aldinger of Ramsey, Minnesota
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Open Box Rafter Ranch of Faith, South Dakota
  • Shelby Noyce of LeSueur, Minnesota
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: XI Ranch of Plains, Kansas
  • Vivien Felker of Elk Rapids, Michigan
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Clark Farms of Hustontown, Pennsylvania
  • Weston Hersel of Lewistown, Montana
    Ranching Heritage Breeder: Open Box Rafter Ranch of Faith, South Dakota