The New Kid on the Block

AQHYA Region 5 Director Kylie Good of East Berlin, Pennsylvania, shares her ambitions for the upcoming year with AQHYA First Vice President McKenzie Merritt.

American Quarter Horse Youth Association

AQHYA First Vice president McKenzie Merritt catches up with AQHYA Region 5 Director Kylie Good.

Every year at the Bank of America Youth Excellence Seminar, American Quarter Horse Youth Association members elect the new national officers and regional directors for AQHYA for the upcoming year. Each of the leadership team candidates complete an application, workbook covering AQHA history and AQHYA programs, proceed through an interview process, campaign with AQHYA members, deliver a prepared speech, and answer an impromptu question.  

This year, we elected five national officers and 13 regional directors to the 2016-17 leadership team. Six of the regional directors this year are first-time candidates. After YES, I was able to interview three of them about their reason for joining our “block” as a leadership team and what they plan to accomplish throughout the next year. 

Three directors were elected for Region 5 this year, and I was able to meet up with Kylie Good of East Berlin, Pennsylvania. She shares her ambitions for this upcoming year, as well as why she wants to serve AQHYA in a leadership position. 

What motivated you to run for a leadership position?
During the past two YES conferences that I have attended, I have always aspired to be a part of the leadership team. My favorite part of each one was the speeches given by the retiring officers; they were so bittersweet. I was able to understand how the leadership team truly cherished one another. I wanted to become a leader of AQHYA to gain lifelong friendships and long lasting memories while representing the Association. I wanted AQHYA to become a part of my life like it did theirs. 

What are some of your goals for this year?
My goal this year is to increase active participation within my region. I feel that it is crucial to have members who are active participants of AQHYA in order for the Association to grow. We are always in need of new voices with new ideas. When youth become more involved in the opportunities AQHYA offers, they acquire vital skills that will travel with them throughout their lives. Getting people involved will benefit both the individuals and AQHYA as a whole.

What are you most excited for in your position?
I am most excited about the friendships and memories that I will make throughout the year. I am excited to overcome the challenges that I know I will face beside a group of people who share the same love and passion that I have for AQHYA. I have no doubt that this year is going to be one of the most memorable years of my life.

Who inspired and supported you to run for this position?
Region’s 5 previous director, Aubrey Braham, encouraged and supported me to run for this position. She commended me for my hard work in my affiliate association and saw that I could be an asset to AQHYA. Without her encouragement, I don't think I would have run for this position. I am truly grateful to have such an amazing person to support me through this experience.

What was your favorite part about YES this year?
The games we played throughout the seminar. The games helped everyone step out of their comfort zones and meet new friends from all over the world!

What do you think is the most beneficial lesson that a youth takes away from YES?
That we are so much luckier than we realize to have the American Quarter Horse as a part of our lives. Without this animal, we wouldn’t have the opportunities to create friendships from all over the country and world, to travel and see the countryside, and to have a bond with an animal that is so strong that when together, they are one.

About AQHYA Officers and Directors
AQHYA national officers and regional directors play a major role in the youth association by planning events, participating in community service projects and spreading the word about American Quarter Horses, youth activities and AQHYA. They also represent AQHYA throughout the year at functions and events nationwide.

Each of AQHYA’s 11 regions can elect three directors at the Bank of America Youth Excellence Seminar. From those directors, delegates elect five national officers.

Throughout the year, the officers and directors network with horse enthusiasts throughout the industry to ensure a successful future for the industry. AQHYA officers and directors set goals to grow youth involvement in every aspect of the equine world, uphold the integrity of the breed and work toward ensuring the future of the industry. 

AQHYA national officers and regional directors have a unique opportunity to develop leadership skills to enhance their AQHYA experience and all of their future endeavors. All youth are encouraged to get involved.

For more information on the regional directors and five national officers for the 2016-17 term, visit