The 5 Reasons You Should Run For Youth Office

It’s not too late to gain everything an AQHYA leadership position has to offer.

The American Quarter Horse Youth Association

AQHYA is an organization full of passion, history and a legacy of leadership that dates back to 1970. This band of dedicated horse lovers enjoys a variety of American Quarter Horse activities. From horse shows, to speech contests, young horse development and more, AQHYA strives to offer each member a place to get involved.

At the forefront of this institution are AQHYA’s officers and directors. These young, motivated individuals work to make the future of AQHYA bright. From local community service to international travel, the experience of being a youth leader is unsurmountable.

We’re accepting officer and director applications through April 1, 2016.

We’ve reached out to your very own 2015-16 AQHYA President Ann Elizabeth Tebow and AQHA’s Manager of Youth Development Kate Vierthaler for the top 5 reasons YOU should run for youth office:

1. Valuable Life Lessons

“My time spent as a member of the AQHYA leadership team has truly changed my life. It has blessed me with more friendships, valuable skills, experiences and memories than I could possibly count.” – Ann Elizabeth

“Each of them learns something about themselves by the end of their term. I love to see these friendships develop and bloom…They realize the type of opportunities that they have available to them and they begin to set their goals according to what they’ve learned.” – Kate

2. Travel

AQHYA officers and directors have the potential opportunity to travel in and out of the country to places and events like these:

  • AQHA Convention (2016 hosted in Las Vegas)
  • Interscholastic Equestrian Association Finals and the American Horse Youth Council Symposium (2016 hosted in Lexington, Kentucky)
  • Youth World Cup (20116 hosted in Tamworth, New South Wales)
  • Bank of America Youth Excellence Seminar and AQHYA elections in Amarillo
  • Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show, Oklahoma City
  • Youth Racing Experience, Los Alamitos Race Course, Cypress, California

3. Professional Experience and Networking

AQHYA leaders have the chance to gain real professional leadership experience. They are held to a standard of excellence, teamwork and activism. This undertaking is not only a resume builder, but also an opportunity work alongside and meet numerous leaders in the industry.

“Over the years, I have gained so many skills in areas such as public speaking, leadership, organization and teamwork that I know I will carry with me for the rest of my life. The shy, timid little girl I used to be can now stand confidently and talk in front of groups of hundreds of people and will run up and introduce herself to any new person she sees.” – Ann Elizabeth

4. Merchandise and Apparel

AQHYA leaders are decked out in the best of the best from AQHA Corporate Partner Wrangler. When leaders are elected to office, they are given a variety of jackets, pullovers, T-shirts, button-down shirts, caps and more with the official AQHYA logo. Not only are these awesome items to have, they provide leaders with a recognizable and honorable uniform to adorn when participating in or hosting AQHYA events.

5. A Chance to Make a Difference

From projects like Heroes for Horses, canned-food drives, government projects like Head Start, trail conservation and more, the potential to get involved in the community for a positive impact is endless. These young, motivated individuals are provided with the resources and the chance to have a substantial positive effect on the community and world around them.

“It can be a lot of hard work at times, and for some it is easy to get discouraged, but with the massive support system we have built up, success as a member of the AQHYA leadership team is obtainable for anyone… I feel so blessed to have been granted this opportunity to give back to this Association that has done so much for me.” – Ann Elizabeth

“These kids are really making a difference. I’m so proud to watch them grow and the projects they’ve planned so hard for unfold into the success that they are.” – Kate

Applications for officer and director positions are due to AQHA by April 1, 2016. Don’t miss out on the experience of a lifetime. Apply to be an AQHYA officer or director today! AQHYA’s Guide to Campaigning will provide you with application materials and the preparation you need for an effective campaign.

To read about Ann Elizabeth Tebow’s experience as and AQHYA leader, read her recent blogpost on

To join in on all the AQHYA fun, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and stay informed and involved!

2015-16 AQHYA Officers

  • President Ann Elizabeth Tebow, Piedmont, Oklahoma
  • First Vice President Brock Murphy, Jackson, Missouri
  • Second Vice President McKenzie Merritt, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Member Madison Thiel, Dublin, Ohio
  • Member Madelynne Herlocker, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

2015-16 AQHYA Directors

  • Region 1 Director Anwyn Deeks, Snohomish, Washington
  • Region 2 Director Andie Lacher, Fairfield, Montana
  • Region 2 Director Sydnee Gemar, Sutton, Nebraska
  • Region 3 Director Clara Johnson, Indianola, Iowa
  • Region 3 Director Mallory Vroegh, Granger, Iowa
  • Region 4 Director Paulina Martz, Blacklick, Ohio
  • Region 4 Director Ellexxah Maxwell, West Mansfield, Ohio
  • Region 4 Director Anneleise Ritzi, Troy, Ohio
  • Region 5 Director Aubrey Braham, Grove City, Pennsylvania
  • Region 5 Director Maura Hynes, Shiloh, New Jersey
  • Region 5 Director Austin Ralls, Catlett, Virginia
  • Region 6 Director Valerie Slimskey, East Berlin, Connecticut
  • Region 7 Director Steven Paul Parker II, Cave Creek, Arizona
  • Region 8 Director Meg Tebow, Piedmont, Oklahoma
  • Region 9 Director Ty Cornelius, Mt. Pleasant, Arkansas
  • Region 9 Director Dalton Culpepper, Florence, Mississippi
  • Region 9 Director Emily Wasson, Madison, Mississippi
  • Region 10 Director Jenna Beare, Westminster, South Carolina
  • Region 10 Director Katelyn Womack, Barnesville, Georgia
  • Region 11 Director Julia Bastian, Koerich, Luxembourg
  • Region 11 Director Jim Stors, Mompach, Luxembourg