Young Horse Development

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

2015-16 Young Horse Development winner Kaitlyn Boykin. (Kaitlyn Boykin photo)

This program showcases the stock being bred and raised by AQHA Ranching Heritage members by matching donated weanlings with AQHYA members. Youth are engaged in the horse industry at a fundamental level that is both fun and educational as they learn to raise and train.


To give older AQHYA members age 12 and older in a hands-on horse training opportunity based on the fundamentals of horsemanship. The youth will have the chance to showcase their skills and knowledge acquired, and earn scholarships and prizes.

Participating Ranching Heritage members donate young horses for YHD participants to raise and train. Young horsemen learn responsibility and goal-setting, important components of equine ownership.

Priority application deadline: August 15.  Late application deadline: October 1.  For the best chance of admission into the program, and the most likely match with a horse closest to your home, apply by the Priority deadline.  Participants may be selected and matched with horses any time after August 15.

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

For more information about the Youth Horse Development Program procedures, view the 2016-2017 YHD Record Book here. 

 Young Horse Development Project application form and waiver

2015-16 Scholarship Winners

  1. Kaitlyn Boykin of Elizabeth, Colorado, with Special Frenchmans, a 2015 chestnut filly by Frenchmans Fire Fox and out of Colonels glitter by Coyote Colonel, bred by Jim and Joni Hunt (Open Box Rafter Ranch) of Faith, South Dakota – $2,000 and a Montana Silversmith belt buckle.
  2. David Gringeri of Fair Haven, Vermont, with Centenial Drift, a 2015 sorrel filly by Flit Drift and out of Centenial Pride by Coyote Colonel, bred by Jim and Joni Hunt (Open Box Rafter Ranch) of Faith, South Dakota – $1,500 and a pair of Justin boots.
  3. Rebekah Eilert of Powhattan, Kansas, with French Flit Takota, a 2015 palomino filly by French Flit and out of Chileta Te by PC Cisco Frost, bred by Jim and Joni Hunt (Open Box Rafter Ranch) of Faith, South Dakota – $1,000 and a $100 Wrangler gift certificate.
  4. Anthony Luna of Flagstaff, Arizona, with RO Bluechip Dividend, a 2015 blue roan filly by Hancock Dividend and out of RO Pepto Winner by Dual Winner, bred by O RO Ranch of Prescott, Arizona  – $500 and a $100 Wrangler gift certificate.

2016-17 Program Participants

The following AQHYA members are participating in the program for 2016-17:

  • Abby Spaulding of Alma Center, WI
  • Abigail Gay of Versailles, KY
  • Alyssa Hite of Osceola, WI
  • Alyssa Wright of De Mossville, KY
  • Amber Brown of Aurora, IL
  • Analise Wall of Mariposa, CA
  • Arielle Wortham of Wimberley, TX
  • Aviana Vazquez of Otis Orchars, WA
  • Bailey Steger of Cookeville, TN
  • Brooke Morley of Grove, OK
  • Brynne Matula of Mill Creek, WA
  • Camille Morris of Mount Vernon, WA
  • Claire March of Lincoln, CA
  • Curtis Johnson of Indianola, IA
  • Dakota Abbey of Dillon, MT
  • Delaney Shively of Lewisburg, OH
  • Dyani Jones of Jericho, VT
  • Eden Kay Kopac of Burlington, WI
  • Elizabeth Wedlake of Collinsville, OK
  • Emily Biner of Brighton, CO
  • Emily Schimnich of Sauk Rapids, MN
  • Evan Burdette of Ozark, MO
  • Grace Dorcey of Ponca, NE
  • Grace Johnson of Olympia, WA
  • Hannah Lankister of Fort Cobb, OK
  • Hope Luscian of Elizabethtown, PA
  • Isabella Crawford of Rusk, TX
  • Jacqueline Potwora of Eugene, OR
  • Jayden Muench of Ogden, IA
  • Jenna Rischitelli of Lewes, DE
  • Jessy Harris-Forkner of Lakeville, IN
  • Jordan Diehl of Boise, ID
  • Joshua Briggs of Pilot Point, TX
  • Kacie Morvant of Lake Charles, LA
  • Karissa World of Heber City, UT
  • Katelynn Arns of Moundville, AL
  • Katherine Dixon of Clarksville, MO
  • Katherine Walden of Larkspur, CO
  • Katie Brown of Newman Lake, WA
  • Laura Sandberg of Somerset, WI
  • Leah Brooks of Gilmer, TX
  • Lila Jolley of Victor, ID
  • Madeline Robertson of Bryan, TX
  • Madison Hays of Pasco, WA
  • McKean Matson of College Station, TX
  • McKenzie Engelhaupt of Alliance, NE
  • Nathania McKenzie of Gravette, AR
  • Oaklie Howard of Stillwater, OK
  • Olivia Page of Cheney, WA
  • Reanna Way of Pleasant Hill, OR
  • Rebecca Howell of Mc Intosh, FL
  • Regan Wheatley of Calhan, CO
  • Rylee Diekmann of Waterloo, IL
  • Samantha Hartman of Tanyeytown, MD
  • Samantha Mills of Elkton VA
  • Samantha Pratt of Monroe, OR
  • Sarah Schwieterman of Portland, IN
  • Savannah Loesch of Peirre, SD
  • Sterling Jack Gattis of Georgetown, TX
  • Zane Zilverberg of Holabird, SD