Young Horse Development

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

2017 Young Horse Development winner Arielle Wortham (Arielle Wortham 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 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 2017 YHD Record Book here. 

 Young Horse Development Project application form and waiver 


2017 Scholarship Winners

  1. Arielle Wortham of Wimberley, TX, with Jiffy Wild Card, a 2016 sorrel filly by Wild Card Dun It and out of Colonel C Boomerang by Colonel Clout, bred by Mr. & Mrs. Louis A. Waters of Utopia, TX - $2,000 and a Montana Silversmiths belt buckle.

  2. Emily Schimnich of Sauk Rapids, MN, with Miss Lillian Frost, a 2016 palomino filly by PC Cisco Frost and out of Suzanna Joak by Sonny Pep San, bred by Jim and Joni Hunt/Open Box Rafter Ranch of Faith, SD - $1,500 and a pair of Justin boots.

  3. Samantha Pratt of Monroe, OR, with RWS Scarlets Cutter, a 2016 sorrel filly by Legendary Cutter and out of Comanches Playgirl by Smart Lil Comanche, bred by Raymond and Georga Sutton/Raymond Sutton Ranch of Gettysburg, SD - $1,000 and a $100 Wrangler gift certificate.

  4. Jacqueline Potwora of Eugene, OR, with RWS Cuttin Class, a 2016 sorrel gelding by Young Pobre and out of Gingers Fancy Peppy by Mr Holliday Pep, bred by Raymond and Georga Sutton/Raymond Sutton Ranch of Gettysburg, SD - $500 and a $100 Wrangler gift certificate.


In 2017, a record 59 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 thru tenth in the program. These individuals will be awarded a rosette from AQHYA.

 5. Katherine Walden of Larkspur, CO, with SCR Conchos Edition, bred by Singleton Ranches

6. Curtis Johnson of Indianola, IA, with Lilly Drift Annewood, bred by Jim & Joni Hunt/Open Box Rafter Ranch

7. Sarah Schwieterman of Portland, IN, with Wattilda, bred by Brad Emerson

8. Karissa World, Heber City, UT, with Kotas Frostd Freckle, bred by Jim and Joni Hunt/Open Box Rafter Ranch

9. Lila Jolley of Victor, ID, with RWS Mavens Peppy Gem bred by Georga Sutton

10. Amber Brown of Aurora, IL, with AZ Gifted, bred by Brad Emerson/Emerson Ranch


About the Sponsor:

Zoetis is a proud sponsor of the Young Horse Development Program.  Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis is committed to working with horse owners, veterinarians and equine professionals to help improve horse health and wellness, every day.  Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets equine wellness solutions, including FLUVAC INNOVATOR® and WEST NILE-INNOVATOR®, the veterinarian's and horse owner's first choice for equine disease protection. Data on file, MDI sales data for WEST NILE-INNOVATOR and FLUVAC INNOVATOR as of 12/31/16, Zoetis Inc.  


2018 Program Participants

The following AQHYA members are participating in the program for 2018:

  • Alex Loftin of Chester, AR
  • Alex Rose of Gallipolis, OH
  • Ayden Long of Lebanon, KS
  • Bailey Carwile of Kimichael, MS
  • Brennen Wilson of Gilmer, TX
  • Brianna Heath of Tucson, AZ
  • Brogan Hill of Saint Anthony, ID
  • Brooke Kiehnhoff of Wathena, KS
  • Brynn Kelly of Kellyville, OK
  • Caitlyn Bass of Whiteville, NC
  • Cara Kent of Lanse, MI
  • Claire Wasniewski of Idaho Falls, ID
  • Colby Bryant of Hines, OR
  • Dacy Peine of Columbus, KS
  • Emilee Block of Reeds, MO
  • Emilee Hinrichsen ofElm Creek, NE
  • Gage Choate of Marathon, TX
  • Gracie Ayers of Corsicana, TX
  • Grady Aasby of Highmore, SD
  • Jenna Meredith of Rineyville, KY
  • Jennifer Rossey of Cheney, WA
  • Jessi Monnin of Winnsboro, LA
  • Jozlyn Lee of Mount Pleasant, IA
  • Justine Jordahl of Alden, IA
  • Karli Hudson of Hixon, WI
  • Katelynn Arns of Moundville, AL
  • Katie Orth of Randall, MN
  • Katie Mason of Tollhouse, CA












  • Katy Horner of Curryville, MO
  • Kelly Harper of Inverness, Fl
  • Lauren Weaber of Eaton, CO
  • Lindsey Nobes of Granby, MA
  • Lydia Loken of Gunnison, CO
  • Madeline Bone of El Reno, OK
  • Madelyn DeSelm of North Branch, MI
  • Makayla Motzkus of Chappell, NE
  • Marion Ryan of Beaverton, OR
  • McKenzie Mahurin of Sweeny, TX
  • Mikayla Brooks of Gilmer, TX
  • Mindy Russell of Kinnear, WY
  • Molly Johnson of Cottonwood, ID
  • Naccona Birnel of Wibauz, MT
  • Quincee Clark of Doddsville, MS
  • Rose Kuperus of Freeport, MI
  • Ryan Brown of Keenesburg, CO
  • Samantha Hornberger of Apple Valley, CA
  • Sarah Foley of Lena, IL
  • Sarah Braul of Airdire, AB Canada
  • Wyatt Atkinson of Casper, WY