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 2024 program will be August 15, 2023, and the late application deadline is October 1, 2023. 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 2023.

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. 

Click here to apply for the 2024 Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program. (Application will be available spring 2024) 

To prepare for the 2024 application, interested AQHYA members can review the  2023 Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program Application Form here. Please note, 2023 applications will not be accepted for the 2024 program.  Only online applications for the 2024 application will be accepted when the application is made available.

Sign up for notifications about the Young Horse Development Program - including application release. 

Ranching Heritage Breeder Weanling Donation Form

To learn more about program requirements and guidelines, please view the 2023 YHD Program Record Book.

2022 Scholarship Winners

In first place, earning a $2,000 scholarship and custom belt buckle is Adrian Davis of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. Davis’ Ranching Heritage-bred horse is Hickory San Dunit, a 2021 bay colt by Peppys San Dunit out of Harlans Miss Hickory by Son Of Hickory. The colt was bred by Jack Clark of Clark Farms in Hustontown, Pennsylvania.

Second place goes to Lindsay Beyer of Luxemburg, Wisconsin. She receives a $1,500 scholarship and a Justin Boots gift certificate. Beyer worked with RWS Rios Plan B, a 2021 sorrel colt by Rios Santana out of RWS Ms Sonora Badger by Solito Badger. RWS Rios Plan B was bred by Georga Sutton of Raymond Sutton Ranch in Gettysburg, South Dakota.

Ava Blyth of Bend, Oregon, was third with her filly, Weavers Pretty Kat. The 2021 sorrel filly is by Bet Hesa Echo Cat out of Weavers Tuf Pretty by Ima Tuf Lena. The filly was bred by Stan and Nancy Weaver of Weaver Quarter Horses in Big Sandy, Montana. Blyth receives a $1,000 scholarship and a $100 Wrangler product gift certificate.

Fourth place goes to Lili Drinkall of Milledgeville, Illinois. She receives a $500 scholarship and a $100 Wrangler product gift certificate. Drinkall worked with Sunups Lil Skipper, a 2021 buckskin filly by Zans Tyree Drifter out of Tyrees Amber Skip by Watch Tyree Two. The filly was bred Mr. and Mrs. Reed Kettlewell of Sunup Ranch in Brainerd, Minnesota.

 

In 2022, 36 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. Shelby Aldinger of Anoka, Minnesota with Flit Blue Frost bred by Open Box Rafter Ranch of Faith, South Dakota

6. David Kendrick of Shallowater, Texas with Davids Task 1126 bred by Harlan House of Goodland, Kansas

7. Elizabeth Jolley of Victor, Idaho with RWS Teton Frostygold bred by Raymond Sutton Ranch of Gettysburg, South Dakota

8. Brooke Hoven of Polk City, Iowa with Sakpe Fancy Freckle bred by Schofield Quarter Horses of Philip, South Dakota

9. Avery Ridgely of Jonesburg, Missouri with Jak Mr Val Peppy 669 bred by Oleen Brothers of Dwight, Kansas

10. Carson Zacharias of Gill Colorado with Frosted Reba bred by Open Box Rafter Ranch of Faith, South Dakota

 

We would like to extent a special thank you to all of the Ranching Heritage Breeders who donated weanlings to the 2022 Program:

Bagley Performance Horses, Bogle Brothers LLC, Clark Farms, Dikoff Ranch, The Daube Company, Durrett Cattle, Flat Creek Ranch, Harlan House, Haythorn Land & Cattle Co., KT Ranch, KT Cattle Co., LC Ranch, Most Quarter Horses, Nixon Ranch, Oleen Brothers, Open Box Rafter Ranch, O RO Ranch, Raymond Sutton Ranch, Schofield Quarter Horses, St. Clair Farms, Sunup Ranch, Waters Ranch, Weaver Quarter Horses, West Brothers Inc., Wetz Stirrup Ranch, and XI Ranch

 

2023 Program Participants

The following AQHYA members are participating in the program for 2023:

Addison Hinton of Ashland, Missouri, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Open Box Rafter Ranch of Faith, South Dakota

Anna Geddes of Connell, Washington, Ranching Heritage Breeder: K T Ranch of Connell, Washington

Aubrey Schlueter of Saint Joseph, Minnesota, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Woodworth Ranch of Alliance, Nebraska

Belle Pescatore of Monte Vista, Colorado,Ranching Heritage Breeder: Campbell Ranch of Seligman, Arizona

Brooke Reeser of New Prague, Minnesota, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Open Box Rafter Ranch of Faith, South Dakota

Clare Uhlenkott of Grangeville, Idaho, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Mahlstedt Ranch Inc. of Circle, Montana

Dalton Mullins of Washington Court House, Ohio, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Clark Farms Quarter Horses of Hustontown, Pennsylvania

Denny Turner of Texico, New Mexico, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Tequesquite Ranch of Albert, New Mexico

Faith Van Dyke of Sheridan, Wyoming, Ranching Heritage Breeder: West Brothers Inc. of Lusk, Wyoming

Isabella Barbano of Anthem, Arizona, Ranching Heritage Breeder: KT Cattle Inc. of Amado, Arizona

Jeshua Dimmick of Chattaroy, Washington, Ranching Heritage Breeder: K T Ranch of Connell, Washington

Jordan Tucker of Buffalo, Missouri, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Harlan House of Goodland, Kansas

Joscelyn Thompson of Wichita, Kansas, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Freeman Family Ranch LTD of Texhoma, Oklahoma

Josie Waite of Morrill, Nebraska, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Open Box Rafter Ranch of Faith, South Dakota

Julius Nicodemus-Culwell of Louisville, Mississippi, Ranching Heritage Breeder: The Daube Company of Ardmore, Oklahoma

Kate Higgins of Rogers, Texas, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Bogle Brothers LLC of Dexter, New Mexico

Kendall Lebo of Lewisburg, Ohio, Ranching Heritage Breeder: St. Clair Farms of Kahoka, Missouri

Kenzy Broadrick of Fort Lupton, Colorado, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Shawcroft Performance Horses of La Jara, Colorado

Killian Baker of Depew, Oklahoma, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Freeman Family Ranch LTD of Texhoma, Oklahoma

Laney Weimerskirch of Douds, Iowa, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Haythorn Land & Cattle Co. of Arthur, Nebraska

Logan Scheinost of Santa, Idaho, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Open Box Rafter Ranch of Faith, South Dakota

Mackenzie Baumgardt of Anoka, Minnesota, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Wetz Stirrup Ranch of Vale, South Dakota

Madilyn Stultz of West Liberty, Iowa, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Raymond Sutton Ranch of Gettysburg, South Dakota

Mateah D’Souza of Auberry, California, Ranching Heritage Breeder: O RO Ranch of Prescott, Arizona

Morgan Kelley of Kellyville, Oklahoma, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Harlan House of Goodland, Kansas

Opal Fomish of Oxford, Florida, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Clark Farms Quarter Horses of Hustontown, Pennsylvania

Owen Byler of Crawfordsville, Indiana, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Oleen Brothers of Dwight, Kansas

Payton Hamlin of Nisswa, Minnesota, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Mill Iron S Ranch of Kyle, South Dakota

Peyton Carr of Bertram, Texas, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Sid Miller Quarter Horses of Stephenville, Texas

Peyton Sherron of Spring Hill, Kansas, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Harlan House of Goodland, Kansas

Reese Smith of Bartonville, Texas, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Nixon Ranch of Nara Visa, New Mexico

Ryan Mau of Hillsboro, Ohio, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Clark Farms Quarter Horses of Hustontown, Pennsylvania

Taitum Connick of Eagle Point, Oregon, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Flat Creek Ranch of Rogerson, Idaho

Tava Hazel of Jacksonville, Texas, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Nixon Ranch of Nara Visa, New Mexico

Trinity Irwin of Idalou, Texas, Ranching Heritage Breeder: Durrett Cattle Co. of Wildorado, Texas