The biggest Arabian horse adventure for youth all over North America is right around the corner. The Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show (Youth Nationals) at Expo Square in Albuquerque, N.M., July 20-27 is more than just a horse show. Along with top-notch competition in nearly every discipline, Youth Nationals provides educational opportunities, leadership opportunities, and inclusive social activities for kids of all ages.
Young equestrians from all over the U.S. and Canada compete at Youth Nationals and vie for the Championship title in a lineup of disciplines that include English, hunter, western pleasure, working western, halter, and more. Beginning with a lead-line class for 2-6 year-olds and ending with the highly competitive 18 and under age division, all youth have a chance to compete. Competitors at Youth Nationals must be qualified for the show by earning points or placings at AHA-recognized shows throughout the year.
Before the competition gets underway, the Arabian Professional and Amateur Horsemen’s Association (APAHA) will host their annual clinic on Thursday, July 18. APAHA Horsewoman of the Year, Liz Bentley and APAHA Professional Instructor of the Year, Rick Nab will share their expertise from 2-5 p.m. in the Horse Arena. For more information about how to participate in the clinic, contact Kathie Hart.
The Arabian Horse Novice Judging Contest and Clinic, sponsored by Hesten Park and the Hoffman Family, is at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, July 26. This informal clinic and contest draws judging teams from the city streets of Los Angeles to the farm fields of Wisconsin. The event gives novice judges a chance to learn from a carded Arabian horse judge, then judge four classes themselves. No advanced sign-up or oral reasons required. Prizes are presented in center ring!
Anyone can test their equine knowledge with the Region 10 sponsored Arabian Horse Hippology Contest, Thursday, July 25 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the Lujan C Building. Quiz stations challenge kids, teens, and adults. The cost is only $5 at the door; there is no advanced sign-up required and awards will be presented in center ring. Contact Youth & Family Programs Director, Shawna Strickland for more information about the judging contest and hippology contest.
On Friday, July 19, the young leaders of the Arabian horse industry will get down to business with the Arabian Horse Youth Association (AHYA) Convention. During General Session, delegates will vote for the 2013-2014 Executive Officers and committee reports will be given, along with a chance for open mic discussions. For more information on the AHYA Convention, including information about becoming a delegate, click here. The AHYA Board of Directors will host a myriad of fundraising activities throughout the week and will donate a portion of proceeds to a children’s charity.
On Sunday, July 21 and Monday July 22 the Youth Nationals competitors have an opportunity to give back to the Albuquerque community by sharing their horses and horse knowledge during the Total Arabian Interaction and Learning (TAIL) program. TAIL is designed to introduce new comers to the Arabian horse in an comfortable, “back stage” setting. Albuquerque families, youth groups, and day campers are welcome to make a reservation for a TAIL tour by emailing Communication Specialist, Hilary Nixon.
The entire week of Youth Nationals is full of activities for all the kids in the family whether they are showing or not. An ice cream social, carnival, golf cart parade of regions, dog costume class and stick horse contest are just a few of the activities planned throughout the week that make Youth Nationals the perfect place for fun.
New this year, thanks to the AHYA Board, is the “Barn Night Out.” On Wednesday night, July 24, the AHYA Board encourages exhibitors to eat out on the town on the only night there are not any classes in which to compete. This night connects exhibitors to the Albuquerque community, supporting the community that has hosted Youth Nationals for 13 years. Stay tuned for a list of restaurants to consider for Barn Night Out!
The Youth Nationals Shopping Expo, in the Lujan A building is open all week long and features gifts, clothing, jewelry, art, tack, and a variety of other horsey items perfect for every horse-crazy family.
AHYA will once again host a used clothing and accessory consignment sale fundraiser in Lujan C. Hours for the consignment sale will be posted at the Youth Office in Lujan B.