This past week has been a whirlwind to say the least! I wake up everyday and still cannot believe that I have this incredible opportunity to represent the All American Quarter Horse Congress as their 2021 Congress Queen!
Firstly, to the Ohio Quarter Horse Association, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve as the 2021 All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen. It is an opportunity that I do not take lightly. As I have said previously, past Queens had a major impact on me as a youth, inspiring me with their poise, graciousness, and knowledge of the breed. I hope to follow their amazing examples throughout my year!
To my fellow contestants, it was an honour to get to know you over the course of the Queen weekend. You are an incredible group of young women, and I can’t wait to follow along to see all your future achievements! I am so happy to have made 14 new friends along the way.
I have so many people to thank for their support on this incredible journey. To the Ontario Quarter Horse Assoc, thank you for allowing me to represent you as OQHA Queen these past two years. Despite the challenges we have all faced, it has truly been an amazing experience. To everyone who has passed along their support over the past week, know I have seen all your positive messages and that they mean the world! Please bear with me as I do my best to get back to you all, but I want everyone to know how touched I am by your kind words!
To my parents Jacqueline and Andrew Woods, thank you for your everlasting support of me in every area of my life, igniting my passion for Quarter Horses, and shaping me into the person I am today. I love you both so much.
To my trainers Rick Fleetwood and Robyn Storey (Rick Fleetwood Show Horses), thank you for your guidance, encouragement, and support. I have grown so much and gained a second family since working with you!
Janine Domingos and Jenna Woodley, thank you for your advice, guidance, and resources in helping me to prepare for this contest.
To Taylor Gumz thank you for your mentorship throughout this past year and for ensuring that I was outfitted for the Congress, I truly cannot thank you enough for all your guidance and support.
To my sponsors whose support allowed me to navigate all the hurdles I needed to pass in order to just make it to Columbus during these difficult times, I can’t thank you enough for your support and belief in me. Without you, this simply would not have been possible.
To everyone who took the time to interview me in preparation for Congress, your guidance and advice was so important in providing me the tools and confidence to be successful in that portion of the contest.
To the Queen Team: Jaymie Wells-Drury, Elaine Wells, Jessie Elsass , and Brittany Barker-Hostetler – thank you all for the countless hours of hard work needed to put on this contest and for helping me get acclimated this past week. I feel so blessed for all the support you have given me.
To Sarah Johnson, thank you for beautifully capturing the magic of this past week for all of us girls to look back on and cherish!
To the ladies in the awards office, thank you for welcoming me with open arms and teaching me the ropes. From making sure I am always fed to checking that my lipstick is always on point, you have been there every step of the way. This past week working with you all has been a blast!
And to my horse Betty, you did your job girl… thank you.
I am so excited for the year ahead. My experience so far at the Congress has been so rewarding. Seeing the culmination of years of hard work put in by exhibitors and their horses as they earn their Congress placings and speaking with the future of the industry, the youth, and learning about their goals. It has all been truly inspiring!