Canada was the proud host country of the 2008 AQHA Youth World Cup, an educational, leadership-based equine competition showcasing skills learned in an atmosphere of friendly competition. AQHA Youth World Cup competitions take place biennially, alternating between an international host country and Amarillo, Texas, AQHA’s home city. The Canadian Quarter Horse Association and provincial/regional AQHA affiliate associations were the co-hosts of this year’s world class event, which took place July 6th to 13th, at the Western Fair Agriplex in London Ontario.
The 2008 AQHA Youth World Cup was not just another horse show. It also offered opportunities to learn and teach lessons about different communities and cultures, to compete and co-operate, to lead and follow, and to make many new two- and four-legged friends. Horsemanship skills were honed through various clinics provided prior to the start of competition. Participants were treated to Canadian cultural icons, such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride and a visit to Niagara Falls, among the many entertaining highlights provided by the Youth World Cup Committee.
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States fielded youth teams. They competed on donated horses supplied by the host country; approximately 90 all-around horses, 16 cutting horses and 32 reining horses.
The skills of the donated horses were assessed by AQHA Professional Horsemen and AQHA staff and put together in groups. The teams then drew lots for their assigned group of horses. The teams competed in nine events, with each class being held twice over the four days of competition. The top ten exhibitors in each class earned individual medals along with points for their team, by placing in the top ten of each class.
High point individual exhibitor awards were presented at Sunday’s Awards Banquet:
Hi Pt Showmanship: Marissa Dalton, USA; Reserve: Katie Jo Jones, USA
Hi Pt Hunter Under Saddle: Ilke Poelman, Belgium; Reserve: Cara Walker, USA
Hi Pt Western Pleasure: T. Joe Jeane, USA; Reserve: Sara D’Imperio, Italy
Hi Pt Hunt Seat Equitation: Sara D’Imperio, Italy; Reserve: Dido Masi, Italy
Hi Pt Western Horsemanship: Cara Walker, USA; Reserve: Danielle Olafson, Canada
Hi Pt Western Riding: Vanessa Bauer, Austria; Reserve: Carolin Lenz, Germany
Hi Pt Trail: Carolin Lenz, Germany; Reserve: Jessica Vangenechten, Belgium
Hi Pt Cutting: T. Joe Jeane, USA; Reserve: Daniele Lelli, Italy
Hi Pt Reining: Felix Schnabel, Germany; Reserve: Kelly Truesdell, Canada
The top three teams were:
First place: Team USA Second: Team Germany Third: Team Italy
(185 points) (142 points) (129 points)
Additional awards were presented to:
High Point Horse:
(Photo at left) For The General, a Canadian-bred 1997 brown gelding sired by General Mito and out of Ole Jewels, owned by Sherry Newbigging of Cambridge, ON.
Best Team Horse Care: Team The Netherlands
Most Improved Team: Team Dominican Republic
The 2008 AQHA Youth World Cup also provided the Canadian Quarter Horse industry with an outstanding opportunity to showcase some of the best Quarter Horses available anywhere in the world. A number of the Canadian-bred and/or Canadian-owned donated horses were featured as being for sale. And, by all reports, a significant number of horses donated for use at this event were sold as a result of participating, including some not advertised for sale.
It was our primary objective, and we have been assured by many that we met our goal, that everyone involved enjoy this event as “the best AQHA Youth World Cup ever” and that our foreign guests favourably remember this trip to Canada.
On behalf of the CQHA Board of Directors and the provincial/regional AQHA Affiliates, the co-hosts of this prestigious global event, we are very proud to see the fulfillment of our vision which began in 2006. It took a great deal of planning, effort and fund raising (including some blood, sweat and tears). Patti Carter, the 2008 AQHA Youth World Cup Chairperson put together an unbelievable support team of committee members and AQHA Professional Horsemen and Horsewomen. Our “hats are off” to you all. We cannot adequately express our gratitude to the generous event sponsors, advertisers, trade show vendors, horse donors, suppliers, entertainers, media, AQHA staff, Youth World Cup staff and volunteers, participants and spectators. Without you, a venture of this magnitude would not have been feasible.