2018 OQHA Queen - Grace Tachikawa

College:
The Ohio State University

Honors:
Dean’s List 2014 - 2016 | Member of Pi Beta Phi, Ohio Beta Chapter | Open rider in Horsemanship and Reining for The Ohio State University Western Equestrian Team | 2017 OQHA Reserve Novice Amateur All-Around High-Point Champion | 2017 Buckeye Classic Rookie All-Around High-Point Champion | 2016 Reserve IHSA National Champion Advanced Horsemanship

If you were OQHA Queen...
If I were the Ohio Quarter Horse Association Queen, I would work to be the very best version of myself, so I can be a role model for all the young girls that look up to the queen. The youth of today are the future of this association and of the Quarter Horse industry. As the OQHA queen I hope to make a positive impact and provide encouragement to all the young equestrians I meet. To me, the queen is the face of the association and it is her duty to represent and promote the American Quarter Horse and the Ohio Quarter Horse Association. Whether it’s at horse shows, trail rides, OQHA meetings, or community events, my goal as queen would be to spread my passion and dedication to this association and the American Quarter Horse.

Thoughts on the Congress Queen Contest...
I think the Congress Queen Contest is the true test of each candidate’s poise, appearance and personality, knowledge of horses and the breed, and superior horsemanship. Each winner of the queen’s contest exemplifies what it means to be polished and elegant, charming, knowledgeable and a well-rounded horsewoman. The Congress Queen is the public figure and spokeswoman not only for The All-American Quarter Horse Congress that year, but also OQHA, AQHA, and the entire horse industry as a whole. I think the Congress Queen’s Contest is a great way for passionate and driven young women for all across the country to come together and share their love for the American Quarter Horse.

What makes you unique/sets you apart from other contestants?
I believe my dedication and passion for all horses, but most notably the Quarter Horse, is what truly sets me apart from others. I’ve been “horse crazy” for as long as I can remember, but like many other kids growing up, I wasn’t financially able to own and show my own quarter horse competitively. Instead of being discouraged by this somewhat intimidating industry, I was determined to find my way in the equestrian world. I actively sought out opportunities to be around horses of any breed and discipline. I was 15 years old when I emailed every single horse trainer I could find on Facebook, asking them if they had a horse they would let me show. Looking back, this was kind of crazy, but it worked. One trainer out of the dozens I emailed said yes, Jessica Daniels. Jessica let me lease and show a grey mare in her barn named Goldie when I was 15 and 16. I then also joined her Western IEA team, and the OQHYA Judging Team. When I went to college and could no longer ride with Jessica, I went to the University of Findlay where I tried out for, and made, both their Western and Hunt Seat IHSA teams. I then transferred to Ohio State where I continued riding on their Western Team. Transferring to Ohio State was tough academically, but I was able to begin riding with Jessica again in the fall of 2016. This past spring, I had finally saved up enough money to buy my own show horse prospect, “Towers” who I’ve now shown successfully in the Amateur and Novice Amateur classes. I am now living my dream of being able to own and show my very own Quarter Horse, but I am forever thankful for all the opportunities I had to be around horses until now. If I could give some advice to anyone with a dream, it would be to pursue it and do it passionately, you never know what opportunities you may encounter along the way or where you might end up!

 

2018 OQHA Queen Schedule of Events

February

Saturday, Feb. 24th- Champions Center Open Horse Show at Champions Center in Springfield, Ohio

March/April

Friday, March 30th-Sunday, April 1st- Buckeye Reining Series’ “Easter Slide” at Champions Center in Springfield, Ohio

Thursday, April 12th-Friday, April 13th- Equine Affaire at Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio

May

Wednesday, May 2nd- Nutrena East AQHA Level 1 Championship Show, at World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio

Thursday, May 10th- Friday, May 11th- The 50th Annual All American Youth Horse Show at Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio

Friday, May 11th-Sunday, May 13th- Central Ohio Reining Horse Association’s “Rein or Shine” at the University of Findlay’s Western Farm in Findlay, Ohio

Wednesday, May 16th- Sunday, May 20th- Southern Ohio Quarter Horse Association’s “The Madness” at World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio