OQHA Queen Blog

Equine Affaire – Columbus, OH

Founded in Ohio in 1993, Equine Affaire, Inc. continues to achieve their goal of hosting an educational-oriented horsemen’s exposition where equine enthusiasts representing all breeds and disciplines could come together to celebrate their love and passion for horses. This year was no different as sizeable crowds gathered to watch seminars, participate in demonstrations and shop with the vast number of vendors. I had the opportunity to meet with several young horse queen enthusiasts, and talk about the quarter horse breed. I was joined by Miss Amy Brown, the 2016 Quarter Horse Congress Queen and Miss Rodeo Ohio, Carly Kidner. They too enjoyed interacting with the young horse enthusiasts and speaking about the organizations they represent. We were also able to participate in a video interview with Dr. Karen Bump, and will be featured on the Mobile App, “Equine Academics”. While my visit to Equine Affaire was short and sweet, I am looking forward to the many trips I will make back to Columbus, Ohio.


YEDA National Championship Show – Eden Park Equestrian Complex, OH

Youth Equestrian Development Association, Inc (YEDA) is a program that encourages development of riders’ skills, emphasizes exposure to scholarship opportunities, and encourages making connections with college programs. Their mission is to provide an equestrian riding program for youth students, via both instructional and experiential learning opportunities. I was greeted upon my arrival by some of the founders of this association, and was quickly put to work organizing awards, taking pictures, and visiting with the youth competitors.

I was joined by Miss Alexis Taylor, the 2017 Northern Ohio Quarter Horse Association Queen. We loved every minute of cheering on the competitors and taking win photos with every class. We presented awards for each division through sixth place, scholarships provided by Lake Erie College and Horse of the Day. Saturday night I was invited to the exhibitor’s dinner party where I gave a short speech about my background, involvement within the equine industry, and how I was able to balance furthering my education along with my queen duties. At the conclusion of the show on Sunday, Alexis and I presented the Junior and Senior High School Team awards and congratulated each team that earned top honors.

I must say that I was thoroughly impressed when I learned that this was the organization’s first year in existence, and I was attending their very first National Horse Show. The founders were extremely friendly and accommodating to exhibitors and parents throughout the show. I would highly recommend this organization to those interested in becoming involved in an equine scholastic program with infinite opportunities both on and off the horse.


All American Youth Horse Show – Columbus, OH


The very first AAYHS was in 1969, with a purpose of providing a quality show at a reasonable cost to 4-H and other riders. There were 617 class entries from over 200 exhibitors, and has continued to gain popularity in the horse community today. I was able to attend the AAYHS for three days, where I participated in the presentation of awards and visited with many exhibitors and spectators. This show holds a particularly special place in my heart, as I had competed at this show for several years before graduating high school and becoming an amateur competitor. I have many fond memories that I share with my younger sisters from the “Youth Show”.

Thursday I was accompanied by my dear friends, Naomi Stimburys, the 2016 Dusty Boots Riding Club Queen, and Alexis Taylor, the NOQHA Queen. Friday, I invited the Ohio Pinto Sweetheart, Addison, to join me in presenting awards in the Coliseum and Cooper arenas. Addison competes in several small fry events in both Paint and Quarter Horse circuits, and already has a queen title under her belt. We were also joined by The 2016 Congress Queen, Amy Brown, Sara Laughlin, EOQHA Queen, and Kate Clapp, the OMIQHA Queen. Several Buckskin queens also attended the show. Jeff Kirkbride was kind enough to willingly capture the attendance of all the queens in a group photo. I will surely cherish this keepsake for years to come! Saturday, Miss Amy Brown and I attended the morning classes and visited with many future queens before I had to head back north to Toledo. I was thrilled to be a part of so many more memories made among the youth that attended this event.  


The Madness – Wilmington, OH


After experiencing this show sanctioned by the Southern Ohio Quarter Horse Association, I can agree that this is one you won’t want to miss in future years ahead. The Madness boasts a “Top 5 AQHA Show” designation and rightfully so with the famous slogan “this show is nuts”. SOQHA was very accommodating to its competitors, sponsors, and spectators with free food and socials each day throughout the show, random prizes and awesome circuit and high point awards.

The SOQHA Queen, Mindy Barr, was more than welcoming and allowed me to assist her in presenting awards for several NSBA slot classes. Thursday we presented the award for the $2,000 Maturity Open $10,000 Limited Horse Western Pleasure class. On Friday, Mindy and I were joined by the 2016 Congress Queen, Amy Brown. Each of us enjoyed being able to present awards for the NSBA $500 All Age Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle, the NSBA $2,000 3-year-old Open Western Pleasure and the NSBA $1,000 Green Hunter Under Saddle. Additionally, the Equine Chronicle Novice Horse Western Pleasure Slot class was mesmerizing to watch and even more exciting to present awards. Saturday was the much anticipated Coughlin $15,000 Maiden 3 & over Western Pleasure class. While results were tallied up, Mindy and I kept the crowds entertained by tossing ball caps, hand towels and delicious popcorn to enthusiastic spectators and onlookers. Congratulations to The Silver Foxx and David Archer on a great class. Leadline, one of my personal favorites was a joy to witness because not one, but two unicorns were present in the class. The young riders make this the hardest class to judge, as evidenced by the four-way tie decision among all of the judges.

The Madness was truly a show I will never forget, and won’t want to miss. I owe a big thanks to Judd Paul and the SOQHA officers and staff; what a job well done on a show that the industry will be talking about until the next one rolls around again in a year!


Fulton County Saddle Club Show – Wauseon, OH

I have been a member of the Fulton County Saddle Club for approximately six months, and was able to experience the inside mechanisms of an AQHA show for the first time. Several months of club preparation went into this show at the Fulton County Fairgrounds in Wauseon, OH. I’d have to say my favorite part was selecting prizes for small fry and leadline classes, and presenting the daily high point awards at the conclusion of the show. It was a nice relaxing weekend acting as a member on the inside of the organizing body and viewing the show from an insider’s perspective.


OQHA Trail Ride – East Sparta, OH

The OQHA Trail Ride & Challenge held in East Sparta was such an enjoyable event! I had the pleasure of watching the Trail Challenge on Saturday, and was even offered a mount to ride at the end of the day through the course. I also had the opportunity to ride around the spacious camp with three young horse enthusiasts, Emma, Shawnee and Trace. Dinner was a delicious ox-roast, and I was honored to present the evening awards at the conclusion of the challenges. The trail riders were so welcoming and the staff was very accommodating. Anyone who may be interested in an organized trail ride that is also relaxed and super friendly should look into this event. It’s already on my calendar for next year.


The Buckeye Classic – Wilmington, OH 


The Ohio Amateur Quarter Horse Association members never fail to deliver satisfaction at the Little Buckeye and Buckeye Classic horse show. Each of the ten days consisted of something fun and entertaining for everyone involved. The Little Buckeye provided free entries to all youth exhibitors and the Buckeye Classic offered free entries to all amateur exhibitors. The aim of the circuit is to welcome rookie and novice competitors while hosting a large, topnotch show.

During the first weekend at the Little Buckeye, I enjoyed cheering for many small-fry and youth participants. I also assisted at the Equine Chronicle Hospitality Tent which provided free water, snacks and cold treats. On Monday, I appeared at the Annual Buckeye Open Golf Outing at the Snow Hill County Club. Upon arriving at the 16th hole, I witnessed first-hand a special challenge presented to the golfers. A spin on the wheel of time determined the fate of the team’s attire. Upon taking a final accounting of the outing, the Ohio Quarter Horse Foundation raised an astounding $12,000 plus which will go to an OQHYA scholarship fund.

The Buckeye Classic kicked off with “NSBA day” on Tuesday providing 3 sets of points. Miss Mindy Barr, SOQHA Queen, joined me for the presentation of awards to competitors. A pewter trophy, neck ribbon, and $1,000 check was provided to each class winner. Limited riders also received additional incentives. Wednesday concluded with some excitement at the Donkey Races, which consisted of 5 preliminary rounds and a Calcutta final. The winner, Julian Harris, won an extensive congress package. The riders and attendees collectively raised more than $30,000 for military veterans. The remainder of the week consisted of further excitement, including the always impressive Leadline Class. This year was no different as nineteen entrants each received an enormous stuffed elephant as their prize.

The Ohio Amateurs deserve a job well done for continually providing an outstanding show avenue for exhibitors of all levels to gather and compete. This year OAQHA provided hefty class numbers with an abundance of points, involving nearly 10,000 entries. Whether this was your first Buckeye Classic, or your 5th, you can always look forward to attending this horse show year after year.


ford aqhaya world championship show – oklahoma city, ok

I have been anticipating the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show in Oklahoma City all year. This was my first time experiencing this particular show, and my anticipation was well worth the wait. Most of my queen duties had not required me to leave the state of Ohio until now, and I was honored to be included in the assemblage of Ohio representatives.

I flew into Oklahoma City on Friday evening, and spent an entire week at the Ford Youth World Show. The 2016 Congress Queen, Amy Brown, was kind enough to share her room with me for a majority of the show. Because of the large number of entries at the show, Amy and I were presenting awards as late as 1:00AM on multiple occasions. However, the early mornings and late nights did not impede my eagerness to take part in the many activities throughout the week in its entirety. In our spare time, we visited a large Ferris Wheel located at Wheeler Park, a well-known tourist attraction in OKC, and went shopping at the Historic Stockyards City. My close friend and past OQHA Queen, Carly Kidner, was even able to visit me for a day. 

The opportunity to mingle with the President of AQHA, Ralph Seekins, was certainly noteworthy. He is extremely knowledgeable of our industry and easy to hold a conversation with. In addition, I recently met the newly elected AQHYA President, Ty Cornelius, and the AQHYA Past President, Brock Murphy.  I was thoroughly impressed by the professionalism demonstrated by the newly elected AQHYA officers and directors. Several of the youth directors even took the time to explain the structure and components of numerous cow and roping events so I could learn something new!

Numerous OQHYA exhibitors performed extremely well, and I was so grateful to be there to present them with top honors. I met so many aspiring and hard-working youth exhibitors during my time at the show. I am beyond blessed to represent one of the largest state associations in the world and network with so many individuals involved in the interests of our beloved quarter horse.