Youth News and Spotlight
OQHYA youth are once again very busy! We had 32 youth run for 2017 Officers and/or Directors. New leaders mean new ideas. Youth spotlight will have a new format and new community service projects are in the works along with some new fundraising ideas. We plan to continue with our educational programs at our meetings to attract new members, and will sponsor the Walk/Trot Western Pleasure Championship Class at the All American Youth Horse Show. Several members are attending the YES convention in Amarillo, Texas and planning for the Youth World Show has begun.
The OQHYA will be collecting horse supplies for the Re-Ride Quarter Horse Adaption Program. Check the donation flyer on the OQHYA website, Facebook or Instagram for needed supplies. The youth are also holding a canned food drive during May, June, and July. They will be having a “Barn Competition” to see which barn can collect the most cans! The cans and horse supplies can be turned in at all approved OQHA horse shows and OQHYA monthly meetings.
Spotlight - Claire Hickman
Claire Hickman’s life was changed forever when she purchased her gelding, Lazy Lopin Louis aka Baxter, last February. Little did she know, in a span of a few months she would be qualified for the AQHA Youth World Champion Show in Showmanship.
“We ended up making the semifinals, but this year my goal is to make the finals,” said Hickman.
The junior from Upper Arlington, Ohio finished her first show season with the gelding with an AQHA High Point Showmanship Level 1 Championship.
“It really just happened,” said Hickman. She remembers looking at the website with her parents and finding out that she was in contingency to win the Yearend High Point. “We decided to go for it!”
The team also walked away from their 2016 show season with an NSBA High Point Showmanship Level 1, and a Reserve All American Quarter Horse Congress Championship in Level 1.
“Showmanship is definitely our strongest class,” said Hickman with a laugh. “I’m hoping to improve in Trail and Horsemanship this year too.”
In addition to Showmanship, Horsemanship, and Trail, Hickman and Baxter also compete in a range of All-Around events including Hunter Under Saddle and Hunt Seat Equitation.
The duo is currently riding with Becky Schooler. She describes the gelding as, “very willing and is the cutest thing.”
“I know it sounds cliché, but Baxter’s always so willing to please. He gives 100% and is amazing.”
Hickman noted how fast she and Baxter bonded after becoming a team last February. “Within two months we were qualified. We bonded so fast!”
Baxter who is 10 even has his own “built-in fan club,” Hickman said. “Some of his former owners come watch and cheer us on!”
Hickman’s goal for 2017 is to get more involved with OQHYA as a Director. She is currently the chairman of fundraising. She is also pursuing an NCEA career and has her sights set on the South Carolina Equestrian Team.
In the meantime, Hickman expresses her experience with Baxter as “I [am] literally [living] my dream!”