South Dakota horses help earn students scholarships |

South Dakota horses help earn students scholarships

American Quarter Horse Association

Since January, 44 American Quarter Horse Youth Association members have recorded their progress training a yearling bred by an American Quarter Horse Association Ranching Heritage Breeder. Recently, four AQHYA members were named scholarship winners for the 2020 AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program.

In first place, earning a $2,000 scholarship and custom belt buckle was Mattie DeBord of Bristol, Virginia. DeBord’s Ranching Heritage-bred horse is SJQC Arual Blanton, a 2019 sorrel mare by SJQC Frosty Blanton out of SJQC Laku Blanton by Prime Time Blanton. The filly was bred by Roger and Joan Timmerman of Timmerman Quarter Horses in Kimball, Nebraska.

Second place goes to Leah Goldade of Columbus, Minnesota. She receives a $1,500 scholarship and Justin Boots gift certificate. Goldade worked with Shiny Candy Meow, a 2019 bay roan mare by Shinycolonelfreckls out of Lonsum Pansy by Lonsum Joe Reed 00. Shiny Candy Meow was bred by Leroy and Shirley Wetz of Wetz Stirrup Ranch in Vale, South Dakota.

Emma Fehlen of Dresser, Wisconsin, was third with her mare, RWS Just A Rumchata. The 2019 dun mare is by Just A Silver Duck out of RWS Rios Margarita by Rios Santana. The filly was bred by Georga Sutton and Raymond Sutton Jr. of Raymond Sutton Ranch in Gettysburg, South Dakota. Fehlen receives a $1,000 scholarship and $100 Wrangler gift certificate.

Fourth place goes to Shannon Coffman of Douds, Iowa. She receives a $500 scholarship and $100 Wrangler gift certificate. Coffman worked with Jak Mr Val Blue 584, a 2019 blue roan colt by Roan Bar Valentine out of Jak Ms Blue Leo 397 by Jak Blue McCue 118. The colt was bred by Jan Oleen of Oleen Brothers in Dwight, Kansas.

The Young Horse Development Program was created in 2011 to give AQHYA members an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of horsemanship. The horses used in the program are bred by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders, which are working cattle ranches with a remuda of at least five AQHA-registered mares that produce ranch horses. The participating Ranching Heritage Breeders donate weanlings for the program participants to evaluate, raise and train. Young Horse Development participants get to keep their horses.

“The Young Horse Development Program was created to help youth gain hands-on experience in raising and training horses,” said AQHA Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines. “The program gives youth a mentor to learn from and showcase their hard work and dedication to their project. This will, in turn, give participants a skill set that will set them apart when applying for scholarships, college and jobs.”

The Young Horse Development Program participants raise their weanlings-turned-yearlings and document their monthly progress; participate in webinars; complete monthly management assignments; track goals; engage in mentoring sessions with local AQHA Professional Horsemen; and compile videos of themselves with their horses completing assignments including trailering, an in-hand trail pattern, and more. Following project completion, a select number of scholarships and prizes are awarded.

The priority deadline to apply for the 2022 AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development program is in August 15, 2021, with a final deadline of October 1, 2021, to apply.


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