Two Coloradans among young horse development scholarship winners |

Two Coloradans among young horse development scholarship winners

Since January, some American Quarter Horse Youth Association members have recorded their progress training a yearling bred by a Zoetis American Quarter Horse Association Ranching Heritage Breeder. Recently, four AQHYA members were named scholarship winners for the 2018 Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program.

Earning first place, a $2,000 scholarship and an Awards Recognition Concepts belt buckle was Lydia Loken of Gunnison, Colo. Loken’s Ranching Heritage-bred horse was Jessies Dry Hankie, a 2017 buckskin gelding by Docs Dry Hankie and out of Jessies Vibrant Bay by Pal Jessies Okie. Jessies Dry Hankie was bred and donated by Scott West/West Brothers Inc. of Arvada, Colo.

Second place was awarded to Lauren Weaber of Eaton, Colo. She receives $1,500 and a pair of Justin Boots. Weaber worked with Justa Bita Ivy, a 2017 sorrel filly by Rickys Hickory and out of Justa Bita Blue by Lotta Advantage. Justa Bita Ivy was bred and donated by Kyle and Pam Simianer/Broken Box Quarter Horses from Osage, Wyo.

Sarah Foley of Lena, Ill., was third with her filly, Shiny Music. Shiny Music is a 2017 dun filly by Shinycolonelfreckls and out of Music Meow by Lonsum Leo King. The filly was donated and bred by Leroy and Shirley Wetz/Wetz Stirrup Ranches from Vale, S.D. Foley will receive $1,000 and $100 in Wrangler product.

Fourth place goes to Brynn Kelly of Kellyville, Okla., with Peptos Seven Five, and she will receive $500 and $100 in Wrangler product. Peptos Seven Five, a 2017 chestnut filly by Sweet Peptos Promise and out of WSR Duals Dry Jewel by Dual Peppy, was bred and donated by The Daube Co. of Ardmore, Okla.

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 were bred by Zoetis 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 donated weanlings for the program participants to evaluate, raise and train. Young Horse Development participants keep their yearling.

“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 monthly webinars; complete monthly management assignments; track goals, such as competing in AQHA, 4-H, FFA or local horse shows; engage in mentoring sessions with local AQHA Professional Horsemen; and compile a video of themselves with their horse completing an in-hand trail pattern. Following project completion, a select number of scholarships and prizes are awarded.

The deadline to apply for the 2020 Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development program will be in August 2019.

To learn more about the program, visit

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