(Carberry, MB – December 15, 2005) --- Team Canada was one of 12 countries who participated at the 2004 American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup held in Dubbo, Australia. Each participating country may select up to five competing riders, two alternate riders and three non-competing youth (leadership members). The host country provides a pool of horses of various ability levels, which are subsequently grouped into lots of five horses each. During the opening ceremonies, teams draw to determine their assigned group of five horses. Teams then designate three riders each to compete in Western Horsemanship, Western Pleasure, Western Riding, Hunter Under Saddle, Hunt Seat Equitation, Showmanship, and Trail; and two riders each for Reining and Cutting classes.
The CQHA actively sought out qualified youth from all across Canada, who are Canadian citizens, members-in-good-standing of the American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA). Many applications were received from youth from all across Canada, who possess excellent horsemanship skills in a variety of events, and who volunteer in their local communities and/or equine sport organizations. This made the job of selecting finalists for the team both gratifying and challenging.
The CQHA Board of Directors, Team Coach, and Team Manager are pleased and proud to announce that the 2006 Youth World Cup Team for Canada has been selected as follows:
The five competing riders are:
Caitlyn Black, Orangeville, Ontario
Caitlyn, 16, has been showing horses from a very young age in a variety of events. She was selected as a member of the 2005 Ontario Youth Team to attend the All American Quarter Horse Congress, in Columbus, OH and was a semi-finalist in Youth Ages 15-18 Hunter Under Saddle. Caitlyn has earned countless awards as a champion and reserve champion in English events, Trail and Showmanship, as well as winning 2004 and 2005 Circuit Championships (Canadian) in Novice Youth Hunter Under Saddle at Summerama in Ontario. She was voted the most sportsmanlike member of her club and is currently in Grade 11 and on the Honour Roll at school. Caitlyn will bring strong English event riding skills and sportsmanship abilities to the team.
Jesse Crandall, Ponoka, Alberta
Jesse, 17, began riding at the age of nine in Western Pleasure, Halter, English Equitation and Trail classes. At age 12, he began riding in the Alberta Reined Cowhorse Association, earning many championships, including the 2003 Calgary Stampede non-pro championship. Also in 2003, Jesse joined the National High School Rodeo Association, where he got started in Cutting and won many more championships. He is currently competing at the National Cutting Horse Association (US) level, with earnings to date of $18,373 in NCHA dollars. Jesse is qualified for the 2006 NCHA World Championship show (in the $20,000 Non-Pro division) and will compete in Amarillo in February. He will also compete at the 2006 NCHA Western National Championship in Ogden, Utah in May. Jesse, who is in Grade 12, brings to the team strong riding skills in numerous events, especially the working cow horse and cutting classes.
Melissa Hanscome, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
Melissa, 18, started riding at the age of three in lead-line classes, under the watchful eye of her father, a professional horse trainer. She has progressed over the years to showing in Hunter classes, Western Pleasure, and Western Riding. In 2004, Melissa was the All-Around High Point Maritime Youth , and Reserve All-Around Youth in 2005, earning many championships in Western Riding, Hunter Under Saddle, Junior Hunter, Showmanship and Western Pleasure. She was selected as a member of the NYATT Congress Team in 2005, where she finished in fourth place over all. Melissa is Secretary of the Maritime Quarter Horse Youth Association. She is in Grade 12, and participates on Peer Drugs, Dance and Oktoberfest school committees. Melissa has strong riding skills in a variety of events, as well as a good understanding of how to work through obstacles with young horses, which will be assets for the team.
Tausha Hellyer, Shelburne, Ontario
Tausha, 18,began riding very young, aboard a miniature pony. She progressed to a Welsh Pony and then on to registered Quarter Horses by the age of nine. Tausha’s father introduced her to Cutting and her mother introduced her to Dressage. She has earned AQHA Superior Event awards in both Youth and Open Trail, Youth Hunt Seat Equitation and Youth Western Horsemanship, and countless championships and AQHA Registers of Merit. Tausha has represented Ontario on a number of All-American Congress Youth Teams, placing as a semi-finalist or top ten in several events over the years. She has graduated from High School, and volunteers with activities at her local elementary school and at Teen Ranch, a Catholic church camp. She was an Honour Roll student and received awards in Art in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Tausha’s strong riding abilities in English and Trail events, as well as her excellent work ethics and determination to do well for her team mates, will be valuable to the team.
Russell Truesdell, Bright's Grove, Ontario
Russell, 17, has been showing horses since he was three. He has earned many championship awards in a variety of events, such as Halter, Showmanship, Western Pleasure, Western Horsemanship, Hunter Under Saddle, Trail & Timed Events on various horses. For the past two years, he has concentrated on Reining, in which he has competed at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. In 2004 Russell was the Reserve 14 – 18 year old youth rider for Reining Canada, and qualified as an alternate for the Canadian Young Riders Team. In 2005, he tied as Champion Youth Reiner for Ontario, and is currently 10th in the NRHA 14-18 standings. Russell is in Grade 12, and has been involved in soccer and robotics teams at school and as a volunteer for the Canadian Cancer Society and fundraising for youth scholarships for the Mid-Western Ontario Horsemen’s Society. He has also won leadership and public speaking awards at high school and in his community. Russell brings strong riding skills, especially in Reining, and great leadership and sportsmanship attributes to the team.
The two alternate riders are:
Natasha Luchies, Reaboro, Ontario
Natasha, 16, has been riding horses since she was seven, and obtained her first Quarter Horse at age 12. She has shown in events such as showmanship, halter, and equitation, earning many Reserve Novice championships and individual awards in her classes. Natasha works with a mentally and physically challenged girl on a regular basis through Reaching Out Family Home. She also volunteers at her local elementary school and figure skating club. Natasha is in Grade 11, and was on her school’s Honour Roll in 2003, 2003 & 2004. She also earned an outstanding achievement award in mathematics. Natasha has good riding skills, a strong work ethic, and a true passion for the Quarter Horse industry, assets that will benefit the team.
Jenna Nedzelski, Saanichton, British Columbia
Jenna, 16, has been riding and showing horses for several years, and earned championships in events such as Trail, Western Pleasure, Showmanship, Western Riding and English classes. She currently holds the position of Director for the BC Youth Quarter Horse Association, and is very involved in her local 4-H Club, holding offices such as Vice-President, Media Relations Officer, Hospital Pet Visits, Dairy Bar Concession and Riding Ring Maintenance. Jenna also mentors young riders through 4-H for team projects such as showmanship, clinics and shows. She is in Grade 11 and has been on her school’s Honour Roll for the past two years, as well as participating in high school track and field and the junior girl’s volleyball team. Jenna brings diverse riding abilities, along with excellent organizational skills to the team.
The three leadership members are:
Amylia Buettner, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Amylia, 15, is the youngest Team Canada member, but should not be underestimated. She has been showing horses since she was nine, and competes in a variety of classes, including Showmanship, Western Pleasure, and English Equitation. She has won numerous championships and reserve championships from several Saskatchewan Horse Associations. She won first place in the Saskatchewan Ranch Reining Stakes and Futurities in 2005. Amylia is also involved in the Saskatchewan 4-H program, showing cattle through the Beef Club, public speaking, and holding several offices and positions. She is in Grade 10, on the Honour Roll, and received the 2005 Academic Standing of Distinction. She was also City Champion and won second place at the 2005 Provincial Championships for the Girls’ High School Wrestling Team. Amylia brings her natural enthusiasm and leadership abilities to the team.
Kendra James, Lashburn, Saskatchewan
Kendra, 18, has been involved in 4-H over the years, and as a new member of AQHYA showed her first Quarter Horse in 2003. She shows at Saskatchewan Quarter Horse Association shows and is currently listed as the leading Youth Rookie of the Year for 2005. Kendra was the 2005 Reserve Champion at the Saskatchewan Gold Rush Futurity in Three- and Four-Year-Old Western Pleasure. She graduated with honours from High School and is currently attending college. While at High School, she was active on the student council holding several offices, including Treasurer in her senior year, and earned the Principal’s Leadership Award in 2005. Kendra enjoys curling and was a curling MVP in 2002. Kendra brings strong leadership and teamwork qualities to the team.
Amanda Zinger, Victoria, British Columbia
Amanda, 18, has been involved with horses for several years. She has shown in a variety of classes, winning many local awards and championships. Amanda has been involved with the Peninsula Cattle Penning Association and has been a 4-H Junior Leader for the past three years. She has graduated from High School and is currently enrolled in post graduate courses in Arts and Journalism. Amanda has volunteered with her local Humane Society and Food Banks. She organized a “stick horse” show and auction raising over $500 for hurricane relief in Louisiana. She also helps out at the WR Ranch/Port Albernie Recreation Center Summer Riding Camp. Amanda will also contribute valuable leadership and teamwork attributes to the team.
The Team Coach and Team Manager are:
Team Coach, Scott Neuman, Billings, Montana
Scott, originally a native of the province of Saskatchewan, holds dual US and Canadian citizenship. He has taught at Montana’s Rocky Mountain College, for the past twelve years, serving both as Associate Professor of Equestrian Studies, as well as Director of Equestrian Studies. An AQHA Professional Horseman, Neuman has coached and/or trained exhibitors and horses to top ten finishes at the AQHA World Championship Show, the AQHA Youth World Championship Show and the All American Quarter Horse Congress. When not riding or teaching, Neuman enjoys judging AQHA shows, where he has been an accredited judge for the past nine years. He has judged the Open division at the 2002 AQHA World Championship show, the 2000 AQHA Youth World Championship show, and the All American Quarter Horse Congress. Neuman also coached the 2004 Youth World Cup Team Canada at Dubbo, Australia.
Team Manager, Judy Whittingham, Brandon, Manitoba
Judy has been employed with the City of Brandon, Manitoba for the past 28 years. She currently holds the position of Secretary/Assistant to the Mayor of Brandon. Aside from her career, Whittingham has served with many volunteer horse clubs, groups and other organizations, including seven years as Youth Advisor and member of the Board of Directors of the Manitoba Quarter Horse Association. She has demonstrated fund-raising and organizational skills having supervised two trips of youth, both as spectators and competitors, to attend AQHA Youth World Championship shows in Texas, and was manager of the 2004 Youth World Cup Team Canada at Dubbo, Australia.