CQHA Announces Team Canada 2016 Selections
The American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup is an international event held very two years and hosted by a different country each time. American Quarter Horse youth competitors from around the world will flock to Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia, June 23 to July 3 for an international showdown in the form of the 2016 American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup.
Throughout the competition, each country will ride for gold medals in cutting, reining, western horsemanship, trail, ranch riding, hunt seat equitation, hunter under saddle and showmanship.The Youth World Cup is more than just a competition - it offers a chance for international American Quarter Horse enthusiasts to learn from the industry's leading riders and trainers.
While at the event, five youth plus one coach and manager from each country will take part in educational seminars, discipline clinics, leadership training and, finally, competition. Up to five additional youth from each country may be invited by each international affiliate to attend the education and leadership portion of the week's events and to support their team.
The host country provides each team's horses for clinics and competition. AQHA relies heavily on AQHA Professional Horsemen and owners to supply this event with the best American Quarter Horses available in the host country. For more information visit Australia's 2016 Youth World Cup website. You'll want to bookmark this website to stay current with event happenings during the actual competition.
A major initiative of the CQHA is to field youth teams for these biennial Youth World Cup competitions and we are pleased to announce that we have selected the following nine qualified youth participants from applications received from all across Canada for Team Canada 2016.
Representing Canada at international events such as this one, is a costly initiative and Team Canada members and their families are each responsible for fund-raising a portion of their travel expenses. To help them reach these goals, please consider supporting an individual team member, or the team as a whole, with a business or personal sponsorship. To learn about the benefits of offered for various sponsorship levels, click here to download the Team Canada 2016 sponsorship package.
The Competing Riders are:
Hannah Buijs, 15, from Lisle, ON, returns to Team Canada in 2016 as a rider, bringing her positive attitude and confidence in multiple events. Showing Quarter Horses since she was four, Hannah has developed her horsemanship skills on a variety of horses, excelling in both English and Western events. Hannah has had the opportunity to ride several different horses to success in the show ring including top five placings at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress and a top 10 finish at the AQHA Novice East Championship in 2014. In addition to being a fierce competitor, Hannah also volunteers her time fundraising for community groups and helping other students at school as well as helping the Ontario Quarter Horse Youth Association at shows and events. Hannah is excited to join Team Canada and is looking forward to learning from and having fun with all the team members!
Haley Franc, 18, from Prince Albert, SK, returns to Team Canada once again in 2016, this time as a rider. A top Non-Pro competitor in NRHA reining competitions, Haley joins the team, bringing with her strong horsemanship and leadership skills. Haley has represented Canada at several international equestrian competitions, including the North American Junior and Young Riders Championships, the 2014 Youth World Cup, along with the High Roller Reining Classic and Big Sky Reining Classic. Currently attending Texas A & M in College Station, Texas, Haley is competing on the NCAA equestrian team, while pursuing a degree in Animal Science. Haley is looking forward to contributing her competitive skills and positive attitude to Team Canada in Australia!
Madison Holmes, 14, from New Glasgow, NS, joins Team Canada as our youngest rider. Competing in the all-around events, Madison has already had a successful youth career, qualifying for the American Quarter Horse Youth Association World Championship Show with two horses, top 10 finishes in multiple events at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress and championships at the Region 6 Championship Show. Outside the show pen, Madison enjoys playing volleyball as well as participating in the Leadership Club at her school. A strong work ethic and experience riding several different horses in variety of classes, Madison is looking forward to joining Team Canada and working alongside the other team members and learning from everyone!
Joining Team Canada's rider roster, from Roberts Creek, BC, is 15-year-old Mackenzie Inksater. Mackenzie's focus on the all-around events showcases her horsemanship skills in both English and Western classes, which will complement a strong Canadian team. In her show career, Mackenzie has had success both north and south of the border including Canadian National Championships and the top 10 finishes at the AQHA Novice West Championships in Las Vegas. Along with riding, Mackenzie also enjoys playing volleyball and is active in team fundraising and ensuring everyone has a positive and fun experience. Mackenzie is looking forward to meeting all the other competitors and learning new skills in Australia!
Megan Komori Kennedy, 18, from Merville, BC, joins Team Canada riders as a strong all-around competitor with a focus on Hunter Under Saddle and Hunt Seat Equitation classes. Megan has been showing for over 10 years, starting with 4-H and working her way up to the AQHA circuit where she has earned several National Championships to her credit. A highlight of Megan's riding career has been competing at the All American Quarter Horse Congress and being a finalist in all her events including Showmanship, Horsemanship and Hunt Seat Equitation. Outside of horses, Megan is an active soccer player and volunteer in her community as well as at school where she is a peer tutor for science courses. Megan is excited to be part of Team Canada in this unique competition and brings a strong background in riding and showing young horses, team spirit, and dedication to Tamworth, Australia!
The Alternate Riders are:
Ruth Enns, 18, from Schanzenfeld, Manitoba, joins Team Canada as an alternate rider for the Youth World Cup 2016. Ruth has been showing competitively on the AQHA circuit including the Canadian National Championships and the All American Quarter Horse Congress. Ruth has been actively involved in the Manitoba Quarter Horse Youth Association, serving as secretary and most recently, as president, and always takes time to introduce herself to new competitors and make them feel welcome! Outside of the arena, Ruth is very involved in her 4-H club and church, lending a hand and volunteering where and when needed. We are pleased to have Ruth joining Team Canada, bringing her sportsmanship and dedication to all of Team Canada.
Hailing from Bancroft, ON, Melanie Trolley, 18, joins Team Canada as an Alternate Rider. Melanie grew up riding a variety of breeds but made the switch to showing Quarter Horses when she was 12. Having a background in English riding, Melanie has had a successful youth show career in the all-around events and a highlight was showing in the NYATT tournament at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress, making the semi-finals in a tough Hunter Under Saddle class. Melanie has managed to balance academics, horses and community involvement throughout her high school years and was recognized with scholarships highlighting this achievement. Currently attending the University of Western Ontario, Melanie is looking forward to being part of Team Canada and using the skills she has learned and applying them to help create a successful team in Australia.
The Leadership Members are:
James Heitzner, 15, from St. Clements, ON, joins Team Canada as a leadership member for the Youth World Cup. Riding since he was two, James first started showing on the AQHA circuit in 2007 and has quickly garnered many youth awards. Outside of the show ring, James is actively involved the Ontario Quarter Horse Youth Association, volunteering for events as well as participating in Kung Fu, Ultimate Frisbee and basketball. James brings a keen sense of sportsmanship, leadership and humor to the group and is looking forward to being part of an equestrian team and helping his teammates succeed.
Cheyanne Izon, 14, from Acton, ON, has been involved with horses her entire life and actively involved in the Alberta Quarter Horse Youth Association since 2010. Cheyanne has had a very successful youth career to this point earning several Canadian National Championships as well as being a finalist in Western Horsemanship at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. Even with her horse injured for most of 2014, Cheyanne stayed active with her youth association through volunteering, ring stewarding and helping out wherever needed. Cheyanne is excited to be part of Team Canada as a leadership member and brings with her a strong work ethic and a positive attitude to encourage her team members throughout the competition.
The Team Coach & Manager are:
Coach Christine Little, of Brandon, MB, has been involved in AQHA her entire life - being raised on a successful AQHA breeding farm, Little Valley Quarter Horses - all the way to building her own successful training and coaching business of Christine Little Show Horses. An AQHA Specialized All Novice Judge, Christine has a thorough knowledge of AQHA event rules and judging standards and attends yearly Judges Seminars to stay up-to-date. She has coached clients to AQHA Regional Championships and many Affiliate year end awards.Being a former Team Canada Youth World Cup youth member in Portogruaro, Italy in 2000, Christine has invaluable firsthand knowledge of this international event.Outside of horses, Christine has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, completing her thesis on Athlete Motivation. She currently works at the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba as a Community Addictions Counsellor.
Manager, Donna Sagin, of Carberry, MB is an experienced and successful event manager with a proven background in administration, financial management, business strategy, and marketing with various organizations. An experienced executive member, she brings strong leadership skills and is recognized as a dedicated problem-solver. Her experience includes creating budgets, developing marketing and sponsorship plans, organizing special events and meeting deadlines She has spent the majority of her career, to date, with non-profit organizations in Western Canada organizing small events of 200, to large events of over 100,000 visitors. An avid AQHA amateur exhibitor, Donna has shown for over 20 years in the all-around events. She currently volunteers as a director with the Manitoba Quarter Horse Association and is registered as an official AQHA Show Manager. The unique set of skills Donna has developed to date, will be an incredible asset to the manager position as organization, planning, problem solving, budgeting and meeting deadlines, are also essential for building a successful team.
Christine and Donna have worked together as Directors of the Manitoba Quarter Horse Association and bring an impressive combination of skills to CQHA and Team Canada. They are organized, motivated and enthusiastic about this opportunity to be part of the 2016 AQHA Youth World Cup and firmly believe that they, along with the their nine talented youth members, can develop a competitive Canadian team who will also be great ambassadors for Canada.