Young Horse Development Scholarship Winners

Four AQHYA members earned a total of $5,000 in scholarships through the 2016-17 AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program.

Since January, 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 2016-17 AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program.

Earning first place, a $2,000 scholarship and a Montana Silversmiths belt buckle was Arielle Wortham of Wimberley, Texas. Wortham’s Ranching Heritage horse was Jiffy Wild Card, a 2016 sorrel filly by Wild Card Dun It and out of Colonel C Boomerang by Colonel Clout. Jiffy Wild Card was bred and donated by Mr. and Mrs. Louis A. Waters of Utopia, Texas.

Second place was awarded to Emily Schimnich of Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. She will receive $1,500 and a pair of Justin Boots. Schimnich worked with Miss Lillian Frost, a 2016 palomino filly by PC Cisco Frost and out of Suzanna Joak by Sonny Pep San. Miss Lillian Frost was bred and donated by Jim and Joni Hunt/Open Box Rafter Ranch of Faith, South Dakota.

Samantha Pratt of Monroe, Oregon, earned third place with her filly, RWS Scarlets Cutter. RWS Scarlets Cutter is a 2016 sorrel filly by Legendary Cutter and out of Comanches Playgirl by Smart Lil Comanche. She was donated and bred by Raymond and Georga Sutton/Raymond Sutton Ranch of Gettysburg, South Dakota. Pratt won $1,000 and $100 in Wrangler product.

Fourth place goes to Jacqueline Potwora of Eugene, Oregon, with RWS Cuttin Class, and she will receive $500 and $100 in Wrangler product. RWS Cuttin Class, a 2016 sorrel gelding by Young Pobre and out of Gingers Fancy Peppy by Mr Holliday Pep, was also bred and donated by the Suttons.

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 AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders, which consist of 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.”

For the 2017-18 Young Horse Development Program, participants will 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 will be awarded.

The deadline to apply for the 2018-19 Young Horse Development program is in August 2018.

To learn more about the Young Horse Development program, visit

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHAnews on Twitter and visit


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