By Flora ElmColone
It’s been an eventful month for AHYA! Youth Nationals was in July, and it was the first year in Oklahoma City. It was the first year at a new venue so everyone was trying to adjust to a place many of us had never competed at before. Although change can be difficult, I encourage you all to stay positive and think about how lucky we are to be at Youth Nationals! AHYA Convention was on Friday the 22. We had two amazing guest speakers—thank you to Kathie Hart and Gayle Lampe for excellent presentations! I had the honor of being elected your new AHYA President. This is something I’ve worked towards for so long and I can’t wait to serve you all this upcoming year! Serving alongside me on the 2016-2017 AHYA Executive Board is Kate Lewis (Region 11) as Vice President, Danika Overstreet (Region 5) as Secretary, and Tessa Kimbler (Region 6) as Treasurer. I couldn’t be more excited to get to work with such hardworking people!
One of the great things about AHYA is how diverse of a board we have. Tessa Kimbler, our new Treasurer, competes in the Endurance division and completed the Tevis Cup in 2014. Kate Lewis, our new Vice President has experience showing in the Sport Horse division, and Danika Overstreet has competed on her Regional Youth Judging team as well as showing in main ring. I would also like to thank our outgoing Executive Board (on which I was Secretary): Taylor Kyse, 2015-2016 President, Emily Barker, 2015-2016 Vice President and Sydney Young, 2015-2016 Treasurer for doing such a fantastic job running AHYA! On Sunday the 24 we had the annual Parade of Regions. As always it was a fun way to connect with other youth members and show some team spirit for our regions! Congratulations to Region 5 for winning the contest with their rhythmic gymnastics themed golf cart. The pink flamingo flocks made their way all around the showgrounds again, from the Judges’ Lounge to the Performance Arena to many vendors and barns. Pigs flew into center ring with the Flying Pigs contest, which always brings friendly and fun competition. Although I may not have gone Top Ten, or won National Champion, I made some cuts and had some good rides. My horse and I grew as a team, and that’s all I can really ask for! I look forward to Youth Nationals all year, as I’m sure many of you do, and to be there, making friendships that will last a lifetime and bonds that will never be forgotten, was the best thing I could have asked for!
Backtracking a little bit, our Region 2 Championship show was in late June. Although I am from Region 2 and am the former director, Region 2 has a new director, Natalie Zavala! Natalie did an awesome job planning activities for Region 2 and it makes me so happy to be able to stay involved on the Regional level with such a passionate and talented director! Natalie put together a silent auction which raised over $1,000, and had some other exciting fundraisers such as the annual Region 2 Ice Cream Social! Some of these proceeds will go towards sending our Region 2 Youth Judging Team to Tulsa, Oklahoma in October to compete in the youth judging contest at U.S. Nationals. Traveling to Tulsa will be Region 2 members Natalie Zavalla, Danielle Garcia (Region 2 Vice Director), Kate Day, and Sophia Hoxworth. Good luck, girls! For most of us, show season 2015-2016 is coming to a close. As we say goodbye to another great season, I wish you all the best of luck in show season 2016-2017! If anyone has questions about how to get involved with the AHYA Board or what it entitles, feel free to email me at or text me at (805)325-3983! About the Author Flora ElmColone is the 2016-2017 AHYA President