Please note that the Hard Hat rules have been updated:  

All Youth members age 18 and under must wear a hard hat at all times when riding and handling horses at AQHA UK events.

Fundraising for the Youth Squad –

Did you know that whenever you buy anything online – from your weekly shop to your annual holiday – you could be collecting free donations for the AQHA UK Youth Fund?

There are over 3,000 shops and sites on board ready to make a donation, including Amazon, John Lewis, Aviva, thetrainline and Sainsbury’s – it doesn’t cost you a penny extra!

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…

1. Head to and join for free.

2. Every time you shop online, go to easyfundraising first to find the site you want and start shopping.

3. After you’ve checked out, that retailer will make a donation to your good cause for no extra cost whatsoever!

There are no catches or hidden charges and AQHA UK Youth Fund will be really grateful for your donations.

Thank you for your support

AQHA UK Squad - AQHA Youth World Cup 2018

We are very please to announce that the 13 youth riders who will be going forward for selection at the end of the year to represent the UK at the AQHA Youth World Cup 2018 in the USA are:

Jolie C, Sara C, Maddie D, Gracie G, Natasha H, Mary K, Isobel L, Iain L, Jasmine M, Olivia P, Isobel S, Holly S and Katie W

They will be attending training clinics and showing throughout the coming months aiming for a coveted place on the team which will be selected at the end of this year. We will be sending at least 5 team members who will compete against other the countries at the event which is to be held at Brian College Station, Texas. There are 5 other places available, a team reserve and 4 Leadership places, these riders get to take part in the pre show clinics and will provide much needed support to the team during the competition.

The host country provides horses for the event. These are then graded and grouped by AQHA and each country will select a group, at random, from the pool. Only the youth riders are allowed to lunge and ride the horses and have 5 days in which to do so before the competition starts. No mean feat!

The dates for the YWC have been announced and will be from the 28 June to 8 July 2018.  The team will be training from March to June 2018.

This is an exciting opportunity for them all and one which will see them develop not only their riding and horsemanship skills to a high level, but also their leadership and ability to work as part of a team.

It is interesting to note that 8 of our UK based trainers and clinicians have been youth riders at this event in the past. One now works in the USA and one from the last round is now working towards her UKCC training qualification. It is therefore an important event in terms of the education of our youth riders which influences their careers into the quarter horse industry in the UK. Many others who have taken part have gone on to become some of our well established amateur riders.

We are looking for some major sponsorship and funding for this event. The Squad members themselves have been given a fundraising target and will also be aiming to raise their own funds to help with their individual costs. If anyone out there has any ideas or contacts and can help in any way possible please get in touch.

AQHA Youth World Cup 2018

Following on from the success of the Youth Team that travelled to Australia for the AQHA Youth World Cup 2016, plans are already being made for the next event which will be held in the United States in 2018.

Once we have identified all those youth members in AQHA UK and WES (Western Equestrian Society) who will be eligible for this next round (age 14 to 18 in 2018) we will be contacting them all with an invitation to attend (along with parents) an introduction day on Saturday 25th February 2017 at Sovereign Quarter Horses in Cambridgeshire. Those attending will be provided with a package explaining the whole process of training, showing and team selection leading up to the Youth World Cup itself, a budget for the costs involved, information on fundraising and sponsorship, and application forms.


Attendees will also be riding and can bring their own horses for this day. For those travelling further and unable to bring a horse we can make provision for some borrowed horses. More details will be included in the invitation letter.

There will be the opportunity to meet some of the key members of the management team and we hope to get some of the previous participants along who will be able to give an insight into their own experiences leading up to and taking part in previous Youth World Cups.

We are looking for some major sponsorship for this event and the Youth Squad will be asked to raise funds for the team. A sponsorship package is being prepared and will be going out early next year, so if any members know of companies and others who may be able to help us in this respect please get in touch.

If you wish to register your interest to take part or help with sponsorship please email the AQHA UK Youth Director, Sandra Loder, at

Youth Training

We are keen to encourage more youth into the world of Quarter Horses and western riding. When western training is being organised for the Youth World Cup Squad there is the opportunity to add in another trainer for the more junior members and those who might not be going forward for team selection. Apart from keeping costs at reasonable level, this also gives the younger members a chance to work alongside the others and be more involved at an earlier stage. If interested please email

Two youth members attended the AQHA UK Camp held in Yorkshire this year. They more than held their own in the group lessons with all the adults and enjoyed the unaffiliated show on the Sunday judged by Lucy Adams. Lucy also ran a pre show clinic going through all the set patterns and classes which was invaluable. Working with the four American coaches over two days was a fantastic experience for them. It would be great to see more youth taking part in these camps.


Youth Riders

If you are a youth member who has or rides a pure or part bred quarter horse in any other discipline like dressage, games, eventing or even just hacking out we would love to hear from you. We are always keen to include news and photos in our monthly emailed newsletter.

Claire Evan’s winning run

 at the Youth World Cup, Australia, 2016

Youth Team - funding FAQ

Just for your information on the Youth Team Funding – as we’ve had some members asking……..

1 How is the team selected?

Participants go through a rigorous selection process in which they have to attend clinics and shows to ensure they are not only a good rider but that they are dedicated and willing to take part. They must take part in  fundraising events for the both the squad and also for themselves.  Selection is also about character and whether they are a good team player. The final selection is done by the coach from the USA to ensure fairness and to ensure there are no conflicts of interest. Following the final team selection all team members, including reserves, are then required to continually provide regular videos of their riding to the USA coach in preparation for selection for different disciplines.

 2 Do the squad members have to own their own horses?

 No, they will be required to ride unknown horses at the YWC therefore it is essential that all members are seen to work with as many different horses as possible. We have been able to ensure that those wishing to take part in team selection can borrow horses for the clinics and the shows, and it was insisted upon that everyone rode a horse that was not known to them for the final selection clinic. It is an inclusive selection process and we invite any youth rider to come forward, regardless of whether they own horses or just have lessons on a school horse.

3 What do the Youth members and their families have to pay?

They must pay for (the list is long);

 3.1 Getting to and from clinics and shows across the country

3.2 Accommodation at clinics and shows

3.3 Clinics and selection classes, this includes costs for food, venue hire, clinician expenses, stabling – although in some cases these may be generously donated or sponsored

3.4 Team uniform – both formal and barn clothing

3.5 Show attire – both western and hunter show attire for those requiring it

3.6 All travel costs to the YWC for themselves and their family members. They are also required to pay for their accommodation and any other expenses while sightseeing or on a stop-over.

3.7 Everyone travelling to a competition is responsible for ensuring that they have adequate travel insurance – and it is not sufficient to have holiday cover. They must have a specific insurance from specialist brokers.

3.8 All costs and expenses incurred in the hire of a trainer from the USA, for both the YWC and any coaching/selection taking place in the UK prior to the actual event.

4 What does the AQHA UK pay?

4.1 The Association pays the entry fees from the Youth Fund, to AQHA for the YWC, which also encompasses all accommodation, food and excursions for all squad members, coach, manager and mentor for the duration of the entire event.

4.2 The Association also contributes to payment of expenses for the Manager and Mentor, both directly for the event and for prior training events/shows. Both Mary Larcom and Lucy Adams have given a great deal of their time for coaching and organising everything throughout this year – and we are extremely grateful.

5 Why does the AQHA UK send a team?

5.1 It is partly to do with our funding and what the AQHA expects of its Affiliates

5.2 The Association has always seen it as an essential part of encouraging young people into the organisation.  We need growth for the AQHA UK and the youth riders of today are tomorrow’s top competitors, for example, Lucy Adams, Tammy Greaves, Lee Rutter, Jess March, Rhia Tapper, Andrew Plant, Chris Dalton and Alan Payne are all now trainers in their own right, and Josh Collins, Luke Phillimore, Avril Wilson, Jessie Leach, Betty Edwards, Jessica Sternberg and Zoe Collins are leading Amateur riders


We rely on volunteers, on and off the Council, to help arrange all of the above.  Any funding raised specifically for the Youth goes into the Youth Fund to help pay for the entry fees. Any surplus goes to the Squad to help towards all the costs thus bringing down the total required to be paid by each individual involved.

We hope that answers your questions – if you require any further information about the Youth Fund or Squad then please email us at