AQHA Magazine September/October 2018 Sep_Oct_2018_1-52_proof_FINAL (1) - Page 19

There is one thing that unites young Quarter Horse enthusiasts around the World...the chance to ride, repre- senting their country at the AQHA Youth World Cup. This event is held every two years and 2016 was Australia’s time to host 13 countries. This year it was time for Bryan/College Station, Texas, to host, having also done it in 2014 - again it was held at the Brazos County Expo Centre. Starting June 28, and going through July 8, the Youth World Cup comprises a week of clinics, and getting to know the five horses that each country has drawn. With five riding members, a reserve rider, and a maximum of four leadership participants, each team also has a Coach and a Manag- er. This year saw 19 countries par- ticipate - Australia, South Africa (for the first time), Japan, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Paraguay, UK, France, Norway, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Israel, Italy, Sweden, Swit- zerland, Denmark, and Germany. Australia has sent a team every year since the inception of the program, in Australia, in 1978. This year, the team selected at the Selection camp was Taj Carson, Amber Denton, Matt Frieberg, Holly Gutterson, and Adam Salt.  The reserve rider Rachel Robinson, and Leadership comprised Chris Holmes, Sharnte Wilson and Michaela Wastell. The Coach was again Pauline Stuart-Fox, for the fourth time, with Manager Kim Johnson and also joined by AQHA Youth Director Craig Rath. The Aussie team left Sydney at lunchtime June 23, on a direct flight to Dallas/ Ft Worth. Straight to the hotel, and then off to pick up two cars and dinner pret- ty well saw the day out. An early 5.30am start saw the crew pile into two cars and head off for the drive to Robin Frid’s for some intensive tuition and the afternoon was filled with shop- ping! This process was repeated the next day, and the time at Robin’s was greatly enjoyed and valued. The next afternoon we all headed off to a pool party, which was kindly hosted by Melissa and Kevin Dukes. All greatly enjoyed the pool in the extremely hot weather, and a fabu- lous Mexican meal.  The 27th saw everyone pile into the cars to head off to Slate River Ranch for our two cutters, Matt and Holly, to have some one on one time with John Mitchell. John, an Australian Youth World Cup participant for Australia in 1988, is one of the leading cutting trainers in the US, and is fabulous at help- ing these young people getting into Cutting. Some time spent at the Stockyards in Ft Worth, the historic area where all the cattle were sold, and then shipped from, was magic. We also visited the Paint Youth World Show to say hi to the Aussie team at the Will Rog- ers Col- iseum, before heading off on our bus from Ft Worth to College Station on the 27th. Three hours later and we ar- rived at our hotel, along with all our baggage, ready for the start of the Youth World Cup activities. The opening ceremony was followed by teams selecting their groups of horses. Ours consisted of one two year old (Haterz Gonna Hate) that it was stipulated we could only do Showmanship; one 18.1hh Hunt Seat Horse (That’s the Facts Jak); a 22year old Texas A & M University Equestrian team horse (Zip n Flow); a Reining/General riding horse (Spark with Desire) and a 4 year old Reining trained gelding (Gunne Get Er Dun) that has been a walk jog horse for a child for a period of time. All were very kind and so we had a nice group we felt. Some of the activities that the team were involved in were a bus trip to South Texas Tack, which was greatly enjoyed; a breakfast hosted by a local Cowboy Church, which was inter- September • October • 2018 • The Australian Quarter Horse Magazine • 19