Ranching Heritage Foals

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The foal giveaway was part of the new AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Project to help youth learn how to develop young horses the right way and get breeders? foals in the hands of future buyers.

Six American Quarter Horse Youth Association members were recently awarded a ranch-bred foal donated by Jim and Joni Hunt?s Open Box Rafter Ranch. The foal giveaway was part of the new AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Project to help youth learn how to develop young horses the right way and get breeders? foals in the hands of future buyers.

AQHA took applications that also required a 400-word essay. The Hunts were able to meet some of the winners at the ranch?s annual production sale September 10, when the foals were awarded to their new owners.

?There were some great kids there, and that was really what we were trying to do: reach those quality youth who would really benefit by a good foal,? Joni said. ?Hopefully, those kids will grow up and be adult members of the horse industry in one or more capacities. Who knows? Maybe they?ll be lifelong horse owners and horse lovers, and maybe they?ll be breeders or trainers ? whatever. It's I think a win-win situation.?

The youths who took home foals will be expected to present them as yearlings at AQHA Ranching Heritage shows. The AQHYA members who will care for the weanlings donated by Open Box Rafter Ranch are:

Jacob Mustard of Lexington, Nebraska

Shaina Brown of Winkler, Manitoba

Jaryd Quintero of Dallesport, Washington

Colleen Bridges of Kilgore, Texas

Tee Aune of Glasgow, Montana

Sivana Brewer of Stafford, Missouri

?We had some great applicants, and we really appreciate the Hunts giving us this opportunity to develop young horses and young horsemen and horsewomen,? said Ward Stutz, AQHA senior director of breed integrity, education and youth. ?The project will continue through the horses? 2-year-old year, and the youths who received foals will be expected to present them under saddle.?

Go online to www.aqha.com to learn more about the AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development program, to apply to become a Ranching Heritage Breeder or to learn more about the AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge.

AQHA is looking for more Ranching Heritage Breeders to make foals available to deserving young people for free or at a reduced cost. If you?d like to become part of the Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Project, contact Ward Stutz at (806) 376-4811 or wstutz@aqha.org.