August 13, 2009 -- The Built Ford Tough American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA) World Championship Show was full of exciting competition as 883 youth exhibitors competed for 33 world championship titles. This year's theme, "Rock Your World," had the youth members excited and energized for the competition and camaraderie.
The Ford Youth World ended August 8 after nine full days of competition at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, Okla. The world's largest single-breed show for youths provided an estimated $10.9 million boost to Oklahoma City's economy.
The winners in each of the 33 classes took home a custom-designed trophy, Montana Silversmiths buckle, neck wreath, gold medallion, logoed Cripple Creek jacket, Professional's Choice product, WeatherBeeta embroidered blanket and the honor of being named a youth world champion.
Youths competed outside of the arena as well with judging, speech and team contests. In the horse judging competition sponsored by Merial, North Carolina swept the team competition winning the halter, performance and reasons categories to take home the overall award. The high-point overall individual was Jason Farrington of Navasota, Texas, with runner-up Bayley Bedford of Locust Grove, Okla.
In the Horse Bowl competition sponsored by Junior Master Horseman, North Carolina took top honors again. Edwin and Julia Gaffney, the brother and sister team from Aurora, Colo., won the team demonstration competition, which is sponsored by Raheen Ranch of Fayetteville, Ark. Edwin also won the prepared public speaking competition while Cori Elliott from Stockton, Ill., won the impromptu speech. The American Quarter Horse Journal sponsored the speech contests.
On August 5, AQHYA members had a chance to mingle at a mixer and talent show. Winning the instrumental division and overall talent show title was Trish Timmins of Laguna Beach, Calif. The winner of the vocal division was Christopher Luba from Louisville, Ky. The North American Equine Ranching Information Council sponsored the talent show.
To see full results as well as special feature stories, interviews and photos of the world champions, visit www.aqha.com/youthworld.