Experiencing the Ford Youth World for the First Time

August 8th, 2014 12:48 PM | No Comments
Ansley Pritchett (right) and barnmate, Bri Bielecki, (left) after completing their runs in showmanship.  Image courtesy of Ansley Pritchett.

Ansley Pritchett (right) and barnmate, Bri Bielecki, (left) after completing their runs in showmanship. Image courtesy of Ansley Pritchett.

The Ford Youth World has been a dream for many youth exhibitors since the time they started showing.  Even though many competitors make multiple trips to the famous Norick Arena in Oklahoma City, there is nothing quite as special as experiencing it for the first time.  Pleasurehorse.com reader and Ford Youth World “first-timer”, Ansley Pritchett, of Team Georgia, was kind enough to share her experience at one of the most exciting moments in a rider’s career.

I have been so psyched to get to go to my first AQHYA World Show this year!   I’ve heard so much about it, and now I have had a chance to live it and share a few impressions with everyone.  The 2014 AQHYA World Show looks like a major success so far.  Starting out with lots of heavy rain and the flooding of the Jim Norick arena, we were a little worried that this show would have to be run a little differently than normal; however, it has not affected the timeline of events which made us all sigh with relief!  The roof was repaired quickly and classes were moved back to where they belonged.   We were all sure the reason it was repaired so fast was because the repairmen had installed a porta potty on top of the roof!   It was quite a sight to behold…

As most people know, every year the AQHYA set a theme for the year and everything we do at the Youth World Show revolves around that theme.  The overall theme of our show this year was “Operation:  Success”.    I was so impressed with getting to see how each state interpreted their own point of view.  From all around the world and back to America, each country’s youth have a dream to be successful, and it is really neat to see what success means to each of them.

Halter classes were packed, as were the popular Ranch Horse Pleasure class.   I heard that this year’s Youth World show is the biggest yet!   We had a spirit night, pep rally style, last night and every state and country did their best to make the most noise.   The US Youth World Cup team was introduced and got lots of cheers for bringing home the gold this year!

In the blink of an eye it seems, we are already on the last half of this incredible experience.  All in all, I can sincerely say that, even though my horse and I didn’t make it back to finals, I am proud of Fergie (Huntin A Charm).    After only one year of intense training following an injury, she has come so far.   I remember looking at her from the UGA vet observation room, seeing how much pain she was in, and seeing her through all the rehab afterwards.  She HAS made a comeback – being successful at this World Show proves it – and I’m so excited to see what happens next year.    

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