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horseIQ Virtual Youth Triathlon crowns inaugural champions

Cadence Blackwood and Taylor Mack topped the field when it came to showing their horse knowledge in the inaugural horseIQ Virtual Youth Triathlon. This three-part online challenge took place September through November 2023. Participants competed in prepared public speaking, skills demonstration and hippology challenges as part of this free Youth contest.

Blackwood, an 11-year-old from League City, Texas, presented “What to Consider When Purchasing a Horse” as her prepared-speaking topic and demonstrated how to bridle a horse. Mack, a 16-year-old AjPHA member from Tucson, Arizona, spoke about “Nutrition Basics for Horse Owners” and demonstrated how to saddle a horse.

Congratulations to our triathlon champions!

Overall Champion: 13 & Under Division

  1. Cadence Blackwood
  2. Dakota O’Rourke
  3. Peyton O’Rourke

Overall Champion: 14–18 Division

  1. Taylor Mack
  2. Ezekiel Visser
  3. Beatrice Davenport
  4. Christina Andognini

Triathlon Section Winners

Prepared Speaking

  • 13 & Under Division Champion: Cadence Blackwood
  • 14–18 Division Champion: Taylor Mack

Skills Demonstration

  • 13 & Under Division Champion: Cadence Blackwood
  • 14–18 Division Champion: Taylor Mack

Hippology Test

  • 13 & Under Division Champion: Dakota O’Rourke
  • 14–18 Division Champion: Taylor Mack


For full results, visit


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About APHA

The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association. Since it was founded in 1962, APHA has registered more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses. Learn more at