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Meet APHA’s summer 2023 interns

By Layne Miller

Join us in welcoming the summer 2023 APHA intern team! These exceptional students will have the opportunity to gain real-world experiences in running an association, as well as expand their knowledge of the equine industry and help execute the upcoming 2023 APHA World Show from June 23 through July 9 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Abigail Crosby

Hailing from Sulligent, Alabama, Abigail Crosby (shown above, left) is a senior at Auburn University, where she studies Animal and Allied Industries with a minor in Agronomy and Soils, and is set to graduate this December. A member of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) and Collegiate Horsemen’s Association, Abigail is well-versed in showing, whether in the cutting pen or the rodeo arena. 

Her Quarter Horse mare Cute Lil Highbrow (“MawMaw”) has been her partner and teacher since high school. From showing her the ropes in cutting and general horsemanship to learning how to navigate the world of college rodeo and barrel racing, Maw Maw got it done–and still does at the age of 21.

Abigail’s other horses, Vivor (QH), Fames Frosty Chick (QH) and Tweety Blue Colonel (QH) are all part of her family, as well as several beloved Australian shepherds. She is excited to be on board and anxious to get to work.

“I have always had a strong passion for horses. I had not had any experience with Paint Horses before, so this internship is the perfect opportunity to build on my horse knowledge,” she said.

Layne Miller

Native to Rockwall, Texas, Layne Miller (above, right) currently resides in Stephenville where she attends Tarleton State University. Set to graduate in spring 2024 with a bachelor’s in Agriculture Business, she plans to continue her education with a master’s in accounting.

A member of AQHA and the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), Layne’s love of horses began at a young age with her mom’s mare Trifling Foxy Lady (QH) and was further fueled by her first horse–an Arabian named Beau. Though many horses have impacted her life, she credits her late mare Lots of Glory (QH) with being her biggest inspiration and greatest teacher. 

When not competing with Tarleton’s equestrian team in the reining division, Layne’s current two horses as well as her family’s other three horses fill most of her time. When not with her horses, she can be found reading with her cat, Goose, and dog, Sadie, or planning her next big trip.

“Horses have always been a major part of my life, and I can’t imagine working somewhere where horses aren’t involved,” Layne said. “When I found out about this opportunity to not only get to work with people who are just as passionate about horses, but also learn what it takes to run an association as large as this, I couldn’t believe it.”

Julie Papaj

Though she is quite the world traveler, Julie Papaj (above, center) now calls Fort Worth home. Having graduated from Texas Christian University in May, Julie earned her Bachelor of Arts in political science and writing, with a minor in Asian Studies, and plans to continue her education at Southern Methodist University’s school of law this fall.

Despite not having any of her own, Julie’s long-time love for horses led her to volunteer at a Colorado Spring’s therapeutic riding center. Here, a sorrel Quarter Horse gelding named Biscuit quickly became her favorite horse to work with and learn from. With his gentle nature and careful attentiveness with each rider, Julie credits Biscuit with providing the inspiration to learn more about the therapeutic riding world.

Besides horses, Julie also enjoys swimming, rock-climbing and watercolor painting.

“I have always loved horses, and after my time at the riding center I decided I wanted to pursue a career in the non-profit sector and eventually open my own therapeutic riding center,” Julie said. “When this internship opportunity came about to combine those passions with my love of writing and grow in all of it, I was head-over-heels ecstatic.”


[Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provided back to apha.com.]

About APHA

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