Six young riders made big strides at the 2016 AjPHA Youth World Championship Show, taking home big titles along the way for jobs well done. We’re so proud of all of our exhibitors—entries were up more than 7.5% overall this year! Meet our 2016 Youth all-around and high-point winners:
Cara Christensen quickly made her mark in the show ring this year with style and a big smile. Cara and Slightly Fancy, her 2000 chestnut overo gelding by Slightly Zipped and out of Daintys Fancy Side, earned the High-Point Walk-Trot award after earning a world championship in Youth Walk-Trot Showmanship and reserve world championships in Youth Walk-Trot Western Pleasure, Horsemanship and Trail.
Although both are World Show veterans, Cara and “Elmo” were only recently paired together this year. The match was kismet, and Cara has relished their time in the limelight at the Youth World Show.
“Elmo is my favorite horse and always does his job; he wins a lot and always pays attention and is such a good boy,” Cara said. “Showing is very fun and you have a great time. I like the neck ribbons.”
All-Around Youth 13 & Under
Lauren Gralla captured her second-consecutive All-Around Youth 13 & Under title aboard A Sudden Legacy, a 2004 sorrel overo gelding out of A Sudden Impulse and out of Zippos Satin N Lace.
“It’s my last year in the 13 & Under division, so it’s pretty exciting to win all-around two years in a row,” Lauren said. “My goal this year was to win a world championship in 13 & Under Horsemanship. I got reserve last year, so I wanted to win it this year.”
Lauren achieved her goal and more, racking up a total of five world championships and one reserve world championship to capture the all-around title.
The dynamic duo is a top contender in all-around events every year, earning nine world championships and more than $5,000 in scholarships in the past two years showing together.
All-Around Youth 14–18 & High-Point English
Alexis Sage Miller of Eaton, Colorado, and longtime mount Thanks For Zip En Me are no strangers to the limelight. Earning their second consecutive High- Point English Youth and All-Around Youth 14-18 titles, Lexi and “Winston,” a 2006 sorrel overo gelding by Thaks For Com En and out of Zippin In Charisma, are a force to be reckoned with.
“This is my fifth World Show with Winston, and it’s been a lot of fun,” Lexi said. “I know that he’s going to go out there and do his job every time. At first it was definitely a struggle to show him, but I think it’s really cool how much he’s improved and become such a seasoned and broke show horse.”
Together the duo earned world championships in Youth Hunter Hack and Youth Jumping as well as reserve world championships in Youth Ranch Riding, Youth 14-18 Trail and Youth 14-18 Working Hunter.
Samantha Gross of Underwood, Washington, and Vegas Made Me Do It have versatility down to an art. A true all-around team, Samantha and “Vegas,” a 2008 sorrel overo gelding by FPF Lethal Weapon and out of Almost Kissed, entered everything from working hunter to pole bending to Western pleasure at their first AjPHA Youth World Championship Show.
“Showing everything helps keep it real for me,” the 18-year-old equestrienne said. “It keeps me from having to think about winning all the time because fun classes break up my main events. In something like poles, I don’t have to worry about winning, just having a good ride and getting it done.”
Together the pair earned world championships in Novice Youth Hunter Under Saddle 14–18 and Novice Youth Reining 18 & Under, as well as a reserve world championship in Novice Youth Hunter Hack 18 & Under to top the standings of the Novice Youth All-Around title.
All-Around Youth Solid Paint-Bred
Halli Horsman of Shelbyville, Illinois, and Im A Lucky Asset made a splash at their debut Youth World Show. Halli and “Lucky,” a 2000 bay solid gelding by Frozen Assets and out of Miss Buda Twist, put their partnership to the test, competing in everything from speed events to Western Pleasure.
“We bought Lucky when I was seven years old,” Halli said. “I’ve worked with him in a variety of classes, and we’ve been working together for a really long time. We’ve done a lot of 4-H and open shows, but I really wanted to bring him here.”
Their hard work paid off, earning them a world championship in Youth Solid Paint-Bred Showmanship and reserve world championships in Youth Solid Paint-Bred Western Pleasure and Youth Solid Paint-Bred Western Horsemanship.
High-Point Power Performance & High-Point Western Award
Meredith Scroggs came to Fort Worth with a single goal in mind: to make a run at the Power Performance High-Point award. The horsewoman from Kelly, Louisiana, won the title two years ago in its inaugural year; last year, however, didn’t go as well as she would have hoped, so Meredith made it a year-long goal to polish her skills and try again aboard her stalwart homebred mount, Renos Cool Dancer, a 2004 blue roan tobiano mare by Vickter Too Cool (QH) and out of Renos Flamin Dancr.
A youth rodeo rider, Meredith worked on her roping technique in particular, logging long hours and late nights under the arena lights perfecting her dexterity with her dad and coach, James. The effort paid
off, and the 16-year-old captured world championships in Youth Heading, Youth Heeling and Youth Steer Stopping. Coupled with a reserve world championship in Youth Pole Bending 14–18 and thirds in Youth Barrel Racing 14–18 and Youth Stake Race 14–8, Meredith and “Dixie” captured 135 points—enough to easily snag the Power Performance High-Point and High-Point Western Youth titles, along with the Reserve All-Around Youth 14–18 award.
“We have a relationship that can’t be broken; I understand her and she understands me. And I knew I could fall back on all the nights we were out there practicing,” Meredith said. “I love the scholarships they give and all the prizes. It’s so much fun to come out here and see so many people from all over. There are no words to describe it—I am so thankful.”
Catch the complete coverage of the AjPHA Youth World Championship Show in the September results issue of the Paint Horse Journal. Subscribe, renew or extend your subscription before November 16, 2016, and you’ll be automatically entered to win exclusive prizes to celebrate 50 years of the Journal!
[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.]
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