Sixteen countries, 14 teams, 50 horses and 62 competitors converged on the European Paint Horse Championships in Kreuth, Germany, to meet for the biennieal Youth World Games. When the dust settled in the Bavarian countryside, the United States reigned victorious.
“It was so awesome to watch this team win,” U.S. Coach Pat Trebesch said. “These girls have just been great. They rode terrifically and showed their hearts out.”
The U.S. team clinched the lead by five points, thanks to wins in horsemanship and showmanship, along with Top Five finishes in trail and hunt-seat equitation. The second-place team from Italy followed closely behind with Top Three placings in showmanship and horsemanship and trail.
This is the first year the Youth World Games have taken place outside of the United States. In addition to facilitating friendly competition, the Games allowed for the first-ever international AjPHA business meeting and helped to put the spotlight on Paints in countries with developing clubs.
“We have only scratched the surface on the Paint Horse’s international potential,” APHA Executive Director Billy Smith said. “The Youth World Games connects young, passionate riders with Paint Horses and likeminded peers, making it the perfect stage to foster the future leaders of our association and inject excitement for Paints into growing markets around the world.”
This international affair was no small feat, made possible thanks to the generosity of innumerable European members, APHA Director of Youth and Awards Christine Henry says.
“I cannot express thanks enough to our wonderful APHA members, volunteers and sponsors who came together from across the world to make this year’s Youth World Games possible,” Christine said. “This event truly takes a village to put on, and the global APHA family stepped up to make a huge difference in the lives of so many Youth who are, undoubtedly, the future of our association.”
Additional special awards were presented to recognize an exceptional horse and a gracious rider. France’s Lisa Gunsett was nominated by coaches and a panel of secret judges to win the Youth World Game’s sportsmanship award; Lisa receives a 100x custom hat by Shorty’s Caboy Hattery and a custom trophy designed and sponsored by Ellen Welten. Rods Chocolate Chip, owned by Dorina Berger, was voted the Most Valuable Paint by coaches and exhibitors. The MVP award is sponsored by Perri’s Leather.
Watch for the November 2016 issue of the Paint Horse Journal for complete coverage of the Youth World Games. Purchase, renew or extend a subscription today. For official show photographs, visit Figure Eight Photography.
Top Five Teams:
- United States
- Team United
Top Three Class Winners:
- Brooklyn Moch, Canada, riding Smalt Is Sensational owned by Mara Von Skopnik
- Lisa Gunsett, France, riding Hesa Classic Blue owned by Felicitas Knauer
- Simone Spadotto, Italy, riding Gonna Wonna Hint owned by Almut Kleintje
- MacKenzie Chapman, United States, riding Touch Of Dirt owned by Tiphaine Allard
- Tiphaine Le Bray, France, riding Docs Flaming Frost owned by AF M PM Willems-Winants
- Alice Dal Pio Luogo, Italy, riding SQ Spice Girl Lucy owned by Monika Hagen
- Christina Einsiedler, Germany, riding Rods Chocolate Chip owned by Dorina Berger
- Ivana Pallister, Team United, riding RJ Good Mr Zip owned by Renata Krenkova
- Adela Hvozdenska, Czech Republic, riding Coosa Chic owned by Nadine Chamier
- Amanda Nelson, United States, showing Hesa Classic Blue owned by Felicitas Knauer
- Luca Vittorio Cozzo, Italy, showing Touch Of Dirt owned by Tiphaine Allard
- Victor Kvarnstrom, Sweden, showing Leos Lucky Dizon owned by Anna-Lena Osterriede
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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. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.