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Youth flaunt horse skills in annual Team Tournament competition

By Mary Huddleston and Jessica Hein

The annual Youth Team Tournament, which took place June 28 at the 2017 AjPHA Youth World Championship Show, saw tough-but-fun competition from Youth all over the country in the spirit of camaraderie. Ultimately, though, Team Texas Spurs came out on top.

The Youth Team Tournament is the ultimate all-around challenge, comprised of three team-oriented events: performance-event classes, a knowledge relay and Jeopardy-style competition.

  • Performance Classes: Designated team members participate in five classes: Showmanship, Hunt-Seat Equitation, Western Horsemanship, Barrel Racing and Walk-Trot Pleasure. Up to two contestants per team may compete in any one class, and top-placing contestants earn points for their team’s overall ranking.
  • Knowledge Relay: Participants navigate through an obstacle course while performing a variety of horse-related activities. Each team consists of up to five members, and participation from each age group—including even the youngest Walk-Trot exhibitors—is encouraged in this fun event that emphasizes the importance of teamwork.
  • Jeopardy Competition: This portion of the contest puts team members’ horsey know-how to the test. Up to eight members per team compete together in a Jeopardy-style game show. Questions range from general equine trivia to AjPHA rules and everything in between. Test scores are added to the team points.


The competition tests participants’ horsemanship skills, horse knowledge and ability to work as a team. Members from the top team took home great prizes like gear bags, garment bags, gift certificates and more.

This is Felicity Martin’s first time competing in the YTT. The 10-year-old from Fort Worth, Texas, represented Team Texas in barrel racing and Jeopardy.

“She is super excited and has been loving it,” Felicity’s father, Darrel, said. “She has been carrying around flashcards for the Jeopardy competition with her everywhere and studying every day for it.”

The knowledge relay, one of the highlights of the event, showcased ultimate teamwork as the groups raced around a course of trivia-meets-physical-challenge tasks—they included labeling horse body parts on APHA mascot “DuPont,” a three-legged trail course, tack match-up and racing bounce horses.

The Top Five teams overall are:

  1. Team Texas Spurs
  2. Team Colorado
  3. Team Oklahoma
  4. Team Illinois
  5. Team East Coast


[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 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. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.