AQHA-NZ youth programme

AQHA-NZ youth programmeThe AQHA-NZ runs a very active programme for riders 18 and under, including the opportunity to travel overseas to train and compete in both the Youth World Cup and the Australian Challenge.

Good sportsmanship, unequalled competition, team spirit and lots of good fun have made these events that teens look forward to as a highlight of their Youth career. 

AQHA-NZ Youth Development Programme

The squad meets four times a year in school holidays for training and other activities. Whether you have your sights set on the World Cup or the Australian Challenge (in which case you must be a squad member) or just want to improve your riding skills and have fun, this is the place to do it.

What is it? 
The youth development programme (known as the youth squad) has been developed through the AQHA-NZ for all youth, regardless of age and location, who own and ride a quarter horse. 
To provide training and development opportunities four times per year to youth riders at different locations throughout New Zealand. These have predominantly been in the North Island due to the majority of its members being in this location. 
Can anyone join? 
This programme is open to all youth riders aged 18years and under who own (have their quarter horse in their name) and ride a quarter horse. 
AQHA-NZ youth training programmeWhat does the programme offer?
* Great new friendships and team building activities. 
* Four training and development weekends throughout the year. These weekends are always the middle weekend of the school holidays with the youth camp being held early January for all youth to attend (members and non-members). 
* Quality training techniques by professional trainers and ex-youth who share their knowledge and experience to improve the riding ability of the youth. 
* Opportunities to represent New Zealand both within New Zealand and overseas. 
* To be part of a dynamic and enthusiastic group of youth working towards bettering their riding skills and abilities in all areas of Western Riding. 
How much does it cost? 
A fee of $100 per year will include all of the above. There is a small additional cost of $15 for the youth camp in January due to extra time and costs. Fees are payable by September 1st for the year. 
Can I come and see before I join? 
Any youth are welcome to come to any of the weekend meets and see what the youth are involved in. There is a cost of $25 for the weekend and if you join, this will be deducted from the annual fee. 
Contact: for any enquiries or questions, don't hesitate to contact the Youth Director

Qualifying procedures for 2011 Australian Challenge and/or 2012 AQHA Youth World Cup (these events are independent of one another)
Criteria for selection eligibility for these events are as follows:

  • Membership of the AQHA-NZ for the 2009-2011 years for Australian Challenge and for the 2010-2012 years for the World Cup
  • Payment of $100.00 by 1 September 2010 - cheques payable to AQHA-NZ and mailed to the youth director with your name, address, birth date and phone number
  • Requirement for 2012 World Cup: You must nominate yourself for the YWC 2 years prior to the event, by 1 September 2010 with a nomination fee of $150 to be paid.
  • Member of the Youth Development Squad by 1 September 2009 for Australian Challenge or 1 September 2010 for World Cup. In the case of injury or illness to your horse it will be necessary to apply to the AQHA-NZ for dispensation and make every endeavour to lease a horse and show it for the remainder of that season
  • Compete at the 2010 & 2011 AQHA-NZ Quarter Horse Nationals for the Australian Challenge. Compete at the 2011 & 2012 AQHA-NZ Quarter Horse Nationals for the World Cup
  • Compete in a minimum of two youth events in each of at least five AQHA-NZ approved shows each season, in addition to National Shows on your own registered Quarter Horse
  • Attend at least 75% of Training Squad sessions per year. There will be a minimum of four weekend sessions per year including the QH Youth Camp held at Taupo in January.
  • Those chosen to represent NZ are to attend all training sessions prior to departure to the Youth World Cup

The selectors wil carry out interviews, look at leadership skills, your ability to ride unfamiliar horses, ability to work within a team, social and physical maturity, toughness and general fitness, commitment to the Quarter Horse and AQHA-NZ and your riding success throughout the two years prior to the World Cup.

If eligible for selection for the World Cup team, you will be interviewed at the QH Youth Camp in January. At the camp you will be expected to ride a variety of horses to show the selectors how well you can manage your mounts.