Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - The National Reining Horse Youth Association Conference debuted during the 2001 NRHA Futurity and the first-ever NRHYA officers were elected.
According to NRHA Youth Activities Director Alex Drenning, the conference, held on November 30, took place in the NRHA Office building in Oklahoma City, and over 60 youth and volunteers attended.
Brett Wall of Salt Lake City, Utah, has served on the NRHA's Youth Committee for two years and was one of the volunteers. "This is long overdue. The kids are excited and they want to be involved and if we continue to provide support, this program has no limits," he said.
Wall, a former President of the Intermountain Reining Horse Association, got involved with the youth program through the affiliate finals which were held in Salt Lake City. He's excited about the future for the NRHYA and urges others to become involved. "It's a great program. Our goal is to provide a forum for youth to show and be recognized and rewarded and to give them the opportunity to pursue further education through reining."
Kyle Johnson of Portland, Connecticut was elected NRHYA President, and the 2001 USET Youth Rider Reining Gold Medalist is very enthusiastic about the future of the NRHA's youth program. "I would like to make NRHYA soar to new heights," he said. Johnson will also chair the NRHYA Activities Committee.
Katie Bohr of Holdrege, Nebraska is the new NRHYA Vice President and the Chairman of the Scholarship Committee, as well. Treasurer and Chairman of the Fundraising Committee is Brian Beard of Navasota, Texas and Lindsay Williams of Sand Springs, Oklahoma is the Secretary and Publications Committee Chairman. Sentinel Jacque Roberts of McCook, Nebraska, rounds out the list of officers and will also serve as Chairman of the Promotions Committee. Officers will serve a one-year term.
During the NRHA Futurity, attention to the new youth program was visible and generous. Fundraising efforts were especially lucrative as National Reining Horse Association members showed their support of the new youth program.
According to President Johnson, the goal in the Silent Auction and Stallion Auction was to raise $14,400 in scholarship funds for the 2002 Youth Team Tournament competitions. The auctions far surpassed those expectations and raised over $35,000. Breedings to six stallions, donated by Jim Blumer, Curran Farm, McQuay-Arrighi, David Silva, Debra Sloan, and Kim Sloan, brought in over $17,000. They were purchased by Frank Costantini, Mike Hancock, Buck Hazledine, Nancy Mercurio and Marc and Tamara Wagman.
And the future is looking bright for the new organization, according to Alex Drenning, who commented, "The officer team is in the planning stages for a new youth incentive program, a new rider program, and new fundraisers and activities for the Derby and Futurity. "