AQHA Youth World Cup
14/07/2023 – This year the AQHA Youth World Cup was scheduled for June 29 up to and including July 8 at the Bryon-College Station in Texas (USA). This international event is hosted every two years by a different country. Scheduled were Cutting, Reining, Horsemanship, Ranch Riding, Trail, Western Riding, Hunt Seat Equitation, Hunter under Saddle and Showmanship. This year 17 teams were present: Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, team Nordic (NOR/FIN), team United (GBR/AUT/SWE/BEL/SLO), United States, South Afrika and the Netherlands. The selflessly provided horses are allocated to the teams by draw and on the days or hours (Reining and Cutting) prior to the competition clinics are offered.
The NQHA Youth team was formed by Kevin Holthuijsen (18), Esmee Vermeeren (17), Anne Luitjens (17), Saartje Witters (12), coach Jamie Verkerk and manager Natascha Holtrop. Jamie: “I have been part of the NQHA Youth team myself and that’s just super cool. I already had plans to attend the show and then by coincidence the NQHA was looking for an assistant trainer for their Youth team. I applied and once we sat around the table, the job of head trainer and coach was offered. I accepted that challenge with great enthusiasm. To get the youth accustomed to different horses – all trained differently with different skills – I let them ride each other’s horse during the training sessions and I also let them ride my own horses to get accustomed to Reining and Cutting. Once at the Youth World Cup Natascha and me tried to combine the skills of our team members with the skills of the horses available per discipline and I would say we pretty much succeeded in that. We are super proud and it was a lot of fun. On behalf of the team I would like to thank everybody who made the participation possible.”
The NQHA Youth team did pretty well. The number of entries in each discipline was varying from 30-50 and per discipline and 15 combinations were placed. The Dutch youth placed in Cutting (Esmee 8th), Reining (Esmee 3rd), Trail (Kevin 4th), Ranch Riding (Kevin 13th, Esmee 15th), Showmanship (Anne 12th, Saartje 15th) and to top it off, the 12-year-old Saartje guided the 8-year-old mare Ruby Kruze [The Krymsun Kruze] made available by Candie Scott White to the first place in Hunter under Saddle. Ruby Kruze has a quite impressive show record. What drives an owner to selflessly provide a horse without knowing which hands are going to be at the reins? Candie: “In 2018 I donates my gelding Any Given Moment. He was with team UK and it was a great experience. Ruby is a very kind and forgiving horse and I knew the youth would have coaches and only be able to ride at specific times. My trainer is Nancy Cahill and she was the team USA coach and so I knew there would be eyes on Ruby and that she would be in good hands. I very happy for the Dutch riders that they did so well with her.”
In the final rankings the Netherlands placed 9th. Gold went to the USA, silver to Australia and bronze to Germany.
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