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Ashley Young Named AHA Youth of the Year

Ashley Young, of Elk Grove, California, was named the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) 2002 Youth of the Year for her contributions to AHA, personal achievements and community involvement. As Youth of the Year, 17-year-old Young will have the opportunity to represent the Arabian Horse Youth Association (AHYA) as an ambassador of the Arabian breed, making appearances at the 2003 AHYA Convention and Youth Nationals. Youth of the Year award recipients are selected from AHA youth members across the U.S. and Canada.

“I was very surprised to win the award because I knew how many talented youth were nominated this year. It was wonderful to win and such an honor,” says Young.

An active member of her local club, AHA of Northern California, Young is serving her second term as the youth president. In this position she works tirelessly on the club’s schooling shows hiring judges, ordering ribbons and volunteering her time. One of her main objectives as the club’s youth president is to get more youth participating in horse show administration.

Young began her involvement with Arabians eight years ago when she fell in love with an unbroken grey Arabian gelding named SLS Revelation+// (RA Maraz x Amnesty). After purchasing the gelding with her birthday money, Young and “Rever” started jumping together, earning multiple titles at the regional and national level in the working hunter and jumper divisions. At the 2002 Canadian Nationals, the pair earned championships in Arabian Jumpers ATR, and Hunt Seat Equitation over Obstacles and top tens in Hunt Seat Equitation Not to Jump and Arabian Working Hunter. Young’s success in 2002 enabled her to achieve the Rider of Honor designation in the AHA Amateur Achievement Award program.

“I love jumping - both the speed and height are such a rush. In jumper classes, they are able to maneuver much faster than the big warmbloods. I enjoy working with Arabians. They are so athletic and intelligent. They have great hearts and wonderful minds,” says Young.

In addition to the 20-25 hours Young spends each week with her horse, she keeps busy with FFA programs and activities. Young competes on an FFA Farm/ Business management team in contests that test participants’ knowledge of farm management principles such as budgets, taxes and farm accounting. Young takes part in many FFA community service activities such as collecting for food drives, organizing special holiday activities for special needs pre-school children and fund raising. In September of 2002, Young helped organize a field day to give Sacramento area third graders the opportunity to learn and interact with farm animals.

Young’s love of horses and interest in equine business has influenced her high school coursework and career planning. At Elk Grove High School, Young maintains a 3.8 GPA on a 4.0 scale with science and agriculture concentrations. In the midst of her junior year, she is looking at universities with strong equine veterinary programs.

Young plans to continue her involvement with Arabian and Half-Arabian horses in the future. She looks forward to exhibiting at 2003 Youth and Canadian Nationals with her Arabian SLS Revelation+//. Later this spring she anticipates the arrival of a French Anglo-Arabian her family purchased. Eventually, Young would like to show on the Grand Prix jumper circuit or at the Olympics with an Arabian or Half-Arabian.

AHA is a 40,000 member equine association that registers and maintains a database of more then one million Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses. It administers more than $4 million in annual prize money, produces national events, maintains official event records, recognizes more than 400 Arabian horse shows and distance rides and provides activities and programs that promote breeding and ownership. For information about Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses, call 303-696-4500, e-mail or visit


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