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Arabian Youth Nationals Enters Second Decade

The Youth National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show will celebrate its 11th anniversary when it returns to Expo New Mexico July 20-26. The Arabian Horse Association (AHA) of Aurora, Colo., produces the weeklong event that features top-level horse show competition, a commercial trade fair, silent auction, annual youth convention and many exciting activities.

This year's show will feature approximately 1,000 horses from the United States and Canada competing in 104 classes. Competition starts Sunday, July 20 and runs through Saturday, July 26 and is open to the public. Classes run from 8 a.m. through 10 p.m. each day and are divided into morning, afternoon and evening sessions. Admission to all performances is free for the duration of the show. Last year's event drew 8,000 spectators and economic impact to Albuquerque was estimated at $7.4 million.

Horse show competition and activities are open to youth, defined as competitors up to 18 years of age. Prizes such as saddles and bridles will be awarded to competitors in select classes. The Arabian Horse Youth Association (AHYA), which makes up 12 percent of AHA, has 5,000 members in the U.S. and Canada. AHYA will hold its annual convention Saturday July 19, the day before the show starts, at Expo New Mexico, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The convention features speakers, committee meetings, seminars and a general assembly where the 2003-2004 AHYA officers will be elected by delegates from the youth membership.

In addition to the convention and horse show, the event features a silent auction to benefit AHYA, including items such as an MD Barns® round pen. A trade fair with more than 70 booths offers tack, equestrian gifts, clothing and jewelry. A stick horse workshop and contest is open to toddlers up to 6 years old who can build a custom Arabian stick horse creation and compete with it the evening of Monday, July 21. Admission to the stick horse contest is free to the public and prizes will be awarded to all participants.

Competition during Finals Night, Saturday, June 26, features competitors going head to head in Ladies Side Saddle Western, English Pleasure, Park Horse and the third annual Freestyle Reining jackpot class, which has proven to be one of the most crowd pleasing classes at Youth Nationals. This event combines fast paced reining moves, grandstanding antics and outrageous costumes as exhibitors compete for the top spot and the loudest audience applause.

The third annual dog costume contest and dog race will take place Tuesday, July 22, adding humor and fun to the week's events.

A novice horse judging contest, Friday, July 25, is open to everyone, and prizes will be awarded to participants whose scores most closely match those of a professional judge.

A Hippology contest Thursday, July 24, offers all participants, including adults, the opportunity to test their equine knowledge about horse anatomy, nutrition, physiology and tack.

AHA's corporate partners include: Arabian Saddle Company, Inc., Equisure, Inc., MD Barns Inc., Pfizer Inc., and MBNA.

The Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau, Enterprise Rent A Car, Garduños Restaurants, Golf Tournaments, Inc., Paint Rock Designs, Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown Hotel, Show Season, The Dannon Company & Wal-Mart, Ventura Farms, Western Tradition and Zia Graphics are this year's event sponsors.

The AHA press office is located in the Creative Arts Building, at the AHA Booth. Press passes, show programs and current class schedules are available here, as are tentative class and special events schedules. Show results can be found at The media is welcome to cover all events.

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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