2021 Scholarship Winners
$1,000 AAYHS Foundation scholarship winners
The All American Youth Horse Show has held a special place in my heart since the first time I attended in 2011. I didn't compete that year, as I didn't have a horse to compete with yet, but I helped hand out ribbons and supported my friends. I walked away from that experience with a dream of competing at the youth show, the first of many goals that AAYHS inspired me to set. I have competed at the youth show every year since 2013, showing three different horses in six different events, both in the pony division and in the horse division that are offered. In 2020, I competed at what became my last all American youth horse show virtually. My family and I made a whole day out of it at the barn, grooming, warming up, filming; It was a light in the midst of a dark time that I was thankful to have the opportunity to participate in. Of course, my yearly participation would not have been possible if it weren't for the youth shows ads/ sponsorship incentive, which made the show affordable for my family, and created a support system for me around my community.
Over the years, I have had both some of the best rides and some of the worst rides of my equestrian career at this show, and I can honestly say that I have walked out of the arena each time having learned something new. The All American Youth Horse Show was my first large scale event, and it taught me how to show through nerves, doubts, and frustrations. This show has absolutely played a huge role in making me the confident rider that I am today.
Even though walking out of the Coliseum with a long, blue ribbon in my hand is a great feeling, when I look back on my years that I have attended, this is not the highlight of Youth Show to me. My fondest memories in my showing career stem from the Youth Show: riding scooters around the fairgrounds with my friends between classes, visiting the Taco truck for lunch every day, cheering for my friend, Riley Geiger, when she was crowned Grand Champion Western Pleasure for the fourth year in a row, the quiet moments in the early hours of the morning before showmanship, spent just enjoying my time with my heart-horse, Stallone. The Youth Show means so much more to me than simply the ribbons that now hang on my wall at home. It represents, in my memories now, everything that made me fall in love with the sport of horseback riding to begin with. The laughs, smiles, cheers, hugs, and even the occasional disappointments are memories that I will cherish for a lifetime so thank you, AAYHS, for giving me a childhood that will not soon be forgotten.
I competed at the Youth Show in both 2018, 2019, and the 2020 online version of the show. My first year (2018) I placed fourth in the two foot equitation over fences on the horse I ride Wynnie, (aka Star of Wynn Dixie). In 2019, Wynnie and I won the two foot over fences division. Along with that, we took seventh in the two foot jumper class and fifth in the sixteen year old hunter equitation. Additionally in 2019, I also took Daisy (aka Bulldozer Daisy, a mule) down to the show. Together we placed fifth in the sixteen to eighteen Ranch Rail and 8th in the Ranch Trail. The All American Youth Horse Show was my first real “big show” experience. Before this show, the biggest and longest one I had ever participated in was our County Fair. This show has really taught me the true meaning of horse showing. From making new friends, to practicing the trail pattern at 2:00 in the morning, this show has given me some of the greatest memories. It's nice to win a ribbon but just being at the show allowed me to have the best time with my horses and barn family which means the most to me. This show also allowed me to show off how hard I've worked with my two “partners” throughout the year. Along with that, this show allowed me to show my mule (Daisy). I have been told not to come to some shows because she's a mule (and some people were saying mules should not be shown with horses). The show also offered so many more divisions and classes than my County Fair does. I felt I gained new experiences towards showing horses each time I came. This was my favorite show that my barn family and I would go to! I am really going to miss going each year and showing!
$500 AAYHS Foundation scholarship winners
My name is Karli Cutright and I am a graduating senior at Berne Union High School in Sugar Grove, Ohio. I first began showing horses at nine years old, however I never had the opportunity to show at the All American Youth Horse Show until I was twelve. Immediately, it became my favorite show of the year. I love Columbus, the show is so well run, and there is no better opportunity for kids to grow their horsemanship skills. The All American Youth Horse Show pushed me to perform at my best, and I am lucky to say that I had been blessed with many fond memories and great friends over the years. The show served as a bridge into the highly competitive American Quarter Horse Circuits that I long dreamed of participating in. Without the All American Youth Horse Show, I would not be the rider I am today. I have and will continue to encourage young 4-H riders to attend the All American Youth Horse Show in order to grow, meet new people, and learn from all the wonderful opportunities the show has to offer. Aside from the All American Youth Horse Show, I show the Ohio Quarter Horse Circuit, am an active member of Fairfield County’s Roughriders 4-H club and am the Community Service Leader of Rough Riders. I am a four year varsity basketball player for my high school and a National Honor Society member. I have been awarded Academic All League as a junior and have held a GPA of above 4.0 for all of my high school career. I plan on attending The Ohio State University and majoring in pre-med to become an optometrist.
As my youth career comes to an end, I would like to encourage everyone to enjoy every second of it. It will go fast! I will continue to enjoy the all American youth horse show with my younger siblings and watch as they achieve their goals in the coming years. 2021 is a new year, I wish all the youth exhibitors’ luck at this year's All American Youth Horse Show!
I am a 2020 graduate of Clyde Senior High School, a two year member of the National Honor Society, six year scholastic award winner, a member an officer of the FFA and member of the equestrian judging team. I was a college credit plus program student, attending Owens Community College. As a freshman I led another school's Ohio interscholastic horsemanship team OHA to a state championship. As a sophomore I continued to compete on that team, all while campaigning my school to create a team of our own. After a fair amount of convincing and presenting to the administration, they agreed, and the Clyde OIHA team was born. The next two years I led my own high school's OIHA team to back to back state championships.
Outside of horses and school I am also a lifelong member of Saint Mary's Catholic Church and was a CCD participant. In 4-H I was a 12 year member of the Kids, Pigs and Udders 4H club. Officer on Jr. Fair Board. I also enjoy tournament walleye fishing and am a six year member of the Western Basin Sportfishing Association. Some of the horse showing organizations that I am a part of are, a life member of the American Quarter Horse Association, life member of the American Paint Horse Association, OMIQHA, SOQHA, NOQHA, and OQHA.
As a member of the above clubs and organizations I participated in endless community activities. Volunteering at the monthly fireman's breakfast, hosting Wounded Heroes on Lake Erie walleye fishing trips, trail riding park cleanups, fairgrounds maintenance, repairs and arena preparation for many summers. I've assisted with 4-H ride nights, hosted clinics and served as a ring steward or gate crew for endless shows. I have held offices of nearly every club or organization I've been involved with. I am most proud of my accomplishment of getting the OIHA team established at my high school. Equestrian sports aren't easily accepted in our area, and certainly not from a guy, but we did it!
$500 scholarship winner sponsored by Rod's Western Palace
My name is Dominic Root, and I am a graduating senior at Northwestern Jr/Sr High School in Springfield OH. I have been a member of the Varsity Track and Field as well as Varsity Cross Country teams for my four years in high school. I have been an equestrian rider since 2013 where I began my journey at Apple Creek Stables. I will be attending college during the fall of this year to further my educational pursuits and majoring in criminal justice.
I have been showing at the All American Youth Horse Show for the past three years. Having the opportunity to compete in these shows were absolutely incredible and the feeling was unrivaled from anywhere else. The All American Youth Horse Show allowed me to not only further my riding capabilities but also help me make new friends along the way. I truly believe that this show was the catalyst that helped push me past my limits as a rider and allowed me to become even better than I ever could have thought.
$500 scholarship winner sponsored by Lori Gordon, Equine Services (Judge, Marketing, Equine Appraisals
I am a senior at Highland High School in Morrow County. I will be attending Midway University in the fall with a major in criminal justice. I will be riding on their Western Equestrian team. I showed at the All American Youth Horse Show for two years and wanted to show my Junior and Senior years as well. Sadly, that was not possible. The All American Youth Horse Show has meant a lot to me. I had previously only shown in 4H shows and a couple schooling shows the AAYHS opened up a whole new world. I have gained confidence and many fond memories. I have ridden in the Athletic Equestrian League, IEA (western and english), and YEDA. I am an honor student taking college courses and AP classes. I am involved with FFA (state rural soil judging team for three years and state forestry team for one year, State Degree) and 4-H (secretary, health officer). I was on the track team, pep band, in marching band, and the school trap shooting team. I work at two horse barns and help on the family farm. The All American Youth Horse Show will always hold a special place in my heart. Good luck to all future participants.