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2020 All American Quarter Horse Congress to Host Two Draw-Based Youth Competitions

COLUMBUS, OH - For the first time, The Ohio Quarter Horse Association (OQHA) is proud to announce that the All American Quarter Horse Congress (AAQHC) will host two separate Western youth draw-based competitions beginning with the Youth Equestrian Development Association (YEDA) on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 and Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) on Thursday, October 8, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio.

With this partnership, OQHA will cross-promote with YEDA and IEA in a variety of methods that will benefit all three organizations to reach their goals.

We are excited to partner with YEDA and IEA,” said Dr. Scott Myers, CEO of the Ohio Quarter Horse Association. “Education and youth development are at the forefront of what we do.  These partnerships will not only benefit our organizations, but more importantly, help expand the horizons of young equestrians everywhere.  We’re looking forward to working together to offer even more opportunities to youth.”

Both YEDA and IEA utilize a draw-based method of competition, whereby riders are given an unfamiliar mount to compete on without the advantage of warm-up time. Since the horse is new to the rider, the scores are based upon horsemanship and equitation and each organization offers a variety of ability levels from beginner (walk-jog) through advanced. 

"YEDA is excited to introduce our student riders to the All-American Quarter Horse Congress, the premier event for equestrians,” said Ric Weitzel, YEDA Chief Regulations Officer. “Because of our divisions, YEDA gives riders of all abilities and experience levels a chance to show horses. Along with showing, YEDA gives riders as early as the 4th grade a chance to earn scholarship dollars through the Scholarship Incentive Fund (SIF) program.  In the first 4 season YEDA has paid out over $140,000 in scholarships. Through this partnership with the AAQHC YEDA riders get to be a part of the largest single breed horse show on the planet. This firsthand experience will give them the opportunity to be lifelong members of the equine community. YEDA is very thankful to the OQHA for this chance, and we are beyond excited to have our YEDA student riders be a part of the All-American Quarter Horse Congress!”

Giving our western IEA riders the ability to show during the Congress is a fantastic opportunity for them and our organization,” said Roxane Durant, IEA Co-Founder and Executive Director. “We have long appreciated the work done by OQHA to promote youth riding programs in Ohio and beyond and are thrilled to participate in this inaugural event.  While some of our Western members own their own horses and show at large breed shows, for a vast majority of them, this will be their first experience on a stage of this magnitude.”

The All American Quarter Horse Congress is the world’s largest single-breed horse show, with 25,000 entries in 2019. Held at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, the show attracts 650,000 people, and generates over $409 million in the central Ohio economy. The All American Quarter Horse Congress is hosted by the Ohio Quarter Horse Association, a state affiliate of the American Quarter Horse Association. 


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About YEDA
Youth Equestrian Development Association, Inc (YEDA) is a program that encourages development of riders’ skills, emphasizes exposure to scholarship opportunities, and encourages making connections with college programs.
We have several levels of riding from Elementary (4th and 5th grades), Jr. High (6th through 8th grades), and Sr. High (9th through 12th grades). These levels will include a walk-trot category to develop beginner students. There is an additional class offered for Alumni members. The Alumni class is a rail and pattern class combined. YEDA also have classes for Equestrians with Disabilities. There are two divisions, Amber (walk only) and Topaz (walk/jog). Each division will have an independent and an assisted class, riders can choose which division/class is best for them. All EWD classes have rail work and a pattern.

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About IEA
Now entering its 19th year, the IEA has over 14,500 members across 46 states riding and coaching Hunt Seat, Western and Dressage disciplines. The non-profit (501(c)3) IEA was organized to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction available to middle and secondary school students in grades 4-12 and is open to public and private schools and barn teams. There is no need for a rider to own a horse because the IEA supplies a mount and tack to each equestrian for competitions.  Each season, student riders have the opportunity to earn thousands of dollars in scholarships toward their college education through awards in competition and through sportsmanship activities. In 2001, the IEA established the Benevolent Fund to assist riders and coaches in need through programs such as the IEA Financial Assistance Program and the IEA Coaches Assistance Grant. 

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Danielle Stephenson, Ohio Quarter Horse Association,, 614-505-7200 

Ric Weitzel, Youth Equestrian Development Association,, 216-346-1312

Kimber Whanger, Interscholastic Equestrian Association,, 614-542-9415