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News

Alaska Quarter Horse Association Youth Visit Congress For First Time

October 20th, 2016

By: Barbara Aitken

When the average person thinks of Alaska, the first thought generally is not American Quarter Horse country. But it’s just that—good horse country.

Rusty Spurs Ranch in Anchorage, Alaska strives to have quality all-around horses. Stacy Minker and seven others traveled from the West Coast to Ohio Thursday to experience the All American Quarter Horse Congress for the first time. The group included Stacy’s daughters Taylor and Savannah, Karen Erickson and Sheila Aikey and her daughters India and Aaliyah. All but two show competitively in Alaska Quarter Horse Association shows and the rest take lessons in all-around disciplines.

They normally rely on training videos, YouTube videos of AQHA World Show and Congress Champions, to learn methods of training and showing.

As for shows, the average size per class is 8-10 exhibitors. “We have good horses, though,” explained Stacy. “We have good horses and good riders. I think that if we work hard enough, we can be competitive enough to compete at the Congress.”

According to Taylor, Savannah, Aaliyah and India, the goal is to actually show at Congress in the next few years.

Alaska Horse Show Association has four 3-day shows a year. They strive to get judges who are willing to give a clinic before or after a show so they have hands-on experiences with top-notch professionals.

“I hope this trip to the Congress will open these girls’ eyes so that they know there are opportunities to show outside of our state.”

During their visit, the Rusty Spur girls plan to shop (because some of the merchandise cannot be shipped to Alaska), meet trainers, attend lectures and demonstrations, and watch the horse show. The girls especially love the bling both in and out of the show pen.

Stacy described their Congress experience so far as “full of opportunities,” “encouraging,” and “exciting”.

If this year’s enthusiasm is any indication of the future, there is no doubt that these young equestrians will someday ride through the Congress gates.