My name is Carleigh Todd and I am representing WVQHA in the All-American Quarter Horse Congress Queen contest. I am from Columbus, Ohio and grew up in Pickerington, Ohio where I graduated from at Pickerington Central High School. It’s a pretty decently sized town where everyone would always go to Circle K to get a polar pop after classes were let out. I chose to run for queen because of all the new people I would meet and opportunities that are given to me. I always remember watching the Queens contest during the NYATT awards and wanted to be just like them. I currently attend Columbus State Community College and help my parents manage our Dairy Queen store in Pickerington. I am majoring in communication and hope to get my teaching degree from The Ohio State University. My favorite horse memory has been being able to show horses with my best friend, Lauren Bussert. Being able to push one another toward our goals is something I will never forget. We also would eat a copious amount of uncrustables at every horse show. An interesting fact about myself is that I know every word to “All-Star” by Smash-mouth. I am excited to be running for Congress Queen and the experiences to come.
Michigan Quarter Horse Association
I am from Metamora, Michigan. Metamora is expanding commercially but is also well known as "horse country". It boasts of a very large fox hunt club that rides cross country courses throughout our neighborhood, two days a week, year round. Metamora abounds with state forests and beautiful inland lakes. There is something for everyone!
I decided that I would compete for the All American Quarter Horse Queen title when I was 5 years old; it was only a matter of growing up. So much of who I am was built through AQHA/MQHA and there was nothing more intriguing to me than the young woman walking around our shows with a crown on her cowgirl hat. I learned what it meant to be queen from each one of those young women, and I recognize what they did for me. I have always wanted to serve members of the association in the same way.
I am a full-time employee of the Genesee Conservation District, currently positioned as a Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program Technician. My job is to help farms of all sizes and commodities voluntarily prevent or minimize agricultural pollution risks.
I am also a Contributing Writer for gohorseshow.com, and the owner of Revitalized Saddles in partnership with my fiancé.
My favorite horse memory has been showing my horse, Mea Major Mito, from leadline to the amateur division. It took a lot of heart and ambition from both of us to stay competitive for so many years. There is no other horse I would have rather had beside me. He is now 25 years young.
2016 brought my biggest accomplishment- AQHA Honor Roll Champion Novice Amateur Hunter Under Saddle with my new partner, Finely Asleep.
Interesting fact about myself: I am one of 19 women that have been certified through the Quality Deer Management Association's Deer Steward 2 course.
Kendall Thyes- representing Wisconsin Quarter Horse Association. I am from a small town named Kimberly. In Kimberly we love our high school football and everyone in town goes to the Friday night games. Our high school football team has won 4 time state championships in a row. And we also have the longest winning streak in the nation- with winning 61 games in a row. I choose to compete in the All-American Quarter Horses congress queen competition because I want to be a role model for all. I started my riding career in 4H and now getting the representation to Wisconsin is an amazing opportunity and I hope to show that when you work hard you can accomplish anything. I am currently a freshman at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and am studying pre-nursing. One of my greatest horse memories is when I was 10 years old and I went into my first ever 18 and under showmanship class with 25 kids in it. I got 3rd place and sense then I have always loved competing in showmanship. One interesting fact about myself is that I love to read books. Horse's name- my horses name is named Clyde- "Keep the Focus" but I will be showing Robbie- "Pleasure Do N Business" at congress Ambition- To help those who need it Favorite Food- My moms homemade Beef stroganoff Favorite color- Teal blue Place I'd like to visit- Scotland, to see the Highland Games College Attending- University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
My name is Taylor Foster, and I am proudly representing The Indiana Quarter Horse Association.
I am from Aurora, Ohio, a small suburb of Cleveland. Growing up I never had less than two dogs, a cat, and an indoor rabbit named Flower. The horses came later. I lived a short, 5-minute drive to Sea World Ohio, where my mom happened to work, and my love for animals only matured. I grew up on a cul-de-sac in a neighborhood, playing kickball and capture the flag with my neighborhood friends. The lady who drove the ice cream truck had one of my school pictures hanging inside; we were on a first-named basis. I like to think that I was her best customer. Every morning in the summers I rode my bike to the neighborhood pool for swim team practice, following swim practice my dad would drive me to my Jr. golf league where I learned to play golf. My dad’s favorite hobby is golf, so he would take me to professional golf tournaments and we would get autographs from the pros such as Jack Nicholas, Tiger Woods, and Phil Mickelson. When I finally got old enough, I started going to a horse camp during the day where we got to brush horses, feed horses, clean stalls, and trail ride. I came home and would tell my parents that I thought the horses smelled so good. This is where it all began. Before my Freshman year in high school, we had to relocate to Zionsville, Indiana due to my mom’s new job opportunity. This is also the year that I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer (I have been in complete remission for almost 9 years!). I attended high school in Zionsville where I played on the basketball team, ran track, and was a peer in the Best Buddies program. After high school my family moved to Lebanon, Indiana in order to attain more land for our favorite pasture ornaments, horses. Even though I reside in Indiana now, I am still a die-hard Ohio State fan… go Bucks!
Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do. After getting involved with the Indiana Quarter Horse Association, I became an active youth member and was on the NYATT team for multiple years. I remember sitting in the stands in the Coliseum at the Congress with my fellow NYATT members, waiting for the NYATT awards presentation to begin. Before the awards took place, they would roll out a long red carpet, where an enthusiastic advocate from each association was about to gracefully walk down. As each individual award was presented to the candidates, their supporters would cheer for them from the stands. Finally, they would crown the next All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen. That’s when the chills would hit. It was at this moment, that I knew that I would want to be an advocate for my association one day-I just didn’t know when. Last year at the IQHA year-end banquet, I had multiple people approach me, telling me that I should run for Congress Queen and that I would be an outstanding ambassador for the Indiana Quarter Horse Association along the way. I felt honored that people would want ME to represent the association, and the amazing breed that we all have grown to love. I’m forever thankful to those individuals that had faith in me, and gave me that extra assurance. With that, I started studying, and talking to past queens about their experiences. The impact that they have made on the youth, the Congress, and the breed as a whole, is like nothing I’ve ever seen. So, here I am, with the help and support of my family, friends, sponsors, and furry companions, 6 years later after watching those presentations in the Coliseum, I’m proudly representing the Indiana Quarter Horse Association at the 51st All American Quarter Horse Congress. I’m finding out who I am, and I’m doing it on purpose!
I currently have a full-time job at The Dermatology Center of Indiana, working as a Patient Service Representative. I also work part time as a waitress at Parky’s Smokehouse, a family-owned barbeque restaurant. I never had any interest in traveling far away for college, and being away from my family and furry friends, but I knew that I wanted to continue my education. I am now a part-time college student attending Ivy Tech Community College, where I am able to take all of my classes online, which has allowed me to continue doing what I love, showing horses!
My favorite horse memory actually has nothing at all to do with me. We all have that one special, “once in a lifetime” horse. For me, she came early on. FSF Hot N Sonny, aka Mocha. As a youth, I showed her in walk trot, and then in 13 & under. When a friend asked me if her 7-year-old son, who is a challenged rider, could show her, without hesitation, I knew Mocha would be the horse for the job. She quickly taught me the positive impact that horses can have on peoples lives. As soon as he would take the lead, she would drop her head to his level and she knew that she had to take care of him. She gave him purpose, she gave him confidence, and I will never forget how his face would light up as he would trot into the arena. When I think back on my favorite horse memory, this one tops the charts. Mocha is 22 years young, and has more than earned her retirement and endless amounts of grass. And as for her forever friend, he is still involved with horses to this day.
I feel blessed to have followed in my mom’s footsteps, as she was the 1978 Indiana Quarter Horse Queen. I’m also an avid dog lover, I enjoy long walks down the barn isle, and I believe that wearing a strong piece of jewelry gives you extra armor; which is why I only wear jewelry on days ending with “Y”.
I am Michelle McDowell, and this year I’m representing the Michigan Great Lakes Quarter Horse Association. I am from a small town in Michigan called Wayland, which is situated halfway between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. Wayland is a small rural hometown with a population of approximately 4,000 people, which hosts many great community events to support local business. The people of Wayland are neighborly and kind which was the best way for anyone to grow up. I knew that I wanted to compete in the Queen Contest from the time I was twelve years old and was inspired when I met Queen candidates at my first All American Quarter Horse Congress. The candidates exemplified grace, intelligence, and true horsemanship. I am currently attending Grand Valley State University studying to be an elementary teacher, and working part time at a child care center and as a substitute teacher. My favorite horse memory is competing as a collegiate rider at the IHSA Nationals in 2016, where I garnered the high score in both the horsemanship and reining portions of the competition to win the AQHA High Point Rider award. One interesting fact about myself: I was invited to compete at both the Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show and the NRHA Derby in their collegiate riding competitions, giving me the rare opportunity to draw a world class horse to ride at these amazing events!
Name and Association representing:
My name is Tiana Domingos and I am proudly representing the Ontario Quarter Horse Association
Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about your hometown?
I am from a small rural town called Erin, Ontario. It is a very equine enriched town with a large Hunter Jumper community! (which is the discipline I started riding in!)
Why did you choose to compete for the title of 2017 All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen?
I was the Ontario junior princess in 2008 and since then it has been a goal that I have set for myself to accomplish!
Are you currently in school? Employed?
I graduated this spring from Police Foundations and I am currently in the process of applying to be a Police Constable. I work part time for Nike Canada.
What is your favorite horse memory or accomplishment?
My favourite horse memory is definitely placing top 10 at the Congress with a horse that I prepared myself! The second part of this memory is that I now have a yearling filly out of this mare that I am very excited to show!
Share an interesting fact about yourself:
I have enjoyed working as a seamstress for the last five years and I made my own skirts for the Queen contest.
My name is Aubrey Braham and I am proud to represent my home state as the Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association Queen. I was born and raised on a horse farm in Grove City, PA, which is an eclectic mix of a rural college town. I decided to run for 2017 AAQHC Queen after watching Lauren Harrington's journey to the title from the very beginning. She was my favorite youth advisor growing up and has always set a shining example to all young girls that know her. It is my greatest wish to be able to follow in her footsteps. I am currently a junior at Slippery Rock University majoring in Statistics, and I am also the 2017-18 Co-Captain of the SRU Western Equestrian Team. Showing AQHA, IHSA, NCEA, and IEA has shaped my life, and I have a plethora of incredible memories and accomplishments of my years in the show pen. One of my favorite memories was showing on an NCEA Division 1 team at Delaware State University. I am proud to say that I was undefeated at home, and had the opportunity to compete against large schools, such as Auburn University, Oklahoma State University, and Texas A&M University. Not many people know this about me, but I am lucky enough to be the fourth generation to live on my family's horse farm.