Kelsey Dorka, Ohio Quarter Horse Association

Name and association representing:

Kelsey M. Dorka

The Ohio Quarter Horse Association

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about your hometown?

The city of Chardon, Ohio is located approximately 10 miles south of Lake Erie within the infamous “snow belt” of the Great Lakes and averages 107 inches of snowfall annually. Chardon is also known for its maple syrup industry. The Geauga County Maple Festival takes place on the Chardon Square at the end of April each year – weather permitting! Numerous recreational parks make it easy to participate in different outdoor activities suitable for every season. Additionally, just a short drive from the shores of Lake Erie makes Chardon an ideal neighborhood for water sports enthusiasts. In addition to each of these features, growing up on a family-owned and operated cattle farm certainly kept me occupied in this quaint community.

Why did you choose to compete for the title of 2017 All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen?

When I was 13 years old, I attended my very first All-American Quarter Horse Congress. I can still vividly picture the state quarter horse queens, with their mesmerizing sparkly outfits and huge, curly hair. This initial encounter is a memory I will forever cherish, for at that very moment, I vowed that I would someday become a “horse queen” so I too could wear glitzy outfits and have a shiny hat crown just like those queens I witnessed that day so many years ago. As I grew older, the dream to become a “horse queen” never subsided, but my goals evolved into a more career-oriented focus. That is why my purpose in running for Congress Queen has become so much more important for me, now that I truly appreciate what the Congress Queen icon is meant to represent. Not only is the Queen an ambassador and professional representative of the quarter horse industry, but the Queen is a role model to younger generations of equestrians. Being Congress Queen is not a self-serving affair, but rather an opportunity to give back to an organization that has given me so much to be thankful for, and in addition, being Queen also comes with an inherent responsibility of inspiring the next 13-year old who dreams of becoming Congress Queen someday, just like I once did.

Are you currently in school? Employed?

I am a third year Doctor of Pharmacy student at the University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. When I am not attending classes I work as a pharmacy intern at Shaffer Pharmacy.

What is your favorite horse memory or accomplishment?

I am fortunate enough to have several fond horse memories from over the years, largely contributed by my 4-H experiences. The highlight of my senior year of 4-H was when I was named Grand Champion in the Western Horsemanship class at the Ohio State Fair with my beloved quarter horse gelding, Outlaws Payday.

Share an interesting fact about yourself:

Each Spring, my family produces Pure Ohio Maple Syrup on our 16-acre farm.