Abigale Kuntzleman, Great Lakes QHA


Abigale Kuntzleman (Abby) was born on the 6th of September 2000, to the parents of John and Elizabeth Kuntzleman. She began her journey with equine at the age of 4 years old, working with a Jessie Meyers; a dressage trainer. Early on things were hard she found herself living in a separated home. During highschool she decided to move out and begin working as a mechanic at a local repair shop and a research technician for Michigan Ag Research to pay for her horses. All while attending school, maintaining a 4.0 GPA, being an NHS member, as well as being a chapter and regional FFA officer all four years. Abby has become a strong image for many young children through her establishment of the Power of Positivity (POP) a self run non-profit that she started in highschool. Her focus with POP was to encourage kids to step out of their comfort zone, build relationships and work on self empowerment. She met weekly with hundreds of students, and performed activities helping them to improve the vulnerable areas in their lives. After highschool Abby moved to Oklahoma to attend Oklahoma State University where she is studying Agricultural communications and plant and soil sciences. She spends her free time tending to horses and dancing at the local dance hall. She also enjoys building lifted trucks, perfecting her makeup routine and being the best french bulldog mom in the world. Abby has grown to love the state of Oklahoma but truly believes her heart resides with The Great Lakes. With the support of her family and friends she is confident that she can and will achieve great things this coming October. Making it this far has been a personal achievement because of the amount of time, effort and money she had to personally put forth to ensure her spot at Congress. Abby’s road to the queen contest has been a rocky one from training her own horses to buying her own show clothes. Throughout her struggles she fought for the one thing she loved. Her hope and tenacity proved strong she has won many titles such as two reserve state championships , and several circuit championships. Abby’s success was built due to her ability to persevere through the hard times knowing that one day no matter what it would be worth it. Being a Congress Queen has always been a dream of hers and she cannot wait for the journey ahead.

Kimberly Hill, Eastern Ohio QHA

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I was raised in Dresden, Ohio by my loving and supportive parents, Keith and JoAnne Hill. I spent the majority of my time outside with my horses while my older brother, Kris, could be found on a soccer field. Luckily, he was 10 years older than me, so our family could support both of our passions (soccer and horses). I showed the all-around in 4-H, at open shows, and at local AQHA shows as a youth. Where the horse show was you could always find my family and close friends supporting me. 
As I grew older, my love for all animals continued. My mother and I share the same love of animals, especially horses, still to this day. I currently have two wonderful, hairy childnren -- a standard poodle named Lucy and a 3 year old quarter horse named Boogie. They are spoiled rotten. 
    Upon my graduation from Tri-Valley High School, I moved to Oxford, Ohio to attend Miami University. I graduated from Miami with a degree in Early Childhood Education and a self-designed thematic sequence in Kinesiology with a focus in Physical Activity in Society. I was also very active in my sorority, Kappa Delta, all 4 years. I was fortunate enough to become Kappa Delta's recruitment chair my senior year of college. 
    After graduation, I landed a job at Conesville Elementary (within the River View Local School District) and moved back home. Fast forward three years later... I am still at Conesville and teaching kindergarten. I absolutely love my job, the kiddos, and my co-workers. I would not change it for the world! 
    Outside of work, I am actively involved with Eastern Ohio Quarter Horse Association. Several of you may know me from being the Youth Director for EOQHA last year and again this year. I am in charge of our NYATT team as well as the youth points. I have come full circle in EOQHA, as a youth I spent time as a youth director as well as the youth president. I am so proud and honored to be representing such a wonderful asssociation that I have been a part of for so long. I will be sure to make EOQHA proud as I present them this October as their 2019 Congress Queen Candidate.

Hannah Menchhofer, Indiana QHA

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To start my story, I am Hannah Menchhofer, the fortunate daughter and oldest child to Chris and Jennifer Menchhofer. Born in a small town outside Indianapolis, Indiana where I spent my first few years growing up in hay fields. In order to be closer to my extended family, my father, mother, and brother (Garner) packed out things, traded hay fields for corn fields, and moved to Brownsburg, Indiana. The town that is home to the original family homestead granted in 1835. 
The first family home was paradise for a little girl in love with anything animal related. A small white picket fence, farm house, a barn full of my parent's horses, surrounded by a few acres of land just big enough to get lost in the hay fields on my pony. My first steps were not on the ground like a normal toddler, but rather on the back of my mom's retired show mare. As the story is told by my Nana, (father's mom), she came to the house and was there just long enough to witness a 4-year-old girl attempting to immitate her father working his horse. She leaned over to my mom and said, "You know you guys are going to have your hands full with that one." That was the beginning of my love and passion for horses. The spring before entering first grade, my father, mother, and brother packed our things and settled in Brownsburg, Indiana. With both parents holding full time positions, the homestead became my daycare for after school and summer vacations while other children went to camps and traditional daycares. I grew up learning responsibility, perserverance, and dedication the hard way. Carrying water buckets from the house to the barn in the winter because of the frozen pipes and cleaning the horses' stalls everyday including holidays. The saying "you eat after the animals are asleep" was ingrained in my mind. But even that young, I loved the farm and enjoyed the work ethic that came with it. 
Growing up, I had a very fortunate experience of spending the weekends at the horse shows, learning through the fence and watching pleasure horses jog around the arena. Then finally came the day when it was my turn! At a small localhorse show I had finally begged enough that I was allowed to lead in my dad's retired roping horse into a halter class. All I had to do was follow my mother with her halter horse with my aunt trailing behind with another halter horse to help navigate around the arena. Who would have known that the old roping horse would ever win? They call it beginners luck, yet I knew I had to find some way to get back into the arena. Not long after the show a trailer with two little ponies pulled into the farm. One for me, Miss Princess, and the other for my cousin. 
Miss Princess had never loped under saddle which I thought was perfect because neither had I; or so I thought. As expected, it was rough but she taught me that even when it may seem impossible, you can overcome any obstacle. As time went on, we began to compete in local open shows and eventually went on to hold the record for flags at the county fair. As much as I loved her, it became prevalent that I needed a show horse that could perform the all-around events and to be competitive at the breed levels. That's when my second partner came along. A paint horse, Levi, that was as stubborn as a gelding could be. I am forever grateful for Levi, taking me to my first world championship show as a 13 and under. Even with the busy schedules of volleyball, cheerleading, and youth leadership involvement, Levi consistently showed and proved to me that my true passion was with horses competing, not on a court or stage but in an arena of dirt with only one four-legged partner. When I reached high school, I decided that I wanted to not just visit the All American Quarter Horse Congress, but to compete. So we decided to retire Levi and put sports to the side. 
One of my early memories involves sitting in the collesum at the All American Quarter Horse Congress, watching older kids perform a horsemanship pattern, trotting down the center; being dazzled by the queens and the gorgeous outfits. Spectating in amazement as horse after horse performed at the highest level. I was determined to reach that level one day. My parents found a mare that we thought would be the one. I worked every day I could with her. She loved horsemanship and equitation. As we were prepping for the Congress, a freak accident forced that dream to be put on hold. I was coming close to entering college, so as a family, we decided to breed her with the hope of having a two or three-year-old after my time at Purdue University.
Purdue University was home to some of the best and worst times in my life. I was fortunate enough to ride on the Western team where I eventually became captain during my junior and senior years. Leading the team to our first hi-point in close to 10 years. While at Purdue, during my freshman and sophomore year, I found myself coping with grief. One of my best friends in the Quarter horse world lost her life unexpectedly to a motorcycle accident. Our family lost an uncle and grandfather to cancer within that same year. Coming into the spring semester of sophomore year, I learned that my mother was diagnosed with kindney cancer. Watching and supporting her during her time of recovery inspired me to go after my dreams. The greatest lessons that she taught me was to never give up and stay strong. Times are going to get tough and it might seem impossible, but if you continue to persevere and carry yourself with grace and confidence, no dream is too great. 
For unknown reasons, both Mares lost their foals during the late trimester for two years consecutibely. It became a priority to find a Quarter horse that would take the place of my first show mare. We stumbled across a gelding, Dash, with the exact same personality as levi. With only a few months under our belt, Dash and I entered to compete at the 2018 All American Quarter Horse Congress. After experiencing the congress once, I decided it was time to fulfill the second part of that dream. To compete for the All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen title. You see, my mother was the 1988 Indiana Paint Horse Queen and I have always dreamed of following in her foot-steps, yet in the breed that I love and cherish the most, AQHA. Come June 2019, I was fortunate enough to win the title of 2019 Indiana Quarter Horse Queen! As the Queen, I wanted to make the most of my time representing IQHA and to support all levels of horsemen. This largely included attending youth camps and 4-H programs in order to better educate the youth and to give back to the programs that have shaped the person I am today. 
I am so incredibly grateful for all those who have helped me along the way. For my mother and father for always supporting me in all that I do. As my family says "When times get tough, the tough get strong" and make sure you enjoy the ride along the way! Against all odds, I was able to obtain a Bachelors of Science and plan to be part of research to better improve the horse industry. The AQHA industry has given so much to my family, and in response, I plan to do all that I can to better the lives of those around me.

Sabrina Turner, Louisiana QHA


Third - generation horsewoman Sabrina Turner is a Master’s student at the University of Alabama where she works as a graduate assistant in the Master of Advertising and Public Relations program. Prior to attending the University of Alabama, Sabrina graduated Summa Cum Laude from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. Sabrina plans to utilize both of her degrees to pursue a banking administration and public relations career upon completion of her master’s d egree. The twenty - two year old daughter of Neal and Elizabeth Turner from Gulfport, Mississippi, is actively invested in the American Quarter Horse Association . Since the 1960 ’ s, her family has bred, raised, trained, or shown American Quarter Horses. In fact, Sabrina’s late maternal grandfather served AQHA as a national director and official AQHA judge. Sabrina’s mother, Elizabeth Turner, showed at the national level and collected numerous accolades throughout her youth career; including, a third place fini sh in the reining at the All American Quarter Horse Congress and multiple placings at the AQHYA World Show. Sabrina’s dad, Neal Turner, avidly supports all of her horse endeavors. He developed his love of horses f ro m Sabrina’s paternal grandfather who was a long time member of the Arkansas Racing Commission. Her parents enjoy traveling with Sabrina to AQHA circuits and watching her compete. For them, horse showing is the ultimate family event they enjoy together. Since the young age of 5 years old, Sabrina has owned and shown several American Quarter Horses in a multitude of events throughout her youth career and continuing into her amateur career. Altogether, Sabrina has competed in sixteen different events throughout her showing career ; her ultimate goal i s to compete in every AQHA class at least one time . Presently, Sabrina shows her gelding SuddensGotNoSneakers in the all - around events. The team has been together for three years, and this team has earned multiple awards such as AQHA Open Champion; AQHA Am ateur Champion; superiors in horsemanship, showmanship, and performance halter; and AQHA Amateur Performance Champion. While an abscess sidelined the team for most of the summer, the duo is back together and pursuing more goals for this year. Sabrina has three special memories from her showing career which will always hold a place in her heart. First, she cherishes her first appearance at the Congress where she won third place in the Novice Youth 13 and under Showmanship with a mare she trained for this ev ent. Second, she treasures her final youth world show where she made the semi - finals in the ever - competitive youth showmanship with her self - trained mare. Finally, she will always remember her victory lap for her Rookie Western Riding Championship in Oklah oma City and her championship picture under the Gateway of Champions . Sabrina looks forward to furthering her showing career in years to come and achieving many more American Quarter Horse r elated goals. If crowned the 2019 All American Quarter Horse Cong ress Queen, Sabrina would focus on educating the public on the equine industry while also promoting the Congress, the Ohio Quarter Horse Association, and A merican Quarter Horse Association . Additionally, Sabrina would work to increase the number of youth a nd adult volunteers at AQHA sanctioned Equestrians with Disability events because of the close connection she has developed with the Equestrians with Disabilities program. Finally, Sabrina would ensure the future of the Congress Queen title and competition by making a personal connection with everyone she meets just as the 2011 Congress Queen made with Sabrina during her first time competing at the Congress .

Katelyn Clapp, Michigan QHA

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“The horse girl” has never been an unusual phrase given to adolescent girls who were involved with horses, and like many others, my peers started calling me this at a very young age. However, being born and raised in a suburb just outside of Detroit meant that throughout my childhood I was usually the only person my peers knew who had any connection to horses. My parents gave me a wonderful childhood filled with the best of both worlds‐ going to the barn and riding horses, playing with livestock, and getting down and dirty in the mud, all while getting to come home to the city. My love for both the country and the city has not dwindled, as I have continued to ride and show horses, and chose to attend a university in the inner city. The good fortune of being able to appreciate the beauty and openness of the country and fall in love with the hustle and bustle of city life has shaped me into the adult I am today.
I have two of the most incredible parents, Kimberly and Thomas, as well as an older brother and sister, Trevor and Ashley, a bonus sister with my sister‐in‐law Jenna, and a brand new nephew, Charlie. While my siblings and I were growing up, my parents were always carting us back and forth all over God’s creation, as my brother played travel hockey and my sister and I showed horses. My parents have always been immensely supportive of all of my passions, including the most expensive and time consuming: horses. My mom has always been my number one fan (and referee when needed), attempting to make it to every horse related event she possibly could, while my dad prefers to attend the “special events” and holds down the fort at home most of the time we are away. A never‐ending impact has been made on me by having such a close and loving family, and it is not taken for granted.
I attended the University of Detroit Mercy in an accelerated business program. I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance in December 2015, as well as a Master in Business Administration in May 2017: finishing undergrad and graduate school in just 5 years. Throughout college, I worked for Merrill Lynch as a Client Associate for four years on a wealth management team. After graduation, I was hired at Daimler North America Corporation (Mercedes‐Benz) as a Liquidity Management Analyst in their Treasury Department, where I have been now for over two years. On a day‐to‐day basis, I manage the short‐term cash liquidity of Daimler’s US and Canadian portfolios, as well as handle corporate finance activities like Profit & Loss Analysis, M&A Activity and Dividend Payments. Additionally, I am one of a few lead volunteers for a cystic fibrosis foundation called Rock CF, volunteer heavily in 4‐H activities, and have coached a High School Equestrian team for 8 years after the 2019 season.
My passion for horses started from the beginning, as my sister had a horse when I was born, and my mother rode growing up. Throughout my adolescence, I showed all sorts of animals in 4‐H and open shows, from cows to rabbits, however horses were always my priority. When I graduated high school, I made it my goal to show on the Quarter Horse Circuit. This goal came to fruition and I have now competed successfully nationally‐ earning year‐end awards with MQHA and OMIQHA, achieving top placings at the Congress and the NSBA World Show, as well as becoming Champion and Reserve Champions at the AQHA Novice Championship Show. In 2017, I was crowned the 2017 Ohio Michigan Indiana Quarter Horses Association Queen. While competing in the 2017 Congress Queen’s competition, I won the Congress Bronze in the Interview, and placed well in both the Horsemanship and Test Portions. I knew my road to Congress Queen was not over, so I knew that I had to come back this year: but representing my home association, the Michigan Quarter Horse Association, as their Queen.

Claudia Marie Morgan, New Jersey QHA

My name is Claudia Marie Morgan and I am 22 years old. I currently live with my parents, Scott and Gail and three brothers Brian, Hunter, and Alex in Jackson, New Jersey. I am enrolled at Monmouth University with a Major in Biology and Chemistry in their Pre-Veterinary Program. In my summer months off from college, I take online classes in order to get my Veterinary Technicians certification through Penn Foster University. 
Ever since I was younger, I have had a love for all animals, especially horses. At the age of nine I received my first horseback riding lesson and a few months later my parents had bought our first horse. In 2015 after 12 years of dance lessons, I made the decision to leave my dancing school to further continue my hobby of horseback riding. I knew how important it was for me to further educate my career to become a veterinarian, and being with horses would allow me to do that. From the first time I had sat on the back of a horse, they have been the center of my world. Presently my family owns and takes care of 14 horses, in which seven consist of Quarter Horses. 
When I am not at home, working, or studying, you can most likely find me at the barn either riding or managing the care for our horses. I typically ride or have a lesson on a daily basis with my riding instructor, Martha Rahming, who I have been with ever since I started riding in 2005. My lessons are usually twice a week and consists of different riding styles that range from English, Western, English Dressage, Western Dressage, Gymkhana and Hunter Jumping. 
In 2016 I became a member with New Jersey Quarter Horse Association after the purchase of my first Western Pleasure Horse, Good Kind of Lazy. Since then I have been trailering south to Cape May to train with Gary Weeks twice a week. In October of 2017, my family purchased two more Quarter Horses, a yearling named FlashNtheDark from the Congress Super Sale with the intent for my instructor Gary Weeks to train him as a new Western Pleasure Horse for me along with Hes Natural a five-year-old Hunt Seat in a private sale at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. 
I feel, my biggest accomplishments in both my life and my riding career so far have been being the 4-H Equestrian of the Year for Ocean County in 2015, as well as being the 4-H State Runner-Up Equestrian of the Year in 2015. I also have had the opportunity to attend World Vets and travel to Nicaragua in 2017 and 2018 to help give back to the community by taking care of owners beloved animals and pets. Because of my strong knowledge of the equine species, I was given the opportunity to be the treatment team coordinator for equines on both trips. For the past three years, I have had the opportunity to be a volunteer as an Ocean County 4-H Leader in which I teach 4-H members Hippology and Horse Judging for the New Jersey State 4-H Competitions. Many of my members have qualified for the New Jersey State 4-H National Round-Up Team. My biggest accomplishment in my riding career was learning that I was 17th place in the Nation for American Quarter Horse Level 1 Amateur Trail. My most recent and I feel the most important accomplishment was being crowned New Jersey Quarter Horse Queen this past June. 
I believe that I am a great candidate to represent American Quarter Horse as the Congress Queen because of the positive impact that I may have on younger children in the equine industry based on my personal horse involvement. By being Queen I feel that I can possibly be the inspiration for younger girls to ascent in their own personal horsemanship and apply to be an All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen. All an individual needs is a goal, a plan, and the motivation to work hard. The amount of people that the Queen can have an impact on, especially those who are young and new to the Quarter Horse world is astounding. Hopefully if I am chosen as queen, I may be able to impact younger children to want to join a Quarter Horse Association in their own state.

Jessica Crozier, Northern Ohio QHA

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My name is Jessica Crozier. I am twenty years old and come from a suburb of Cleveland called Berea Ohio. When I was beginning kindergarten, my family moved to Olmsted Falls, Ohio. I went to grade school through my junior year of high school at Olmsted Falls City Schools. I finished my high school career at Buckeye High School in Medina, Ohio. Valley City, Ohio is where I currently live.

Before I was even born, horses played a part in my family. When my Mom was a child, her father, my Grandpa Neil, introduced her and her siblings to the Quarter Horse industry when they were young. He bought them a Quarter Horse, CC’s Joe, and took them to visit the All American Quarter Horse Congress as spectators. As many adults, my Mom focused her energy elsewhere, and didn’t have horses when my parents met. I wasn’t really born in the horse atmosphere, my first exposure was riding the ponies at the county fair and from then on I was hooked and there is no turning back!

Throughout childhood I played many sports, including basketball, t-ball, softball, volleyball, golf, and tennis with the help of my Dad who coached me through all of them. When I was 7, I started taking pony lessons at a local farm. When I was nine, I got my first horse, a Quarter Horse, and the other sports took a back seat to my true passion.

In my youth I showed local open shows and was a member of Medina County 4-H. I have also been involved in showing AQHA in Ohio since 2013 from 2018. During that time, I was a member of Northern Ohio Quarter Horse Youth Association, was a director, and was on the Congress NYATT team for multiple years. When I aged out of Youth, my main show horse was retired. I wanted to stay involved in showing, and the opportunity came up to run for NOQHA Queen. I jumped at the opportunity, as it is allowing me to not only be involved in the organization that has given me a number of opportunities, but also allows me to enrich my degree and experiences while studying.

Currently I am attending Cuyahoga Community College and transferring credits to Baldwin- Wallace University next year majoring in Finance and minoring in both business and communications. Commuting to school allows me to take care of my horses at home, and work alongside my Dad at Cleveland Financial Group. I’m currently an administrative assistant, and plan to follow in his footsteps and hope to be as successful as he is one day. Right now I am focusing on my scholarly studies so I can get into the financial business and enjoy showing horses when established.

I am so honored to represent Northern Ohio Quarter Horse Association as their queen in this remarkable competition to become the coveted All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen. The All American Quarter Horse Congress has always been a special place for me even as a child. I always say it brings an inspiring feeling like Christmas to the soul. The feeling in the air is just indescribable.

Alexis Taylor, Ohio QHA


The true value of showing and owning a horse was engraved into my mind and heart during my childhood years on a small, family owned farm in Grafton, Ohio. Day after day, my mother and father continuously train horses while maintaining full time jobs, which is an inspirational lifestyle that I have grown through and been inspired by my whole life. I take great pride in knowing that all that all our successes are from the self-discipline each one of us possess that spark our determination and efforts. From the moment I was born, at a horse show I might add, my days were spent in the saddle. As an infant, my mom and dad would pass me back and forth from horse to horse as I sat in front of whomever was not showing in the next class. When I was four years old, I received a Shetland pony, my very first, whose name was “Pretty.” We spent all day riding, but when I was not in the saddle, she would stand tied to the horse trailer on a lounge line, eating grass all day, or she would patiently wait in her corner of the tack room, not touching a thing. 

As I grew too big for my childhood pony, my parents gave me the second-best gift I could have ever received, a Haflinger pony named Buster. Patience, hard work, and gratitude were just a few of the countless values Buster taught me. He and I spent hours working together and competing at 4H shows, where our dedication was rewarded with multiple Grand and Reserve Champions. Even though I began my career on the Quarter Horse Circuit after my successes with Buster, I continued to show 4H and the fair because it was the beloved place that held life long memories and never-ending laughter. 

My parents’ lifestyle in the Quarter Horse industry was and still is something I love because they breed horses, but it does have the downfall of having to say goodbye to the horses who leave us. The most heart wrenching departure was letting go of a 4-year-old gelding named “Ain’t Life Sweet,” commonly called Dudley. Dudley was born, raised, and trained on our farm by my parents, but they had made the decision to sell him because he was too much horse for a little 12-year-old girl to handle. As we began a search 5 years later for an over fences horse, we stumbled across Dudley, so, naturally, we bought him back. I truly believe that what is meant to be will always find a way, and that is precisely what happened with the partnership of me and Dudley. Throughout our journey, Dudley and I had the honor of winning titles that include Reserve World Champion, Reserve Congress Champion, and multiple World and Congress top 10 awards as well. It is so humbling to work with a horse that was bred, raised, and trained by three amateurs who love the horse more than the accomplishments. 

Aside from always being at horse shows and participating in equine related activities, education is also a key component of my life. I graduated in May of 2018 with an Associate of Applied Science and a Degree in Veterinary Technology, and I strive to work in a research facility to uncover lifesaving treatments for both humans and animals. I plan to continue my career in research until I am of age to become an AQHA judge. 

My Year as Ohio Quarter Horse Queen has really opened my eyes to the opportunities that both OQHA and AQHA can provide. One very important lesson that I would like to leave for future generations of young ladies as well as Ohio Queens to follow is that, we are more than just pretty faces: we all have the capability and resources to inspire and promote the concept to all equestrians that they all will succeed, they all will be rewarded, and they all will have us to support them. These ideas, these values that are rooted in my lifestyle from the day I was born, are something I plan to continue if I am given the honor of earning the prestigious title as the All-American Quarter Horse Congress Queen. 

Kaitlyn Jackson, Ohio Michigan Indiana QHA

Hailing from Collins, Ohio near the shores of Lake Erie, I live with my parents, Keith and Jackie Jackson, and my older sister, Chelsea. This small, rural community can have its challenges, but one of the ADVANTAGES I experienced was the ability to graduate from high school with college level credits; this spring-boarded me to Tiffin University where I completed my Bachelor of Business Administration degree in three years instead of four. During my time as a Tiffin University Dragon, I represented Gamma Chi Alpha Sorority as secretary, and competed as a Varsity member of Tiffin's NCAA Division II women's track and field team as a Pentathlon and Heptathlon Athlete. Currently, my employment with Cargill Inc. has led me to interesting and challenging assignments in the Salt and Road Safety Division as a Sales Account Manager. My responsibilities have allowed me to explore the Salt Mines underneath Lake Erie (Ohio) and Lake Cayuga (New York) and travel extensively in the eastern U.S. 

My life-long love of and experiences with horses began at the age of 5, when my parents bought my first pony, Freckles. I began to take lessons and compete in local shows, attending my first All American Quarter Horse Congress shortly thereafter. I can still remember the excitement and awe of seeing the horses, the classes, and the Congress Queen display. What little girl could walk by that and not be entranced? Right then and there I told my mother that I wanted to be the Queen. My mother told me that I had better start practicing now, because it would take a lot of work to reach my goal! I never gave up on that dream, and I am so proud to represent the Ohio Michigan Indiana Quarter Horse Association at the 2019 All American Quarter Horse Congress. 

I have been very fortunate to have excellent role models, trainers, and mentors from the equestrian field and all walks of life that have guided my development in becoming the person I am today. Living on a small farm, my sister and I have always been able to have our horses at home. The responsibility of caring for a horse taught me love, patience, respect and developed a work ethic that has contributed to my successes as a track athelte, equestrian, and career woman. As a family, many of our best memories involved showing livestock and horses through the 4-H program. When our 4-H experiences continued, my sister and I decided to volunteer as 4-H advisors, sharing our experiences with other children from our area including the development of a new 4-H club, The Silver Spurs. We are in Huron County, Ohio and our fair is the second week of August in Norwalk. As an advisor, it is a humbling experience to share in the fun and excitement of learning new things from the children, sitting as tall as they can in the saddle where I once sat as a young girl. There is not a better life experience to build confidence and self-worth than working daily with your horse and showing at the county fair or Quarter Horse Congress, no matter what your level of horsemanship or experience. I have been privileged to bring my past experiences, and to embody the positive characteristics of my mentors and role models during my journey as the OMIQHA Queen and I look forward to continuing my journey at the All American Quarter Horse Congress!

Heidi Nelson, Ontario QHA

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My name is Heidi Nelson, and I am a charismatic 24 year old who is honoured to be representing the Ontario Quarter Horse Association as their 2019 Queen. I grew up in rural, southwestern Ontario with my parents, Scott and Colleen, and my younger sister, Madeleine. My mom is a dental hygeinist, while my dad owns and operates an electrical contracting business. My childhood centered around strong family values, an appreciation of the outdoors, and an early love of horses. By the age of seven, I proudly started horseback riding lessons as a Christmas gift from my family and I have never looked back. Since then, both of my parents have gotten into horses to varying degrees as well: my mom enjoys trail riding and obstacle courses, while my dad has recently gotten into cutting. We are fortunate enough to spend every day alongside our horses as we keep them on our own 100 acre property. We appreciate riding together as a family whenever our busy schedules allow, both in the arena and out on the local conservation area trails. As for myself, I enjoy a diverse selection of events, which is why I am so drawn to the American Quarter Horse. I initally began riding western pleasure and all around horses, eventually moving from the walk-trot classes to the more advanced Youth classes at my local Quarter Horse shows. As an spirited and ambitious youth rider I entered everything event I could, amassing points in 11 different events, all on one type of horse! As I grew as a horsewoman, I began to favour classes that include patterns to showcase the partnership of horse and rider, as I felt these were most fitting to display the bond I work to achieve with my teammates. Recently, I’ve been focusing on the reining as I had an opportunity to breed and raise a colt while I studied at university. I now have a wonderful gelding who I not only get to feed treats to on a daily basis, but a teammate who I know inside and out of the showpen. I love to spend my time creating truely versatile horses; more than once I have been known to throw an english saddle on my reiner to practice my hunt seat equitation. I have competed at some of the major shows, including the IHSA Nationals, the All American Quarter Horse Congress, the AQHA World Show, and the AQHYA World Show on multiple different horses and in multiple categories of events. The elegance of the competition at these high-level shows never ceases to amaze me. The horses, the horsemen and women, dedication, and knowledge is inspiring and humbling at the same time. I graduated in the spring of 2018 from Western University (London, Ontario) with a Bachelor of Science, a Specialization in Food and Nutrition, and a minor in Psychology. During my time at Western, I competed enthusiastically with the university’s IHSA Stock Seat Team, making lifelong friends while being able to compete throughout my education. Furthermore, I was a member of the Western Triathlon Team, completing daily workouts and determined to stay strong for when I would be able to spend more time in the saddle. In June of 2015, I started as a summer student at Parmalat Canada, a large dairy processing facility in Mitchell, Ontario. I have spent the past 4 years taking on every opportunity in the packaging and quality departments, most recently accepted a position as the HACCP and Quality Systems Coordinator. On a daily basis I act as a representative for the Company during regulatory and customer inspections, develop quality systems, keep food safe and delicious for consumers, and lead research studies for the continued improvement of dairy products in Canada and abroad. The close-knit atmosphere and core values of the dairy industry mirror the values I was raised on: ambition, engagement, and simplicity. While horses have always been my main hobby, I also enjoy spending time with my family and being around all sorts of animals. I have always been an energetic individual, which undoubtedly suits the Canadian lifestyle. In the summer months, I can often be found riding a bike, hiking a gorge, out for a run, or playing in a waterfall with my canine best friend, Meg. In winter months, I like to cross-country ski, snowshoe, snowmobile and build snowmen with carrot noses. I feel strongly about giving back to my local horse community, often volunteering at local saddle club shows on Saturdays to help the members prepare and support them in their classes. I save up old show clothes, ribbons, tack and equipment to donate, as well as assist in fundraisers to give back to the youth in these clubs who might need help getting their start in the horse industry. As the 2019 Ontario Quarter Horse Association Queen, I have strived to continue being an inspiring spokesperson and role model for the Quarter Horse industry in Ontario. I hope to spread love, passion, and respect for the Quarter Horse, its diversity, and its association to as many people as possible.

Kylie Good, Pennsylvania QHA

I am from the small town of East Berlin, Pennsylvania where I live on small farm with seven horses that decorate our fields year-round. My family consists of my mother, Denise Good, who has taught me nearly everything that I know about horses, my father, Jeffrey Good,who has wholeheartedly supported me in every aspiration I had within this industry, and my sister, Kaitlyn Good, who has been my lifelong best friend. My grandparents, Robert and Janet Godfrey, have been my biggest fans in every desire I have had within the equine industry. For my entire life, the All American Quarter Horse Congress has been the highlight of every October. My grandparents anticipated this event because they could watch their grandchildren compete on their American Quarter Horses, and enjoy the exhilarating western atmosphere of the show. My grandmother would start packing her suitcase for the show in July just so she would be ready to leave in October. Every morning at the show, my grandfather's favorite thing to do for my sister and I was to buy us the mouthwatering Sweet Shop cinnamon rolls, buy himself a pecan roll, and then return to our horse trailer and eat them together while my grandmother drank her Lipton tea. It's a small memory, but one that is the epiphany of the Congress. The Congress was an event that brought my family together, and it is the location of some of the fondest memories I have with my family. 

I have shown Quarter Horses all of my life because of my mother's involvement in showing at AQHA shows. In 2014, I attended my first Youth Excellence Seminar where I found my passion for leadership. In 2016-17, I was elected as a Region 5 Director, and the next two years in 2017-2019 I was the AQHYA First Vice President. My involvement in AQHYA taught me valuable career skills, developed my leadership skills, improved my public speaking skills, and provided me with an incredible network of mentors and friends. My fondest memories from my experience in AQHYA include planning Region 5 Conferences, meeting horse crazy youth from around the world at the Youth World Cup, and participating in community service projects that changed the lives of people in need. I just recently retire from my position as First Vice President in July at the Bank of America Youth Excellence Seminar which was bittersweet. I am blessed to have been part of something that made my goodbyes so difficult, but I cannot wait to embark on my next journey competing for the All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen. I plan to continue to advocate for the future of our industry, the youth, and represent our incredible association. 

Looking back at my 7 year old self walking into Congress Hall and meeting the elegant, poised, and graceful Queen Contestants in their glittering outfits, and getting goosebumps as they crowned the beautiful Congress Queen, I am proud to say that I have achieved those wild dreams that little girl was dreaming of. Little did I know all those years ago, that my passion and excitement for the Queen Contest would lead me down a journey that would eventually present me with the opportunity to represent my state, Pennsylvania, in this spectacular competition. I can't wait to embark on this journey, and I wish the best of luck to the rest of the contestants.

Carla Carfora, River Cities QHA


I can remember being 6 years old, dragging my grandmother, Bettie, to the Queen’s booth at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. The notion of one day being that beautiful, genuine, well-rounded woman with the crown and sash has stuck with me from that fateful day. I took some time to grow and become the woman I am today, and all the struggles I have faced have lead me to becoming the best version of myself, and the version that I would like to represent as the All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen.

Growing up in the small town of Gallipolis, Ohio, I inherited my passion for the American Quarter Horse from both sides of my family. At 16, I was elected President of the Palomino Youth Association (PHBA-Y), making me the youngest Youth president in PHBA’s history. During my year as president, I worked diligently with youth, amateur, and open exhibitors to promote the growth of the Youth Scholarship Fund and the Challenged Horseman program. Though I was very successful showing as a youth (with five PHBA world titles under my belt), I believe my greatest accomplishment as a youth was my sportsmanship and compassion for my fellow competitors.

I was blessed to receive a scholarship to ride for Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College as the Team Open Horsemanship rider. Through that experience, I not only grew as an equestrian, but I grew and matured as a person. I was honor to receive a Reserve National Championship in the Team Open Horsemanship in May of 2019, as well as two IHSA Semifinals Championships in Reining and Horsemanship (respectively). My favorite memories are not only those that ended in victory, but also those that ended in the embrace of a teammate when didn’t bring home a blue ribbon.

I developed my platform of Don’t Deflect- Detect! Breast Cancer Awareness and Early Detection after the passing of my grandmother, Bettie, in 2015. When she passed from stage 4 breast cancer, I fell hopeless and alone. From that day, I dove into giving back to cancer patients and survivors within my community. I have volunteered at and promoted several Relay for Life activities within my community, and had the opportunity to participate in three Susan G. Komen walks, each allowing me to speak to survives, fighters, and loved ones about Breast Cancer and their journeys. It is imperative that we educate the young people of our country to “Don’t Deflect- Detect!” Becoming the All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen would allow me to spread this concept to a wider audience. I would relish the opportunity to present this discussion to so many new people, both in and out of the horse industry, and the title of Congress Queen would allow me to do just that.

Sarah Beth Felker, South Carolina QHA

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My name is Sarah Beth Felker, and I have the privilege of representing the South Carolina Quarter Horse Association. Growing up in Cross, South Carolina on my family’s farm sets the background for my equine career. Now that I am 19 years old, I have been riding and showing for almost thirteen years. My horse show career began in 2007 in the Small Fry division at the SCQHA shows. With the help of my uncle, John Kunkle, a professional horseman and AQHA Judge, I have increased my riding abilities and continued to show throughout my childhood.

My time in high school was filled with academic clubs as well as riding in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA). I was the Vice President of the Key Club and participated in the National Beta Club, National Honors Society, and Spanish Honors Society. Additionally, I served as the South Carolina Quarter Horse Youth Association President for three years.

Currently, I am a sophomore at St. Andrews University in the honors college where I am majoring in Equine Business Administration and minoring in Spanish. I proudly ride on the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Western Team as an Open division rider, which is the highest level of competition, as well as competing on the Hunter Seat Team and the St. Andrews cheer team. A goal of mine is to complete my MBA in my time at St. Andrews University. In my free time, I work at the St. Andrews Equestrian Center and enjoy volunteering at our school’s Ride Like a Knight Therapeutic Horsemanship program which helps special needs children increase their flexibility and balance, raise confidence, normalize muscle tone, and enhance social skills. It would be a dream come true to one day establish my own Nonprofit Therapeutic Horsemanship program.

Whitney Teeter, Tennessee QHA


Showing the American Quarter Horse is so much more difficult than it appears on the television and movie screens. It is not a montage of one major down, a month of intense practice leading the individual to major victory. The journey the exhibitor embarks on is similar to driving through the Smokey Mountains, it is compiled of winding, unexpected turns, massive inclines and major tunnels. Yet one aspect that the movie screens portray accurately is that the horse showing career is so much more than winning shining trophies and colorful ribbons. It is the small achievements along the way, the real prize is not the materials but rather that the relentless hard work finally paid off. Every exhibitor in the AQHA has a story about their journey, including myself. Through my journey, I realized that I would be honored to represent the Tennessee Quarter Horse Association at the Quarter Horse Congress Queens pageant.

My name is Whitney Teeter. When I began my American Quarter Horse showing journey, it began by watching the Hillbilly Classic. I remember sitting there enthralled watching all the competitors, I dreamed that one day that could be me draped in rhinestones and sparkles showing my American Quarter horse. After that show I was hooked all I wanted was to make my AQHA show debut and was prepared to embark on this daunting journey. My first show horse, HKS Cool Sonny, would not be considered a typical show horse and my grand father gave 1,000 dollars for him. He was stunning to say the least since he was a muscular sorrel covered in chrome. I remember grinning ear to ear upon seeing him. Sonny truly took care of me while navigating the arena filled with competitors and he taught me a multitude of lessons. Sonny taught me grit and how to fight. He taught me how to trust in him and was always by my side no matter occurrence. The greatest lesson though was to appreciate the small victories as much as the major ones because you are always better than when you started. My first debut was rough to say the least, if I was not last place then it was a great day. Its comical now as I reflect, the first time applying a fake tail was at an AQHA show and we were too embarrassed to ask for help. That poor tail was wrapped in so much electrical tape, I am not sure if a tornado could have removed it. Yet one of the reasons, I did not quit my journey is due to the friendly faces at the Tennessee and Kentucky Quarter horse shows. They constantly encouraged me seemingly knowing the rider that I would soon become. The journey from the bottom was tough but then I met my current horse trainer Amber Darnell. She believed in me when no one else did and she enabled me to reach the potential that everyone else saw. She introduced me to Clifford and made a horse and rider duo that no one believed in to a force to be reckoned with. Yet even as my scores and abilities improved the members of the Tennessee Quarter Horse Association were genuinely happy for me.

My humble beginnings in the show horse world provided me with an experience like no other. Hard work and dedication pays off. To achieve my goals, I would practice in my front yard with my porch lights allowing me to ride in the dark. I would ride until my legs were blistered so that I could get that skill or nail my pattern. I would read every article and watch videos so I could have the best knowledge. Also starting at the bottom, made the small and large victories mean more because you remember the difficult journey that you made. I remember winning my first circuit championship and I cried I was so proud. I could not believe that I finally did it that I was at this point in my journey. My dreams were finally coming true. This journey developed my horsemanship skills. I learned a lot of the mechanics behind creating an amazing horse and how to correct problems in the arena. These problem solving skills have enhanced my adult life because it made me very quick on my feet.

Mariah Sherer, Tri-State QHA

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I am Mariah Sherer , and I love science. From my youngest days I’ve had a certain gift for discovery. In pictures from the family photo album I’m always showing something to the camera – an ant, a spider, a chicken. Science fascinates me. This spring I graduated magna cum laude from The Ohio St ate University with a double major in chemistry and life sciences. Currently I am attending Kent State University for a Master of Arts in teaching. W hen I had the opportunity to work in classroom and tutorial settings, I discovered it was even better to be able to teach it. As a future teacher, there’s nothing like seeing that wonderful “Aha!” moment of understanding in the eyes of another person. Becoming a high school science teacher combines my love of science and education. Several summers ago, I took a herpetology course through Stone Lab on Lake Erie. This class involved population research with the Lake Erie water snakes. It was such a great experience for me and connected me to science as a student, I want to pass this connection and passion for co nservancy to my future students. This year I am returning as the 2019 Tri - State Quarter Horse Association Queen. I am the Youth Advisor as well as a member of the Board of the Tri - State Quarter Horse Association. It’s exciting to encourage youth and fur ther the industry through their involvement. During my time as Q ueen, I have built priceless relationships between people I have met while volunteering at Quarter Horse shows and encouraging younger riders to move forward with dreams to show in the Quarter Horse circuit. One of the experiences that stands out was attending the Level I East Championships for the second year. The enthusiasm for the American Quarter Horse is energizing and demonstrates the commitment to the breed and our industry. My family has been incredibly supportive of my love of horses , as they have been involved themselves. My grandparents raised and bred horses and at eighty years old, both still trail ride. My aunt has been barrel racing American Quarter Horses my whole life, and loaned me my first American Quarter Horse. My dad had an A merican Quarter Horse when he was growing up. In fact, one of my earliest memories is being led around on the back of a horse. I continued to progress though many skill levels, first leasing, then owning, then breeding the last mare I rode at Congress. My parents are finally convinced this isn’t “just a phase.” The American Quarter Horse has played such a major role in my development as an individual. Even when things were overwhelming with school or personal matters I could always walk into the barn and realize what really mattered was working with my horse. Representing the industry at different events volunteering my time, is energizing from the amount of joy it brings me. The love that I have for horses and encouraging that same love in others is what drives me through the hard work of becoming Congress Queen. If selected as the 2019 All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen, you would be ensured you had a dedicated role model that will help encourage passion, commitment and love of the American Quarter Horse.

With passion, Mariah Sherer Tri-State Quarter Horse Association Queen 2019

Carlie Massie, Virginia QHA

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The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) is known for: its initiative to preserve the legacy and pure excellence of the breed it embodies; its installation and cultivation of dreams amidst a horse and rider; and members who all bear great pride and devotion to the American Quarter Horse and Quarter Horse industry. Subsequently, the state membership associations encompass the individuals who promote and construct the foundation of today’s Quarter Horse I ndustry. As a devoted equestrian who has been engulfed in the Quarter Horse industry since birth, I am truly proud to not only be a member of AQHA, but even more, the Virginia Quarter Horse Association (VQHA). I am confident that my experiences in showing through AQHA and within Quarter Horse industry are in favor toward my credibility as the VQHA Queen and the increase in recognition and positive reputation of VQHA. Being raised on a working Quarter Horse and M iniature Hereford Cattle farm in Barhamsville, VA, it was inevitable that I would share the passion and appreciation for Quarter Horses with my family. My early equine career consisted of riding my mother’s retired show horses at the age of four, to the n hitting the show pen four years later by the age of eight. From the raw creation of my show career, I have been ambitious toward acquiring knowledge of all structures of the industry, therefore, enabling me to be competitive in numerous events and having become one of the top all - around competitors on the East Coast. I have experience in showmanship, halter, horsemanship, western pleasure, trail, western riding, hunter under saddle, hunt seat equitation, reining, and jumping. Alongside my event experience , I have training experiences ranging from starting foals to keeping my show horses at home; as such, I was responsible for keeping them show - ready. Aside from show and training experience, personally raising, owning, starting, and housing numerous AQHA Quarter Horses, has immensely broadened my knowledge base. As the VQHA Queen, I am not only representing VQHA members of a broad discipline range, but also the Quarter Horse owners who, like me, are devoted to the success and health of their athlete. I am very fortunate in that I have lived on a working farm my entire life, thus being born with the love for animals and the Quarter Horse industry. My grandparents would breed Quarter Horses, to then send the foals to my mom and me to break, show, and sell. I began starting foals when I was 12 years old and have enjoyed watching many of them flourish into their show careers. Being born into the Quarter Horse industry with a mother that has shown horses all of her life and of whom rode for years with Alex Ross, my mother has always taught me the ins and outs of properly caring for, riding, showing, and maintaining show horses. At five years old, I officially owned my first horse given to me by my grandfather. Three ye ars later, I took the horse to my first horse show and AQHA show; this was the moment I knew I wanted to be an all - around competitor. The desire to be an all - around competitor started when I was waiting for my halter class, as I noticed the other exhibitor s practicing patterns. I asked my mother what they were doing, and she briefly explained “showmanship”. I immediately thought, “I can do that; it’s just like halter but with a bigger pattern”, so I entered in the Youth Showmanship class. Later , I was waiti ng for my western pleasure class and saw the other competitors, again, practicing some form of pattern. I again asked my mother what they were doing, and she then explained “horsemanship”. I thought to myself, “I can do that; it is like what I do at home a nd just like the western pleasure but with a pattern”. Nonetheless, I entered into the Youth Horsemanship. A week or so later, I received an unexpected certificate from AQHA stating that I had won the Reserve Youth All - Around title at the show. Aside from, little did I know then, both the showmanship and horsemanship being far different from the halter and the western pleasure, the show ignited my desire and aspiration to learn and show multiple events. Continuing to show and maintain my show horse s on my own and with my mother, it was not until 2007 when I pursued a new , more competitive horse, HoboDee By Flashy To, from who became my first trainer, Larry Little. I achieved many milestones and awards while riding with Mr. Little. At the e nd of 2010, I decided to keep my show horses at home to maintain and show on my own , while still keeping in touch with Mr. Little for light assistance, guidance, and the before - show touch - ups . 23

Autumn Paige Carter, West Virginia QHA


John and Lisa Carter brought into the world on September 25th, 1997 a daughter, five weeks premature and weighing four pounds. Doctors informed the parents that normal growth milestones would be slow in coming and learning would most assuredly be difficult at best. Autumn Paige Carter spent only eight days in the neonatal unit of Carillion hospital, Roanoke Virginia, after her parents were informed it would be more than 30 to 45 days before she could go home. Mom has said she didn’t know whether it was my sheer will or her determination that made it happen, but from that point on I would prove the doctors wrong on all predictions. At three months old, I had reached the 95th percentile of growth and there was most definitely no difficulty in learning. Maybe it was because I was a premature baby, but determination is something I have no small amount.

I grew up as a Pap’s girl, spending time on the river or the lake fishing. He taught me to fish, took me sleigh riding in the winter, and was as involved in my life as much as one could be. He is where I get my height. He stood at 6’6’’ tall. Mom was always into horses, even before I was born and housed her horse on my Pap’s property. I was always excited to go to Pap’s to spend time with him and ride Afton Bar Lad, aka Chocolate. I loved every moment of riding, until I came off at the age of five when my Pap decided that a sliding off the side of the largest creature I had ever known was not going to hurt me. With bruised feelings, I decided that getting right back on was the answer. From that moment, I was hooked.

Other childhood memories include playing t-ball, riding horses at local shows, AQHA shows, and the State Fair of WV, and spending time with a family that adored me, and I adored them. The State Fair of WV was always one of my favorite places to be. It was also a great learning opportunity with exposure to so many different types of agriculture, arts and crafts, and other WV heritage. Over the years, I had the opportunity to show Belgian draft horses, quarter horses, sheep, and even a donkey at the State Fair. This continued through my high school years. I also ran track during my freshman year. One day while competing, I heard a loud pop in my knee during an event. I now have chronic bursitis that has plagued me, but I refuse to quit doing the things I love, especially riding and showing my horses. One of the most memorable trips of my childhood lead me to the All-American Quarter Horse Congress and I swore that one day I would show and perhaps participate in the queen contest. Well, my dream of showing at the Congress has come true three times so far, and hopefully, the other dream may yet come true.

In my freshman year I also met Jeff Walters who would become my horse trainer and close family friend. I spent three glorious summers working with Jeff and honing my riding skills. The third summer, I noticed a change in Jeff. He just didn’t feel good. Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Jeff only lived three short months and left this world in December of 2014. Suddenly, my life was filled with loss. Losing my uncle in March, my Pap in November, Jeff in December, 2015 was a horrid year. Then not 8 months later, I lost my grandmother while competing at the NSBA world show. My world was turned upside down. Sometimes when trauma strikes, one finds their purpose. I know that I found mine. I wanted to do something with my life that would help those with cancer. I decided radiation therapy was the course I wanted my life to take.

Throughout high school and the beginning of college, I competed in the West Virginia Association of Fairs and Festivals pageant system. This has given me many opportunities to advance my interpersonal, intellectual, and communications skills through many public speaking opportunities. Through my various titles I was able to represent the WV Sweetheart Festival, Lewis County Fair, WV Oil and Gas Festival, WV Molasses Festival, and the WV Roadkill Cook-off. These titles gave me the opportunity to travel the great state of West Virginia and meet so many amazing people. I was also able to spread pancreatic cancer awareness throughout the state at the many events I attended. These titles gave me the opportunity to compete for the title of State Fair Queen at the WVAFF pageant held every January in our capital city, Charleston. After many attempts of trial and error, in my last year competing, I earned my top fifteen spot out of 80 girls vying for the title. By competing in these pageants, I have grown as a person and I believe the skills I have learned will help me succeed in anything I put my mind to.

Completing my Bachelor’s degree from Marshall University in May of 2019 has shown me that hard work and dedication truly pays off. I am thankful for the opportunities I have had in life, including serving this year as the West Virginia Quarter Horse Association Queen, where I helped fundraise for the WVQHA and held our 2nd annual Junior Queen and Princess contest. These opportunities have shaped me into the well-rounded, confident individual I am today. I believe that my experience in showing horses, competing in pageants, and gaining various skills through public appearances and community service opportunities will help fulfill my dream of being the All-American Quarter Horse Congress Queen.