Kelsey Hughes, Illinois Quarter Horse Association

1.) Name and Association Representing?

My name is Kelsey Hughes and I represent the Illinois Quarter Horse Association.

 2.) Where are you from? Tell us a little about your hometown.

I was born and raised in Payne, Ohio, which is the definition of small town America. With only a population of about 2,000 people, it is tightly knit community and everyone knows everyone.  As a small agricultural town, I was used to seeing tractors and plows on a regular basis. Recently, Payne has shifted into the 21st century by being home to two wind energy farms. The wind farms help rid the use of fossil fuels, which is a major cause in global warming.


3.) Why did you choose to compete for the title of 2015 All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen?

Most little girls want to be princesses when they grow up, but I have always dreamed of doing something more. When looking at the role of the Congress Queen, that is exactly what she does. She helps to promote the breed that I have loved, the Quarter Horse. She also brings new riders under her wing and shows them all of the benefits when it comes to riding, showing and even owning a horse. The Quarter Horse is the definition of a versatile breed, and spreading that knowledge and pride that comes with owning such an animal is why I chose to compete for the title.


4.) Are you currently in school? Employed?

I am currently employed by the National Snaffle Bit Association as the Breeders Championship Futurity and Stallion Incentive Fund Coordinator.


5.) Favorite Horse Memory or Accomplishment?

Coming from a farm family, I have had more than a lifetime’s share of horse experiences. My family owned several broodmares and would regularly breed them to outstanding stallions. Watching our broodmares deliver foals would be at the top of my favorite memory list. 


During my last year at the University of Findlay, the seniors were given futurity prospects that we were in charge of training and then showing at the end of the spring semester.  I chose a filly by Fabuluke that was pretty and good minded.  We had our highs and lows, but when it came time to buckle down and perfect certain aspects of training she was very willing and did what was asked of her. At the end of the day, I felt so much pride and confidence to know that I had given this filly a solid foundation that would help her in her future show career.


6.) Interesting Fact about yourself?

I am a third generation horse person. My grandfather, Wayne Feasby, went from working on the farm with horses to showing and eventually on to breeding American Quarter Horses.  He passed the passion onto my mother and uncle who were competitive exhibitors growing up and eventually helped my grandfather with the breeding.  I have grown up with watching foals be born year after year. It stirred something in me that I just cannot explain. So I caught the “bug” at a young age and haven’t wanted to anything other than to work with horses in some way.


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