Over the past few days, more than 200
AQHA youth members gathered in Amarillo, Texas to attend the Youth Excellence
Seminar. “YES” is held every year in Amarillo, home to the American
Quarter Horse Association. The seminar strives to bring the youth of our Association together in order to develop leadership skills and create lifelong
friendships. In addition to a variety of speakers and activities that
strengthen the ties of the youth, the elections for national directors and
officers are held.
The AQHYA Executive Committee for 2012-2013 is Mark Mowbray, President; Jordan Boyd, Vice President; Bailey Mierzejewski, Secretary; Austin Halvorson, Treasurer; and Lauren Diaz, Sentinel. Congratulations to all!
With the elections over, GoHorseShow.com's Peyton Bivins interviewed newly
elected AQHYA President, 17 year-old Mark Mowbray of
Rhodesdale, Maryland. For those of you who may not know Mark, he competes in the Western Pleasure, Western Horsemanship and
Halter under the guidance of Jamie Morrow and Nate Whaley. Mark is also a member
of this year's AQHA Youth World Cup team.
Q: Hi Mark! First off we would all like to congratulate you on becoming
president of AQHYA! What does it feel like to be the new AQHYA president?
A: Thank you, Peyton. It is truly an amazing feeling to know
that I am in the position that I'm in. I feel extremely blessed to have this
opportunity. I don't believe it has really sunk in yet. But I am very excited.
Q: Would you mind
explaining to us how the election worked during the YES conference?
A: We had to get through our regions first. In Region Five, my region, we had eight
candidates for the three director positions. After a
close race, I thankfully got through it. The next day we had our Officer
elections. We went up, one by one, to present our speeches in front of our 200+
crowd of fantastic youth members, and distinguished parents and youth advisors. After that, they went through each position and told us who was chosen following the
elections. It was a very emotional time. I have
had so much support from my friends as well as people I have never even met
before. I really appreciate that.
Q: Do you have any
immediate plans you wish to enact as AQHYA president?
A: Yes, I want to carry on what our previous officers started. Last year
we all worked together tirelessly to get our goals accomplished. I will work
closely with our team of Officers and Directors to keep our traditions strong.
I want to increase the education among the younger (leadline/walk-jog)
members of AQHA. They are our future, and we are their role models. I also want
to continue to work with our Public Policy Committee to continue the hard and
fulfilling work that started last year. But for now I can promise that there
will be more to come.
Q: What are your
thoughts on the new team of officers that you will be working with?
A: Well, like I said before, I will truly miss the previous Officers and
Directors. The new group has some very big shoes to fill. With the departure of
people like Abigail Pait, Britt Lynch, Logan Pluhar, Sarah Ann Pendergraft, and
Chantz Stewart, it's hard to forget that close knit family that we had. I hope
this new group can feel like they are welcome to join our family. We are still
figuring each other out and become closer through our teamwork. We are not
rebuilding this team, we are reloading it.
Q: Tell me about the
next few days, what will you all be doing to build your strength as a team?
A: We will be working on our leadership techniques and learning how to
bond together as one unit. I look forward to working with this group and
getting a lot accomplished during our terms.
Peyton: Thank you
so much Mark! We wish you the best of luck and know that you will be a
wonderful leader for the American Quarter Horse Youth Association!
Mark: I hope you all have a great year! I will see you all along the road.
Watch for my profile on Mark as we get closer to Youth World Cup time!