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AYA Overseas Youth Exchange Program

Appaloosa Youth Association members ages 14-18 are invited to apply for the chance to spend a week in a foreign country as part of the new Appaloosa Youth Overseas Exchange Program. Up to three youth from the U.S. will spend a week in a host country and compete at the European Championships in October of 2009.

Application deadline for U.S. youth who wish to attend the European Championship is June 12. All applications must be submitted directly to the ApHC office. Participants must be Appaloosa Youth Association members.

The ApHC will locate responsible host families in Europe, cover the costs of up to three classes per youth at the Youth World Show and European Championships, and pay for one stall (only if the youth participant uses the horse). ApHC also covers hotel costs during the Youth World and European Championships and provides a daily allowance for meals. Participants are responsible for airfare and miscellaneous costs associated with traveling.

AYA Youth Exchange Appalications are available at http://www.appaloosayouth.com/contests/exchange.html or by contacting ApHC Youth Coordinator at (208) 882-5578 ext. 264 or email youth@appaloosa.com

Frosty in Denmark

We received this note of achievement from Dorte Christine Larsen, ApHC member in Denmark:

In December 2007, I imported a small cutting-trained Appaloosa gelding, FROSTY THE ZAN MAN, from North Carolina to Denmark. His barn name followed him over the ocean, so he is still known as “Cowboy.”

Cowboy arrived with loads of cow sense, but needed training in order to be ready for the show arena. So all during spring and summer 2008 I spent hours and hours in the saddle training my small horse. He proved to be an excellent ride also on the trails. He is a born cutting horse, always alert, ready, fast and at the same time, totally cool.

I am a total novice at cutting, so the show part I left to my trainer Brian Kronborg. Cowboy and Brian entered several All-Breed shows in Scandinavia during the summer, with good results. So we decided that Cowboy was now good enough to be entered at the ApHC European Championships 2008 in Aachen, Germany.

Upon arrival at the championships we also decided to try him out in working cow horse, just for fun. Cowboy won the European Cutting Championship 2008 and a silver medal at Working Cow Horse.

Need I say, that my small horse has also won my heart?

Office note: “Cowboy” was also the year-end, high-point performance horse for ApHC Denmark. Congratulations, Dorte, and thanks for sharing your story.

European Championships on live video

Organizers of the 2008 European Championship Appaloosa Show October 2-5 in Aachen, Germany, announce that live streaming video from the show will be available. To view the show, visit www.rh-video.de/rh_player.htm. News about the European Championship can also be found at www.aphc-germany.de and at www.wittelsbuerger.com, said to be Europe’s leading western horse website (probably true since they reach 200,000 visitors monthly). WittelsbuergerTV will not only webcast the event, but will also send reports and results after the show.

ApHC is again supporting the European Championships with medallions — and judges. Through the U.S. Livestock Genetics Export organization, ApHC receives funds to help with international marketing, market development and outreach.

According to our records, last year’s show included 261 open entries, 89 non-pro and 61 youth. The Aachen facility is an outstanding one and the show promises to be a true showcase for the Appaloosa breed.

On Duty at the European Championships

UweCell phones have certainly become a permanent fixture on the ears of horse folks worldwide. Uwe Tolksdorf, vice president of the Appaloosa Horse Club Germany, was a busy guy at the recent European Championships in Aachen, Germany. Besides having horses of his own exhibited by family members, he was kind enough to provide horses for some of our Youth Exchange Program participants who had traveled from America. Oh, and he also hosted three of the young ladies for two weeks leading up to the show. And oh, he also was part of the show management team of volunteers who handled the countless details of putting on this prestigious event. We didn’t get the photo, but Uwe was seen performing duties ranging from ribbon presentations to waste management. Thanks Uwe for all your hospitality and hard work!

Experienced Eye

RandyJudge Randy Snodgress of Joshua, Texas, evaluates an entry in one of the halter classes at the European Championships. The four-judge, four-day show was the culmination of a successful season in Europe. It was great to see horses from so many different countries competing for the coveted title of European Champion. Through the U.S. Livestock Genetics Export program, ApHC was able to provide funding for two U.S. judges. John Tabb, Greenbriar, Tennessee, was the other American of the panel.

Touring the Grounds

CandiceCandice Taggert, California youth exhibitor and Elizabeth Fagan, Massachusetts AYA member, take an orientation tour of the show facilities at the European Championships in Aachen, Germany. Although I’ve misplaced my notes, I can tell you that these young ladies, along with all the youth competitors represented their generation very well. They also proved their versatility by leading and riding (borrowed horses, in the case of the U.S. ladies) in a wide variety of classes. We’ll assume that official results will be available soon enough for everyone to see the exact placings.

Curbside Shopping

shoppingIt really helps to have a place to shop at the horse show. At the European Championship in Aachen, Germany, this particular vendor understood the value of being near the action. I’m not sure who’s doing the shopping, but it seems the human and the horse both have an eye for fashionable accessories.

Behind the Scenes

WeibeOn the left, is ApHC director Wiebe Lise hard at work in the show office of the European Appaloosa Championships. Jacob (who’s surname I’ve lost, but everyone else knows him) put in as many or more hours in the cubicle as anyone. Entries were processed, results were calculated, and all questions were answered by this dynamic duo. Thank you, gentlemen!

Awards Ceremony

awardsOne of the extras at the 2007 European Championships was in the way awards were presented. The first three place winners in each class received medallions – gold, silver and bronze – and all were included in the awards ceremony and photo. A bonus for the winner was the playing of the national anthem for their home country. It was friendly competition, but the national pride of exhibitors was definitely on display. With 15 countries represented, there was a bit of pressure for the announcer to make sure the music matched the blue ribbon winners.

Stylish Travel

vanNarrow and busy roads, an overall focus on efficiency, and a sense of style are each addressed by this horse-hauling rig. At the European Appaloosa Championships in Aachen, Germany, we were able to see a great variety of transportation options. This particular vehicle caught my eye in more ways than one. We often talk about mobile advertising here in the U.S., but several European members have been at it quite a while.

National Pride

brit horseThe stall barns in Aachen gave exhibitors, and probably the horses, a certain feeling of having “arrived.” The brick-paved aisles and the general quality of the accommodations made life easier for all concerned.

This photo happens to be of the United Kingdom row. Besides national flags, exhibitors decorated with colorful posters and banners. Several took advantage of the marketing opportunity and featured horses for sale. The Old World feel of the barns and grounds made the European Championships seem just a bit more special than normal.

Warming Up

warmupThe warm-up ring at the show facility in Aachen was bright and comfortable. Exhibitors gathered here prior to their classes. More often than not, you could get a real sense of the anticipation and anxiety from facial expressions of the competitors. This was also a favorite gathering place for family members and fans who all shared in the drama one way or another.

European Championships

unloadingGreetings from Aachen, Germany, host city for the 2007 European Appaloosa Championship. Thanks to the Appaloosa Horse Club of Germany and the European “Federation” members who worked so hard to make the show a success. President Eric Beene and I had the great pleasure of mixing with members and exhibitors from approximately 15 countries. Entries were up from a year ago and there are several initiatives being discussed to keep the Appaloosa community moving forward.

More photos and commentary to come, made even more useful if I can retrieve my lost program booklet! In the meantime, you can appreciate the overview of a great facility, some wonderful people and horses, and an atmosphere of national and breed pride. Stay tuned.