October 6, 2009 -- Three deserving youth fulfilled their dreams of owning their own American Miniature Horse by winning the Youth Essay Contest at the 2009 annual American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR) National Championship Show in Tulsa, Okla. Jennifer Wippler, Mackenzie Schulte and Kevin Byers all entered the Youth Essay Contest at the National Championship and took home an adorable donated mini at the end of the show.
Wippler won a 2008 mini yearling named Cross Country Made in America, donated by Belinda Bagley of Cross Country Shetlands. "I love horses of all kinds, but Miniature Horses are my favorite," Wippler wrote in her essay. "The reason I want this Miniature Horse is so I can train him myself. I plan to train him to drive, jump and do obstacle."
Bagley, who donated Wippler's winning mini, is a judge, director, trainer and breeder, and has donated a mini for the Youth Essay Contest for the past five years. "There have been times when I have been judging a show and wished I could just give all the youth competitors a horse," Bagley said. "Through this program I can do that and also know that when the youth compete they will have high quality horses."
Schulte also won a mini donated by Bagley, a 2008 mini yearling named Cross Country Mr. Downtown. Schulte, who has Cartilage Hair Hyperplasia, otherwise known as dwarfism, said she likes spending time with Miniature Horses because they are just her size. In her essay, Schulte wrote, "So far I have not had the chance to raise a Miniature Horse, but I would love and cherish the opportunity to do so. Winning this mini would give me the opportunity to show the world what I can do when given the right resources."
Cathy Buehrer, of Amazing Sonrise Miniature Horses, donated the mini that Byers won, a two-year-old silver buckskin gelding named Amazing Sonrise Call Him Majestic. "Donating a mini is a great way for me to support our youth and encourage them to show," Buehrer said, adding that the mini she donated came from a great show background including a sire with National Championship titles. "Majestic was shown as a yearling, and we sent his show halter along with him as an added encouragement to show. This is also a great way to emphasis to the youth that they are being offered quality show animals for their essay efforts."
In addition to the Youth Essay Contest, the AMHR National Championship featured more than 5,000 entries from all around the country competing in over 300 classes. For more information on American Miniature Horses, visit www.shetlandminiature.com.