The National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) offers members an online program that rewards youth for their involvement outside of the show arena. The Varsity Reining Club (VRC) awards 13 scholarships collectively totaling $5,000 to be distributed to the top point-earning individuals in each age group. Over 80 youth participated this year in the VRC in 2012; Amy Stoney and Katya Koperski are receiving special recognitions as “Youths of the Year” for earning the most points in their respective age groups.
Varsity Youth – 14 to 18-years-old
- Varsity Youth of the Year: Amy Stoney
Amy Stoney earned 6,453 points for 580 submissions, mainly in her favored area of photography. Stoney, 16, is from McClave, Colo. and was named Varsity Youth of the Year in 2011 and Junior Varsity Youth of the Year in 2010. Her favorite submission is a creative artwork piece named “America The Beautiful,” an American Flag created from smaller photos taken of horses’ stars markings and dun horses’ dorsal stripes. It reflects her love for her home nation and reminds her how blessed she feels to live in the U.S. Stoney would like to major in business marketing to become an equine photographer marketer. She was recently elected to serve on the 2013 NRHyA Officer Team as historian.
- Second Place: Alexis Daggett
Alexis Daggett, 19, from San Antonio, Tex., took second place by earning 5,050 points with over 175 submissions. Daggett devoted her time doing community service. She helped with the student tutoring program at her school and participating in door-to-door food drives for her local food pantry.
- Third Place: Megan D’Andrea
Megan D’Andrea, 15, from Fowler, Ohio, earned 4,544 points by serving her community through work at the local animal shelter and barn. D’Andrea also helped younger schoolmates learn to read during her study hall.
- Fourth Place: Jasmine Alexander, 18, Queen Creek, Ariz.
- Fifth Place: Emma Holbrook, 16, Stillwater, Okla.
- Sixth Place: Reilly Quist, 16, Delta, Colo.
- Seventh Place: Blair Willette, 17, Prescott, Ariz.
- Eighth Place: Nicole Hupke, 19, Petaluma, Calif.
Junior Varsity Youth – 13 and under
- Junior Varsity Youth of the Year: Katya Koperski
Katya Koperski earned 1,395 points with over 20 submissions, mainly earned from her community service submissions. This is Koperski’s first year of involvement with VRC. Her favorite activities included working at the local humane society socializing dogs and helping at a youth horse camp where she assisted children in preparing their horses for riding while she also taught them about horses. Koperski, 12, from La Crosse, Wis., would like to become a horse professional or a veterinarian. She loves being involved in NRHyA because she gets to spend time and compete with her friends.
- Second Place: Hope Hampton
Hope Hampton, 12, from Nova Scotia, Canada, placed second with 1,160 points from her fundraising efforts. During the 2012 NRHA Futurity, Hampton sold 580 NRHyA raffle tickets, making her the top seller during the event and winning an iPad. Hampton’s future plans involve anything to do with animals.
- Third Place: Jordan Scott
Earning third place was Jordan Scott, 14, from Bluff City, Tenn., with 1,090 points from a variety of submissions. Through her work helping out at the local horse shows by signing people in and working the gate along with good grades and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity sealed Jordan’s position in third place.
- Fourth Place: Nicholas Muir, 14, Lynnwood, Wash.
- Fifth Place: Taylen Marler, 13, El Paso, Tex.
Learn more about the NRHyA at NRHyA.com.