Sunday at the Congress saw the youth teams vying for the National Youth Activity Team Tournament title, sponsored by NSBA's Smart Points,  along with some futurity Western Pleasure and Hunter Under Saddle as well as Level 1 Amateur and Select Amateur Western Pleasure classes.

HIndiana, Rocky Mountain Top NYATT Standings

The Indiana Quarter Horse Youth Association earned first place in Division I of the 2021 NYATT contest. With a team of six hearty members that included Kyla Jeffries, Abigail Thom, Evie Doles. Emma Tarter, Ava Newsome and NSBYA president Caroline Fredenburg. Advising InQHYA was Tammy Sever.

“We didn’t have anyone on our team to do barrels or poles, so we are pretty excited to win,” Caroline said. “Our goal was really just to go out and do our best,” added Kyla Jeffries.

The team was buoyed by Evie Doles’ first place finish in Hunt Seat Equitation with If Im Honest along with Caroline Fredenburg’s second place finish in Horsemanship with Itsonlyrockandroll; Ava Newsome also took third place in Hunter Under Saddle with So Darn Lazy; Kyla Jeffries  earned seventh place in Showmanship with her horse Blazed And Amazed and Caroline Fredenburg returned to place eighth place in Western Pleasure with Itsonlyrockandroll.

“We can’t remember the last time Indian won the NYATT so we’re pretty happy,” Emma said.

The top five Division 1 teams included
1. Indiana QHYA - 76 points
2. Ohio QHYA - 70 points
3.  Washington State QHYA - 57 points
4. Michigan Snaffle Bit Youth Association - 54 points
5. Michigan QHYA - 51 points

In Division II, Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Youth Association earned the top spot.  With just three members, Meagan Braun, Brooke Jolstad and Kendall Dirksen. The RMQHA team advisor was Jodie Witt.

To reach their team win, Kendall Dirksen and Miss Daisy Is Lazy earned fourth in Hunt Seat Equitation; Brooke Jolstad and WalkTheLine earned fourth in Hunt Seat Equitation and sixth in Horsemanship; and in Showmanship, Meagan Braun and Showin My Ace were sixth.

“We won the last year we were here, but I was the only one that was on that team,” noted Brooke Jolstad. “It’s pretty exciting to get to win the tournament again.”

The top five Division 2 teams included:
1. - Rocky Mountain QHYA - 32 points
2. - Texas QHYA - 29 points
3. - South Caroline QHYA - 28 points
4. - Eastern Ohio QHYA -  20 points
5. - Connecticut QHYA - 16 points.

Best To Be Lopin Proves To Be Best

Courtney Moses took her mare, Best To Be Lopin, in the Limited division of the Three Year Old Non-Pro Western Pleasure Futurity and picked right back up where she left off at the last show, continuing her wins in the division.

“Since the NSBA World Show, she’s gotten more broke, and it seems like she really wants to be a show horse,” Courtney said. “It seemed like we loped a long time, but she was so good. I feel like she was softer in the finals than she was in the go round.”

Winning at the Congress never gets old, however. “The last time I won a class at the Congress, I was 22 years old and showed in Youth Showmanship,” Courtney laughed. “We’ve been very blessed. We’ve only shown her four or five times. Aaron started showing her at March To The Arch, and we showed her at the Tom Powers, the NSBA World Show, the Championship Show in Ocala and here at the Congress. I’d love to hang on to her and show her some more.”

Lisa Ligon and Rocko Win Two Year Old Limited Hunter Under Saddle

“I really don’t come to the Congress every year,” Lisa Ligon said. “I mainly just plan to show here when we have something we think will be competitive.”

Lisa and her mount, Al Be Good To Go, were more than competitive, as they won the Two Year Old Limited Open Hunter Under Saddle Stakes for owner Jesslyn Bresardi. “The lady who owns that barn I train out of owns him, and she bought him when he was a weanling,” she said.

“So I’ve watched him grow up in a field and just brought him in and started him. He’s by Good Better Best, and he’s just a friendly nugget. He really is a pocket pet. He’ll put his head on your chest and is just as sweet as he can be.”

The Congress wasn’t initially in Lisa’s plans for ‘Rocko.’ “We originally just planned to show him at the NSBA World Show, but when we won the Limited Open Two’s there, we thought we would try him here since the Championship Show just had a maiden class for two year olds. It worked out well,” Lisa said.

Lola Knight and Batterfly Kisses Win Limited Two’s Western Pleasure

Another team that saw repeat success from the NSBA World Championship Show were Lola Knight and Batterfly Kisses. The duo won the Limited Non-Pro Western Pleasure Stakes in Tulsa, and repeated their win at the 2021 Congress, giving Lola her first Congress champion title.

“We gave her some time off after the NSBA World Show and we didn’t go to Ocala,” Lola said. “After NSBA World, we sort of rethought how we were having her lope to get her to lengthen her stride a little bit. She did exactly what we worked on in the finals.

Batterfly Kisses seemed unphased by gusts of wind and the many distractions of the Congress. “She has handled everything great,” Lola said. “It feels awesome to win here at the Congress.”

Scott Jones Catch Rides A Champion In Level 1 Hunter Under Saddle

The combination of a supportive breeder, owner, trainer and a catch ride by Scott Jones resulted in a Congress champion title for VS Im Urs N Ur Mine in Level 1 Hunter Under Saddle.

The five year old gelding began life at the barn of Kaleena Weakly, who bred her show mare, Blondie, to VS Code Red. The resulting colt was Thomas. “From the beginning, we knew he was special,” Kaleena said. “Jason Gilliam was pretty successful with him in Trail. We had him for four years and he’s done amazing, then we sold him last year.”

“We started working on Western Riding last year, and then we added Hunter Under Saddle,” noted trainer Eric Felt. “His owner is a Select Amateur, and we are preparing him for her to show him.”

Like Fine Wine, Strawberri Gets Sweeter

Laina Banks has been showing her 13 year old mare, Strawberri Wine, for a few years now, but she really enjoyed Sunday’s Amateur Select Western Riding class. “We showed Pattern 8, and that is one of my favorite patterns. I was excited when I saw that we were using it, because it has a long trot in with this pen, two crossovers across the middle, then rides then line for four cones and has two more crossovers.

“The pattern takes a little more guiding and your horse has to rely on you. There’s truly nothing like trotting into the Celeste knowing you have your family and friends in the stands at the Congress. It’s great!”

In addition to showing her great mare, Laina and her husband Ken have also raised some babies with her. “We have three yearlings that are by The Lopin Machine and Heartstoppin, and we have five weanlings,” Laina said.

“We’re very excited to see all the crosses and how they work with her. She’s by Open Range and out of Buddy Buffalo Gal, who was Katie Green’s old show mare, and she raised Strawberri.”

Amateur and Select Amateur Level 1 Western Pleasure Crown Champions

Level 1 Amateur Western Pleasure riders saw four splits and a final go to determine the Congress champion in their class. Cheyenne Nelson and her horse Sarahenade were named the champions in the class.

“Bill Damske bred and raised Belle, and she’s pretty special. She is by Too Sleepy To Zip. Bill had a daughter named Sarah who was diagnosed with cancer in 2018. Belle was born on her birthday, so that’s how she was named Sarahenade,” Cheyenne said.

“I just leased and started working with Belle in August, and she’s just three years old. My trainer is my boyfriend, Adam Winter, and it just all fell together. My horse, The Next Detail, had to have surgery and he’s still recovering, so getting Belle gave me the opportunity to get back in the show ring. It was great!”

n the Amateur Select Level 1 Western Pleasure, Cindy Kaufman and her horse No Doubting Me put in an impressive performance to win the class. The win was ‘NoNo’s’ second Congress title after trainer Chad Piper won the Limited Open Western Pleasure Maturity Stakes earlier in the week with him.

“The finals was much better go than the go round, but Chad always tells me to go in and have fun, so I tried to do that,” Cindy said. “I just tried to get in and find some space and work. He’s just an amazing horse.

"I had The Aftermath in Pipers barn, and had told Chad if there was a younger horse that I could bring up that would be great. I came in after St. Patrick’s Day and Chad told me NoNo was for sale, and the rest is history. It’s been great. And I still get to see The Aftermath because he is still in the barn.

“I don’t think it has sunk in yet to win. This is my first time to show here. I’ve sat in the stands for years, so just getting to show here is the win.”

The All American Quarter Horse Congress continues through Sunday, October 24. To view the complete show schedule, show results or view the live video feed, please visit