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National quarter horse group wraps up 10 days of competition in Oklahoma City

Hundreds of youths from across U.S., around the world participated in this year's American Quarter Horse Youth Association's world championship at State Fair Park.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Modified: August 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm •  Published: August 12, 2012
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His father breeds and trains quarter horses in Guthrie, he said, and he's been riding since he was 3.

“I chose the quarter horse route because that's what my family raised me in,” he said. “I enjoy this more than rodeo anyway, because I like to make my horses look good instead of just run fast.”

The youth championship is about more than competitive riding and showing, said Landi Campbell, director of communications and special events for the American Quarter Horse Association.

Participants are taught work ethic and other life skills that extend beyond the show barn. Additional competitions were held in speech and judging, and experts hosted a variety of demonstrations.

“This is their Super Bowl,” she said. “All of these kids had to show all year long, earning points just to get an invitation. Just qualifying is a big accomplishment.”

The association has held its world championship in Oklahoma City for five years, Campbell said. A total of 2,407 entries were judged this year.