By Laurie Haughton, Chair, CQHA Media, Marketing & Communications Committee

Now in its fourth decade, the American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup is a biannual event that packs a lot into ten short days.  For Canadian youth who are competitive in American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA)-sanctioned competition and their alliance partner disciplines, becoming a member of Team Canada is a goal they typically set for themselves very early on in their youth equestrian careers.

Since its inception, the CQHA has proudly fielded a team for this Olympic-type event. Youth from across Canada apply for these ten coveted team positions by submitting their application including an essay, letters of reference, and hours of video of them riding various horses in various disciplines and events. Next, they go through an interview process. When the team is selected, they begin a year-long journey to develop their horsemanship, leadership, and communications skills. Once they come together as a team, they are ready to embark on ten days of equestrian sport excellences unlike any horse show they have ever experienced.

The international event is much more than an equestrian competition. For these teenage athletes, it’s an opportunity to learn from the very best clinicians in their specific disciplines who come from around the world. It’s the pressure of being teamed up with a horse that you have never met before, let alone swung a leg over, that has been donated to the competition by a Youth World Cup program supporter who hails from the host country (and is likely sitting in the stands as excited and nervous as you are). It’s caring for the horses donated to your team by adhering to a standard that far exceeds any typical show barn. It’s the weight of knowing you are representing your country and interacting with international dignitaries at the event as a spokesperson for the rest of your youth cohort back home. It’s dreams, nerves, and the stress of working with a new group of peers as well as a coach and manager with whom you have had just one weekend in-person event and months of zoom calls to get to know. It’s a very steep learning curve in a fast-paced environment that can prepare youth for their future by giving them the opportunity to learn life skills that will follow them no matter where they go in their education and/or careers. 


  • Team Canada Overall – 6th
  • Lip Sync Contest – 80’s Theme – 8th
  • Art Contest – 10th
  • Scrapbook Road to the 2023 YWC – 7th
  • Break the Internet Social Media Contest – 4th


  • Cutting 7th, 8th: Alie Chernoff - Boone Light Sonata
  • Reining 2nd, 3rd: Brooklyn Shannon - SNS Ulvalde King
  • Showmanship 4th, 8th: Taylor Carney - Teerific Lee Hot
  • Showmanship 9th, 13th: Hailey Olson - Star Walker Lady
  • Hunter Under Saddle 3rd, 7th: Hailey Olson - Teerific Lee Hot
  • Hunter Under Saddle 8th: Taylor Carney - Storminonthemountain
  • Equitation 2nd: Taylor Carney - Storminonthemountain
  • Equitation 9th: Emily Yates - Wannabeabigstar
  • Horsemanship 7th: Taylor Carney - Storminonthemountain
  • Horsemanship 9th: Emily Yates - Teerific Lee Hot
  • Horsemanship 12th, 15th: Hailey Olson - Star Walker Lady
  • Trail 5th, 9th: Emily Yates - Teerific Lee Hot
  • Ranch Riding 11th: Brooklyn Shannon - Mr Last Gold Bar
  • Ranch Riding 15th (tied): Ali Chernoff - Star Walker Lady


  • YWC 2023 Stewardship Award: Hailey Olson
  • Daily Three Amigos Steward Award: Hailey Olson & Tylar Randall Gray
  • Horse Care Award: Team Canada for July 1

Team Canada 2023 was made up of ten highly motivated young women and led by Team Coach AQHA Professional Horsewoman Jodi Mallette of Kincardine, Ontario, and Team Manager AQHA Amateur and grade 7/8 teacher Jessica Mosley-Cairncross of Tiny, Ontario.

Abigail Dunley, Aliera Chernoff, CQHA Youth World Cup Riders

Above: Abigail Dunlevy, Alternate Rider, Age 16, Oro-Medonte, ON (left); Aliera (Alie) Chernoff, Rider, Age 18, Strathmore, AB (right)

Brooklyn Shannon, Emily Firth, CQHA Youth World Cup Riders

Above: Brooklyn Shannon, Rider, Age 17, Oro-Medonte, ON (left)Emily Firth, Age 16, Langley, BC, Leader & Rider Development (right)

Taylor Carney, Emily Yates, CQHA Youth World Cup Riders

Above: Taylor Carney, Rider, Age 18, Kincardine, ON (left); Emily Yates, Rider, Age 16, North Bay, ON (right)

hailey olson, kaidyn goowin, CQHA Youth World Cup Riders

Above: Hailey Olson, Rider, Age 16, Mary Field, SK (left); Kaidyn Goodwin, Alternate Rider, Age 17, Tusket, NS (right)

lauren irwin, tylar randall grey, CQHA Youth World Cup Riders

Above: Lauren Irwin, Leader & Rider Development, Age 18, Oro-Medonte, ON (left); Tylar Randall Grey, Leader & Rider Development, Age 15, Lake George, NS

A Glimpse of a Typical Day at the 2023 American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup:

  • 4:30 am – Wake-up
  • 5:20 am - Bus for Expo Center
  • 6:00-6:30 am - Breakfast
  • 6:30-7:00 am – Team Members: Horse Care for the Team (clean stalls, unwrap/rinse legs, wash water buckets, and refill) 
  • Coach & Manager: Coaches meeting (given details of the day, award teams daily awards, details on upcoming events)
  • 7:00-12:00 pm - Clinics or showing, depending on the days (clinics in two-hour blocks, show days run like a regular AQHA show where classes run back-to-back). Days are very nonstop.
  • 12:00-12:30 pm - Lunch at Expo (only on clinic days, show days are drop-in as you can)
  • 12:30-4:30 pm - Clinic, ride time, showing - Clinics in two-hour blocks (very busy with no time to stop or absorb)
  • 4:30-5:30 pm - Horse care (clean stalls, water, wrap) and clean up for the night.
  • 5:30-6:00 pm - Dinner at Expo (most nights)
  • 6:00-6:30 pm - Bus to hotel
  • 6:30-10 pm - Coaches review rider/horse combo videos to plan for the next day, record finances, etc., and the team has social time with other countries in the hotel.

Canadian Quarter Horse Association

Photos are courtesy of CQHA.