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WHOA Announces Youth Challenge Program

WHOA Announces Youth Challenge Program

     MURFREESBORO, TENN -- In response to numerous requests, the Walking 
Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) is implementing a Youth Challenge program to encourage participation in Youth 17 & Under Performance Canter classes.
     The inaugural year of the WHOA Youth Challenge is being sponsored by The Montverde Academy Equestrian Center in Montverde, FL.  This program will provide scholarship money for the top five High Point winners in the program this year.  A total of $3,000 in scholarships will be awarded to these top 
equestrians at a Championship show to be announced at a later date. “We are excited about the Youth Challenge and glad to be a part of it in conjunction with WHOA in an effort to promote our wonderful and versatile breed to our youth - our future,” commented Kasey Kesselring, Headmaster of Montverde 
     The class is available to any horse show regardless of their HIO 
affiliation.  “Our main purpose is to insure the availability of youth 
performance canter classes at horse shows across the country, no matter who they are affiliated with,” says David Pruett, WHOA president.  Pruett goes on to say that at this point the program is only for this year.  “I hope that the TWHBEA will reverse their decision and allow all HIO affiliations to participate in their Medallion Program in the future.  If they do, we will discontinue our Youth Challenge Program for 2008.”
     Show managers who would like to host a WHOA Youth Challenge Class this year should contact the WHOA office and complete their application at least 21 days prior to the show.  WHOA will provide a $200 sponsorship for the class along with a trophy and ribbons.  Show managers should contact Mark Taylor, WHOA sales and marketing director, at 615-494-8824 or <>  for a Youth Challenge application.
     The Montverde Academy Equestrian Center offers a full service riding program nestled on its 125 acre campus in central Florida, just outside of Orlando.  The program is designed to expose and develop a student’s desire to improve their riding and show skills, encourage “team” concepts through participation on the show team, practice good horsemanship and learn basic equine care.
     This unique center offers a 40 stall training barn and two riding rings for learning and instruction on Tennessee Walking Horses under the direction of trainer/manager Tim Thompson, trainer Brent Hardin and program director Janet Howell.  It is the successful vision of Headmaster Kasey Kesselring.  It also has a separate lesson facility for beginner and intermediate riders with its own ring, stalls and cross ties, under the direction of a certified Walking Horse instructor.  The program strives to participate in all divisions the Walking Horse has to offer.  With temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s during the winter months, the program is desirable for the horses and riders during the whole school year.  Students have the option to bring their own TWH to the school for training and showing, lease a show horse when available or participate in the lesson program.
     Founded in 1912, the Academy prides itself on a history of academic 
excellence. In the last five years 100% of graduating seniors have been 
accepted to colleges such as Rhodes, Dartmouth, MIT, Wake Forest, UCLA, 
Vanderbilt, Rollins, The Citadel and The University of Florida to name a 
few.  In addition to a strong academic program including honors and AP 
courses, the Academy also has a host of extra curricular activities and 
clubs as well as the performing arts.  In addition to the equestrian 
program, the Academy offers a full complement of athletic programs including state ranked programs in soccer, golf, baseball, track and field and basketball.  In the past five years, the Academy has sent 16 graduates on to college on a full division one athletic scholarship.  The Academy’s basketball team is currently ranked fourth in the nation. For more information on Montverde Academy go to <>  .

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