Texas cutting horse enthusiast Austria Arnold was recently elected president of National Youth Cutting Horse Association during the group’s annual July convention in Fort Worth. The 850-plus youth membership organization elected Arnold over two other candidates. The 16-year-old Terrell, Texas, native has been a member of the Fort Worth based cutting horse organization since she was 9-years-old. Prior to being elected to the top Officer position, she served as the 1st vice president of the NYCHA for a year and has been an Area Director for Area 24 since 2011. In both 2012 and 2013 Arnold, a junior at The Hockaday School in Dallas, was honored to be named the NYCHA Outstanding Area Director.
Most recently as the NYCHA 1st Vice President, Arnold served as the voice of the junior membership at the NCHA Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. “I am so proud to have spearheaded the National Junior Officer & Junior Area Director Program which will be instituted in the coming year,” says Arnold. “This is a major accomplishment for our organization and gives our juniors a voice while allowing them to prepare for future leadership roles. The program is designed to strengthen tomorrow’s leadership for the NYCHA and allows youth members to develop into strong voices for the industry."
Arnold was named the 2014 NYCHA Sr. World Champion last week.
Seventeen-year-old Kolby Moore of Williston, Florida, was elected 1st vice-president, after serving two terms as the organizations president. This 3rd generation cutting horse competitor enjoys school, horses and promoting the sport of cutting. Kolby was recently named the 2014 Reserve Sr. World Champion cutter.
Moore and Arnold hope to work together to rally additional adult and corporate support over the coming year, in an effort to increase scholarships, prizes and recognition of the organization’s youth competitors.
Marley Wood of Lingleville, Texas, was elected as 2nd vice-president of the equestrian organization and was honored to be named the 2014 NYCHA Outstanding Area Director for her work over the last year. Wood, a high-school junior, plans to work to grow the Stallion Services Auction and the Trainer Auction - both programs that raise funds for scholarships. A top competitor, Wood successfully competed in her first NYCHA World Finals in 2014.
Elbert, Colorado-native Nicole Pietrafeso was elected secretary after serving during the 2013-2014 term as 2nd vice president. Her goal over the coming year is to make an impact on the organization's communication program. "I am determined to make everyone's option count," says Pietrafeso. Pietrafeso is actively involved with FFA, and is a tough cutting horse competitor that can be seen competing across the country.
Derek Waters of Macksville, Kansas, was elected Reporter for the second term last week. A junior home school student at the Haven Virtual Academy, he is involved with 4-H and multiple other equine organizations. Waters actively competes with both his dogs and horses.
The team of youth officers is lead by NCHA Youth Coordinator Shelby McCarty and Youth Committee Chairman Mark Mills. McCarty and Mills will work with the team over the coming year on leadership and organizational skills as well as membership growth, community outreach and educational development.
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