National Youth Racing Experience Winners Named

Five AQHYA members earned scholarships totaling $7,000 at the AQHYA National Youth Racing Experience, October 20-23 in Shelbyville, Indiana.

Five AQHYA members gathered to learn more about the racing industry while they competed to earn scholarships worth a total of $7,000 October 20-23 at the 2022 American Quarter Horse Youth Association National Youth Racing Experience during the Bank of America Racing Challenge Championships at the Horseshoe Indianapolis Racing & Casino in Shelbyville, Indiana.

The youth selected to attend this year’s AQHYA National Youth Racing Experience were:

  • August Whitman of Shelburn, Indiana
  • Gracie Potter of Shallowater, Texas
  • Kendall Dirksen of Windsor, Colorado
  • Mimi Cate Copeland of Aubrey, Texas
  • Sydney Sargent of Paris, Kentucky

Five scholarships were presented to the highest-scoring youth who completed educational components and participated in on-site experiences during the Bank of America Racing Challenge Championships. The winners are determined from the cumulative score of the application, skillathon contest, on-site participation and interview.

This year, AQHA increased the total amount of scholarships offered to the participants to $7,000, allowing all five of the youth competing to take home a scholarship. This year’s award money was generously provided through private contributions from members of the AQHA Racing Committee.

Sydney Sargent won the top scholarship of $3,000 and a champion belt buckle. Finishing second was August Whitman earning $2,000 and a reserve champion plaque; Kendall Dirksen was third, earning $1,000 and a top-five plaque; Gracie Potter finished fourth receiving $600 and a top-five plaque; and Mimi Cate Copeland was fifth earning $400 and a top-five plaque.

The AQHYA National Youth Racing Experience introduces youth to the sport of American Quarter Horse racing. Participants had an all-expense-paid trip to get a behind-the-scenes look into the industry and met the people who make races happen every day, including stewards, announcers, owners, trainers, jockeys and their horses.

To receive an email notification when the 2023 AQHYA National Racing Experience application is live, click here.

For more information on the AQHYA National Youth Racing Experience visit

 AQHA news and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA on Twitter and visit

Contact: Kyla Jones
Manager of Communications