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Monarch National Championship Adds Youth Sportsman of the Year Competition

The Monarch National Youth Sportsman of the Year competition is a new program in which competitors complete various equine educational, artistic and competitive tasks to compile points to win scholarships and other prizes. 
The educational portion of the competition centers around the American Saddlebred International Youth Program (ASIYP) and the AMHA Horsemastership Program. 

ASIYP is a multi-level program open to any youth under 21 years of age. The ASIYP participants learn general information about horses, American Saddlebreds in particular, as they move through three levels. As levels are completed, the participant receives certificates and is eligible for special achievement badges. Participants explore equine subject matter such as the history of horsemanship, health and nutrition, grooming, riding manners and safety tips, equine showmanship, riding patterns, psychology of horse behavior, careers within the horse industry and more.

AMHA Horsemastership Program was also developed to help participants become competent horsepersons. There are six levels in this program that are designed to increase knowledge of the Morgan breed and general horsemanship. 

Competitors for the MNC Youth Sportsman of the Year have the choice of earning points in either the ASIYP Program or the AMHA Horsemastership Program. Points are distributed evenly between the two programs. 
The artistic portion of the competition includes an option to create a submission for the MNC Youth Art Wall that will be located inside the main ring at the Monarch National Championship. 

Additionally, included in the artistic portion of the competition is the only mandatory portion: the Equine Essay. The subject of the Equine Essay will be announced July 1, 2020 and will be judged by a panel. In the event of a numerical tie, the essay will be used to determine the winner of the MNC Youth Sportsman of the Year.

The competitive aspect of the Youth Sportsman Award includes participation at the Monarch National Championship in October. Contestants will earn points by competing in various classes at the MNC including Showmanship at Halter, Pairs Class, Pattern, In-Hand Obstacle and Equitation. Points will be awarded for participation only. Youth can also earn points by participating in the Junior Judging competition at the show.  

 It is the goal of the Monarch Board of Directors that the new MNC Youth Sportsman of the Year program will promote a fun and inclusive environment for the youth to become more well- rounded horsemen and women. 
“I hope to see youth participating in classes that maybe they wouldn’t have tried before, like showmanship or equitation, just for the challenge and fun of it. The influence behind this competition is sort of a throwback to the days when I was a kid and we would try to show every time the gate opened. I don’t remember the ribbons, I remember the excitement of being involved,” remarked MNC Co-Chair Donna Pettry-Smith.  

More information on this program will be available on as the show season unfolds. The Monarch National Championship Horse Show is scheduled for October 1-4, 2020 at the Coliseum of Champions at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois.

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