The Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana (QHRAI) will once again host the popular QHRAI Youth Day Experience at Indiana Grand Saturday, June 29. Youth between the ages of 16 and 18 years old interested in learning more about Quarter Horses and racing are encouraged to apply for the free event that is capped off with a scholarship courtesy of QHRAI.
The QHRAI Youth Day Experience begins with a light breakfast followed by a trip to several points of interest in racing, from the track maintenance facility to the starting gate for morning schooling sessions to eventually the barn area. Participants will interact with Quarter Horses and learn the proper care and training that goes into getting them to the races.
The program includes several guest speakers from the racing industry during a lunch break followed by a test on what the participants have learned throughout the day. The tests are later graded with the top grade receiving a scholarship from QHRAI as well as an all-expense paid trip to the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Challenge Races held at The Downs at Albuquerque, New Mexico Saturday, Oct. 26. The local winner will then compete against other finalists from various Youth Day Experiences for a chance at additional scholarship money from AQHA.
At the conclusion of the test, participants will be paired with a Quarter Horse trainer and a horse included in the Saturday evening racing program. Participants will accompany the trainer to the paddock and will assist with prepping and racing the horse with hopes of making it all the way to the winner’s circle.
“The Youth Day Experience is a great way for students to get hands on experience from our trainers at Indiana Grand,” said Vickie Duke, vice president of QHRAI and coordinator of the Youth Day Experience. “We have kids come in from all over the state, and sometimes beyond Indiana, to participate in this event. Most students are active with horses in some way, but some students that come in have very little experience and just love horses. It’s always a fun day and we are always so amazed how sharp the students are that participate in this program.”
The deadline for this year’s QHRAI Youth Day has been extended. Completed applications are due as soon as possible for a few spots left. Applications may be found online at www.indianaquarterhorseracing.com. Applications should be mailed to Vickie Duke at 3567 East 700 North, Whiteland, Indiana 46184. For more information, contact Duke at (317) 535-7191.
Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing continues through Wednesday, Nov. 6. Racing is held Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 2:15 p.m. with Saturdays beginning at 6:15 p.m. For more information, visit the website at www.indianagrand.com.