Hello everyone, my name is Sarah Porter and I am currently serving as the President of the Arabian Horse Association. I am so honored to be standing here in front of each of you, and I am grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful, uplifting people. Having the opportunity to show horses has been the biggest blessing of my life, and I am so fortunate now to be able to represent all the youth riders that share my love for this sport.
Like most little girls, a spark lit up in my eye every time horses were even mentioned. Some little girls grow out of that “horse phase” but fortunately, like the rest of you, I never passed that phase. I started showing horses when I was 9 years old, and was first introduced to the industry by my aunt, Robin Porter. She has been one of the biggest influences in my life and I don’t know where I would be without her. After showing my first year at Youth Nationals, I knew this was what I wanted to invest every ounce of my time into, from then on.
This upcoming year, I am looking forward to encouraging the youth riders to participate in more activities and get involved with the Board of Directors. I want everyone to voice their opinions, so that we can have a new generation of riders passionate about this sport. I want to have every youth member pushing for change that they individually see fit for the benefit of future shows. This past year, we have worked to coordinate our “Chill Box” at Youth Nationals, with ample daily activities, and organized a “Color War” at Youth Nationals for the youth riders. We also held a judging and hippology contest. We had 8 teams for our first year of our hipppology contest and 25 teams for our judging contest, with over 125 contestants. Furthermore, we sold tickets for a trailer raffle contest, selling almost 400 tickets.
I would like to thank the AHA Committee, the Board of Directors, and all the delegates that make our dreams of showing Arabian horses a reality. I would also like to thank Brenna Whitlock, our Youth Coordinator, Debbie Himmel, our Youth Committee Chair, Cindy Howey, our Youth Committee Vice Chair, and Yvette Howey for always encouraging us and supporting us, not only within this industry, but far into all aspects of life.
Each and every person in this room has somehow been touched by the nature of an Arabian horse. That is why we are all here, not only to make rules and write reports, but also to celebrate the mutual love of our sport. And to celebrate our love of the Arabian Horse.