Conway represents Indiana at Bank of America Challenge at Los Alamitos

It’s a big weekend for Quarter Horse racing as the Bank of America Challenge Championships will be featured at Los Alamitos in Southern California Saturday, Oct. 29. The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) has numerous programs to complement the racing event, including the Youth Racing Experience. Several qualifying events are held across the United States for students to advance to the final, and Garrett Conway of Muncie, Ind. was the 2016 winner of the Youth Racing Experience hosted by the Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana (QHRAI) held at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in June.

Garrett Conway stops for a photo outside the paddock at Santa Anita during his trip to Los Alamitos for the Bank of America Challenge Saturday, Oct. 29. Conway is representing Indiana in the Youth Racing Experience final hoping to take home the grand prize of $3,000 in college scholarships. (Photo by Jacy Bradford)

Garrett Conway stops for a photo outside the paddock at Santa Anita during his trip to Los Alamitos for the Bank of America Challenge Saturday, Oct. 29. Conway is representing Indiana in the Youth Racing Experience final hoping to take home the grand prize of $3,000 in college scholarships. (Photo by Jacy Bradford)

Garrett is heavily involved in Quarter Horses. He shows horses and helps his family with day to day operations around their farm, VC Ranch and Performance Horses. The Conways are also involved in Quarter Horse racing. Garrett’s father, Vic, is a current QHRAI board director and his mother, Christa, operates the magazine, “The Horse Resource.” The Conways also stand a stallion, First to Shake Six, at their farm and have had a few race horses in the past.

Garrett is a senior at Cowan High School in Delaware County. He plans to attend college next year and hopes to major in political science. He earned a $1,000 scholarship for winning the local Youth Racing Experience and a trip to the national round where additional scholarships are available following a series of racing related programs held during the weekend.

Garrett and members of the QHRAI arrived in southern California Thursday, Oct. 27 in preparation for the national Youth Racing Experience sponsored by AQHA. The high school senior went right to work Friday morning, shadowing trainer Bret Vickery, for some of the “hands on” requirements of the program. The finalists will also take a written test of skills and knowledge they have learned during their exposure to Quarter Horse racing.

Garrett has also enjoyed other parts of racing in the area. He watched California Chrome work at Santa Anita and also got to meet Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert.

Holly Kiess, 2015 Youth Racing Experience winner from Indiana Grand, advanced to the finals held at Lone Star Park in Texas and was the national winner. In addition to her $1,000 scholarship earned for her win locally, Kiess also won a $3,000 college scholarship from AQHA for being crowned the national champion. Garrett hopes to follow in Kiess’s footsteps and bring the national title back to Indiana for the second straight year.