Standeford selected as winner for QHRAI Youth Racing Experience

The Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana (QHRAI) has a history of having a strong presence in the national American Quarter Horse Association’s (AQHA) Youth Racing Experience program. The national winner in 2015 was Holly Kiess of Fort Wayne, Ind. Last year’s Hunter Duncan of Terre Haute, Ind. finished second in the national program. Indiana will be represented by Kim Standeford for the 2017 edition of the Youth Racing Experience to be held during the Bank of America Challenge at Prairie Meadows Racetrack in Iowa in mid October.


Kim Standeford is pictured with her barrel horse CDF Queensville King following their win in the 1D IBRA State Youth event in 2014. (Photo provided)

Standeford was one of 13 students age 16-18 that competed in this year’s event at Indiana Grand, held in mid June. The students spent the day at the track, learning about the care and training of Quarter Horses. At the conclusion of the event, students were tasked to take an exam which solidified the winner of the contest. As a result, Standeford earned a $1,000 scholarship courtesy of QHRAI and a trip to the national contest where she will have the opportunity to earn an additional scholarship from AQHA as programs from across the nation come together for the national competition.

 Standeford, a 2017 graduate of Hamilton Heights High School located just north of Indianapolis, is headed to Purdue University this fall. The Atlanta, Ind. native hopes to earn a degree in marketing and would love to tie that into horses in some way.

 Standeford is no stranger to Quarter Horses. She started out showing locally on the 4-H circuit which led her into the barrel racing ranks. She and her horse, CDF Queensville King, won the 1D Indiana Barrel Racing Association (IBRA) State Youth title in 2014. Standeford also earned a scholarship from the Business Professionals of America this past year. She served as president of her school’s chapter and received an Indiana State Officer Leadership Team Scholarship.

Students attending the 2017 Youth Racing Experience at Indiana Grand gather for a photo in the winner’s circle prior to breaking off and accompanying a trainer for a race during the night. The program has produced several national finalists over the past two years. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

 Cassandra Trumbower of Fort Wayne, Ind. was the runner up in the QHRAI Youth Racing Experience event at Indiana Grand. Trumbower has been active in 4-H with showing and judging horses for the past eight years. She won first place in the 4-H Horse and Pony Show at the Indiana State Fair in 2016 with her Pinto mare, Flashy Black Beauty. Trumbower attended the Indiana Grand event with her aunts, who have recently bred a Quarter Horse mare to an Indiana sired stallion in the Indiana Quarter Horse racing industry program. The family hopes to get involved in racing in the next few years.

 “We had 13 students spend the day with us this year, 11 of which were girls, and they were a great group of kids,” said Vickie Duke, secretary for QHRAI and coordinator of the local Youth Racing Experience event. “In fact, two of the girls were from Illinois as that state does not offer a Youth Racing Experience program. It was really hard to judge the students this year. They were chosen by their test scores, their interaction during the day and their interviews. It was really close this year as several of the students really stood out.”