2024-2025 AQHYA Leadership Team Candidates

Meet the candidates for AQHYA regional director or national officer for the 2024-2025 term.



Taitum Connick, a sophomore at Cascade Christian High School, is from Eagle Point, Oregon. She is a current AQHYA Region 1 director and has served as the Oregon Quarter Horse Youth Association treasurer. Taitum has also participated in the AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program and AQHAchieve. She has many other accolades outside of AQHYA that include community service projects and Jackson County Fair championships. Taitum is currently an intern with Titus Covington Performance Horses. In her re-election campaign, Taitum has three main goals, one of which is to promote the AQHYA Young Horse Development program to youth in her area. Her next two goals are to improve communication and involvement within her region, as well as to focus on educating AQHYA members on the careers that are available in the equine industry.

Taitum is campaigning for re-election as a Region 1 director.

REGION 2 No candidate applications



Abigail Eddy, from Rocheport, Missouri, is a recent graduate of David H. Hickman High School. She currently serves as the AQHYA first vice president, the Missouri Quarter Horse Youth Association state president, the National Snaffle Bit Youth Association president elect, and as a National Reining Horse Youth Association national liaison. Outside of the American Quarter Horse industry, Abigail is involved in FFA, cheer and the National Honor Society. During her campaign, Abigail plans to focus on increasing collaboration between state/provincial youth affiliates, as she believes they are the root of the AQHYA, which will directly strengthen the AQHYA as a whole and create a foundation for growth in the generations to come.

Following a year serving as an AQHYA officer, Abigail is running for Region 3 director, national officer, and the AQHYA presidency.


Addison Hinton is a senior at Southern Boone High School from Ashland, Missouri. Currently, she serves as the Missouri Quarter Horse Youth Association reporter and served as AQHYA Region 3 director for the 2022-23 term. Addison has also participated in the AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program and multiple championship shows. She is currently a member of 4-H and has a list of accomplishments in the livestock show pen. As a member of AQHYA leadership, Addison would like to create a system that allows young people to have the necessary tools and information to pursue a career in the equine industry. She believes this will create a youth population that is better prepared for their future outside of AQHYA.

Addison is running for the position of Region 3 director and national officer.



Colton Smith, from Bellefontaine, Ohio, is an upcoming junior at Calvary Christian School. He currently serves as an AQHYA Executive Committee member and is chair of the AQHYA Outreach Committee. While doing so, Colton also serves as Ohio Quarter Horse Association president. Colton has collected a long list of accomplishments in the American Quarter Horse industry including several world championships, championship titles at the All American Quarter Horse Congress and multiple AQHYA high-point halter titles. Outside of the industry, he participates in several charities in his community. During his campaign, Colton has several goals, including showcasing the programs offered by the association to its members through a comprehensive video. He also plans to host a state/regional leadership event and find a way to educate AQHYA members on the economic impact of the equine industry in the United States.

Colton is campaigning for election as a Region 4 director, national officer, and AQHYA presidency.


Elden Fredenburg, from Straughn, Indiana, is a freshman at Tri Junior Senior High School. He serves as the Indiana Quarter Horse Youth Association vice president and was a Youth Excellence Seminar delegate in 2023. Elden spends his time working for 4F Farms helping maintain their herd of Angus cattle and manage their horse barn. He also volunteers as a student assistant and donates his time to local food banks and charities. Elden is a member of the National Snaffle Bit Youth Association, National Junior Honor Society and is captain of his school’s wrestling team. Elden would like to work toward every AQHYA member attending YES, as he believes getting to know your fellow members is a great way to strengthen the Association and draw in new membership.

Elden is running for a Region 4 director position.


Hailing from Burton, Michigan, Elizabeth Smith is a senior at Michigan International Prep School. Elizabeth served as the Michigan Quarter Horse Youth Association vice president and was an AQHYA Region 4 director this past year. She is employed as a Michigan Service Dogs junior trainer/dog handler while also serving on the MQHYA board of directors. Elizabeth is active in her local 4-H club, and her accomplishments include AQHYA Rookie Level 1 western pleasure reserve champion, as well as many dog showing championship titles. During this past year, Elizabeth implemented a program called the “welcoming committee” where she worked towards making new members feel included and welcome. As she runs for re-election, she would like to continue with this concept and work to make sure AQHYA remains inclusive and exciting to new members.

Elizabeth is running for re-election as a Region 4 director this year.


Jenna Fischesser is from Dry Ridge, Kentucky, where she recently graduated from Conner Senior High School. She currently serves as an AQHYA Region 4 director and has been involved in the Kentucky Youth Quarter Horse Association as a director, reporter, and currently as president. Jenna participates in several activities at her school including being a member of the varsity archery team, vice president of the student council, photographer for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the historian for her school’s FFA chapter. As she works towards re-election, Jenna is committing herself to improving collaboration among the different equine associations to strengthen the equine industry as a whole and enhance membership engagement.

Jenna is seeking re-election as a Region 4 director.


Layni Wills is from Richwood, Ohio, where she graduated from North Union High School this year. Layni is involved with AQHYA in the show pen at various championship shows, and outside of the arena as a national director for AQHYA and the Vice-President Elect of the Ohio Quarter Horse Youth Association. Layni also currently serves as a director-elect of the Northern Ohio Quarter Horse Association. Outside of AQHYA, she is involved in the National Honors Society, FFA, basketball, Students of Service and student council. During her campaign, Layni plans to focus on bridging the gap between the AQHYA and the amateur levels of AQHA. She believes this will encourage her peers to stay involved after they age out of their youth membership and intends to highlight programs such as AQHLead and the AQHA Emerging Leader Award to achieve her goal.

Layni Wills is running for election as a Region 4 director and national officer.



Hailing from Sussex, New Jersey, Adrianna Goolsby recently graduated from Vernon Township High School. Adrianna served as a Region 5 director for the past two years and held positions on several AQHYA committees including the International and Outreach committees. During her time as director, she was involved in coordinating the Region 5 Youth Leadership Conference. Outside of AQHYA, she is involved in several extracurricular activities including wrestling, cross country and the National Honor Society to name a few. As an AQHYA Region 5 director, Adrianna created “Take 5,” a video series where she interviewed influential individuals to discuss leadership. If re-elected, she plans to expand this project and interview leadership figures in national organizations such as FFA and 4-H.

Adrianna is campaigning for re-election as a Region 5 director and for a national officer position.


Lauren Goolsby is a sophomore at Vernon Township High School from Sussex, New Jersey. Lauren is an AQHYA Region 5 director and serves on the AQHYA Public Policy Committee. She was an AQHA Region 5 and 6 Youth Leadership Conference facilitator and attendee, a New Jersey representative at the All American Quarter Horse Congress, and served as the reporter for NJQHYA. Outside the industry, Lauren runs varsity track, plays volleyball and is a student council member. She also volunteers her time with the Vernon Township Middle School track team and the NJQHYA horse shows. Campaigning for re-election, Lauren wants to improve on the work she has already done and continue to increase engagement and participation within her region. She plans to do this through creating a region-specific website and increasing their social media presence to promote exposure.

Lauren is campaigning for re-election as a Region 5 director.

REGION 6 No candidate applications


Brylee Leach, from New River, Arizona, is a sophomore at Cactus Shadows High School. She currently serves as a Region 7 director and was the Arizona Quarter Horse Youth Association president for the past year.  Brylee involves herself in choir and the Student Preventing Unintentional Drownings Club, where she travelled to different elementary schools educating kids on water safety and drowning prevention. As she runs for re-election, Brylee would like to use her abilities to help other states strengthen their affiliates, using her current affiliate as a platform to do so.

Brylee is running for re-election as a Region 7 director.


Hailing from Prescott Valley, Arizona, Kamryn Perkins is an incoming freshman at Tri-City College Prep High School. She is currently the treasurer for the Arizona Quarter Horse Youth Association while also being the 13-&-Under representative. Outside of AQHYA, she is actively involved in Little League Softball where she is a mentor for younger players. She is also a member of the student council, yearbook club and the mathematics team. In her first year running for a leadership position, Kamryn would like to focus on all sectors of the AQHYA membership, especially those who may not have direct access to a horse of their own. She also would like to increase attendance at YES, as she believes this to be a key to the growth of and interest in the Association.

Kamryn is running for a Region 7 director position.


Hailing from Tucson, Arizona, Taylor Mack will be a senior at Canyon Del Oro High School. Taylor is currently serving as Arizona Quarter Horse Youth Association vice president. Outside of AQHYA, Taylor has been president of her 4-H club and served as a youth member of the Horse Advisory Board. She was a part of the 2023 Western National Round-Up champion horse judging team and placed fifth-high individually. Taylor also has extensive volunteer experience with several charities including Feed My Starving Children while also helping with her local 4-H judging clinics. As she campaigns for the first time, Taylor would like to focus on expanding the youth sector of the equine industry and intends to do so by starting at the local level and encouraging youth from all walks of life to join this great Association.

Taylor is campaigning for Region 7 director this year.



Hailing from McAllen, Texas, Charylet Lee is enrolled in A Beka Academy Homeschool Program. Charylet is currently a Region 8 director and held several leadership titles for the Texas Quarter Horse Youth Association, including president and board member. She is a certified veterinary technician and farrier and has served hundreds of hours of community service. Charylet was also the 2023 AQHA Youth Racing Experience champion and a past participant in the AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program. As she runs for re-election, Charylet has one goal: increase youth memberships. She plans to do this through improving communication methods and educating AQHYA members in more efficient ways.

Charylet is seeking election as a Region 8 director and national officer.


Hozanah Hanon, from Mustang, Oklahoma, is a sophomore at Mustang Public High School. She currently serves on the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Youth Association board of directors and is a participant in the AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program. Hozanah enjoys success in the show pen through the Interscholastic Equestrian Association and Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association. Outside of the industry, she is an active member of FFA, a volunteer in her community and was a horse show assistant for the Oklahoma Amateur Quarter Horse Association. As she sets out on her first year of campaigning, Hozanah would like to create an environment where all AQHYA members feel a sense of belonging and engagement. In doing so, she believes it will strengthen the bonds within the Association and ensure that the Association remains a supportive environment for all.

Hozanah is running for a Region 8 director position.


Jake Huston is a freshman at Douglas High School from Douglas, Kansas, and is president-elect for the Kansas Quarter Horse Youth Association. Previously, he served as the KQHYA vice president and fundraising chairman. He is also a recipient of the KQHYA youth sportsmanship and Kansas Quarter Horse Association Justin Rookie Youth of the Year awards. Outside of AQHYA, he participates in student council, football, basketball, 4-H, motocross, archery, and community service. In his first year running for an AQHYA leadership position, Jake plans to focus on increasing AQHYA membership numbers and he has several opportunities he would like to explore to do so.

This year, Jake is campaigning for a Region 8 director position.


Megan Kenoyer is from Peyton, Colorado, where she is a senior in high school. She is a former Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Youth Association regional director and is the current secretary. Outside of AQHYA, Megan has been active in 4-H, where she held the position of secretary, led a county-wide sock drive for a local homeless shelter, and competed in public speaking. She has completed many honors classes which taught her the values of discipline and time management. During her campaign, Megan would like to focus on growing membership numbers at the local grass roots level, or through state affiliates. She plans to do this by providing an “open door” atmosphere and by improving communication at the local level to encourage involvement and incorporation.

Megan is running for a Region 8 director position at AQHYA.



Carrie Brigham is a junior at Bethel Christian Academy from Clanton, Alabama. Currently, she serves as a Region 9 director and is the Alabama Quarter Horse Youth Association president while also being AlQHYA horse show committee chair. Carrie is involved in many associations, including the American Stock Horse Association, Interscholastic Equestrian Association, 4-H, Youth Equestrian Development Association and the Southern Donkey and Mule Society. During her campaign, Carrie plans to utilize the technology available to AQHYA members to help create more opportunity for its members while also educating them on the resources that are readily available.

Carrie is campaigning to be re-elected as a Region 9 director.


Harley Jo Jones is a sophomore at Arkansas Connections Academy from Romance, Arkansas. She is currently serving as a Region 9 director and her third term as Arkansas Quarter Horse Youth Association president. Harley donates her time to her church’s nursery and children’s ministry and enjoys spending her weekends at the local Saturday night horse show. She also gathers food and donates it to local churches and their food pantries. Running for re-election, Harley Jo would like to embrace the Smile and Lead platform, a philosophy that inspires members to lead others with a smile and encourage positivity, empathy and inclusivity within the membership.

Harley Jo Jones is campaigning for re-election as Region 9 director, as well as a national officer position.


Hailing from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Madelyn MacLarren is a sophomore at Rutherford County Virtual School. She currently serves as the president of the Tennessee Quarter Horse Youth Association and has also been an AQHYA World Championship Show finalist. Outside of AQHYA, she has been a member of the Need a Hand Horse Judging Team and worked at the Tennessee Paint Horse Club Show where she was a scribe. Madelyn also works with her school’s service club and has volunteered at local food banks, pet shelters and homeless shelters to help those in need. As she campaigns, Madelyn intends to focus on properly educating her peers on the American Quarter Horse. She would like to implement a contest to encourage AQHYA membership to use resources including the AQHA handbook and AQHLearn and allow them to compete on a national level to test their knowledge.

Madelyn is campaigning for Region 9 director.


Taylor Breland is from Philadelphia, Mississippi, where she is a freshman at Leake Academy. She is a current AQHYA Region 9 director.  Taylor has served as the secretary and second vice president for the Mississippi Quarter Horse Youth Association and is now the president-elect. Outside of AQHYA, she is involved in the National Beta Club, student council and has done extensive volunteer work at various equine events, including an AQHA Equestrians With Disabilities horse show and the Horses for Handicapped event. During her re-election campaign, Taylor would like to work toward one simple goal: increase AQHYA membership numbers. She plans to do so by educating youth on the opportunities that are available to them and preparing them to take on leadership positions in the Association.

Taylor is seeking re-election as a Region 9 director.



Virginia Sater is a sophomore from Canton, Georgia, where she attends Creekview High School. She currently serves as the first vice president and has held the position of activities director for the Georgia Quarter Horse Youth Association. Outside of AQHYA, Virginia is a part of the Mastery Chorus, International Thespian Society, Key Club, Beta Club and Mu Alpha Theta at her high school. Her hobbies include riding, playing piano and singing. Virginia volunteers her time assisting Bearfoot Ranch with their equine therapy and horse rescue. During her campaign, Virginia will focus on expanding AQHA’s reach, increasing interest in the Association, and growing the community of equine enthusiasts who share love for the American Quarter Horse.

Virginia is campaigning for Region 10 director.

REGION 11 No candidate applications