The Congress National Youth Activity Team Tournament attracts youth teams from all over the country to compete in Youth All-Age Showmanship, Barrel Racing, Reining, Horsemanship, Hunt Seat Equitation, Hunter Under Saddle and Western Pleasure. The tournament recognizes the top ten overall teams in two divisions, Division I for larger teams, and Division II for smaller teams. The NYATT contest began at the Congress in 1968, the second year of the show. The contest is sponsored by NSBA Smart Points.

Small But Mighty

LTwo young ladies from Washington State made their team count. The two exhibitors representing the Washington State Quarter Horse Association included Lily Richardson and Makeila Eserjose. Lily and her horse, A Natural Dancer, won the NYATT Hunt Seat Equitation, besting 72 entries.

“Washington hasn’t won a class at the Congress in about ten years, so it was pretty exciting,” Lily said. “I flew out, but Makeila drove out. I’m sure she slept a lot on the way here. We’ve had a lot of fun being in the tournament.”

The Washington team placed eighth in Division II of the contest.

Home Team Tops

You could say that the ‘home team’ took full advantage of home field when the Ohio Quarter Horse Association won the contest in Division I.
With a first place in Showmanship by Ellexxah Maxwell, and second place finishes in Barrel Racing by Roxanne Simpson, Hunter Under Saddle by Isabella D’Onofrio and Showmanship by Ryan Flowers, the Ohio team was tough to beat. 

The Illinois Quarter Horse Association finished second, with second place earnings in Hunt Seat Equitation from Shaelyn Bouttelle and Horsemanship with Nya Kearns as well as a third in Reining with Shelby Lynch.

LIn Division II, Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Association earned top honors helped by a first place win in Horsemanship for Tierney Horton. South Carolina Quarter Horse Association received reserve honors, bolstered by a win in Western Pleasure by Logan Starnes.

In addition to the contest awards, NYATT exhibitors won random prizes during the awards ceremony including $1,500 in $100 bills.

To see how your favorite team did in the contest, visit Standings.