Youth President’s Message

Reese Pekny, PHBA Youth President 2023-2024

Hello everyone! My name is Reese Pekny, and I am honored and very excited to be your 2023-2024 PHBA Youth President. For the last fifteen years, I have grown up making life-long friendships while showing my palominos at state and world championship shows. It is a privilege to promote and collaborate with fellow youth and this year’s National Youth Board. I would like to introduce Lanie Phelps from Rich Hill Missouri, as President-Elect, Ellie Roehrs from Nowata Oklahoma, and Ava Scheiderer from Woodbury Wisconsin,  as Co-Vice President. Kaitlyn Jones from Mt. Orab Ohio, as Secretary, Kirkland from Buckner Missouri, as TreasureRebekah Schilling from Starkville Mississippi, as Reporter, and our Pasted-President Kate Roehrs Nowata Oklahoma. Our three Appointees are Savannah Petrosky from Columbus Texas, Vanessa Simmons from Lapine Alabama, Wyatt Orrick from Basehor Kansas, and our Associate Board Member Caleb Heinz from Greenfield Iowa. This leadership team will meet monthly with our Youth Advisors, Tia Koehler, and Corey Roehrs to plan our World Show activities, discuss sponsorship and fundraising opportunities, set goals, share feedback they have heard from members like you, discuss and vote on rule changes or amendments and much more. Be sure to reach out to me or any of our Board members with any ideas or questions, everyone will be happy to hear from you.

Before I share our goals for the year let me share a little about myself. I love riding horses in most classes, but I especially enjoy riding in Western Pleasure. I also like hunting deer and turkey with my dad, bowling with friends, and volunteering when I can at the Freedom Hooves Therapeutic Riding Center. My horse’s name is Chester, he loves eating peppermints and we’ve been buddies for nine years. Currently, I am attending Wichita State University, majoring in Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Mathematics and Business Management. I know you’re wondering how a kid who rides horses decides to pursue a degree in engineering.  It’s simple, I love math, science, and problem-solving.  We all know owning a horse can be expensive because they have a knack for breaking something regularly at the barn.  To save money we often use old supplies which require us to find creative ways to use different board lengths and shapes when fixing a broken stall door or building a trail obstacle. Math, science, and problem-solving come in handy for those projects. Space and flying, if I can find a way to fly Chester to the moon, well that would be pretty cool.

Looking forward, the Board and I will be working together to build and execute a strategy that will boost youth membership and engagement in our organization.  Why is this strategy important you ask? Because our youth ARE THE FUTURE. Listening to new and fresh ideas, and getting our youth members involved in their state APAs, while promoting the opportunities and relationships that will be made, are just a few of the many benefits of being a member. Last year we hosted a booth at the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison, Wisconsin. Everyone had so much fun meeting all the visitors who love horses just as much as we do. Sharing our personal PHBA stories is just one item in our outreach plan. Feedback, personal stories, and new ideas are always welcome via our Facebook page, PHBA Youth. Give us a follow to learn more about our youth.


I would like to thank everyone who blessed me with the opportunity to serve as this year’s PHBA Youth President. Special thanks to Tia and Cory, our AMAZING Youth Advisors. Without you, we wouldn’t have things like boot toss and little squirt guns that we use on the trainers, the gate crew, and each other. We are a stronger youth organization because of your advocacy, countless hours of support, personal funding contributions, and round-the-clock guidance.


I am looking forward to this upcoming year and all the surprises it may hold. Good luck to all of you, and I cannot wait to see you at the upcoming shows.  If you aren’t a member and would like to learn more, please visit Also, if you have any questions for me my email is, [email protected].