Professional Title: Manager of Youth Development & AQHYA, American Quarter Horse Association
Home: Amarillo, Texas
“My name is Helen Hardy, and while I was not born into the Western industry, I became involved as soon as I could and have been hooked ever since. As a child, I caught the “horse bug”, plastering my bedroom walls with horse posters, collecting Breyer horses, and stopping to touch any horse I could. With support from naïve parents, I began riding lessons that fueled my passion for the horse and Western industries, leading me down a path of 4-H and FFA participation and leadership roles. Fortunate to be able to carry this enthusiasm into college at Texas A&M and Middle Tennessee State University, I found myself riding on ranch horse teams, teaching, coaching, and being involved in multiple horse-related activities. I continued my involvement in the western, horse and agricultural industries through working as a County Extension Agent, guiding 4-H members through nationally recognized projects including livestock and horse. Currently, my career is with the American Quarter Horse Association that allows me to combine my love of the horse with youth development allowing me to never be too far from swinging my leg over my own Quarter Horse and shaping the future of the industry.”
Vision for the future of women in the Western industry: Being a first-generation equestrian, I am from an extremely supportive family that encouraged my passion for horses and the western industry which placed me on the doorstep of a community of welcoming, intelligent, powerful, kind, and passionate women – also known as cowgirls. I seek to foster an environment where all women can find the door to and their place within the western industry, inviting them to sit at the table. Throughout my life, I have found myself surrounded by women who continue to challenge the status quo in every aspect of their lives, from being kind friends, loving mothers and wives to association executives and ground-breaking researchers. I want to invite women in any stage of life, from any background, that all share the love and dedication to the industry that has become our livelihoods and careers to pull up a chair to the table until everyone has a seat.
Wrangler‘s COWGIRL 30 Under 30, presented by Teton Ridge, is sponsored by Cavender’s the Official Retailer, Charlie 1 Horse Hats the Official Hat, and Durango Boots the Official Boot, for COWGIRL 30 Under 30, with Corral Boots, Dude Rancher’s Association, Montana Silversmiths, Old Gringo Boots, and The Cowboy Channel.