In the May/June issue of Western Horse Review, we searched out some of the most accomplished and influential youth in the western horse industry and compiled our first-ever Young Guns – Top 25 Youth Under 25. We came up with six categories: Ambassadors, Artisans, Entertainers, Competitive, Entrepreneurs and Science. From self-discipline to unwavering focus, we were reminded that the dreams often fostered in young minds and hearts can translate to adulthood, and that good old fashioned determination can still achieve what many think is impossible. We loved the true western code of ethic each of our top 25 exude.
It evolved into such an inspiring piece we decided to recreate it online, with the fuller interviews and stories of each of our deserving Top 25. Look for them here at Screen Doors & Saddles over the next six months, as I\’ll reveal one every week or so!
Jaycee Spangler(Nominated for Ambassadors) Age: 22 High River, Alberta
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Penned by Albert Einstein, this is one of Jaycee Spangler’s favorite quotes.
“I believe that if you can imagine a dream and you have the guts to try to obtain it, then nothing can stand in your way,” says the young High River native.
Spangler is a self-professed hardworking farm-girl. Her father is a grain farmer and her mother was well-known and well-loved horse trainer, Julie Aitken. Sadly, Aitken lost her battle with cancer several years ago. But not before she could impart many important lessons upon her daughter.
“My mother remains as one of my favorite inspirational mentors,” says Spangler.
“From my parents, I learned the value of hard work at an early age. I am a country girl, ready to take any chance I can dream of.”
Spangler is currently obtaining a management degree with a major in accounting at the University of Lethbridge. She hopes to find herself in an accounting position within the oil and gas sector in the Calgary area when she’s graduated.
Prior to post-secondary, Spangler admits she struggled with school and, “…never felt successful in my education.”
Luckily, her love for horses and team penning has carried her great distances. Last fall, Spangler had the opportunity to ride with her dad at the regional finals of the Chinook Team Penning Association.
“We won the class,” she tells excitedly. “The pride in my dad’s face and the happiness he carried made me feel so proud. I (also) had the amazing opportunity of riding at the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede for team cattle penning.”
Spangler is the youngest member to sit on the board of directors as a volunteer for the Chinook Team Cattle Penning Association. In her spare time, she likes to be outdoors, read and pen a fantasy novel she has in the works.
She likes to put her imagination to good use.
~ Jennifer Webster