CINCH Youth Speaking Contest Winners

On Friday, June 23, NRHyA Members proved that their skills extend beyond the show pen in the CINCH Youth Speaking Contest, held at the 2023 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel.

This contest, sponsored by CINCH, allows youth members to compete for scholarship money in one of three categories, in the 13 & Under or 14-18 age divisions. Prior to 2023, a $500 scholarship was awarded to the winner in each category. This year, CINCH increased their contribution to allow for a $700 scholarship to be earned by the winner in each category, as well as a $200 scholarship for second place, for a total of $5,400 being awarded in total. The three categories members may compete in are Delivering A: General, Prepared Public Speaking, and Community Service Presentation.

Delivering A: General is a contest unique to NRHyA, in which the competitor must memorize, and recite, A: General to a panel of judges. John “JG” Codell won the 13 & Under division, a feat that required extensive preparation. “One of our friends helped me,” Codell explained. “We had nightly meetings over Zoom to prepare for the speech.

For the Prepared Public Speaking contest, youth were asked to choose any leadership and equestrian topic, and present a four-eight minute speech, without the assistance of visual aids. The 13 & Under Prepared Public Speaking category winner, Wade Kiser, conquered his nerves to earn his $700 scholarship from CINCH. “I was nervous at first, but the more and more I talked, the more comfortable I got,” Kiser said. “It was a lot of fun; I’d definitely do it again.”

The final contest offered is the Community Service Presentation, in which youth create an eight-10 minute presentation explaining their completed community service project. Current NRHyA President, Adrianna Runzo, took home the win and the $700 scholarship from CINCH. Runzo’s presentation focused on her involvement with the Akron Children’s Hospital’s Reach Out and Read program, where she collected 500 books. “It’s amazing, especially because the speaking contest is bigger than ever,” Runzo stated regarding her win. “I know the first year I competed, there were only three of us youth kids in the same category. Now that number is 20.”

Runzo and the other youth competing in the contest were grateful to CINCH for their support. “It’s amazing to see the added scholarship money,” stated Runzo. “It really elevated the experience as a youth, seeing that we could win such great scholarships from a corporation that already supports us so much throughout all of our youth endeavors.”

The results for this year’s contest are:

Age 14-18

Delivering A: General
1st place, Isabelle Hildebrandt: $700
2nd place, Lilian Roush: $200

Prepared Public Speaking
1st place, Lilian Roush: $700
2nd place, Emma Klug: $200

Community Service Presentation
1st place, Adrianna Runzo: $700
2nd place, Chloe Hansen: $200

Age 13 & Under

Delivering A: General
1st place, John ‘JG’ Codell: $700
2nd place, Millie Jean Piper: $200

Prepared Public Speaking
1st place, Wade Kiser: $700
2nd place, Presley Timmerman: $200

Community Service Presentation
1st place, Cavannah Hansen: $700