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The American Youth Horse Council is dedicated to recognizing those individuals and programs that enhance the lives of youth through their involvement with horses. Each year we recognize a Youth Leader of the Year (an adult leader of a youth equine program).  The award is announced at the annual AYHC Symposium each year. The deadline for nominations is October 15 each year.  (The deadline for 2022 is October 17 due to the 15th falling on a weekend)


The person making the nomination MUST be an AYHC member. Membership may be submitted at the time of nomination.

AYHC Leader of the Year

This annual award recognizes the adult leader who best exemplifies outstanding leadership to young people within the horse industry. This award is presented each year during the annual AYHC Symposium. The AYHC Leader of the Year nominations is due October 15 each year.

Nomination process: 

All nominations must be submitted via You may use the following document as a template to prepare your nomination. 

Nomination template

AYHC Leader of the Year Award

AYHC Student Leader of the Year Award

AYHC Distinguished Service Award

AYHC Distinguished Service Award Recipients

  • Julie Kimball

  • Ray Antoniewicz

  • Ed Roberts

  • Christy Landwehr

  • Bill Culbertson

  • Dr. Melvin Brady

  • B.F Yates

  • Pat Comerford

  • Kent Sturman

  • Ashley Griffin

  • Robert Mowery

  • Norm Luba

  • Jeanne Griffin

  • Julie Fershtman

  • Nancy Kissel

  • Dr. Karen Waite

  • Deb Hagstrom

  • Debbie Manring

  • Meg Sax

  • Dr. Jenifer Nadeau

  • Carla McLachlan

  • Brenna Johnson

Youth Equine Industry Connections Award Recipients

formerly AYHC Partnership Award

2016    United States Pony Club, Inc for National Youth Congress

2018    Miami International Riding Club

2019    Virginia 4-H Horse Ambassador Program

AYHC Partnership Award Recipients

  • Certified Horsemanship Association

  • Rodeheaver Boys Ranch, Florida

  • Reins of Life, Indiana

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