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AYHC LEADERSHIP AWARD PROGRAM

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 Volunteer Leader of the Year (an adult leader of a youth equine program) and a Student Leader of the Year (age 14-19) and new this year, a Horse Industry Professional of the Year.  The awards are announced at the annual AYHC Symposium each year.   

 

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

NEW

AYHC Horse Industry Professional of the Year

The 'Horse Industry Professional of the Year' award is an annual accolade designed to honor exceptional individuals dedicated to the education of youth in the horse industry. Esteemed nominees for this prestigious distinction are professionals actively engaged in roles that support the youth horse industry, either through employment or self-employment. These individuals demonstrate exemplary skills as educators, coaches, or mentors to young horse enthusiasts, actively promoting the youth horse industry at local, state, or national levels.

 

Nominees distinguish themselves by employing innovative teaching methodologies that enhance student learning outcomes, earning them respect as prominent youth educators within the industry. Nominations are open to any member in good standing with AYHC, offering an inclusive platform for recognition. Importantly, nominees need not be current AYHC members but should embody the qualities of a commendable ambassador for the youth horse industry, making them deserving candidates for this national honor.

A potential nominee for this distinguished award is an industry professional exemplifying strong adult leadership, dedicated to nurturing the growth of young horse enthusiasts. Their commitment plays a pivotal role in ensuring the vitality and longevity of the horse industry, making them a commendable candidate for this prestigious recognition. Some examples of potential nominees include (but not limited to) extension educator, agriculture education teacher, equine organization staff, equestrian camp staff.

Nomination Requirements:

  • Electronically submit a completed nomination via Judgify 

  •  Include 3 photos illustrating the nominee’s involvement in horse and/or leadership activities.

    • Photos must be jpeg format and at least 300 dpi.

  • Attach a minimum of 2 letters of recommendation/support. (maximum of 5 letters). Any one of your references may be contacted for additional information/clarification.

    • At least one of these letters must be from a youth

    • Letter writers may not be related to the nominee

Nomination process: 

All nominations for Horse Industry Professional of the Year must be submitted no later than January 16 via judgify.me/ayhcpro. You may use the following document as a template to prepare your nomination. 

AYHC Horse Industry Professional of the Year guidelines and template

AYHC Leader of the Year 

This annual award recognizes the adult leader who best exemplifies outstanding leadership to young people within the horse industry. Strong adult leadership for young horsemen today helps ensure a vital horse industry in the future. Any leader who volunteers time and effort to the youth horse industry should be recognized as a potential candidate for this award. This award is presented each year during the annual AYHC Symposium. The AYHC Leader of the Year nominations are due November 15.

Nomination process: 

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

Nomination template & Guidelines  

AYHC STUDENT Leader of the Year

An annual award to recognize a student leader (age 14 – 19) who has offered outstanding leadership to young people within the horse industry. This top leader introduces newcomers to the horse industry, mentors younger horsemen, and promotes the horse industry within the local community. This student accomplishes these goals in fun and innovative ways. Any member in good standing with AYHC may nominate a deserving student leader (age 14 –19). Self-nomination is also allowed. The nominee is not required to be a current AYHC member. The nominee should be considered a good ambassador of the youth horse industry for this national recognition. Peer mentoring is very important to the development of youth. Having a strong youth leader in a horse club or association is a great attribute and helps keep the club vibrant and growing. Kids love looking up to other kids and a good role model should be recognized for his/her contributions. Any student leader who volunteers time and effort to the youth horse industry should be recognized as a potential candidate for the award. The AYHC Student Leader of the Year nominations is due November 15.

Nomination process: 

All nominations for Student of the Year must be submitted by November 15 via judgify.me/ayhcleader. You may use the following document as a template to prepare your nomination. 

Student Leader Nomination Template & Guidelines  

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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