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 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.

AYHC Leader of the Year Award Recipients

2001    Patty Kelley, Pennsylvania
2002    Ethel Miller

2003    Mary Fay, Vermont

2004    Ethel Coleman, Pennsylvania

2005    Will Swierenga, Wisconsin

2006    Pamila Cronkhite, Washington
2007    Nancy Kissel, Wisconsin

2008    Jo Gelinas, New Jersey

2009    Debbie Manring, Ohio

2010     Sabrina Ginn

2011      Sherri Thornton, Maine

2012     Becky Osimowicz, Alaska

2013     Joe & Linda Pribek, Wisconsin

2014     Elaine Keir, Florida

2015     Barbara Nagle, Florida

2016     Tom McBeath, Mississippi

2017     Betsy Ullrich, Pennsylvania

2018     Connie Seekins, Alaska

2019     Amy Snover, Pennsylvania

2020    Darryll-Ann Buschling, Maryland

AYHC Student Leader of the Year Award Recipients

2006    Jodi Lenhart, Pennsylvania

2007    Laura Akerlund, Wisconsin

2008    Kelly Peterson, Wisconsin

2009    Christine Whittier, Minnesota

2010    Ashley Ball, West Virginia

2011    Weber Stibolt, Maryland

2012    Jade Kutzke, Minnesota

2013    Connor Farley, West Virginia

2014    Abby Sankovitz, Minnesota

2015    Paige Gabrielson, Minnesota

2016    Madeline McEachin,  Pennsylvania

2017    Reagan Stephens, Oklahoma

2018    Aaron Goldade, Minnesota

2019    Laura Shoutz, Minnesota

AYHC Award Recipients

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

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