April 1, 2009 -- Strong adult and peer leadership are the backbone of the youth-horse industry and vital in transforming today's youth into tomorrow's leaders.
The American Youth Horse Council's (AYHC) National Leader of the Year award, sponsored by the Certified Horsemanship Association, the AYHC National Student Leader of the Year, sponsored by Junior Master Horseman, the AYHC Distinguished Service Award, sponsored by Cornell University/NY 4-H Horse Program, and the AYHC Partnership Award, sponsored by University of Louisville, Equine Industry Program, were presented at the 32nd annual National Youth Horse Leaders Symposium March 28 in Lincoln, Neb.
The recipient of the 2008 National Youth Horse Leader of the Year is Jo Gelinas of Gofftown, N.J. Gelinas is president of the 4-H Hillsborough County Parent/Leader/Teen Association and the 4-H Hillsborough County Horse Council. She has been a leader in recruiting volunteers to assist at local, county and state events. Gelinas has served as the Hillsborough County head chaperone at the state horse show for more than 20 years. Her 4-H club members have won local, state and national competitions in 4-H judging, quiz bowl and communications. She has taught the value of hard work, practice, dedication and learning to young people through the 4-H Hoofbeats Club.
Kelly Peterson of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., was named 2008 AYHC Student Leader of the Year. Peterson is a member of the Hayburners 4-H Club, and holds numerous memberships in local, state and national 4-H, Quarter Horse and Appalossa Associations. Additionally she serves as the president of the Wisconsin State 4-H Youth Horse Association, president of the Northeast Wisconsin District 4-H Horse Association and treasurer of the Haynesville 4-H Club.
The AYHC Partnership Award recognizes an organization for a program or formal activity that provides leadership and inspiration to young people in accordance with the overall mission of AYHC exemplified by its motto, "Connecting Kids through Horses." The 2008 winner is Equine Studies Program Arizona Agribusiness & Equine Center High School. This Equine Studies Program provides unique, broad-based educational opportunities for students having a special interest in horses and the horse industry.?
The Distinguished Service Award recognizes a person who has shown dedication and service to AYHC. Christy Landwehr was recognized by AYHC for showing extreme dedication not only to AYHC, where she serves as the immediate past president, but also to the youth horse industry. She has been active in the horse industry for over 25 years. Hunter/jumper, dressage, western pleasure, endurance riding and saddle seat equitation are just some of the disciplines she has competed in at the local, regional and national levels. She has been teaching children and adults how to ride for over 15 years. Landwehr is a Master Level Riding Instructor through Certified Horsemanship Association as well as an AQHA Professional Horseman. Additionally, she has been involved in 4-H, FFA and Pony Club.? She also founded and coached the University of Colorado at Boulder equestrian team.?
The AYHC awards program is a member benefit and if AYHC members wish to nominate an outstanding adult or student volunteer leader for 2009, watch for the nomination form in the June 2009 AYHC newsletter or download the form from www.ayhc.com. The awards will be presented at the 33rd annual symposium to be held in Lexington, Ky., March 19-21, 2010. EQUUS magazine is a corporate sponsor of AYHC.