March 15, 2007 -- The American Youth Horse Council's (AYHC) National Youth Horse Leader of the Year award, National Student Leader of the Year and Distinguished Service Award were presented at the annual National Youth Horse Leaders Symposium March 10 in Denver, Colo. Primedia Equine Network was a sponsor of the symposium.
The Youth Leader of the Year recognizes an outstanding adult leader whose dedication and volunteer efforts have furthered the youth-horse industry. The 2006 National Youth Horse Leader of the Year is Pamila Cronkhite of Vancouver, Wash. Ten years ago Cronkhite founded Son Rise Ranch, a youth development equine facility with weekly riding lessons designed to promote self-esteem.
"At Son Rise Ranch, you don't only learn how to ride a horse. You learn skills that will help you in other parts of life," said Cayla Sovie, one of Cronkhite's students.
Jodi Lenhart, age 17 of Boliver, Pa., was named the inaugural winner of the National Student Leader of the Year Award. Lenhart has been a member of Westmoreland County 4-H Horse program for 10 years and was selected as Outstanding 4-H Horse Member in Pennsylvania in 2005. She is a member of Teens Against Tobacco Use and has served as an officer in many local clubs.
"Jodi is a young person who has overcome her feelings of shyness, her personal doubts, and has made a difference in both the lives of people and horses," said Joann Logan, Lenhart's 4-H leader.
Ashley Griffin of Lexington, Ky., was recognized with the Distinguised Service Award for showing dedication not only to AYHC, but also to the youth horse industry. She has been on the AYHC for more than 10 years, serving as Vice President, President and Chair of the Research and Data Statistics Committee. Griffin is currently the Content Design Leader for the National eXtension Initiative.
AYHC members who wish to nominate an outstanding adult or student volunteer leader for 2007 should watch for the nomination form in the June 2007 AYHC newsletter or download the form from www.ayhc.com. The award will be presented at the 31st annual sympoisum in Raleigh, N.C., March 1, 2008.