Feb. 8, 2006 -- The National Youth Horse Leader of the Year award, presented at the annual National Youth Horse Leader's Symposium, recognizes an outstanding adult leader whose dedication and volunteer efforts have furthered the youth horse industry into the future. This year the honor went to Will Swerienga of Wallworth, Wisc.
Starting in June, local horse-club members and cooperative-extension personnel submit nominations and letters of recommendation for their favorite adult volunteer leaders. Then the American Youth Horse Council (AYHC) Awards and Recognition Committee reviews each nomination and scores each candidate.
Swerienga's passion and enthusiasm for driving have led him to help many youth and their families enjoy youth horse programs through the Walworth County 4-H driving program.
Swerienga and his wife, Nancy, also help find loaner horses for those who do now own horses. In 2004, there were over 50 miniature horses in the program, all of them housed at the Sweriengas.
One of the youth he has assisted had this to say, "Will is a real inspiration to me and many of the other kids in the driving program. If you are having trouble with your horse acting up, Will helps you contain yourself and explains how to calm and control the horse."
PRIMEDIA Equine Network is a corporate sponsor of the AYHC. To find out more about the AYHC, visit www.ayhc.org.