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News & Press: Press Releases

USPC Awarded the American Youth Horse Council Partnership Award

Thursday, May 13, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Mary Pierson
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The United States Pony Clubs, Inc.
The Kentucky Horse Park, 4041 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511
859/254-7669 (PONY)   Fax 859/233-4652 email: uspc@ponyclub.org

News Release
Contact: Mary Robertson Pierson
859/254-7669 859/254-7669mary@ponyclub.org


USPC Awarded the American Youth Horse Council
Partnership Award

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY: The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. (USPC), received the American Youth Horse Council (AYHC) Partnership Award Saturday, March 20th, at the annual AYHC awards banquet. The AYHC held their 33rd annual National Youth Horse Leaders Symposium on March 19-21 in Lexington, Kentucky. Volunteers, teens, industry professionals and other youth horse enthusiasts participated in roundtable discussions, attended lectures and arena sessions, networked and honored leaders in the youth horse industry.

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 2009 winner is the Pony Club Riding Center Program from the United States Pony Clubs in Lexington, Kentucky. With the Pony Club Riding Center Program, USPC offers the Pony Club program through facilities with an established riding lesson program. It is a distinctive departure from the traditional club structure. Initiated in 2005, the USPC Riding Center program is now 53 centers strong with more than 600 members. Members move through the Standards of Proficiency, which are levels of achievement demonstrating advancing skills in both riding and horse management. The Pony Club program also develops camaraderie, responsibility, self-confidence and leadership.
In response to receiving this prestigious award, Tom Adams, USPC President, said, "I know I speak for the entire Pony Club family to say we're very honored by the AYHC Partnership Award. In response to the changing demographics of our youth, the Riding Center Program was started to help provide the Pony Club program to those who may not have direct access to a horse. Recognition of this program from such a distinguished organization as AYHC certainly adds to our feeling that this program is truly worthwhile.”
Karol Wilson, USPC Director of Member Services and Regional Administration, added: "As a member of the AYHC Board of Directors and on staff at USPC, I believe that the USPC Riding Center Program is an outstanding example of how an organization can reach beyond traditional boundaries to provide beneficial, educational opportunities for additional youth equestrians. Especially since the AYHC strives to be an advocate for bringing horses and kids together, being recognized in this way is truly an honor to USPC and its Riding Center Program.”

Additionally, Pony Club leader Darryll-Ann Buschling of Clarksville, Maryland was a finalist for the AYHC Youth Leader of the Year Award, which goes to an outstanding adult leader whose dedication and volunteer efforts have furthered the youth-horse industry. A USPC youth member, Haley Rudacille from Dover, Pennsylvania, was one of the finalists for the AYHC Youth Student Leader of the Year Award, which recognizes the same qualities in an outstanding young person who has shown leadership in the horse industry.

The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. (USPC) was founded in 1954 as a nonprofit national youth organization to teach riding and horsemanship through a formal educational program. Many of the nation’s top equestrians, including our Olympic team members, have Pony Club roots. Members range in age from as young as 4 through age 25. Activities are English-riding based, and members ride both horses and ponies, depending on the size of the rider and the discipline in which s/he is competing. Pony Club competition is team competition, much like the Olympic games, where members learn the importance of cooperation and teamwork.

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