Madison Martin of Evington, Virginia, embodies what it means to be an AjPHA member. At 15-years-old, she is the definition of a well-rounded individual, excelling in academics, the community and the Paint Horse industry.
“I was not expecting to win it and was very surprised,” Madison said. “I know a lot of great people applied for it, so it’s an honor to be member of the year. I actually got the call I had won it on my birthday, which was a great present.”
Youth Member of the Year is presented annually at the Youth World Show to an AjPHA member who exemplifies commitment to service and their community, scholastic achievement and leadership. The award is not given based on show-ring merits, but rather to a person who embodies the spirit of AjPHA and has a deep love for and involvement with Paint Horses. Winners receive a $1,000 scholarship and a custom Gist Silversmiths trophy buckle.
“I got into horses because my neighbor let me ride her horse, which is now mine,” Madison said. “I have been involved with horses for quite a while now, and I absolutely love it and love Paints.”
The list of extra-curricular activities Madison is involved in is impressive. She currently serves as an AjPHA national director, was secretary for the Virginia Junior Paint Horse Club for three years and is the writer and editor for the Virginia Paint Horse Club newsletter. Her leadership extends into her local 4-H and Pony Club where she has been actively involved for five years.
Outside of equine activities, Madison is a member of French Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and plays basketball. Going into her junior year of high school, she will begin to take dual-enrollment courses and earn college credits. She aspires to attend law school and is on the fast-track to that goal by taking an Introduction to U.S. Law class this summer at the College of William & Mary Law School.
Volunteer work is very important to Madison. In 2016, she served as Senate Page for the Commonwealth of Virginia and volunteers in Senator Steve Newton’s office. She gives back to her community by participating in trash pick-up days and is a volunteer for her children’s ministry at her local church.
“I think the perfect APHA member is well-rounded and supportive to everyone, including the youth,” Madison said. “I think they are also respectful and kind to everyone and involved with Paint Horse sand the community as well.”
Also presented at the 2017 Youth World Show were the AjPHA Club of the Year and From the Heart awards—congratulations to these recipients, too:
Club of the Year – Virginia Junior Paint Horse Club
From the Heart – Golden State Junior Paint Horse Club
[Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provided to apha.com.]
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.