By Libby Collins
Amanda Nelson of North Logan, Utah, epitomizes what it means to be the AjPHA Member of the Year. The 18-year-old is learning that hard work and kindness, both in and out of the arena, pays off.
“This award symbolizes all the hard work I’ve put into showing, being kind to people in my community and working hard in school,” Amanda said.
The Youth Member of the Year award is presented annually at the Youth World Show to an AjPHA member who embodies the commitment to service, their community, academics and leadership. Show-ring accomplishments are not considered for this aware; instead, they look at who the individual is as a person and how well they embody the spirit of AjPHA.
The winner of this award receives a $1,000 scholarship and a custom Gist Silversmiths trophy buckle.
Amanda is actively involved in AjPHA leadership, is currently serving as an AjPHA national director and the Utah Paint Horse Club youth president. She shows her 2008 sorrel, overo gelding Especially Fancy in all-around events.
The opportunity to show her horse is something for which Amanda is forever grateful, and she believes it’s one part that goes into making the ideal APHA member. In the end, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, she says—what matters is the chance to show your horse.
“The perfect member is someone that is well-rounded and is happy to just show their horse, everyone wants to win. You’re going to have bad goes, you’re going to have good goes,” she said. “In the end, to me, it’s exciting that I get to show my horse.”
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 promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.