When Sabine Lazo stepped into the role as AjPHA president in 2018, she took off running to get her presidential project, “Color the Community,” started. The goal of Color the Community was for Youth members to get involved in any community as volunteers. As part of the project, Sabine worked with the Director of Youth Activities and APHA Events Christine Gillett to create an online program for Youth members to log their service hours. As one of Sabine’s last actions as AjPHA president, she awarded Michael Adam Wagner Jr. of Groesbeck, Texas, as the top participant in her Color the Community presidential project.
“Everyone who participated and every single hour that was logged made a huge difference, but Michael especially went out of his way and logged more than 100 hours toward this project; he accumulated about 1/6 of the total hours,” Sabine said.
Michael logged in most of his hours at Reach Therapeutic Riding Center in McGregor, Texas, assisting riders with autism, physical and mental challenges, and veterans. Michael says he appreciated the opportunity to assist riders in the center’s program.
“I loved working there,” Michael said. “It feels really good to have the most amount of hours logged in for the first year of this program. It’s awesome to be recognized at my first World Show, too.”
Michael competed in Youth Solid Paint-Bred Geldings at the World Show, where he earned sixth place with his 2018 gelding, Paint Me A Scene Hank. Michael also participated in the Youth Team Tournament with Sabine as a member of the champion team, the Texas Stripes. Michael received a gift certificate to PH Barn Door and an AjPHA letterman jacket for logging the most community service hours.
Though Sabine was excited to acknowledge Michael and the other Youth members who participated in the program, she says it was bittersweet to see her term as AjPHA president end.
“It’s amazing to see all of the work and thought processes that I’ve put into this project for the past three years come to fruition here at the AjPHA Convention,” Sabine said. “I’m so grateful to Christine Gillett and Rhonda Culp, not only for all of their help with this project but also for their assistance with outreach before I even assumed the presidential position. Rhonda and I met Michael at the Texas State 4-H Horse Show last year. Without that connection that was made there—and their hard work, dedication and their push for Youth to be more active—we wouldn’t have had this happy ending with all the amazing involvement.”
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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.