The AjPHA Youth World Championship Show is full of stars, but two exceptional Youth took center stage July 2 as they were honored for the exceptional leadership and sportsmanship.
Alyssa Donelson of Mesa, Arizona, was honored as AjPHA’s Youth Member of the Year. Active in AjPHA, 4-H, FFA and the National Honor Society, the 15-year-old is an AjPHA National Director for Zone 2 and enjoys showing Ima Radical Sensation, a 2010 sorrel overo mare. Encouraged to enter the Member of the Year contest by her mother, Alyssa outlined her community involvement, volunteer work, scholarship and leadership. As the 2015 Member of the Year, Alyssa received a Gist Silversmiths trophy buckle and a $1,000 scholarship.
Ally Fink, a 17-year-old from Coronado, California, was selected by an anonymous panel of judges as the 2015 Robyn Hanna Sportsmanship Award winner at the Youth World Show. Formerly known as the Superior Sportsmanship Award, this award was renamed by AjPHA President Meredith Milton in honor of the late Robyn Hanna; as part of her Presidential Service Project, Meredith raised more than $35,000 to endow the sportsmanship scholarship.
A veteran exhibitor with her 2007 chestnut overo gelding Gallant Zippo, Ally understands the value of good sportsmanship and she tries to lead others through her own actions. Ally took home a custom Gist Silversmiths buckle and a $1,000 scholarship as part of the award.
“Receiving this award means a ton to me because it shows i’m not just concerned about myself,” Ally said. “Try to clap for everyone in the lineups no matter how well or bad you did—everyone likes to get cheered for! Always support everyone, and don’t just think about yourself.”
AjPHA salutes all of our awesome Youth members and exhibitors. Learn more about these contests and others at apha.com/ajpha. Watch for complete Youth World Show coverage in the September Paint Horse Journal.
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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 creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.