The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association has announced Hanna Powers of Potomac Falls, Va., as the 2013 USHJA Youth Leadership Award recipient.
Each year the organization acknowledges a junior member, between 12 and 15, who has demonstrated leadership qualities. Candidates are nominated by their peers, and the selected winner is one who best exhibits a dedication to the USHJA’s mission of promoting the sport through his or her example of genuine sportsmanship and serving as a role model in the equestrian community.
Powers is a believer in the “horse gene.” She is an impassioned competitor who at 8 took on training her first mount, a large pony, on her own. Most recently Powers has transitioned into the jumper arena and was a participant in the 2013 USHJA Emerging Athletes Program Regional Clinic with Bernie Traurig, held at the Georgia International Horse Park.
“I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in several of the great programs that the USHJA offers to support young riders,” said Powers. “The intensity of this format was addictive to me. I credit the EAP experience with showing me what lies ahead and putting me in an environment with other young riders who share a similar goal of being exceptional on a horse as well as in the barn.”
A dedicated student at Madeira School, 16-year-old Powers exemplifies the spirit of the Youth Leadership Award in and out of the horse show community. She is a varsity member of the school's IEA Team. She was recently elected captain for the 2014 season, received an internship to work in Senator John McCain’s office on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., serves as a S.T.A.R. (selected student tour guide and admissions representative for prospective students and their parents) at her school and was a 2012 Washington International Horse Show Youth Ambassador who led a 17-member committee in working with show management on developing community programs targeted to area youth.
Her equestrian passion and natural leadership led to an invitation from the ASPCA to represent WIHS on Capitol Hill in raising awareness to the Horses on the Hill initiative. Senators Mary Landrieu and Lindsey Graham co-sponsored the SAFE Act (S. 541/ H.R. 1094), which would prohibit horse slaughter in the U.S. and end export and slaughter of American horses abroad.
Powers will be presented the 2013 USHJA Youth Leadership Award commemorative trophy, a complimentary three-year USHJA Active Membership and a RevitaVet Infrared Therapy System, generously donated by RevitaVet, during the USHJA Annual Meeting's Evening Of Equestrians awards dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 7:00 pm.
Another prestigious honor for young riders of any discipline is the U.S. Equestrian Federation Youth Sportsman’s Award. Hundreds of junior members under the age of 18 apply through their affiliate organizations to be considered for the award, which is presented at the USEF Annual Meeting. The 2013 USHJA Nominee for the USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award is Melissa Kerr of Granville, Ohio.
USHJA Youth Leadership Award
Recipient: Hanna Powers
Runner-Up: Kelsi Okun
Carter Ann Jones
USHJA Nominee for the USEF Youth Sportsman's Award
Winner: Melissa Kerr
Runner-Up: Julianna Witt
To learn more about these youth awards, visit the USHJA website or contact Carrie Vaught at (859) 225-6703.