Washington, D.C. - October 18, 2013 - The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) would like to congratulate Hanna Powers, of Potomac Falls, VA, who was chosen as the 2013 USHJA Youth Leadership Award recipient. Hanna was the 2012 Youth Ambassador at WIHS and is a part of the 2013 Junior Committee.
Each year the USHJA organization takes pride in acknowledging a junior member between the ages of 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 mission of promoting our sport through their example of genuine sportsmanship and serving as a role model in the equestrian community.
Hanna is a believer in the 'horse gene'. She has an immediate connection and an intuition that inspires her to ride. This connection also inspires her to excel. She is an impassioned competitor who at age eight took on training her first mount, a large pony, on her own and over the course of four years shaped both their careers into that of champions. Most recently Hanna 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. 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," Hanna said.
A dedicated student at Madeira School, 16-year-old Hanna 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, serves as a S.T.A.R. at her school (selected student tour guide and admissions representative for prospective students and their parents) 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.
Hanna noted, "I am always looking for non-riding ways to incorporate my passion for horses. Riding has already enriched my life greatly. It has brought me to my best friends, provided me with life-changing opportunities and taught me invaluable skills."
As for what lies ahead, Hanna often looks to a favorite quote for reassurance. 'Perseverance and dedication are the two keys in life: apply them to any purpose and you will succeed. Remember, always, the future is a great deal more than justtomorrow.' - Neil C. Aslin.
Hanna 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 onTuesday, December 10 at 7:00PM.
"I am honored to be the recipient of the USHJA's Youth Leadership Award. I have been fortunate to be around so many other young riders that share the similar goal of being exceptional on horseback as well as in everything that they do. My goal is to keep striving for excellence as I pursue my passion for horses," she concluded.
About the Washington International Horse Show, www.wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show attracts more than 20,000 spectators to the six-day show, which includes Olympic-level competition along with community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders come to D.C. from all over the globe to jump for nearly half a million dollars in prize money. Event highlights include the Puissance high jump competition on Military Night (Friday), the $125,000 President's Cup Grand Prix, a World Cup qualifier (Saturday night) and Kids' Day (Saturday), a free, fun and educational community event. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.