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AHP Selects Three Students as 2009 Travel Award Winners

April 24, 2009 – In 2009, AHP expanded the Student Award Contest to include up to three $750 travel awards to attend the AHP seminar in New Orleans, Louisiana on June 25-27, 2009. The three lucky and talented students who will be traveling to New Orleans will have an opportunity to meet leading equine publishing professionals and discuss career possibilities during the three days of educational sessions and related activities.

American Horse Publications is pleased to announce the three Travel Award winners for 2009.

Laura Pepper, a sophomore at the University of Kentucky majoring in Journalism and Spanish, is interested in the Thoroughbred racing industry. She has traveled to 17 different racetracks across the nation and in two countries, two Thoroughbred training tracks, the North American Racing Academy, eight farms and numerous Thoroughbred sales. During this time, she has significantly increased her knowledge of horse racing, becoming acquainted with and befriending owners, trainers, jockeys, exercise riders and grooms. In preparation for a career as a sports journalist and photographer for the Thoroughbred horse racing industry, she has interviewed many of these individuals since the age of 12.These interviews and her numerous racetrack photographs result in articles on the horses and people in the industry, written in both English and Spanish.

At age 18, she worked as a contributor for The Special at Keeneland and as a staff writer for The Saratoga Special. She has worked for The Thoroughbred Times as an advertising intern and now as an editorial intern. She hopes to earn a full-time position with The Thoroughbred Times after graduation and eventually build her own photography business.

Laura is the daughter of Carol and Kenneth Pepper of Stow, Ohio.

Erica Larson is a junior at Michigan State University majoring in Journalism with external specialty in Animal Science. She recently interned with the USEA and has continued to work with them while at college, having her articles and photography published in Eventing USA as well as on the USEA website. She is also a contributing journalist for Warmbloods Today and had a feature article published in their premier issue. She has received an offer from USEA to work for them after graduation and is thrilled about that proposition.

Horses have been in her blood since she was five-years-old, winning her first blue ribbon at age seven and acquiring her first horse at age ten. This year she plans to compete in USEA-sanctioned events, hoping to qualify for the Championships in September. Erica is an ARIA certified instructor and enjoys working with young horse lovers.

She is the daughter of Keith and Deborah Larson of Howell, Michigan.

Jennifer Lynn Whittle is a senior at University of Kentucky majoring in Community Communications and Leadership Development: Agricultural Communications with a minor in Animal Science. She was born on a small horse farm in Anderson County, Kentucky, where her family raised Appaloosa horses for showing. Being brought up in this environment provided her with one-on-one experience in management of health, feeding, breeding and training programs.

Her interest in publishing was sparked by her involvement in a local 4-H club where she was responsible for publishing the club newsletter. From there, she became interested in building websites and began working for eXtension HorseQuest, where she learned a countless number of skills. Those lessons inspired her to develop her family’s farm website. After it was published, she was encouraged by her peers to develop websites for other local organizations and farms.

When she began college, she was focused strictly on equine journalism, but with her background experience with the web, she feels compelled to be more involved in the web journalism aspect of the equine publishing field, which she believes is growing more popular every day.

Jennifer is the daughter of Mitch and Annette Whittle of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

The three travel award winners will be interviewed at the New Orleans seminar and one student will be selected as the 2009 Student Award winner. The Student Award winner will win a cash award of $1,000 plus an all expense paid trip hosted by Publishers Press to one of their Two-Day Customer Education Seminars in Louisville, Kentucky, to have a unique experience to learn the printing process. The 2009 Student Award winner will be announced on Friday, June 26, 2009 at the Student Award Party held during the AHP Seminar in New Orleans. The theme of this year’s event is “Carnival du Cheval.”

High school seniors and undergraduate college students pursuing a career in equine publishing were eligible to compete for the 2009 AHP travel awards and Student Award. Chairman Sandy Kucharski reported that 14 students applied for this year's award. Applicants were scored on the following criteria: academics, relevant experience, skills/abilities, presentation of materials, and career goals/assertiveness. All Student Award applicants receive a complimentary student membership and complimentary seminar registration for the 2009 seminar in New Orleans. Applicants who applied in 2009 and meet eligibility are encouraged to apply for the 2010 Student Award.

American Horse Publications offers students interested in a career in equine publishing with the opportunity to participate in its association programs.

Student Membership is open to high school, college, and graduate students for an annual fee of $25.

The AHP Internship Program is designed specifically for college students who have an interest in horses and seek a career in equine publishing. This program is a great way to provide students with the resume-building experience that’s so critical to today’s career market. Interns gain valuable hands-on real life experience and AHP members acquire additional help when and where they need it most. The Internship Handbook provides information about the program, a directory of participating AHP members, and an application.

The AHP Mentoring Program provides students with insight into a career in the equine publishing industry through interaction with AHP professionals. The AHP Mentoring Program is open to all AHP student members.

To request information about any of AHP’s student programs, please contact: Chris Brune, American Horse Publications, 49 Spinnaker Circle, South Daytona, FL 32119; (386) 760-7743, e-mail: ahorsepubs@aol.com. Information and forms are also available online at the AHP web site at http://www.americanhorsepubs.org.

American Horse Publications is a non-profit association of more than 500 equine-related publications, professionals, businesses, and students involved in the equine publishing industry. For over 39 years, AHP continues to promote better understanding and communication within the equine publishing industry.


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