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Bana Varnon named 2008 AHP Student Award Winner

April 18, 2008 – Bana Varnon has been named the American Horse Publications 2008 Student Award Winner. She will receive a $1,000 cash award plus an all-expense trip to AHP’s annual meeting and seminar held on June 19-21 in Saratoga Springs, New York. Publishers Press, Inc., Shepherdsville, KY, will also present Bana with an all expenses paid trip to one of their Two-Day Customer Education Seminars held in Louisville, Kentucky. These seminars are designed to help customers' production employees gain an understanding of how a magazine progresses through the printing process.

Bana attends the University of Texas at Austin, where she is a junior majoring in journalism with a 3.9210 GPA. She is the daughter of Coy and Tina Varnon of Dayton, Texas. Her journalistic experience started with a job at her hometown paper, The Vindicator, where she polished off her skills as staff reporter. She's also contributed to UT's campus newspaper, The Daily Texan, and magazine, Burnt Orange.

In January 2007, Bana began working at The Texas Thoroughbred as an intern, and since she's been there, she has learned more about horses and equine journalism than any class could have ever taught her. She now works 30 hours a week as a staff writer for the magazine in conjunction with college.

"As part of my responsibilities at The Texas Thoroughbred, I travel across Texas to various tracks and ranches, interviewing astounding people with amazing horses," says Bana. "This experience alone has strengthened my true passion for horses, and the bulk of my writing has centered on the compassion of these outstanding animals."

Upon graduation, she intends to secure employment in the equine magazine or newspaper industries. She attributes this goal to her experience at The Texas Thoroughbred, where she learned first-hand not only equine journalism, but also the publishing industry.

Bana will be honored on Friday, June 20, 2008, at the Student Award Party held during the AHP “Break from the Gate in 2008” Seminar in Saratoga Springs, New York. The theme of this year’s event is “SaraTOGA Party.” Special prizes will be raffled at this event and include a free seminar registration to the 2009 AHP Seminar in New Orleans. Event sponsors for the evening are Pfizer Animal Health and AQHA publications. A silent auction to benefit the AHP Student Fund will be held during the day on Friday.

High school seniors and undergraduate college students pursuing a career in equine publishing were eligible to compete for the 2008 AHP Student Award. Chairman Jennifer Bryant reported that 19 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. The Student Award Contest is designed to award the student who scores the highest overall. All Student Award applicants receive a complimentary student membership and complimentary seminar registration for the 2008 Seminar in Saratoga Springs, New York. Applicants who applied in 2008 and meet eligibility are encouraged to apply for the 2009 Student Award.

American Horse Publications offers students interested in pursuing 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 was 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 was developed to provide students with insight into a career in the equine publishing industry through interaction with AHP professionals. Over the long term, the goals of the Mentoring Program are: 1) to cultivate the interest of students in careers in the equine publishing industry, and 2) to prepare students for such careers through the receipt of industry knowledge and encouragement from AHP member mentors. 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 450 equine-related publications, professionals, businesses, and students involved in the equine publishing industry. For over 38 years, AHP continues to promote better understanding and communication within the equine publishing industry.


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