AHA Youth of the Year, Integrity and Perseverance

AHA Youth of the Year, Integrity and Perseverance

As the Arabian Horse Association’s (AHA) Youth Nationals Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show approaches, AHA continues to celebrate its 2008 Youth of the Year, Kim Luebcke of Peoria, Illinois. Luebcke, a college freshman at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, past Region 11 Youth Director and past Arabian Horse Youth Association (AHYA) President, maintains her role of Youth of the Year with grace and gratitude.

Each year the Youth of the Year subcommittee works to find an AHYA member who is an excellent breed representative. Criteria for the Youth of the Year award demands the highest standards of breed industry and community involvement, along with a stellar school record. Subcommittee members have, once again, found a representative who defines the excellence of our industry’s future.

Luebcke’s nominators speak glowingly of her achievements. Region 11 Director, Dave Waggoner, who has known Kim for most of her life, says, “I was so impressed with Kim’s enthusiasm and poise. I’m quite pleased with her initiative and work ethic. Kim has very good people skills and has demonstrated her ability to build teamwork and enthusiasm among our youth ranks on many occasions.”

In the show ring, Luebcke has earned countless Top 5s, a regional reserve championship, two regional championships and four National Top 10s. Luebcke’s specialties are Arabian western pleasure and Arabian ladies side saddle.

Luebcke’s academic life also reflects her initiative and work ethic. “Kim is a model student. She is reliable, dependable and a true leader,” says Todd Hursey, Kim’s Richwoods High School math teacher and cross country coach. Hursey commends Kim not only for her consistent hard work, but for her outstanding attitude toward anything she attempts. Luebcke’s church ministry leader, Susan Rychener, calls Kim a “genuinely loving leader and mentor,” who commits herself wholeheartedly and with integrity to the tasks she takes on.

As a mechanical engineering major, Luebcke earned a 4.0 her first semester and plans to get a master’s degree in business after she finishes her undergraduate degree. This summer, Luebcke is interning as an engineer at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, a premier national security research institution.

“I love being able to make a difference, to work with people,” says Luebcke. “I loved being AHYA President and going to inter-breed conventions, leading meetings,” she says. Luebcke credits her mentors in helping her along with way; Kate Griffith, her early trainer, Randy Sullivan for helping her bring her riding skills up a notch, but most of all, Luebcke thanks her parents. Jackie and Phil Luebcke made sacrifices and taught Kim that hard work and perseverance pays off.

Anyone may nominate an AHYA youth member for the Youth of the Year Award. The regional director or director-at-large must approve Youth of the Year nominees. Nominations must be submitted to the AHA office postmarked no later than September 1. To read more about Youth of the Year visit www.arabianhorses.org/youth.

AHA is a major equine association serving 37,000 members across North America. It registers and maintains a database of more than one million Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses and administers approximately $3 million in annual prize money. AHA produces championship events, recognizes close to 600 Arabian horse shows and distance rides and provides activities and programs that promote breeding and ownership. For information about Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses, call 303-696-4500, e-mail info@ArabianHorses.org or visit ArabianHorses.org.