Arabian Horse Association Youth of the Year Shows Integrity and Perseverance
RELEASE: July 23, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Hilary Nixon
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, IL. 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 Arabian Horse Youth Association (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 Luebcke for most of her life, said, “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 Fives, a regional reserve championship, two regional championships and four National Top Tens. 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,” said Todd Hursey, Luebcke’s Richwoods High School math teacher and cross-country coach. Hursey commends her not only for her consistent hard work, but for her outstanding attitude toward anything she attempts. Luebcke’s church ministry leader, Susan Rychener, calls her 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 premiere national security research institution.
“I love being able to make a difference, to work with people,” said Luebcke. “I loved being AHYA President and going to inter-breed conventions, leading meetings,” she said. 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 her 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