The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association Youth Council held its annual meeting Dec. 4, 2004, at Franklin Marriott Cool Springs Convention Center during the WHTA Convention. President Maria Derickson presided over the meeting. New officers will be elected at the March 2005 meeting during the National Walking Horse Trainers’ Show.

The group donates $500 each year to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital for toys and other needs. Members collected around $600 Friday evening during the truck giveaway. Another fund-raiser this season was the silent auction stud fee to 2004 World Grand Champion The Black Night Shade. Thanks to trainer Jimmy McConnell and owners Tom and Judy Waite, the money from the first stud fee to this great stallion will be donated to the Youth Group. The council discussed whether to continue the tack box giveaway at the Trainers’ Show. It was announced that the possibility of a yearling being donated would also help to raise funds.

The Council also decided to continue supporting the Youth Party Room at the Trainers’ Show on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Candy Green stated that she and Charlie Green would provide the pizza each evening for the room.

It was also announced that there would be television coverage with interviews at the meeting at the Trainers’ Show.

Gifts for youth sponsor Jill Derickson, the officers and special awards included something for everyone in attendance. Derickson presented two special awards. She awarded Rachel Galeski the “making the extra effort award” and Amy Lambert the “taking the extra step” award for selling the most tickets.

The WHTA youth scholarship recipients were Lindsey Oliver and Jessica Day. Games were played after the meeting was adjourned.

This year the Youth Council had a two way tie for Member of the Year. The winners were Maria Derickson and Samantha Green. Marsha De Arriaga donated two riding suits to the winners.

Landon Head was awarded the WHTA Youth Council High Point Member of the Year Award in the Park Pleasure, 17 and Under division. Reserve was won by Samantha Green. The Lite-Shod Youth award was won by Samantha Green while Jared Carrier earned the reserve spot. In the Performance division, the High Point Youth 11 and Under Member of the Year was awarded to Rachel Hyneman. The reserve award was claimed by Shelby “Bo” Beam. Claiming the WHTA Youth Council 12-17 High Point Member of the Year was Kathryn Ramsbottom. Marie Derickson received the reserve high point trophy.

The next meeting will be held in March, 2005, during the Trainers’ Show. The Council encourages everyone to invite new members to the meetings and to participate in the classes. Any youth 17 and under, who is interested, may join the Youth Council, which was formed to support the youth of the walking horse industry.