Searching for students with a passion for both horses and publishing is what American Horse Publications (AHP) has been doing since 1993. The AHP Student Award competition has discovered a long list of talented young people who have become an asset to the equine publishing industry.
Three students have risen to the top to become 2017 AHP Student Award finalists. They have earned an opportunity to meet leading equine industry professionals and discuss career possibilities during the AHP Equine Media Conference. Each Travel Award Winner will receive a $750 travel award to attend Saddle Up for Scottsdale, in Scottsdale, Arizona, on June 15-17 for three days of educational sessions and related activities.
The 2017 Student Travel Award winners are:
Annise Montplaisir (North Dakota State University)
A Christmas pony led Montplaisir to a 4-H project and Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association equestrian team competition. From a volunteer racetrack ambassador at the North Dakota Horse Park, she progressed to a media relations intern establishing her career path in publishing. Her first freelance article published in Young Rider magazine piloted her to a position as American Quarter Horse Association’s (AQHA’s) online communications and publications intern in 2015.
“Annise possesses a passion for the horse industry and came to us with a vast knowledge of the Quarter Horse world,” writes Jody Reynolds, AQHA manager of online/interactive communications. “It was this strong background of knowledge and experience that helped her relate with our customers and produce effective communications.”
Her experience at AQHA inspired her to start a blog, AnniseAnecdotes, which she used to document her two summers (2015 and 2016) in New York as a staff writer for The Saratoga Special, covering racing at Saratoga Race Course, in Saratoga Springs.
“Annise’s ability to put people at ease when she interviewed them and her talent as a writer combined to make her the best intern I’ve supervised in four summers at The Saratoga Special and more than 15 years at Thoroughbred Times,” writes Tom Law, managing editor of ST Publishing, Inc.
During the spring of 2016, Annise studied abroad in Chile, where she covered a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” for thisishorseracing.com.
Her next career move after graduating in May 2017 is to move to Kentucky as a Fasig-Tipton sales intern. Her aspirations include becoming a Latin American horse racing business and media professional and continuing work in publishing through blogging, freelancing and writing novels.
She is the daughter of Annette and Perry Montplaisir of Moorhead, Minnesota.
Taylor Pence (University of Kentucky)
“I tell the story of the equine athlete and the humans who work with them through my lens and writing,” writes Pence. “Horses and photography are central to my core.”
Her interest in horses began at age 7 competing in saddle seat and eventually transitioning to eventing. Her passion for photojournalism started when she became involved with the University of Kentucky (UK) independent student newspaper, The Kentucky Kernel.
“I’ve known Taylor since her sophomore year when she came into the newspaper eager to get started,” writes Chris Poore, UK student publications director. “It’s refreshing, these days, to see a student so eager. She pursues her interests in horses—and academics—with the same intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm.”
In addition to being the photo editor for the Kernel, Pence added the position at the UK Gluck Equine Research Center to write multiple stories for the Bluegrass Equine Digest which are published on TheHorse.com.
“Taylor is a shining star that stands out among her peers,” write Jenny Evans, Pence’s supervisor at the UK Gluck Center. “Besides her amazing creative photography, video, design, writing, and marketing communications skills, she is also a natural leader.”
As for her future plans, Pence says this is just the beginning. “My future will aspire and allow me to continue finding new perspectives, crazy places to put remotes, and moments that are unique to anyone lucky enough to have a career as a multimedia storyteller.”
She is the daughter of Lissa and Stephen Pence of Concord, North Carolina
Kaycie Timm (West Texas A&M University)
Horses ranging from American Miniatures to Quarter Horses have been part of Timm’s life since age three. Through her participation in various activities, she has fostered her love for horses, developed meaningful relationships, and matured personally and as a horsewoman.
In November 2015, Timm accepted the position of Area V Reporter for the American Miniature Horse Registry/American Shetland Pony Club. Since then, she has shared accomplishments of members in columns published in the club’s national magazine.
At West Texas A&M University (WTAMU), Timm embraced opportunities to develop her communications skills through writing for the Department of Agriculture’s online magazine, working in photography and video production at the 2016 Tri-State Fair and Rodeo, and creating promotional videos for WTAMU.
“In addition to her passion, Kaycie has the professional communication skills to promote the equine industry,” writes J. Tanner Robertson of the WTAMU Department of Agriculture Science. “She has a natural, creative ability, but also the intellect to apply her craft in the appropriate ways and for the required audience group. This is something rare for someone beginning their professional experience.”
While at TAMU, Timm plans to apply for a communications-focused internship in the agriculture industry.
“In working with Kaycie, I have witnessed firsthand her energy, her admirable work ethic, her integrity, and her zeal to represent West Texas A&M University to the best of her ability,” writes Randy Ray, WTAMU director of broadcast engineering.
After graduating in May 2019, Timm plans to seek a position with a publications company, preferably working for an equine magazine. However, she will also consider employment in the communications department for an equine breed association or another branch of agriculture.
She is the daughter of James Kistler and Carolyn Timm Kistler of Amarillo, Texas.
The three finalists will be interviewed by the Student Award Committee on Thursday afternoon at the AHP Equine Media Conference in Scottsdale. One student will be announced as the 2017 AHP Student Award Winner at the How the West Was Fun Party sponsored by Central Garden & Pet on Friday, June 16. The Student Award winner receives 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. The two runners-up will also receive a cash award. All cash awards are sponsored by AIM Equine Network.
American Horse Publications offers students interested in a career in equine publishing with several opportunities to participate in its association. To request information about any of AHP’s student programs, please contact Judy Lincoln at 386/760-7743 or [email protected]. Information is also available online at the AHP web site at www.americanhorsepubs.org.