AHP Student Travel Award Winners for 2018 Announced

American Horse Publications has been on the hunt to find students with a passion for both horses and publishing since 1993. The success of the search is a long list of talented young people who have become an asset to the equine publishing media industry.

This year, the hunt discovered three young women who rose to the top of the judge’s list to become the 2018 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 The Hunt for Excellence in Hunt Valley, Maryland on June 14-16, 2018 for three days of educational sessions and related activities.

American Horse Publications is pleased to announce the three Student Travel Award winners for 2018.

Emily Holowczak (Mount Holyoke College)

Emily Holowczak is a senior majoring in English toward her career goal as a writer/editor. After four years of study and riding on the varsity Hunt Seat team, Holowczak now realizes that her choice to become an equine journalist has come to fruition as Editorial Assistant at Equestrian Living magazine.

“Emily is a strong applicant,” wrote Erin Hsu, Director of Marketing at Kentucky Equine Research and a former AHP student member, who judged this year’s Student Award competition to determine the finalists. “She shows real hustle and her writing samples are very well done. Her work is clean and enjoyable to read.”

Holowczak has participated in the Interscholastic Horse Shows Association as a rider on her college team from 2014-2018. This year, the Mount Holyoke team won the Zone 1 championship qualifying them for the 2018 IHSA National Championship in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on May 3-6 where Holowczak showed in Intermediate Equitation on the Flat. In an interview with Sandy Oliynyk, editor of Practical Horseman, during the event, Holowczak said she was looking forward to attending the AHP Equine Media Conference in Hunt Valley in June.

Holowczak is the daughter of John and Janet Holowczak of South Windsor, Connecticut.

Alyssa Murphree (Delaware Valley University)

Alyssa Murphree majors in Equine Management, Specialization in Media and Communications pursuing a career in visual media. Her most memorable experiences out of the saddle include the internships she's had in which horses were the focal point of her camera lens and the subject of her press releases and social media posts.

“Because of my various experiences through school and internships, there are many positions I can envision myself happily working in,” wrote Murphree. “However, I have a profound interest in visual media and would like to pursue my career in that direction.”

Judge Hsu said, “I really enjoyed this candidate’s presentation. She provided a compelling biography with strong prose. She has laid a foundation toward her career through internships and the provided work samples were impressive. In particular, I appreciated a sharp photograph with an interesting composition in challenging lighting. This demonstrates good technical ability, as well as artistic vision.”

Murphree is the daughter of Rose Strehle, Palmyra, PA 17078.

Sarah Ryan (State University of New York at Cobleskill)

Sarah Ryan is pursuing a degree in therapeutic horsemanship. After working for many years as news research director, her passion for horses was reignited when she volunteered for an organization that re-homes off track Thoroughbreds and SUNY Cobleskill announced its new Therapeutic Horsemanship B.T.

During her first semester, Ryan went through an unexpected hip replacement and therapeutic riding became not just a professional pursuit, but also a crucial part of her own life and recovery. “My goal after graduating,” wrote Ryan, “is to weave together my previous and current careers by working in therapeutic horsemanship and writing freelance about horses and my donkey, Captain Jack.”

Judge Hsu said, “This candidate presents extremely high quality work, with an impressive portfolio and clean, strong language used throughout.”

Ryan lives in Albany, New York with her husband.


The three finalists will be interviewed by the Student Award Committee on Thursday afternoon at the AHP Equine Media Conference in Hunt Valley. One student will be announced as the 2018 AHP Student Award Winner at the Student Award reception co-sponsored by SmartPak on Friday, June 15, 2018. The Student Award winner receives a cash award of $1,000. The two runner-ups will also receive a cash award. All cash awards are sponsored by AIM Equine Network.


American Horse Publications is a non-profit professional association dedicated to promoting excellence in equine media and better understanding and communication within the equine publishing industry. 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, American Horse Publications, (386) 760-7743, e-mail: ahorsepubs2@aol.com. Information is also available online at the AHP web site at www.americanhorsepubs.org.

About the Equine Network
The Equine Network provides, creates, and distributes relevant content and services to passionate horse enthusiasts while connecting them to each other and the marketplace. The Equine Network is the publisher of award-winning magazines: Horse & Rider, EQUUS, Dressage Today, Practical Horseman, The Team Roping Journal, EquiManagement, Stable Management and In Stride. The Equine Network also publishes a proprietary line of books and DVDs for sale through its store, EquineNetworkStore.com. The Equine Network provides emergency roadside assistance through USRider Equestrian Motor Plan, and is home to several websites including: EquiSearch.com, Equine.com, DressageTrainingOnline.com and AHomeForEveryHorse.com.

About SmartPak
From the feed room to the tack room, SmartPak offers innovative solutions to help riders take great care of their horses. SmartPak was founded in 1999 with the introduction of the patented SmartPak supplement feeding system. The revolutionary, daily dose SmartPaks are custom-made for your horse, individually labeled and sealed for freshness. With the success of this simple and convenient feeding system, SmartPak has continued to expand its offering of quality products, including its own line of more than 55 supplement formulas called SmartSupplements, and a wide variety of tack, equipment, and supplies. The company has grown rapidly each year and is now the largest retailer of equestrian products in the United States. SmartPak’s success has been powered by a passion for delivering an unbeatable customer experience, and the company has been recognized with a Bizrate Circle of Excellence award eight years in a row, as well as receiving an “Elite” rating from STELLAService. A nine-time Inc. 500/5000 honoree, SmartPak is the only equine company ever named to the Inc. 500 list.