Van Steenburgh Honored with Top AMHA Award
For Immediate Release
Shelburne VT-Erin Collins Van Steenburgh of Marshfield, Massachusetts, recently
was awarded the American Morgan Horse Association's (AMHA) Youth Person of the
Year Award at its annual convention, held in Phoenix, Arizona. Each year the AMHA
Youth Program presents special recognition to an adult who has made outstanding contributions to the Morgan Youth Program on a national level.
Erin began riding at the age of four with her mother and sister. She quickly outgrew her
first pony and that is when her life with Morgans began. Her family began leasing and
then bought their first Morgan, Merrilland Imperial. The Collins family never looked
back. A few years later, her family acquired Syndicat Legaltender, a stallion who shaped
Erin's riding career and instigated her decision to make Morgans her livelihood.
At the age of 13, Erin entered her first Youth of the Year Contest and much to her
surprise, won. The next year found her at the National AMHA Youth of the Year
Contest in Oklahoma. After four years of trying, Erin won the title of Youth of the Year
in 1994. I was after this contest that Erin knew she wanted to do everything in her
power to help youth across the country achieve similar successes.
Erin moved from being a youth, to being a youth role model. She took on the daunting
task of organizing the New England Youth of the Year Contest in 1995 and has run it
ever since Under Erin, this contest has grown to more than 50 participants. This also is
when Erin started up and continues to lead a Morgan youth club called the Morgan
Though technically her clients, Erin's girls have become like children to her. She pushes
her students to reach their potential and has built up the youth rider division in Morgan
Dressage t o be one of the largest classes on the Morgan circuit.
Founded in 1909, the American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA) is a non-profit
organization serving more than 50,000 Morgan horse owners, breeders, exhibitors, and
enthusiasts throughout the United States. AMHA serves as a parent organization to
more than 90 recognized Morgan horse clubs and national service organizations. It also
provides an important link to foreign Morgan horse registries and clubs.