Eighth-Grader Campbell Hudkins is the 2020 USHJA Youth Leadership Award Recipient
We are so proud of eighth-grader, Campbell Hudkins, 13, of Farmington, Connecticut, who was recently awarded the USHJA (United States Hunter Jumper Association) Youth Leadership Award. Campbell has demonstrated leadership and positivity in her equestrian endeavors and has enjoyed success in the Hunters, Jumpers, and Equitation, including winning the 2020 EMO Insurance/USHJA Jumping Seat Medal Final - East. Campbell is involved in the day-to-day care and management of her horses on her family farm. She has also engaged in charitable work benefitting the USHJA Feed Aid initiative providing aid to purchase feed for lesson horses in the hunter/jumper community financially impacted by COVID-19.
Campbell shares her story of how she raised more than $3400 to benefit the USHJA Feed Initiative.
“It all started with a conversation at the dinner table. My Dad came up with an idea for a work promotion with the tagline of, “Cars Are Essential,” to use during a special sale during the July 4th week. When he mentioned this, I said that so many other things are essential during this pandemic such as family, friends, and horses.
Horses have been my outlet during this pandemic. After a day of distance learning, I would go to the barn and escape the reality of computer screens and COVID-19. It helped me de-stress. I am really lucky to be able to continue to ride throughout the pandemic. I know of other barns that had to shut down and discontinue their lesson programs for at least two months.
The morning after that particular dinner, I asked my Mom about making my own t-shirt saying 'Horses Are Essential' with all the profits going to a horse-related charity. Two hours later, I had my design drawn out. With my parents’ approval and help from a graphic designer, we printed the concept on a t-shirt you can wear in the sun since it has a UPF-50.
While I was waiting for the shirts to be printed, I researched a charity to donate the proceeds to. Since the design features an American flag on the back, I really wanted to find the right one that could aid horses all across our country. I decided to donate 100% of the proceeds to the USHJA (United States Hunter Jumper Association) Feed Aid program. The USHJA Feed Aid initiative aims to provide aid in purchasing feed for lesson horses as a short-term relief for the businesses in the hunter/jumper community who are suffering financially due to the impact of COVID-19. I am also a member of the organization and regularly compete in their sponsored classes. It felt like the right fit.
Three weeks later the t-shirts arrived, and I had to get the word out quickly. My Mom and I used social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Within 24 hours of posting, I sold out of mediums and extra-larges! Since that July 13th post, I had to restock three times in all sizes. As of today, I have donated $3,430.00 to the Feed Aid program. I hope to continue selling these shirts throughout the summer and beyond.
So far, we have sent shirts to NV, CA, KS, FL, KY, PA, NJ, and other places across the country. I even had a family friend in Reno, Nevada, help promote the shirts. She posted a great picture of her wearing the shirt with her Mom. Her post resulted in a ton of orders from the University of Nevada Reno Equestrian Team. It’s pretty amazing to see the power of social media in a project like this. As long as people are interested in supporting others, I will continue selling my t-shirts.”
Congratulations Campbell on both your award and your philanthropic success.