2016 Equine Industry Vision Award

Vision Award logo Sponsored byZoetis_webPresented byAmerican Horse Publications logo

Gary L. Carpenter Honored for Outstanding Leadership and Innovation

Gary-CarpenterGary L. Carpenter, commissioner and CEO of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), was named the recipient of the 15th Annual Equine Industry Vision Award. Zoetis, in partnership with American Horse Publications (AHP), presented the award to Carpenter on June 17, 2016 at the AHP seminar in Orlando, Florida. The Equine Industry Vision Award is the first major award to showcase innovation across the equine industry. Established and sponsored by Zoetis, the prestigious award recognizes ingenuity and service, and serves to inspire those qualities in others.

“Zoetis is proud to recognize Gary for his work in connecting people with horses,” said Sally Amtmann, senior equine biologicals marketing manager, Zoetis. “Gary’s passion for increasing involvement with horses and working across disciplines has been instrumental in progressing the equine industry.”

Throughout his career, Carpenter served within multiple aspects of the equine industry, including 10 years as executive director of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) as well as executive positions with The Jockey Club, the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and the Arabian Horse Trust. Carpenter, a certified association executive, continually focuses on identifying opportunities to improve efficiency and provide the best experience for horse enthusiasts.

During his tenure at AAEP, Carpenter assisted in changing its vision to focus on the health and welfare of the horse. He helped create many programs, including the AAEP Foundation and the On Call program, which provides veterinarians to discuss horse health on equine event telecasts. Carpenter’s continued encouragement of the equine industry to work together also led to the inception of the Horse Industry Alliance.

Gary-Carpenter-2016While with AQHA, Carpenter was instrumental in the development and renovation of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum. Carpenter strongly believes that preserving the stories and history of great horses and equestrians is key to showcasing the impact horses have on our lives.

In his current position as commissioner and CEO of the NRHA, Carpenter’s leadership and dedication to growing the sport of reining has led to a new office and hall of fame location. He is also spearheading an upgrade of the NRHA’s information technology platform to provide fast, effective information to its members.

“I am honored by the opportunity to join the outstanding list of recipients of the Equine Industry Vision Award,” Carpenter said. “My personal interest has always been to connect people with horses, knowing the positive effect they have had on my life. My career has truly been a labor of love, and I hope the initiatives I have contributed to have inspired others to get involved.”

Carpenter is chair of the Horse Show Committee for the American Horse Council and has previously served as a member of the council’s Government Affairs Advisory Committee and Animal Welfare Committee. He is also chair of the Equine Science Advisory Committee at his alma mater, Colorado State University. Carpenter recently assisted in connecting two Colorado State academic programs, occupational therapy and equine science, to study the potential benefits of equine-assisted therapy.

Finalists for this year’s Equine Industry Vision Award included: Tootie Bland, creator, owner and producer of Road to the Horse, the original colt-starting competition; the EQUUS Foundation, a charitable foundation that provides financial support and service to equine charities across the United States; and the Retired Racehorse Project, a charitable organization that facilitates placing ex-racehorses in second careers.


The Equine Industry Vision Award is given annually in recognition of outstanding leadership, creativity and meritorious contribution toward positive changes in the equine industry. This distinguished award is a unique opportunity to publicly recognize ingenuity, originality and effective innovation that exemplifies commitment, dedication and service to this industry.


Nominees may include individuals or organizations. They may be recognized for a single outstanding visionary achievement or for sustained outstanding contributions that have made a profound impact on the equine industry. In the case of nomination for a single achievement, nominees should have devoted themselves to a given task whose magnitude, significance and repercussions warrant a level of recognition beyond the purpose served. The achievement in question should be complete or measurable to the degree that the judges can come to an accurate assessment of its consequences and degree of success. The nominees may or may not come directly from the equine industry, but their achievement(s) must have created paradigm shifts in the perception of the industry.


The nominee’s performance in relation to the achievement(s) cited should demonstrate the following attributes and abilities:

1) The vision and innovation of a true pioneer.

2) Leadership, commitment, dedication and willingness to serve.

3) Original and effective ideas and/or products, services, programs.

4) High moral, ethical and professional standards.

Nomination ballot and guidelines will be available in the fall for the 2017 Equine Industry Vision Award.

For more information about the Equine Industry Vision Award, contact:
Christine Brune, AHP Executive Director at 386-760-7743 or e-mail AHorsePubs@aol.com

Past Recipients