2004 Equine Industry Vision Award Given to American Quarter Horse Association
Pfizer Animal Health and American Horse Publications (AHP) are proud to announce that the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) has been named as the recipient of the third annual Equine Industry Vision Award. A truly unique honor, the Equine Industry Vision Award is the first of its kind to showcase innovation across the entire equine market, as well as to recognize ingenuity and service. The Award was presented to AQHA’s Executive Director of Marketing and Membership Services, Don Treadway, during a ceremony held on Friday, June 11, 2004 at the AHP annual seminar in Lexington, KY.
AQHA was selected to receive this prestigious honor because of the organization’s vast, positive impact on the equine experience world wide. More than just the largest breed registry in the world, the Association focuses on educating those new to the horse industry and making horses of all kinds more accessible to people everywhere.
“AQHA is simply the embodiment of what the Equine Industry Vision Award serves to recognize,” said Dan Kramer, Equine Market Manager at Pfizer Animal Health. “For more than forty years this unique organization has shaped our industry in a multitude of ways, and their forward-looking leadership suggests that they will continue to do so.”
AQHA Executive Vice President Bill Brewer has his sights set on a bright future for the AQHA and the horse industry. “We must work harder to increase the equine industry’s market share of the recreational dollar,” he said. “We must make it easier for horse enthusiasts to enjoy the equine experience. And AQHA will continue to adapt to the ever-changing marketplace by providing programs and opportunities for people to enjoy the equestrian lifestyle.”
The pure reach of the American Quarter Horse Association is, in itself, staggering. In 1959 the group’s registrations reached 100,000. Just fifteen years later, in 1974, one million American Quarter Horses were registered with the Association. And, in 2001, that figure had risen to four million registrations. Currently, the group boasts a membership of more than 350,000 devoted followers of the breed.
AQHA is noted for its strong educational programs. The group’s pioneering efforts to support new owners and foster youth development have helped shape the face of today’s industry and will continue to do so into the future. The American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA) serves the next generation of horse enthusiasts by providing special shows, leadership opportunities and contests such as photography, art, speech and judging that help to positively shape their lives. AQHA also supports other youth organizations, like 4-H and FFA.
AQHA members enjoy an unprecedented level of support from their Association. Unique and innovative programs form the backbone of a list of opportunities that provide something for anyone interested in horses. AQHA has led the way in creating activities that go far beyond traditional horse shows and have been emulated by other groups around the world. For example, the Association’s Horseback Riding Program allows riders to log hours in the saddle and collect awards for their achievements. The Ride Program provides non-competitive, recreational trail riding events for AQHA members and non-members all over the world.
Getting the American Quarter Horse to the people has always been a strong point of the Association. The group has promoted their breed, and horses of all kinds as well, through television programs such as America’s Horse (seen weekly on the Outdoor Life Network) and Wire to Wire (viewed on ESPN). Affiliate organizations exist throughout the country and around the world to bring programs to local audiences, and corporate sponsorships help raise the breed’s profile.
The award-winning America’s Horse magazine-the largest circulation equine publication in the world-is mailed to all AQHA members bi-monthly. AQHA’s subscription publications, The American Quarter Horse Journal and The American Quarter Horse Racing Journal give readers in depth information about their favorite horse sports.
“This Award must be shared by the thousands of American Quarter Horse fans, from the owner of one horse, to the leading breeders,” said Brewer. “Each one has played a tremendous role in developing the Association into the organization that it is today.”
The other finalists for this year’s Equine Industry Vision Award included Stanley F. Bergstein, John Ryan Gaines, Matthew Mackay-Smith, Pat Parelli and Ed Roberts.