Award recognizes innovation, commitment and positive impact on the equine industry
Zoetis, in partnership with American Horse Publications (AHP), presented the Equine Industry Vision Award to Dr. Billy Smith at the AHP Equine Media Conference in Lexington, Kentucky.
Dr. Smith serves as the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) executive director and is celebrated as a visionary leader who has united the greater horse community to promote the entire industry.
“Zoetis is proud to recognize Dr. Smith for his continued contributions to the equine industry,” said Dr. Kenton Morgan, managing veterinarian, equine technical services for Zoetis. “Dr. Smith’s vision and leadership have had an important impact across our entire equine community.”
During his tenure, Dr. Smith spearheaded multiple creative initiatives such as conducting the first online, real-time transfer of horses; introducing HorseIQ, an interactive learning platform; instituting scholarships at the APHA Youth World Show; organizing the Vaquero Gathering and Cowgirl Gathering; creating the APHA/World Conformation Horse Association’s Halter Million; and relocating APHA’s headquarters to the Fort Worth Stockyards.
“The award is validation of the efforts of our tremendous staff and the journey our staff and board of directors have been on to reinvent APHA,” Dr. Smith said. “We have been extraordinarily courageous in trying to do innovative things, and you can’t do that without buy-in.”
Under Dr. Smith’s leadership, APHA has increased programming, membership and revenue despite the economic pressures of the 2008 financial crisis and changing social policies. More than once he’s been told his decisions were “bold moves.”
For example, naysayers discouraged the launch of Chrome, an equine lifestyle magazine. Dr. Smith and his team forged ahead despite turmoil in the publishing industry because the organization had important member stories to tell.
“I’m a journalist at heart. Journalism is what I trained for, and I consider myself a storyteller. In my role now, that means telling the story of the Paint Horse,” shared Dr. Smith.
Dr. Smith earned undergraduate degrees in business and journalism, a master’s in public relations and advertising, and a doctorate in education. He spent eight years as a practicing journalist covering medicine and science and the closing of wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, among other roles at communications agencies and equine associations.
Dr. Smith has also served in many industry leadership roles and has been honored numerous times by the Fort Worth business community. He held leadership roles with the American Horse Council and served as chair of the United States Livestock Genetics Export, Inc. board of directors.
About the Equine Industry Vision Award
The Equine Industry Vision Award is given annually in recognition of outstanding leadership, creativity and meritorious contributions 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 the equine industry.
About American Horse Publications
American Horse Publications has united equine-related publishing media, businesses, professionals, colleges and students for over 50 years. The nonprofit professional membership association promotes excellence in equine media and encourages relationships and communication to increase interest in the horse industry. For more information, visit americanhorsepubs.org.
As the world’s leading animal health company, Zoetis is driven by a singular purpose: to nurture our world and humankind by advancing care for animals. After 70 years of innovating ways to predict, prevent, detect and treat animal illness, Zoetis continues to stand by those raising and caring for animals worldwide, from livestock farmers to veterinarians and pet owners. The company’s leading portfolio and pipeline of medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and technologies make a difference in over 100 countries. A Fortune 500 company, Zoetis generated revenue of $7.8 billion in 2021 with approximately 12,100 employees.
The Zoetis Equine division is committed to providing horse care you can count on. Our team includes numerous equine veterinarians and other experts who are inspired daily by the opportunity and profound responsibility to support horses, the owners who love them and the equine veterinarians and other care team members who safeguard their well-being every day. Whether at the clinic or in the field, Zoetis is always by your side with a comprehensive, innovative portfolio of equine products and services at every step of a horse’s care and throughout the journey of a horse’s life. Visit ZoetisEquine.com to learn more.