Four Finalists Selected for 2017 Equine Industry Vision Award

Zoetis and American Horse Publications (AHP) are proud to announce four finalists have been selected for the 2017 Equine Industry Vision Award. Sponsored by Zoetis, the Equine Industry Vision Award is intended to recognize ingenuity and service as well as benefit to the equine industry by inspiring these qualities in others.

The six members of the Equine Industry Vision Award Committee reviewed the nominations and narrowed the list of 18 nominees to four candidates:

Tootie Bland is the creator, owner and producer of Road to the Horse, the “original” colt-starting competition. Bland brought the revolution of natural horsemanship to an international level by pioneering a one-of-a-kind event featuring the world’s best clinicians in a perfect mix of entertainment and education. She raised the importance and awareness of natural horsemanship to a new level by also bringing the event out of the arena and into people’s homes through the multiple award-winning annual Road to the Horse production.

Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is celebrating its 50 anniversary in 2017. Today, CHA is the largest certifying body of riding instructors in North America certifying more than 30,000 instructors and accrediting more than 2,000 facilities that include camps, colleges, breeding barns, show stables, dude ranches, trail ride operations, riding lesson programs, universities and rescues. Its founder Dan Hemphill recognized that safe experiences with horses would encourage continued participation in the industry thereby Safety Awareness became the foundation pillar in CHA.

Dot Morgan is the Executive Director of New Vocations, the nation’s oldest and largest racehorse adoption program. Twenty-five years ago, Morgan recognized that injured and noncompetitive racehorses needed an advocate, someone to extol their virtues and start them down the road to a new career. New Vocations placed 40 horses in its first year. Today, they take in over 400 horse each year and have adopted out over 6,000 horses since 1992. Morgan has been instrumental in changing the face of equine aftercare, continually crafting new strategies to find more horses adoptive families.

Sydney Knott, is the President, CEO and Founder of Horses4Heroes, Inc. Knott has introduced more than 20,000 men, women and children to horses and horseback riding, created affordable horseback riding programs for all ages, and changed the way in which facilities across the country find and keep customers. What began as a community service project in 2006 to invite families whose parents served in the military, law enforcement, and as fire fighters to their home to ride horses, is now headquartered in the organization’s flagship facility, Horses4Heroes Community Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Horses4Heroes programs that Knott has created include: Operation Free Ride for returning combat veterans, Back in the Saddle for veterans and victims, and Ride2Recover for addicts.

The finalists will be judged on their performance in relation to the achievement(s) cited and their demonstration of 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. The AHP Board of Directors and a representative from Zoetis will vote to select the winner.

The official announcement of the winner and presentation of the award will be made at the Equine Industry Vision Award Breakfast on Friday, June 16, 2017, during the AHP Saddle Up for Scottsdale Seminar in Scottsdale, Arizona. The recipient will be presented with the Equine Industry Vision Award Trophy created by master artisan Peter Wayne Yenawine.

Previous recipients of the Equine Industry Vision Award are Alexander Mackay-Smith in 2002, Don Burt in 2003, the American Quarter Horse Association in 2004, John Ryan Gaines in 2005, Stanley Bergstein in 2006, David O’Connor in 2007, Sally Swift in 2008, Charlotte Brailey Kneeland in 2009, John Nicholson in 2010, Robert E. Cacchione in 2011, Equine Land Conservation Resource in 2012, Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) in 2013, Patti Colbert in 2014, Gayle Ecker in 2015, and Gary Carpenter in 2016.

American Horse Publications has united equine-related publishing media, businesses, professionals, colleges, and students for nearly 50 years. The non-profit professional association promotes excellence in equine publishing media and encourages relationships and communication to increase interest in the horse industry. For more information, visit

Zoetis is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products, genetic tests, biodevices and a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2016, the company generated annual revenue of $4.9 billion with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information, visit

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