Lewis Wray was selected to be the 2017 recipient of the University of Arkansas Department of Animal Science Friend of the Department Award. The Department of Animal Science elects individuals who have excelled in the support of animal science, not only at the department, but also in other areas of development in the industry.
This year, Wray was chosen for his support of equine sports and the industry, as well as the Western lifestyle. He will take over the leadership of the largest equine performance group as President of the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) at the Convention, scheduled for June 1-4.
To start his career in both the world of athletics and the equine industry, Wray earned a bachelor’s degree at Arkansas Tech University and master’s degree from the University of Central Arkansas. He is a former football coach of 38 years at Russellville High School in Russellville, Arkansas, holding various positions there. From coaching, he joined the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.
Wray has a long list of contributions to the University of Arkansas and equine industry. He has aided the school throughout the years by serving on numerous equine stakeholder committees.
Wray has memberships with, received honors from and contributed to the following community, state and national organizations: board of directors for local, state, and national levels of the High School Rodeo Association; state director for the American Quarter Horse Association; Farm Bureau Horse Council; director for the Arkansas Open Horse Show Association; Arkansas Forage and Grassland Council.
His service to the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) includes chairman of the amateur and hall of fame committees, Arkansas affiliate president, Arkansas director, regional executive board member, national vice president, president-elect and 2017-2018 president. During his presidency with the Arkansas affiliate, the group also earned the National Affiliate of the Year title.
Wray and his wife, Kay, have two sons, Hunter and Scott, and two granddaughters, Tinley and Paisley.