The executive director of the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) will represent the association on the American Horse Council (AHC) Board of Directors.
The AHC announced in April that Billy Smith, of APHA, and Jean Ligon, chair of the Coalition of State Horse Councils, had been selected to fill two at-large seats on the board.
“I’m grateful for all of the support APHA has received in the past from its association with the American Horse Council,” Smith said in a statement. “In being elected to the Board, I’m hopeful to give something back as we work to address challenges facing the industry as a whole.”
Smith graduated in 1984 from the University of North Texas with degrees in business and journalism, and in 1989 with a master’s degree from Texas Tech University in public relations and advertising and completed a doctorate in education in 1999.
Prior to joining APHA, he worked as a journalist, a professor of journalism at West Texas A&M University and as the executive director of information technology for the American Quarter Horse Association. He also led a small market research firm, Strategic Media Research.
His is married to Melinda Kay Moreland, a 1984 graduate of Baylor University and has two children, Lauren, an attorney in New York City and a graduate of Baylor University and Hunter, a member of the United States Marine Corp.
Joining Smith on the board is Jean Ligon, chair of the Coalition of State Horse Councils and president elect of the Michigan Horse Council.
She is an avid lifelong equestrian and was an Arabian horse breeder for more than 25 years. Since returning to school in 1988 to earn her law degree, she has limited her equestrian activities to keeping a few pleasure horses at home for recreational riding on Michigan’s horse trails. That led her to become an advocate of equestrian interests in zoning and land use, which she remains to this day.
Ligon has served on her township’s planning commission since 2003. During her tenure, the township developed the first master plan in Michigan to openly acknowledge the economic and other benefits a strong equestrian presence brought to the township.
She also has also been a featured speaker at seminars on various legal topics and has authored numerous articles in legal publications and the general press on land use and zoning issues, especially as related to preservation of open spaces, recreational trails, suburban horsekeeping,
“We look forward to working with the new additions to the Board of Trustees,” AHC President Julie Broadway said in a statement. “Both of them bring different perspectives to the current makeup of the trustees, and combined with their extensive backgrounds in the equine industry they will be helpful in guiding the AHC through its strategic plan and through industry issues the next two years.”
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