Western performance horse veterinarian and American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Hall of Fame member Dr. Tom Lenz has been honored for his advocacy for humane treatment of horses.
Dr. Tom Lenz, who worked on legendary stallions Colonel Freckles and Boon Bar, received the 2019 Equine Industry Vision Award on Friday, May 31, during the American Horse Publications (AHP) Equine Media Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The award honors those who show innovation and commitment to making a positive impact on the equine industry. It is sponsored by Zoetis.
“It’s an honor to be recognized and a privilege to have cared for horses throughout my career,” Dr. Lenz said. “Any success I’ve enjoyed has largely been due to the influence, example and advice of others; so, I want to thank my family and peers for their support. I’ve always believed that the purpose of life is to matter, to be productive and to have made a difference that you have lived. I hope that in some small way I’ve made a difference in the lives and welfare of our horses.”
Dr. Lenz has been a lifelong advocate for the health and welfare of the horse. Currently a chairman of the AQHA microchip task force, Dr. Lenz is an advocate for the practice. Quarter Horse News recently spoke with the veterinarian for a story about microchipping in the June 15, 2019 issue.
Dr Lenz grew up on a beef cattle farm in central Missouri, Lenz always wanted to be a veterinarian. He graduated from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine in 1975, and began his career at a cattle and equine practice in California. Working with horses at this practice, his passion for equine health took root. This led Dr. Lenz back to Kansas City, Missouri, where he started his own equine practice.
Throughout his professional life, Dr. Lenz was active in equine private veterinary practice, academia and industry. With a distinguished career as a prominent voice for the equine industry and horse welfare, Dr. Lenz has held numerous leadership roles for equine industry organizations.
A past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), he also chaired the AAEP Welfare Committee. Dr. Lenz has served on or chaired the welfare committees of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the American Horse Council, the American Quarter Horse Association, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association. He currently serves on the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.
Dr. Lenz is a trustee of the American Horse Council and is the founding chair of its Unwanted Horse Coalition. Now named the United Horse Coalition, the coalition facilitates the exchange of information on adoption, care and alternative careers for horses. Dr. Lenz is retired but remains active riding his horses with his wife, Erin, and serves on various equine-related committees and boards.
In addition to the Equine Industry Vision Award, Dr. Lenz was recognized with the AAEP’s Distinguished Service Award in 2005, its Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 and the AAEP’s highest honor, the Sage Kester Beyond the Call Award, in 2018 for his contributions to the equine industry and equine veterinary medicine. Dr. Lenz also received AVMA’s 2010 Animal Welfare Award.
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