Western performance horse trainer and coach Barbra Schulte has won the 2020 Equine Industry Vision Award.
The annual award, established and sponsored by Zoetis, recognizes the innovation and commitment made by an individual or organization to positively influence the equine industry. Schulte was presented the award by video since the 2020 American Horse Publications (AHP) Equine Media Conference was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Zoetis is honored to present the Equine Industry Vision Award to Barbra Schulte for her incredible work and unwavering passion for horses and riders,” Jeannie Jeffery, vice president of the Zoetis U.S. Equine business, said in a statement. “Through her work as a renowned trainer, clinician and personal performance coach, Barbra has helped countless riders overcome challenges and has made a positive impact on the equine industry.”
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.
Schulte, who was the first woman to win the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Summer Spectacular Derby and Classic, grew up on a farm in southern Illinois. Her lifelong love of horses started at a young age and, at age 8, Schulte started training quarter horses and competing in Western pleasure, reining, horsemanship and cutting competitions
After attending college, she started her own cutting horse training business. Over the years, Schulte observed riders and how they handled themselves in the saddle. She decided to take her personal experiences from the arena and help other riders unlock their potential by becoming a certified Personal Performance Coach.
A winner of more than $984,000, Schulte retired from her professional training career in 2017 and continues to coach riders in all disciplines to develop their full potential, perform under pressure and overcome fear. She has a master’s degree in speech pathology and audiology, and certification as a personal performance coach for riders from the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Florida.
“I’m incredibly grateful and honored to be recognized for the work I’ve done throughout my career,” Schulte said. “Seeing the lightbulb and joy people experience when they realize what is truly possible for them is the most rewarding part of my career. This award is about having a vision, and I’m humbled that my peers in the equine industry view me as a visionary. For that, I want to thank my husband, Tom, and fellow trainers and coaches for their support. I’ve always believed that, no matter how difficult things get, you can overcome those challenges by never giving up on your goals, finding the gift in the challenge and creating a new and even larger vision of your dreams.”
Each year, Schulte and her husband, Tom, present an award named in honor of their late son, Zane, to a professional cutting horse trainer. The Zane Schulte Award goes to those who exhibit the characters Zane is remembered by: integrity, service, values, respect of their peers, contribution to the industry and excellence in the arena.
Recipients of the Zane Schulte Award include Ted Sokol, who was recently elected as the next vice president of the National Cutting Horse Association. In 2018, Casey Crouch was honored with the award.
In addition to the Equine Industry Vision Award, Schulte received the National Female Equestrian of the Year Award, given by the American Quarter Horse Association. She was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Members’ Hall of Fame. Schulte also captured two NCHA titles, among numerous other national titles and championships during her career.
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