Longtime APHA Leader David Dellin
David Dellin * Photo by APHA

APHA Leader David Dellin tapped as interim executive director

Longtime APHA leader David Dellin will step in as the association’s interim executive director, effective in June 2023. Current APHA Executive Director Billy Smith has accepted the commissioner position for the National Reining Horse Association.

“I cannot describe the appreciation I have for what my friend and mentor Billy Smith has done for this organization and what he has taught me over the last 10 years. The confidence the Board of Directors has placed in me to oversee this transition and guide the future of APHA is extremely meaningful. I look forward to working with APHA’s incredibly talented staff, who will continue driving this organization in a direction of growth in a rapidly changing market.”

The APHA Board of Directors will explore targeted candidates before the executive director position is permanently filled.

“On behalf of our Board of Directors, I am excited to welcome David Dellin as our interim executive director. The Board is confident in his ability to navigate this transition and lead our association,” APHA President David Lands said. “David’s decades of experience, passion for Paints and knowledge of the equine landscape will ensure our continued success.”

“I would also like to thank Dr. Billy Smith for his many years of service to APHA. He has skillfully positioned our association to take advantage of many opportunities that will continue to elevate the Paint Horse and our brand.”

Billy is proud of APHA’s milestone developments during his tenure and is confident the forward trajectory will continue under David’s guidance.

“The APHA team has accomplished things no other organization has done over the last decade and has given the equine association world a true north target,” Billy said. “APHA and its people have become my heart, but I can’t think of anyone I’d rather entrust the leadership of APHA to than David Dellin.”

A Veteran APHA Leader

With extensive leadership experience and passion for the equine community, David is poised to drive the association forward into an exciting new era.

David joined the APHA team in 2012 as director of judges; later, he became APHA senior director of judges, shows & education. In those roles, David has been instrumental in the development of showing- and judge-education resources, including APHA’s interactive learning platform HorseIQ. In addition to expanding APHA educational opportunities in the U.S. and abroad, David’s expertise has yielded partnerships with other equine organizations in efforts to modernize and streamline their own judging standards and create stakeholder resources through APHA’s HorseIQ platform.

Previously, David was a professional horse trainer and judge; he also served as past president of the National Snaffle Bit Association. A graduate of Oklahoma State University, David lives in Elmore City, Oklahoma, with his wife, Julie, and children Gage, Lane and McKenna.