ELCR Wins 2012 Equine Industry Vision Award

The Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) has been honored by American Horse Publications as the recipient of its 11th Annual Equine Industry Vision Award.  Sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, the award recognizes innovation, leadership and service in the equine industry.


The award was presented at the Equine Industry Vision Award Breakfast during the AHP Ride Into History Seminar in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia on June 1.  Melanie Heacock, Rick Jorgensen, and Georgiana Hubbard McCabe, who along with the late Anson Taylor founded ELCR in 1997, were in attendance to accept the award together with ELCR President Susan Harding and immediate past president Larry Byers.

“No words can express how honored we all feel to be selected for this award,” said Deb Balliet, ELCR CEO.  “We believe that our efforts to help individuals, organizations and communities across the United States protect the land needed to keep, train, compete, recreate and feed horses is critical to the future of this country’s horse industry and we are humbled that AHP and Pfizer recognize and endorse this.  We offer them our deepest thanks.”

In recognizing ELCR and presenting them with the Equine Industry Vision Award Perpetual Trophy, created by master artisan Peter Wayne Yenawine from Crystal Signatures in Bethlehem, PA, Kate Russo of Pfizer Animal Health said, “It’s an honor to present the Equine Land Conservation Resource with the Equine Industry Vision Award. The founders of this organization are true pioneers and visionaries.  The work they do to protect land loss for equestrian activities is so important for the future of the industry.”

ELCR was founded in 1997 with a goal of uniting the fragmented organizations and members of the horse world in a common mission essential for their survival – the protection of the land needed for horses and a thriving equine industry.

Recognizing that all land is saved locally, ELCR provides technical assistance to a wide variety of equestrian organizations and thousands of individuals across the country who are trying to preserve the land they need to keep their horses and to ride them.  ELCR provides these organizations and individuals with the education, tools, resources and networks needed to help ensure a viable future for horse-related activity in their local communities.

Toward that end, ELCR has enlisted 122 equine organizations and corporations as Conservation Partners, and their involvement is critical to the success of the mission.  All told, ELCR’s Conservation Partners represent 1.2 million members.  ELCR’s 17 Premier Partners include the National Park Service, American Quarter Horse Association, U.S. Equestrian Federation, Masters of Foxhounds Association, U.S. Eventing Association, Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, U.S Pony Clubs, and U.S. Hunter Jumper Association.

“Unplanned development throughout the country threatens not only the ability to house, train, compete and ride horses, but even the availability and price of hay and grain,” said ELCR President Susan Harding.  “If we fail to protect land for horse-related activity, we will not only lose our places to play and compete, but we will also lose the pipeline of new participants who will sustain the equestrian industry.  This award helps send a message to horsemen that they can and should influence their future and protect the spaces needed for equestrian activities – and that ELCR is here to help them.”

Together, Pfizer Animal Health and AHP developed the Equine Industry Vision Award to create the first major award to showcase innovation across the equine industry. The award is intended not only to serve as a unique recognition of ingenuity and service, but also to benefit the industry by inspiring these qualities in others.  Its purpose is to recognize outstanding leadership, creativity and meritorious contributions in the equine industry.

Previous recipients of the Equine Industry Vision Award are:

Alexander Mackay-Smith in 2002

Don Burt in 2003

American Quarter Horse Association in 2004

John Ryan Gaines in 2005

Stanley Bergstein in 2006

David O’Connor in 2007

Sally Swift in 2008

Charlotte Brailey Kneeland in 2009

John Nicholson in 2010

Robert E. Cacchione in 2011

About the Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR)

The Equine Land Conservation Resource is the only national not-for-profit organization advancing the conservation of land for horse-related activity. ELCR serves as an information resource and clearinghouse for land and horse owners on issues related to equine land conservation, land use planning, land stewardship/best management practices, trails, liability and equine economic development. For more information about the ELCR visit our website at http://www.elcr.org or call 859-455-8383.