Debbie Schauf, the executive director of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association, died on August 10.
The respected horsewoman was serving on the AQHA Racing Council, and worked tirelessly to help horse racing not only in her own state, but the rest of the world. She worked to represent horse racing in regard to racing laws, rules and regulations, medication issues and promotional efforts. An AQHA life member, she served as a member of the AQHA Racing Committee, the AQHA Affiliate Council and as an AQHA director. She was the AQHA Racing Council chair and served on the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission. She was the recipient of the Mildred N. Vessels Special Achievement Award in 2001 and also accepted the John Andreini Special Recognition Award on behalf of OQHRA in 2009.
All of her life, Debbie had an immense infatuation with the horse business, and has always been involved since she got her first horse at 8 years old. For over 20 years, Debbie was a real estate broker and owned and managed a residential construction and real estate company.
She was recognized with many special awards for her work in Real Estate and continuing education. In 1986, Debbie was elected to two terms in the legislature before taking up a new career providing representation for Quarter Horse racing horsemen. After her four years in the Kansas Legislature, Debbie became the director of the Kansas Horsemen’s Association.
In 1991, she accepted a position as general manager of the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association, and from 1994 through March 1996 she was director of racing and executive director of the Texas Quarter Horse Association.
Since then, she served in her position with OQHRA, but more than that, she served as a consultant in Quarter Horse racing issues for Idaho, Wyoming, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, and a number of other racing jurisdictions.
“Debbie Schauf’s leadership, intellect and tireless dedication to Quarter Horse racing was unsurpassed,” said Remington Park general manager Scott Wells. “She was a major positive influence nationally as well as regionally, but it is in Oklahoma where her impact was greatest. She will be sorely missed by all of us here at Remington Park and across the industry.”
Debbie was quoted as saying her favorite role in the horse industry was being a grandmother and watching her grandchildren grow in their love for the horses in their lives, and still being able to go to work every day and help make racing as good as it can be for horsemen. She says she could not dream of a life she would like any better.
Services will be held August 22 at Heritage Place. More details are pending, and this article will be updated when that information is available.