Racing Special Achievement Winners

Racing Special Achievement Winners

Butch Wise, Judy Horton and Ross Brigden honored with special achievement awards during the AQHA Racing Champions Ceremony.

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Each year, the American Quarter Horse Association recognizes the hard work of several individuals in the racing industry. For 2021, the John Andreini Special Recognition Award goes to AQHA Past President Butch Wise of El Reno, Oklahoma; the Mildred N. Vessels Special Achievement Award to Judy Horton of Wheatland, Wyoming; and the Gordon Crone Special Achievement Award to Ross Brigden of Medicine Hat, Alberta. These recipients were recognized during the AQHA Racing Champions Announcement Ceremony January 12 at Heritage Place in Oklahoma City.

The respected horseman Butch Wise is honored with the John Andreini Special Recognition Award, which is given to an individual who profoundly benefits the Quarter Horse racing industry. Wise served as the 2020-2021 AQHA president to cap off five years on the AQHA Executive Committee. He was a longtime AQHA director and has served on a number of committees. Wise is also a past president of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association and has been inducted into the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and the Remington Park Hall of Fame. He is currently the manager of the Lazy E Ranch LLC in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Mildred N. Vessels Special Achievement winner Judy Horton works tirelessly to improve American Quarter Horse racing, especially in her home state of Wyoming. She is an AQHA director emeritus and current member of the AQHA Racing Committee. Horton has helped promote racing youth programs such as the AQHYA Youth Racing Experience at both the state and national levels.

Gordon Crone Special Achievement winner Ross Brigden is a long-time supporter of racing. An AQHA director-at-large and a member of the AQHA Racing Council, he has twice been the Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association’s president. During his career as a trainer, Brigden saddled graded stakes winners Katies Sign and A Special Martini and trained the earners of nearly $1 million. He has bred the earners of nearly $500,000, including stakes winners Snoboat and Princess Of Zoom.

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