Special Achievement Winners

Mauro Zaborowsky, Wendy Davis, Sleepy Gilbreath honored.

Sleepy Gilbreath is one of the special achievement winners. PHOTO: AQHA Media

Each year, the American Quarter Horse Association recognizes the hard work of several individuals in the racing industry. This year, the John Andreini Special Recognition Award goes to Mauro Zaborowsky; the Mildred N. Vessels Special Achievement Award to Wendy Davis; and the Gordon Crone Special Achievement Award to C. Dwayne “Sleepy” Gilbreath.

John Andreini Special Recognition Award
The award recently renamed in honor of the highly respected John Andreini goes to an international horseman.

Mauro Eli Zaborowsky is a longtime owner and breeder in his own name, as well as his Haras Vista Verde. He is very involved with improving racing in Brazil, including in this past year helping facilitate the testing of all races at the Jockey Club de Sorocaba.

“It is very fitting that Mauro receive this award the first year it is offered in John Andreini’s memory,” said Vince Genco, AQHA director. “Mauro and John were good friends and John visited Mauro’s Haras Vista Verde many times as the two gentlemen worked together on endeavors to improve racing for the American Quarter Horse in Brazil.”

Mildred N. Vessels Special Achievement Award
Arizonan Wendy Davis has spent her career instilling a love for the industry into the next generation, and for that is honored with the Mildred N. Vessels Special Achievement Award. This award is given to a woman in the industry to recognize her achievement within the industry.

Davis is a well-rounded horsewoman with experience in many equine disciplines, but as the director of the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program and as a key volunteer with the AQHYA National Youth Racing Experience and a few other programs, she specializes in introducing young people into the racing industry.

“Every year, Wendy devotes countless hours of her personal time to help organize the endeavor, attends to the Challenge Championships and collaborates with AQHA to manage the event,” her nominator said. “She does a fantastic job in facilitating the knowledge of racing and the love of our sport in the next generation. Lives have been changed because of this program, and Wendy has been a major part of it.”

Gordon Crone Special Achievement Award
C. Dwayne “Sleepy” Gilbreath is one of the sport’s all-time leading trainers, standing among the Top 10 with about $30 million in training earnings. Among them are two of the sport’s all-time leading money earners – first, Refrigerator, and then current top earner Ochoa. Gilbreath also has numerous major victories and accomplishments.

“Sleepy has given his life to his horses and trains them with integrity and honor, always putting his horses’ health and well-being first,” said his nominator.

Sleepy has mentored several young trainers, and has been active in various racing committees. He is also a member of the Ruidoso Hall of Fame.

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