Tom Lenz, DVM, MS, DACT, was named the recipient of the 2019 Equine Industry Vision Award. Zoetis presented the award to Lenz, in partnership with American Horse Publications, during the AHP Equine Media Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Zoetis established and sponsors the annual Equine Industry Vision Award, which showcases an individual’s or an organization’s innovation and commitment to making a positive impact on the equine industry.*
“Zoetis is honored to present the Equine Industry Vision Award to Lenz for his tenured work and dedication to animal welfare and the humane, sensible treatment of horses,” said Nathan Voris, associate director of equine technical services at Zoetis. “Dr. Lenz’s integrity and ingenuity exemplify his commitment, dedication and service to the equine industry. At Zoetis, we strive to make a difference in the community and support organizations worldwide that share our commitment to bettering the welfare of animals.”
Lenz has been a lifelong advocate for the health and welfare of the horse. While growing up on a beef cattle farm in central Missouri, becoming a veterinarian was always his goal. After graduating from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine in 1975, he began his career at a cattle and equine practice in California. Working with horses at this practice, his passion for equine health took root. This led Lenz back to Kansas City, Missouri, where he started his own equine practice.
Throughout his professional life, Lenz was active in equine private veterinary practice, academia and industry. With a distinguished career as a prominent voice for the equine industry and horse welfare, Lenz has held numerous leadership roles for equine industry organizations. A past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, he also chaired the AAEP Welfare Committee. Lenz has served on or chaired the welfare committees of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Horse Council, the American Quarter Horse Association, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association. He currently serves on the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.
“It’s an honor to be recognized and a privilege to have cared for horses throughout my career,” Lenz said. “Any success I’ve enjoyed has largely been due to the influence, example and advice of others; so, I want to thank my family and peers for their support. I’ve always believed that the purpose of life is to matter, to be productive and to have made a difference that you have lived. I hope that in some small way I’ve made a difference in the lives and welfare of our horses.
Lenz is a trustee of the American Horse Council and is the founding chair of its Unwanted Horse Coalition. Now named the United Horse Coalition, the coalition facilitates the exchange of information on adoption, care and alternative careers for horses. Lenz is retired but remains active riding his horses with his wife, Erin, and serves on various equine-related committees and boards.
In addition to the Equine Industry Vision Award, Lenz has been recognized with the AAEP’s Distinguished Service Award in 2005, its Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 and the AAEP’s highest honor, the Sage Kester Beyond the Call Award, in 2018 for his contributions to the equine industry and equine veterinary medicine. Dr. Lenz has also received AVMA’s 2010 Animal Welfare Award.