James J. (Jay) Hickey Jr., who retired as president of the American Horse Council (AHC) June 30 after 23 years in the position, received the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ 2016 George Stubbs Award for his contributions to the equine industry and outstanding support of equine health and welfare.
Named for the late artist and educator George Stubbs, the award recognizes a non-veterinarian who has contributed substantially to equine veterinary medicine through leadership, product development, public service, public policy development, volunteerism, advocacy, research or education. Hickey accepted the award during the Dec. 6 President’s Luncheon at the AAEP’s 62nd Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla.
Hickey’s tenure with the American Horse Council spanned 27 years and included involvement with almost every major federal law and regulation concerning the equine industry. Under Hickey’s direction, the AHC coordinated economic impact studies at the state and national level, and became a driving force behind the formation of the Congressional Horse Caucus; the Congressional Cavalry; the Unwanted Horse Coalition; and the AHC’s marketing alliance known as Time to Ride, which seeks to increase horse ownership and participation.
In recent years, Hickey was a leading voice for establishing the Equine Disease Communications Center, an organization that coordinates and distributes breaking information on equine disease outbreaks across the country.
“Jay Hickey has closely observed every issue that may impact the AHC’s constituents and provided astute guidance for more than two decades,” said Jerry Black, DVM, chairman of the American Horse Council and a past president of the AAEP. “He is a beacon of integrity, a trusted colleague, and good friend to countless people in the horse industry.”
Hickey grew up in Washington, D.C., and is a longtime resident of Chevy Chase, Md. He received his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame and his J.D. from Georgetown University.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 9,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.