Board of Trustees
Board of Trustees
The American Quarter Horse Foundation Board of Trustees is the governing board of the Foundation. The American Quarter Horse Foundation Board of Trustees consists of the AQHA Executive Committee as elected trustees, plus a trustee appointed by the elected trustees. The Board of Trustees convenes quarterly to oversee Foundation business. With advisement from the Foundation Council, the Board of Trustees is responsible for managing the business and affairs of the Foundation.
2020 Board of Trustees:
President F.E. “Butch” Wise
F.E. “Butch” Wise of El Reno, Oklahoma, was named an AQHA honorary vice president in 2015, after serving as an AQHA director from 2001 to 2015.
He currently serves as the Executive Committee representative on the AQHA Racing Council. Wise is a former member of the studbook and registration, nominations and credentials, and racing committees, as well as the racing council and graded stakes subcommittee. He was the chairman of the Hall of Fame selection committee from 2013 to 2015 and also served as chairman of the Racing Council and graded stakes subcommittee. In 2014, he was a member of the AQHA Governance Task Force.
In 2004, Wise received the Oklahoma State University Animal Science School Graduate of Distinction Award, and in 2007, he received the AQHA Racing Council Special Recognition Award. He is also a past president of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association. He has been inducted into the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and the Remington Park Hall of Fame.
Wise and his wife, Nancy, operate their breeding and sales operation as Stone Chase Stables LLC. Wise is also president of Wise Sales Co. Inc. His former career experience includes employment with AQHA, Ridgeleigh Farms Inc., Mel Hatley Farms and Cox Manufacturing. He is currently the manager of the Lazy E Ranch LLC in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
The Wises have two sons and two daughters. Their sons are Clay and Parker Wise, and daughters are Mallory Wise and Ashlie Blair. Blair and her husband, Shawn, have two children, Derek and Lacie.
First Vice President Norman Luba
Norman Luba of Louisville, Kentucky, has been an AQHA life member since 1995 and an AQHA director since 2011. He has served on the AQHA Stud Book and Registration Committee, where he served as chairman; AQHA Public Policy Committee; and served as chairman of the AQHA Affiliate Advisory Board.
Luba graduated with a master’s degree in reproductive physiology from the University of Maryland. The former executive director of the Kentucky Horse Council, Luba is currently the executive director of the North American Equine Ranching Information Council, president of the Equine Breeding Research and Development Council, and the treasurer of the Animal Welfare Council Inc. In addition, he serves as chairman of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Dean’s Equine Advisory Board.
He is the recipient of the Don Henneke Education Impact Award and the American Youth Horse Council Distinguished Service Award.
Luba is an avid competitor with numerous qualifications in trail for the AQHA Select World Championship Show, presented by Adequan® (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan), and the Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show, as well as a Superior trail horse achievement. He is a member of the National Snaffle Bit Association, Equine Science Society, Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club and the Kentucky Quarter Horse Association, where he also served two terms as president, and the Kentucky Quarter Horse Racing Association, where he is currently serving as treasurer.
Luba and his wife, veterinarian Dr. Lorraine Luba, have two sons – Christopher and Colin, a former AQHYA president who is married to Catherine.
Second Vice President Dr. Scott Myers
Dr. Scott Myers of Sharon Center, Ohio, has been an AQHA life member since 1993 and an AQHA director since 2011. Dr. Myers is a former member of the Hall of Fame selection committee, nomination and credentials committee, American Quarter Horse Foundation Council and equine research committee.
Dr. Myers received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Kentucky Wesleyan College and graduated with his doctor of veterinary medicine from The Ohio State University. A licensed veterinarian since 1985, Dr. Myers owns and manages Hunting Ridge Animal Hospital and Ridgewood Stables. He serves on the board of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association.
He has been the CEO for the Ohio Quarter Horse Association since 2012. He is also a past president of the Northern Ohio Quarter Horse Association and Ohio Quarter Horse Association, and a past national director of the National Snaffle Bit Association.
Dr. Myers is an AQHA 10-year cumulative breeder and an exhibitor, with multiple Select world championships. He has earned numerous Superiors and AQHA Performance Champion titles. Dr. Myers is also the recipient of the NSBA Jack Benson Award.
Dr. Myers and his wife, veterinarian Dr. Leslie Myers, have two daughters, Taylor and Mallory.
Member Kenneth Banks
Kenneth Banks is an AQHA life member. He was elected as an AQHA director in 1996 and elevated to director-at-large in 2011. Banks has served on the international, show and contest, nominations and credentials, amateur, and marketing committees. He also served on the Foundation and show councils. Banks currently serves on the finance committee.
Banks graduated with honors from Southwest Texas University with a bachelor’s degree in soil science and Texas A&M University with a master’s in soil chemistry. After more than 30 years in the business world, he sold his automotive aftermarket companies in 2015 and returned home to ranching and breeding and raising horses and cattle. Banks Ranch, located in central Texas, breeds, raises, trains and shows AQHA Ranching Heritage-bred American Quarter Horses for the show pen and the ranch. The cattle portion of the ranch includes registered Herefords and crossbred cows. The ranch’s artificial insemination program has created one of the best cow herds in Texas.
Banks is a past president of the National Snaffle Bit Association and member of the NSBA Hall of Fame. He has served as the chairman of the NSBA financial committee, treasurer, crisis fund committee, world show committee and Breeders Championship Futurity committee. Banks is also a past president of the Texas Quarter Horse Association. Currently, one of Banks’ loves is mentoring students at Texas A&M University. He is a member of the Texas A&M University Equine Initiative Development Committee, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Development Committee, and Texas A&M University Beef Cattle Development Council.
Banks was awarded one of the most prestigious business awards when he received the Ernest & Young Master Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Houston region. Not only was he successful in the business world, but he also received the Texas Philanthropist title for his benevolent, humanitarian efforts throughout Texas by Philanthropy in Texas Magazine. At the request of Texas Gov. George Bush, Banks served on the Texas Governor’s Business Council for eight years.
Banks and his wife, Laina, a fellow AQHA director and dedicated lover of the American Quarter Horse way of life, reside on the ranch in Schulenburg, Texas, where they spend most of their time breeding and raising American Quarter Horses. They share three children, son Paul and daughter-in-law Heather; Lindsay and son-in-law David Kutac; and son Russell and daughter-in-law Dr. Crystal Banks, and the joy of seven grandchildren.
Member James Hunt
James “Jim” Hunt of Faith, South Dakota, is an AQHA life member and has been an AQHA director since 2013. Hunt has served on the ranching council, studbook and registration committee, Animal Welfare Commission and Hall of Fame selection committee. He has also served on the governance and microchipping task forces. Hunt was the chairman of the ranching committee. He also spearheaded developing the AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder Young Horse Development Program and has personally donated more than 50 foals from his breeding program to this AQHYA program.
Hunt graduated from South Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business and worked for Hulett National Bank in Wyoming as a loan officer and then vice president. He competed as a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association saddle bronc rider, was the event director in the South Dakota Rodeo and Northwest Ranch Cowboy’s associations and was captain of the South Dakota State University College Rodeo Team. Hunt was also an agricultural reporter for radio station KLSC in Watertown, South Dakota. Hunt currently owns and operates Open Box Rafter Ranch, a working cattle and horse operation that has produced its own annual Quarter Horse production sale since 1994. He is an AQHA 30-year breeder and has bred more than 1,000 registered American Quarter Horses, including an AQHA Open Champion, superior, Performance Register of Merit horses, World Show and Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers.
He earned the 2009 Sunshine Bible Academy Distinguished Alumnus Award, was named the 2011 Black Hills Stockman of the Year and received the 2020 Black Hills Stock Show Pioneer Award.
Hunt has also served on the Rushmore Plaza Expansion Project Design Committee, Central States Fair Board of Directors, Black Hills Stock Show Horse Committee, Black Hills Stock Show Foundation Board, Sunshine Bible Academy School Board, SBA Foundation Board, Bethel Free Lutheran Church deacon and South Dakota Quarter Horse Association Board of Directors.
Hunt and his wife, Joni, have seven children, all of whom are involved in the family ranching operation: oldest son J. Tom and wife Sage, who have 2 1/2-year-old twin girls and 6-month-old boy and girl twins; daughters Jessica and Jimmie Jean; son Justin and wife Erica, and sons Joshua, Jordan and Jeb.
Appointed Member Robin Merrill
Robin Merrill of Poolville, Texas, was reappointed to the American Quarter Horse Foundation Board of Trustees in April 2020. Merrill served as the first appointed member to the Board of Trustees in 2019. She has also served on the Foundation Council, was the Council’s chairwoman from 2001 to 2004 and was elevated to AQHA honorary vice president in 2019.
Merrill and her husband, AQHA Past President Frank Merrill, have been involved in AQHA and the American Quarter Horse industry for many years and have been major supporters of the Foundation and its initiatives. The Merrills received AQHA’s 50-Year Breeder Award in 2018, and Frank was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2013.
In 1972, the Merrills founded Windward Stud, in Purcell, Oklahoma. Together, they owned and operated the facility for 34 years. After a very successful stint in breeding during which the Merrills produced many well-known horses, they sold the operation to Cowan Select Horses. They stayed to manage Cowan Select Horses LLC at Windward Stud from 2006 until 2012. The Merrills also manage M5 Performance Bloodstock, which has produced Hall of Fame horses Miss Jim 45 and Royal Santana, as well as AQHA Superhorse Roo Star.
Robin was also involved with the New Jersey Quarter Horse Association, Florida Quarter Horse Association, Oklahoma Horseman’s Association, the Heart of Oklahoma Horseman’s Association, Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association and is a member of the National Cutting Horse Association Historical Committee. She also serves as an executive director for the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Merrills passed along their love for horses and AQHA to their three children: McKenzie, who lives in Weatherford, Texas; Megan, who lives in Poolville, Texas, with husband Matt Miller and daughters Emery and Harper; and son Tyler and his wife, Katy, who live in Weatherford with their son, Mason.