Congratulations to Austin Shepherd
the 2022 Zane Schulte Award Recipient

The Story of the Zane Schulte Award

My husband Tom and I created this award to give something of exceptional value back to our cutting family.During our son Zane’s illness, we were the recipients of caring and love expressed in cards, phone calls, hugs, prayers, and monetary contributions.

In addition to giving back to our industry, we wanted to honor the memory of our gallant sixteen-year-old son who faced the challenges of his illness with strength and confidence and encouraged fellow cancer patients, his family, and his friends.

Zane’s gift to those who knew him was a deep experience of the heart.By example, he taught that living is about helping one another.

We knew that people quietly inspire each other every day in our cutting world.In Zane’s memory, we wanted to recognize that spirit of giving in our industry.We knew that trainers are the ambassadors of our sport and there are many who serve us with dedication beyond their riding.We decided to spotlight a professional trainer annually who exemplified the humanitarian values of integrity, service, respect of their peers, contribution to the industry, and excellence in the arena.Thus, the Zane Schulte Award was born.

Zane Schulte Award Recipients

2001 Dale Wilkinson
2002 Bill Riddle
2003 Al Dunning
2004 Buster Welch
2005 Jim Reno
2006 Mike McCarty
2007 Chris Benedict
2008 Allen Crouch
2009 Sam Shepards
2010 JB McLamb
2011 Dave McGregor
2012 Sam Wilson
2013 Joe Jones, Jr.
2014 Jimmy Orell
2015 Gaylon Wells
2016 Chubby Turner
2017 Scott Raftery
2018 Casey Crouch
2019 Ted Sokol
2020 Scott Amos
2021 Dave Beatty
2022 Austin Shepherd

Allen Crouch’s Article
Sam Shepard’s Article
JB McLamb’s Article
Dave McGregor’s Video
Sam Wilson’s Article
Jimmy Orrell’s Video
Gaylon Well’s Article
Chubby Turner’s Article
Scott Raftery’s Article
Casey Crouch’s Article
Ted Sokol’s Article

On December 8th, during the 2001 NCHA World Championship Futurity, Dale Wilkinson received the first annual Zane Schulte Award.Dale, emotionally moved, stood to receive his Jan Mapes’ sculpture amidst a standing ovation.

The recipient continues to be chosen by a NCHA Selection Committee from nominations received from NCHA members.The Selection Committee is made up of the President of the NCHA, the head of the Professional Trainer’s Committee, the past year’s recipient, two NCHA members at large, and either myself or my husband Tom (but not both of us).

The focus of the award is on humanitarian values which are not measurable in concrete ways.The award is about giving back and character.While excellence in the arena is considered, it’s not about who won the most money in a particular year.The award was created to honor integrity, service, and leadership.

Each year, beginning with the June issue of the Chatter, all NCHA members have the opportunity to nominate a trainer whom they admire for humanitarian values expressed in their service to our industry.The recipient is honored during the semi-finals of the NCHA Futurity in December.

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