NSBA regrets to announce that NSBA Past President Phillip Victor “Vic” Clark, of Shelby, Ohio, died unexpectedly this weekend.

Vic got his love of horses from his late father, Phillip Clark, who was an avid calf roper for many years. He began roping at eight years old and in high school gave up roping to show Quarter Horses and spent time in a number of trainers’ barns around Ohio.

He always had a knack for numbers as well as bloodlines, and he studied both voraciously as a youth. Vic would study sale catalogs in the same way his friends studied the baseball stats. Those statistics will later prove valuable not only in establishing his own breeding program, but as a pedigree analyst for several horse sales, including the NSBA Markel Insurance Breeders Championship Futurity Yearling Sale.

He met his wife, Libby, in 1974, and credited his success in the horse industry in great part due to Libby’s work behind the scenes. The couple have bred, raised and exhibited a number of NSBA champion horses, with Libby following her passion for Non-Pro Hunter Under Saddle events. The couple would have celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary on August 13.

Three associations weave throughout Clark’s involvement in the horse industry—the Ohio Quarter Horse Association, the National Snaffle Bit Association, and the National Reining Horse Association, with which he was an accredited judge.

Vic worked at the first All American Quarter Horse Congress in 1967 on the ring crew and attended every year throughout his life. He joined the Ohio Quarter Horse Association’s board of directors in the early 1980’s as treasurer, served as the association’s president in 1997 and 1998 and was a Congress Tri-Chairman for more than 20 years. In the past few years, Vic was also instrumental in developing the Congress Super Sale’s Yearling division and Sale Futurity class and was chair of the Congress Super Sale Committee. Vic was inducted into the All American Quarter Horse Congress Hall of Fame in 2014.

When NSBA formed in 1983, Vic always noted that his first involvement with NSBA was when Leo Barberba asked him for $100 to become a charter member. He was instrumental in the addition of an impromptu Two Year Old Snaffle Bit Western Pleasure class to the 1983 All American Quarter Horse Congress, which was not on the show bill and featured a jackpotted class. The class became an official part of the show in 1984 and has remained ever since.

Vic joined the NSBA board of directors in 1987 and served as NSBA president in 2001. He served on several committees including the Judges Committee, where he helped develop the Category 1 Judges Test and presented at the NSBA Judges Seminar on several occasions. Vic was an NSBA accredited judge but gave up his card to serve on the Judges Committee. Along with Bruce Walquist, Kathie Kennedy and Russ Smith, Vic developed the current scoring and language for judging Longe Line classes. Clark was also instrumental in developing the purse structure of the Gold, Silver and Limited divisions when the Breeders Championship Futurity was created. 

He often noted that one of his fondest memories was helping decorate for the NSBA World Championship Show by sewing the banners with extra strength fishing line and building the stage in the center of the arena. He was inducted in the NSBA Hall of Fame in 2007 and recognized with an NSBA Lifetime Achievement award in 2015. 

A 1978 graduate of the Ohio State University with a degree in accounting, Vic was a partner in the accounting firm Campbell-Rose and Co. CPAs, in Mansfield, Ohio, where he served a number of clients in the horse industry. Clark used his accounting expertise to assist a number of equine organizations over the years, including the Ohio Quarter Horse Association, the National Snaffle Bit Association and the National Reining Horse Association. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with Libby and all of Vic’s many friends in the industry. The family will receive friends from 2:00-4:00 p.m. and 6:00-8:00 p.m. Sunday, July 15, 2018, at Ontario United Methodist Church, 3540 Park Avenue West, Ontario, Ohio. The funeral service will be held Monday at 11:00 a.m. in the church. Memorial contributions may be made to the Ohio Quarter Horse Association or Ontario United Methodist Church.