The horse world lost a bright light on November 20, 2020 when professional horseman, Douglas ‘Doug’ John Carpenter, succumbed to COVID-19 at the age of 64. Born in Massachusetts and raised in Rhode Island, Doug was drawn to horses at a young age. When he was only 13, he hitchhiked from Rhode Island to Columbus, Ohio, to see the 1970 All American Quarter Horse Congress. Little did he know at that time, that in just a few years, he would not only be back at the Congress as a participant, but that he would win his first big title at the event.
Doug started working in the horse industry in 1972, but his career really took off when he went to work for Tommy Manion in 1978. Manion gave him a green two-year-old to ride, and Doug not only made it to the Congress Pleasure Futurity with Gook Lookin Babe, but he won a Reserve Champion title and a check for $10,000. From that experience, Doug would be dedicated to horses in a career that saw him reach the pinnacle of success in training, brokering, and competing with many of the top horses in the Western and Thoroughbred industries.
Doug Carpenter made a name for himself in Western Pleasure before turning his sights to Reining, Cutting, and Reined Cow Horses. He continued buying and selling horses and developed a reputation as having an uncanny eye for a good horse. He competed and developed horses that would earn multiple World and Reserve World Champion titles. Doug’s professional achievements include multiple World and Reserve World Championships in Western Pleasure and World Championships in the National Reining Horse Association and National Reined Cow Horse Association. His career earnings topped $70,000 in NSBA and $80,000 in NRHA.
He also loved Thoroughbreds; and working with his wife, Gwen, and partners, Tim and Nancy Hamlin, one of his proudest achievements in the horse world was breeding and developing his strapping, grey, Thoroughbred filly, Dream Marie, who ran in the prestigious Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in 2020.