Back to our roots
Wimpy P-1, the horse that holds the No.-1 spot in the American Quarter Horse Association registry, earned that designation when he was named grand champion stallion in March 1941 at the Southwestern Exposition in Fort Worth, TX. Wimpy was bred by the renowned King Ranch of South Texas. That’s just one example of the critical role ranchers and stock shows have played in the formation and growth of the American Quarter Horse industry.
To spur the Quarter Horse market, the AQHA Executive Committee and staff went back to it roots in July and met with ranchers and stock show managers.
In early July, the AQHA Executive Committee and staff met with more than 20 ranching representatives in Oklahoma City. Their talks focused on enhancing AQHA’s registration process; continuing to work with the various ranch horse competition groups – Ranch Horse Association of America, Stock Horse Of Texas, National Versatility Ranch Horse Association, American Stock Horse Association – by exploring consistency in rules and possibly co-sanctioned events; and investigating the concept of a Ranching Heritage Breeder Program, which likely could be an extension of the AQHA Breeder Referral Program.
“Despite ranchers owning and registering more American Quarter Horses than nearly any other segment of AQHA, I believe that the Association has not done enough to get them involved,” said AQHA President Johannes Orgeldinger of Grosswallstadt, Germany. “Ranchers are truly the backbone of AQHA’s industry. I am anxious to move forward in pursuing the recommendations that came from that meeting.”
In the middle of July, several stock show managers traveled to Amarillo to meet with the Executive Committee. Discussion focused on the changing demographics of the stock show/state fair audience, which is typical of the changing demographics of horse industry enthusiasts. In previous years, spectators at stock shows and rodeos were “in tune” with agriculture-related events and had a knowledge of livestock events. Today’s audience strictly wants entertainment.
Many different scenarios and suggestions to attract more spectators and exhibitors were discussed. These discussions have further encouraged the Executive Committee to move forward with bringing together focus groups to discuss a wide range of suggestions relative to AQHA shows. “These meetings were beneficial for both AQHA and the participants,” said AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway Jr. “We’ll do our homework on the suggestions and pursue moving forward with recommendations to help these essential segments of AQHA’s industry.”
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the June 19, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News