From the Office of Craig Huffhines

Executive Committee Meeting Updates

AQHA Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines shares highlights from the recent AQHA Executive Committee meeting.

American Quarter Horse Association

Though AQHA operates primarily upon the decisions of its members through the board of directors, the five-person executive committee is responsible for implementing these important decisions and governing AQHA between the annual meetings of the membership and the board.

We welcomed our five-person AQHA Executive Committee to Amarillo at the end of January for several productive and jam-packed days of discussion.

My sincere thanks to our five volunteer leaders for their sacrifices of time and energy toward the betterment of our Association.

We got a lot of great work done and set the foundation for many of the discussions we’ll continue at the AQHA convention in March.

Here are a few updates from last week’s meetings:

  • The Ranching Heritage Challenge Finals will be held in conjunction with the Zoetis AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships in March at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. This year, the combined number of qualifiers for the VRH Championships has increased from just more than 400 last year to more than 1,000 this year. A communication plan was formulated to encourage exhibitor participation and to handle the potential additional numbers that will maximize Houston’s equestrian facility.
  • The Executive Committee approved the 255 judges who passed the Versatility Ranch Horse judges classes.
  • The Executive Committee approved the 2017 qualifying points for each class of the 2017 Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show.
  • Hired third-party consultants to continue to enhance our IT initiatives with Web properties and data mining.
  • The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame Subcommittee ballot of horses, people and legends was approved for the Hall of Fame Committee’s convention meeting.
  • Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa, was approved for the site of the 2017 AQHA Bank of America Racing Challenge Championships.
  • Welcomed Anna Morrison as the new chief international officer and received an overview of her plan for her first 90 days.
  • The 2017 Latin American Championships was cancelled for 2017 and tabled until a more inclusive plan for Latin American members can be developed.
  • All of the agendas for the upcoming convention were reviewed and will be available next week at
  • A review of Phase 1 of the research completed toward future planning for the youth department was given by the youth development staff.
  • An update on departmental progress on the Strategic Operating Plan was given by our team of chief officers and their staff.

As I mentioned, many of these conversations will continue at the AQHA convention in March, so be sure to register soon and secure your hotel rooms before they’re gone. I’m eager to speak with all of you in San Antonio!