2013 Congress Queen's Blog
The All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen serves as an ambassador of the show, welcoming spectators and exhibitors alike. In fact, the Congress Queen does so much during the show that she becomes one of the most memorable faces each year. The Queen’s reign, however, does not end after the Congress is over. She makes appearances at many national events, including the AQHA Convention, AQHA World Shows and other major horse shows throughout the entire year. For every event the Congress Queen attends, she writes a journal entry, which she shares here.
September 1, 2013 - Reichert Celebration
On September 1st I made my way down to Fort Worth, Texas for my final Queen adventure. When I arrived at the Reichert Celebration, I was astonished by the variety of horses and riders there. As usual I presented awards and took photos, but it was very interesting to watch some other breeds compete in addition to the AQHA and NSBA shows. I got to see some Appaloosa and Arabian competition, and decided that there is nothing that compares to our beloved Quarter Horses! I enjoyed visiting with the vendors at the trade show and even ran into Dave, our longtime Congress announcer. Hearing his voice over the loudspeaker made me anxious to return to Columbus in just a few short weeks. This is a busy time for me as I am starting my senior year of college at UMass Amherst as an Operations Management major. I wish everyone safe travels if you are heading to the Congress next month, and I hope to see you there!
August 6, 2013 - AQHA Youth World Show
On August 6th I made my way down to Oklahoma City for the AQHA Youth World Show. Although it is starting to cool down here in New England, OKC was a balmy 105 degrees during most of the time I spent there. I was very excited to watch some of the highest quality horses and exhibitors in the world compete, especially in the horsemanship as it is my favorite event. I presented awards with the AQHA Youth officers and directors, and got to see some extremely tough competition. On Tuesday night was the freestyle showmanship. This new event was just like freestyle reining; the exhibitors made up their own showmanship routine with a song and costume of their choosing. It was fun to watch and there were some very creative costumes! I enjoyed seeing many now-familiar faces during my time spent in Oklahoma City. My favorite part of being Congress Queen has definitely been making so many new friends and acquaintances this year. As my reign draws to a close, I am starting to think about my future show plans. I returned home with a new goal: to one day qualify and show at the World Show myself. I now have only one last queen adventure remaining, I will travel to Fort Worth next month for the Reichert Celebration before heading out to the Congress. Stay tuned for the last blog and as always, safe travels to anyone heading down to Texas!
July 18-21, 2013 - Region 6 Championship Show
From July 18th-21st I attended the Region 6 Championship show right here in Springfield, Massachusetts. This show is a little nostalgic for me because the 2009 Region 6Experience was my very first AQHA show. Iremember bringing my mare Docs Dry Lilly and competing in the Youth and Novice Youth barrel racing and pole bendingclasses, and since my whole family came to the show we had to bring along my sister’s Haflinger pony because no one was home to take care of him! It was at this show in 2009that I made the goal of somehow getting into the Quarter Horse industry and getting my name out there, and I can’t believe that just four years later I got to come back to this same horse show as Congress Queen. This year’s Region Six was bigger and better than ever, with almost 1300 entries! Some highlights for me included seeing the Walk Trot Western Pleasure class being won byMiss Alexis Potts, whose horse I borrowed for the Queen’s Horsemanship Class at last year’s Congress. The Aisle Hop night was also a blast, with a Battle of the Barns and karaoke contest. One of my favorite parts of being Congress Queen is the opportunity to network and meet new people. At Region 6 I had the privilege of meeting two distinguished AQHA representatives, AQHA Senior Director of Shows Charlie Hemphill and the newest AQHA Executive Committee Member Sandy Arledge. I enjoyed talking to them a little bit about what the future holds for our organization. I also spent some time with the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine Quarter Horse Association Queens and gave them some “queenly” tips for the contest this fall. It’s great to see more interest in the Queen program from New England affiliates-our region will definitely be well represented this year! It is hard to believe that Congress is right around the corner. My next Queen travel will be to the Youth World show-good luck and safe travels if you are headed out to Oklahoma City!
June 27, 2013 - Tom Powers Triple Futurity
On June 27th I made my way to Berrien Springs, MI for the Tom Powers Triple Challenge Futurity. When I arrived it had been raining and the ring was a little mushy, but for most of the weekend the weather cooperated. I presented awards and enjoyed seeing some of the vendors who come to the Congress and many of the other shows I have attended as Congress Queen. The competition was stiff all weekend and I enjoyed seeing quite a few top-quality pleasure horses compete for some serious money. The highlight of the weekend was the Two Year Old Maiden Sale Stakes Western Pleasure class on Saturday, where horses bought at the sale last year were eligible to compete. Congratulations to Patrick Heeley and Sleepy N I know It for winning the class and the $20,000 check. I must admit that sometimes I feel like I am in the presence of celebrities when standing next to these famous horses and trainers! On Saturday night there was the yearling auction; a huge success with over 60 sale horses, one of which went for $85,000! It is great to see the economy picking up and the positive effects this has on our Quarter Horse industry. Before the sale Tom and Dominique Powers hosted a barbeque to raise money for the NSBA Trainer Crisis Fund. This fund helps trainers who have been affected by disasters stay in business and cover the enormous overhead that we all know comes with owning horses. I am happy the report that over the course of the evening we raised a few thousand dollars to put towards this great cause! The show concluded on Sunday with Walk-Trot, Leadline, and a few more pleasure classes including the 50 & Over Western Pleasure. I would like to thank Tom and Dominique Powers for their kindness during my stay in Michigan, I had a wonderful time. Stay tuned for the next Congress Queen blog!
June 9th, 2013 - The Amanda Putney Memorial Show
On, I attended the Amanda Putney Memorial Horse Show. Amanda was a member of the Massachusetts Quarter Horse Youth Association whose life was taken from us this past December in a car accident. Just six days before the accident, she presented her MassQHA Queen candidate speech about how she would like to make showing Quarter Horses more affordable for youth. The benefit show was put on by the MassQHA youth club to raise funds for a "scholarship" that will help deserving youth cover some of their show expenses. Almost everything was donated, from the office management to the prizes to the judge's time, and I was truly inspired to see the community come together to remember this incredible young lady. The show had outstanding turnout-the first halter class had over 40 entries! I am sure Amanda was looking down and smiling on us having fun and raising funds for such a good cause. There was something for everyone, with games and a costume class in addition to regular classes and a Versatility Challenge that was won by Amanda's sister, Amy Putney. I had so much fun presenting awards with the MassQHA Royal Court and I certainly hope this show becomes an annual event! Next up in my Congress Queen travels will be the Tom Powers Triple Challenge Futurity. I have never been to Michigan, so I'm really looking forward to this next adventure. Stay tuned for the next blog in just a few weeks!
February 12, 2013 - Dixie National
On February 12th, I made my way to Jackson, Mississippi for the Dixie National Quarter Horse Show. I can honestly say it was one of the best trips I have ever taken! I was thoroughly impressed by the Southern hospitality and I would like to thank Tommy Andrus and all the show staff for making me feel so welcome.
The show was very successful with more than 2,200 entries; I presented awards and especially enjoyed watching the youth classes and participating in the Stick Horse Rodeo. I also got to visit with several of the vendors that come to the Congress; it is always nice to see them. On Wednesday night we went to the Dixie National Rodeo and I met Miss Rodeo Mississippi and also Lecile Harris, one of the most famous rodeo clowns in American history. At 73 years old, he still had the crowd in an uproar with his jokes and I was honored to meet such a great legend in the rodeo world.
Traveling to Jackson was also a bit of a culinary adventure for me. I experienced several foods that we don't have up North, including chicken fried steak, turnip greens and even frog legs! I really enjoyed going out to dinner with the judges and AQHA Executive Committee member Mr. George Phillips and his wife, Nicole. Again, the hospitality was incredible and what an honor to meet so many distinguished members of the AQHA community! On Friday night the Freestyle Reining was held in the Coliseum. There was very good turnout and tough competition and some great costumes! I love this event because it gets the crowd involved and you don't have to know a whole lot about Reining to enjoy it. The week ended with Barrels and Poles and presenting the all-around winners, and even though my flight home got cancelled, I made it home safely with a new appreciation for all things Southern!
February 9, 2013: New York State QHA Banquet
On February 9th I braved the aftermath of winter storm Nemo and traveled to Cobleskill, New York for the New York State Quarter Horse Association Banquet. Despite the three feet of snow we received in Massachusetts, I made it there in one piece and enjoyed a great evening. One of the benefits of living in New England is that all the states are in close proximity, and you can show for year-end awards with several different affiliates without having to haul very far! It was a real pleasure to meet the members of a fellow Northeastern club; NYSQHA has a very active youth group and they host several well-attended shows each year.
Congratulations to all the award winners on a great show season! The club is also starting their own Queen and Junior Queen program, and I gave a speech about my experiences and all the doors that opened for me when I decided to run for MassQHA Queen and then Congress Queen. I would truly recommend the program to any young lady who wants to get more involved in the AQHA industry.
And it is a busy week for me as I leave on February 12th for the Dixie National Quarter Horse Show in Jackson, Mississippi! I am really looking forward to some warmer weather - stay tuned for the next blog!
January 19, 2013: Massachuesetts QHA Banquet
On January 19th I attended the Massachusetts QHA Awards Banquet in Tyngsboro, MA. It was a great night! The food was fantastic and the awards committee had fabulous prizes for all the award winners. I made a speech about my road to the Congress Queen title and all the incredible experiences I have had along the way. Running for Massachusetts Queen really has made me much more involved in the AQHA and MassQHA community, and I am proud to say that I am now a member of the MassQHA Board of Directors as Corresponding Secretary! I am so thankful for all the opportunities I have received and all those yet to come.
Last night we also crowned the 2013 MassQHA Royal Court, congratulations to our Junior Princess, Princess, Junior Queen and especially the 2013 MassQHA Queen, Kayleigh McDonnell. I know she will do a great job representing Massachusetts Quarter Horse this year! It is wonderful to see the increased interest in the Queen program from some New England Affiliates. I will be attending the New York State QHA Banquet on February 9th, so until then, God Bless!
November 8-11, 2012: Equine Affaire
I had my first official appearance as the 2012 All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen at the Equine Affaire held in Springfield, Massachusetts. This expo draws people from all over New England and has clinics and demonstrations for all breeds and disciplines.
It was nice to see old and new friends and meet some prospective new AQHA members over the weekend, and the support I have received from the New England Quarter Horse community has been just incredible! I had the pleasure of visiting with many of the vendors that were at the Congress, and thanking them again for their support of the Congress Queen Contest. I also did a video interview with the Equine Journal which will soon be featured on their website. My next Queen appearance will be at the Massachusetts Quarter Horse Association awards banquet in January.
- Read More »
- Read More »
- Read More »
The Ohio Quarter Horse Association and Connie Hill, founder of the Southern Belle Invitation, have announced the transition of administration of the Southern Belle program to the Ohio ...Read More »