Wrapping Up the 2017 AQHA Convention

Posted: March 24th, 2017

The American Quarter Horse Association, March 24, 2017 

The American Quarter Horse Association is an organization that works for its members. Each spring, AQHA holds an annual convention to review member-submitted rule changes, appoint new AQHA directors, induct members into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame, present year-end awards and elect the AQHA Executive Committee. The 2017 AQHA Convention was March 17-20 at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio.  

AQHA Executive Committee
The new AQHA Executive Committee was elected March 20. This five-person committee is responsible for implementing important decisions made by AQHA members through the board of directors.

The 2017-18 AQHA Executive Committee is President Ralph Seekins of Fairbanks, Alaska; First Vice President Dr. Jim Heird of College Station, Texas; Second Vice President Stan Weaver of Big Sandy, Montana; member Butch Wise of El Reno, Oklahoma; and member Norm Luba of Louisville, Kentucky.

Learn more about each member of the AQHA Executive Committee. 

Hall of Fame Inductees
The 2016 American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame inducted 10 legends at convention: the late Marvin Barnes of Ada, Oklahoma; AQHA Past President Peter J. Cofrancesco III of Sparta, New Jersey; Bobby D. Cox of Fort Worth, Texas; the late AQHA Executive Committee Member Dick Monahan of Walla Walla, Washington; trainer and horsewoman Sandra Vaughn of Hernando, Florida; the 1961 mare Casey’s Ladylove; the 1983 mare Dashing Phoebe; the 1994 gelding Majestic Scotch; the 1987 stallion Strawfly Special; and the 1985 stallion Zips Chocolate Chip. 

In addition to the Hall of Fame inductions, Butch Hammer of Norwalk, Iowa, was presented the 2016 Merle Wood Humanitarian Award.

Professionals of the Year
The 2016 Don Burt Professional’s Choice Professional Horseman of the Year, Professional’s Choice Professional Horsewoman of the Year and Professional’s Choice Most Valuable Professional awards were presented at the awards banquet March 18. The awards were presented by Professional’s Choice.

  • 2016 Don Burt Professional’s Choice Professional Horseman of the Year Casey Devitt of Frankfort, Kentucky
  • 2016 Professional’s Choice Professional Horsewoman of the Year Christa Baldwin of Stanton, Michigan
  • 2016 Most Valuable Professional Bennie Sargent of Paris, Kentucky

Read more about Devitt, Baldwin and Sargent. 

2016 AQHA Year-End Winners
More than 100 high-point titles were awarded at the awards banquet on March 18.

In addition to the leaders in each division, AQHA also named the 2016 year-end all-around award winners:

  • Markel Insurance All-Around Youth: Ellexxah Ireland Maxwell of West Mansfield, Ohio, and Zips Bossy Chip
  • Farnam All-Around Amateur: Thad O’Boyle of Saint Louis, Michigan, and Aint I Sumthin
  • Farnam All-Around Junior Horse: DT Elenor Shine Whiz, owned by DT Horses LLC of Bend, Oregon
  • Farnam All-around Senior Horse: BFR Igniting Sparks, owned by Beechfork Ranch of Weatherford, Texas
  • Farnam World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse: Jessies First Down, owned by Ted G. Abrams of Houston
  • AQHA Leading Exhibitor: Team Wrangler member and AQHA Professional Horseman J.D. Yates of Pueblo, Colorado 

To order pictures from each banquet, contact Bar H Photography at Jennifer@barHphotograpy or 319-240-3520. To order a DVD of the AQHA Awards Banquet or the Hall of Fame Banquet, fill out this form and email it to lstribling@aqha.org

AQHA Bylaw and Registration Changes
Modifications to four AQHA Bylaws, as well as three registration-related items, were approved by AQHA members and the AQHA Board of Directors at convention. Per the Association’s bylaws, the board of directors has the final authority when it comes to AQHA’s bylaws and rules of registration. Read more about the modifications. 

Stay tuned to www.aqha.com for further information on committee actions at convention. 

Visit www.aqha.com/convention for future convention dates and to see additional coverage by The American Quarter Horse Journal from the 2017 event.

AQHA news and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more information, follow @AQHAnews on Twitter and visit www.aqha.com/news.