New AQHA Chief Show Officer

Posted: January 3rd, 2020

Pete Kyle announces resignation from AQHA, and Justin Billings takes the reins as AQHA chief show officer.

Pete Kyle announced his resignation as chief show officer from the American Quarter Horse Association on Friday, January 3.

“Pete has brought years of experience and knowledge to the Association, and we are grateful for his service to AQHA,” said Craig Huffhines, AQHA executive vice president. “We wish Pete the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

“With this announcement, AQHA has promoted Justin Billings to AQHA chief show officer,” said Huffhines.

Billings joined AQHA in April 2017 as the manager of shows and was promoted to director of shows in January 2019. Billings formulates policies/procedures and provides overall direction for the show department. He also plans, directs and coordinates operational activities related to the more than 2,800 AQHA-approved shows with continued success of AQHA’s 7 world and championship shows.

He was instrumental in launching the 13-&-Under division of core classes at the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show, which doubled in participation the first year, and the Level 2 division at AQHA Regional Championships, also creating entry growth at those shows. Billings assisted in moving the Nutrena East AQHA Level 1 Championships to Wilmington, Ohio, where that event doubled in size the first year. Billings and the AQHA Show Department digitized the AQHA world championship show invitations to provide a smoother and faster entry process for members. He has also served as the staff liaison for the AQHA Leveling Task Force, Affiliate Show Task Force, Microchipping Task Force, Amateur Committee, Show Committee and Show Council. Through his leadership, Billings established accountability standards for the competition team which increased team productivity to better serve AQHA customers. Those same policies have now been implemented in other departments within AQHA.

“My vision for the future of the showing industry is a reimagined customer experience where members gain more value through their participation in AQHA competitive events,” said Billings. “These changes include real-time leaderboards, online show experience enhancements and member-first initiatives, which truly move the needle toward innovation while staying true to the core values that built AQHA.”

Prior to working at AQHA, Billings’ resume represented his extensive business background, which includes being a partner of construction company, General Temperature Control Inc.; president and general manager of mechanical contracting company, Winchester Mechanical Inc.; and owner operator of Billings Quarter Horses Inc. He was also the show manager for the Buckeye Classic, which became an AQHA top 10 show during his tenure. In that role, he was responsible for negotiating facility contracts, hiring judges, securing sponsors, developing patterns, daily schedules and coordinating staff. Billings’ industry experience includes serving on the AQHA Amateur and Marketing Committees, Ohio Quarter Horse Association board of directors and horse show advisory committee, Ohio Amateur Quarter Horse Association president and executive committee, and All-American Youth Horse Show advisory committee.

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