angle-left Top Moments of 2019

Top Moments of 2019

A look back at great moments from 2019!

horses at sunset generic (Credit: Sarah Anderson)

text size

As we start 2020, it's always fun to look back at great moments from the year we're leaving behind. For AQHA, 2019 was filled with incredible moments for our industry. Please enjoy this look back at 2019!
  • Bodacious Eagle, bred by La Feliz Montana Ranch LLC and owned by AQHA Past President Johnny Trotter, was honored as the 2018 World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse.
  • At the 2019 AQHA Convention in Fort Worth, Texas, Stan Weaver of Big Sandy, Montana, was elected the Association’s president, succeeding Dr. Jim Heird of College Station, Texas. Butch Wise of El Reno, Oklahoma, became the first vice president, and Norman Luba of Louisville, Kentucky, became second vice president. Kenneth Banks of Schulenburg, Texas, joined Dr. Scott Myers of Sharon Center, Ohio, as members of the AQHA Executive Committee.
  • Eleven legends were inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame at convention: Billy Allen of Scott City, Kansas; AQHA Past President Johne Dobbs of Gastonia, North Carolina; the late J.M. Frost III of Houston; the late Hans Hansma of Granum, Alberta; AQHA Past Executive Director of Publications Jim Jennings of Amarillo, Texas; the 1951 stallion Harlan; the 1992 stallion Mr Jess Perry; the 1958 stallion Tiger Leo; the 1984 stallion Zippos Mr Good Bar; the 1976 mare Trippy Dip (TB); and the 2000 mare Vital Signs Are Good. Learn more about the class of 2019.
  • Ruti Shadmont of Moshau Faran, Israel, and Edward McNelis of Nampa, Idaho, were each presented the 2018 Merle Wood Humanitarian Award.
  • Gil Galyean of Purcell, Oklahoma, Chele McGauly of Elm Grove, Louisiana, and Steve Meadows of Staunton, Virginia, were honored as the top professionals of the year.
  • The American Quarter Horse Foundation introduced 10 recipients of the inaugural AQHLead grant Class of 2019.
  • The American Quarter Horse Foundation announced that Buck Taylor of Marrero, Louisiana, would be the signature artist for the 12th annual America’s Horse in Art. Each year, the show’s signature artist creates a piece of art that becomes the visual representation of the show for that year.
  • More than 5,200 entries competed at the 2019 Level 1 Championships for 279 titles spread across three shows in April, May and September in Oklahoma City, Wilmington, Ohio, and Las Vegas.
  • The Foundation awarded scholarships for 2019-2020: 170 students received a total of $569,500 to support their education over their academic career.
  • The Zoetis AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships, Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge Finals, AQHA Level 1 Cattle Championships and National Ranch and Stock Horse Alliance National Championships had more than 2,300 entries compete at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
  • Nine AQHYA leaders represented AQHA on Capitol Hill June 9-12 at the American Horse Council National Issues Forum and Symposium in Washington, D.C.
  • The 2019-20 AQHYA Executive Committee was elected: President Sierra Walter of Hydro, Oklahoma; First Vice President Justin Eddy of Rocheport, Missouri; Second Vice President Claire Lee of McAllen, Texas; Executive Member Delaney Dickens of Omaha, Nebraska; and Executive Member Richard John Shepard III of Harrington, Delaware, at the 2019 Bank of America Youth Excellence Seminar in Amarillo.
  • The five outgoing AQHYA leaders were awarded scholarships at the Bank of America Youth Excellence Seminar in Amarillo.
  • The Foundation hosted more than 1,800 people on July 27 at the National Day of the Cowboy celebration in Amarillo. Local groups joined forces with the Foundation to teach, entertain and celebrate the 9th annual National Day of the Cowboy with the public.
  • AQHA partnered with Sundowner Trailers, the official trailer of AQHA.
  • AQHA announced King Ranch of Kingsville, Texas, as the recipient of the 2019 AQHA Best Remuda Award. The ranch remains in family ownership with its seventh generation managing the operation.
  • The 2019 International Best Remuda Award was presented to Argentinian ranch Estancias Graciarena, which is owned by the de Lazzer family of Olavarria, Argentina.
  • Exhibitors from five countries competed for 42 world championships and 33 Adequan® Level 2 championship titles at the largest Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show in AQHA history, with more than 770 exhibitors showing 1,040 horses totaling in 3,660 entries. More than 150 youth competed in seven contests outside of the arena.
  • More than 20 first-time Select world champions took home golden globes at the 2019 AQHA Select World Championship Show, presented by Adequan® (polysulfated glycosminoglycan), August 27-31 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas.
  • Sharon Forbes-Hanks of Pilot Mound, Manitoba, was crowned the AQHA Select All-Around Amateur. She showed her American Quarter Horse, Hot Lil Assets. They received a prize package that included a one-year lease of a Sundowner three-horse trailer, an original Lisa Perry bronze and a rose bouquet.
  • Mr Jess Jenkins outran his 13-1 odds in the $3 million All American Futurity (G1), sailing home in the 440-yard race to win by a neck on Labor Day at Ruidoso Downs. The sorrel son of Apollitical Jess bred by V.H. Harman Jr. and Robert Moudy III, is owned by Jose Ernesto Guzman and Rito Sosa, trained by Marcos Carrizales, and ridden by James Flores.
  • AQHA honored four 75-year breeders, five Legacy breeders and 17 cumulative breeders at a special dinner on September 30 at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum. The honorees ranged from reining, racing, cutting, ranch and rodeo American Quarter Horse breeders. All have dedicated at least 50 years to taking their best and making it better.
  • AQHA and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association announced the 2019 timed-event horses of the year.
  • SF Hot Pass romped home in the Grade 1, $266,250 Bank of America Challenge Championship, the showcase race for the Bank of America Challenge Championships held at The Downs at Albuquerque in New Mexico. Owned by Shannon Fischer, he was trained by Leon Bard and ridden by Francisco Calderon.
  • Three AQHYA members earned scholarships totaling $6,000 at the AQHYA National Youth Racing Experience held in conjunction with the Bank of America Challenge Championships.
  • Four AQHYA members earned a total of $5,000 in scholarships through the 2019 AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program.
  • AQHA hosted the second annual Awards Celebration at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Watch the Awards Celebration on AQHA’s YouTube Channel.
  • More than 4,000 entries converged at the OKC Fairgrounds to vie for the AQHA’s coveted golden globes and nearly $2 million in purse and prizes at the Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show. Top awards went to Lucas Oil Superhorse Blue Kahlua, owned by Montlake Farms LLC of Seattle; AQHA All-Around Amateur Angela Fox of Frisco, Texas, who showed HP The Rusty Fox; and Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau Leading Owner Amy Jo Erhardt of Oxford, Ohio.
  • Dr. Ed Allred’s homebred He Looks Hot captured the $600,000 Champion of Champions (G1) at Los Alamitos Race Course, the sport’s most prestigious race for older racing American Quarter Horses. He was trained by Scott Willoughby and ridden by Vinnie Bednar.
  • AQHA Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines reflects on 2019 and shares AQHA’s vision for 2020.
One thing that stands out above all else in our industry is passion – passion for the American Quarter Horse and our global horse community. Thank you for supporting our industry year after year!