Q&A With Anna Morrison
The new chief international officer for AQHA has always had a heart for international members.
By Larri Jo Starkey | February 5, 2017
The American Quarter Horse Journal
In January, Anna Morrison walked into the AQHA offices for the first time as chief international officer. But she has a long history with AQHA and with international outreach.
During her first day, while her office was still being set up, Anna took time out to answer a few questions with the Journal.
Journal: OK, Anna, let’s start off with a hard question, square toes or round?
Anna: Square – but narrow square.
Journal: So what are you going to be doing for AQHA?
Anna: My job title is chief international officer. Officially, I will be charged with overseeing all of AQHA’s activities that are international – that are nondomestic.
That includes servicing our 36 international affiliates, our 37,000 international members, looking at how we can better meet their needs, and promote ownership, breeding, showing and use of American Quarter Horses around the world. Then I’ll be starting to look at business development and see what countries we can really increase AQHA’s role in.
Journal: Was there a defining moment during your summer as AQHA’s first international intern that solidified your interest in international programs?
Anna: I already knew how much I loved being a part of AQHA’s international program, but that summer, I knew it was something I wanted to do professionally.
I just was so in love with the feeling of knowing that horse people are horse people no matter where they are. I loved that I could show up in Norway, and the people might speak a different language and eat different traditional foods, but when it came to talking about their horses, they were saying the same things the people in the United States were.
I could go to Germany and we might look at different breeds, but when it came to talking about their horses, they were as proud of a homebred mare as they were here. They were as excited about improvements they’d made in their training programs as they are here. It’s an immediate connection all around the world.
Journal: My former students would describe me as …..
Anna: I once had an undergraduate student describe me as tiny but terrifying. She stuck around to complete a graduate program with me, so I guess I wasn’t that terrifying after all! I think my students would say I have high expectations, but that I’m always willing to do the same work I expect of anyone else. I hope my students would describe me as someone who really cares.
Journal: What’s your ideal American Quarter Horse?
Anna: I know a lot of us get really high on our own horses, but Twice The Solano is my once-in-a-lifetime horse. He is balanced. He’s pretty. He’s got a lot of presence. He’s a good mover and just so much fun on a cow. But the thing that’s the best about him is that he has so much try. Try and heart can make up for a lot of things, like losing eyesight in one eye. A horse that’s well-balanced and athletic, a good mover and has some cow, that’s the right horse for me. “Pickett” is what we call him around the barn. It’s the last name of the man I bought him from – Henry Pickett.
Read more questions and answers with Anna in the March issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal.