ASQHA's MatSu Valley Circuit Show was a Success

The Alaska State Quarter Horse Association's show in Palmer, Alaska, was filled with four days of learning and competing.

From the Alaska State Quarter Horse Association

Egypt Patterson shows PAKeepmeinmind. View more photos by Anndawnika Neavill and Egypt Patterson below.

The Alaska State Quarter Horse Association MatSu Valley Circuit Show kicked off Thursday, July 14, at the France Equestrian Center in Palmer, Alaska. The four-day event provided exhibitors of all ages the opportunity to learn, show and enjoy time with friends.


The show kicked off with a three-hour showmanship and horsemanship clinic by AQHA Judge John Kunkle from Cross, South Carolina. Participants raved about Judge Kunkle’s attention to detail in helping them perform better. His energy was endless in assisting every attendee and nothing but praise was expressed by participants and observers. 

“It was the greatest training experience ever,” one attendee commented. Others expressed amazement at the time he spent with them and how much he helped them improve.


Friday morning started with halter and showmanship classes. The show day proceeded with 30 participants in jumping, English and western classes.

Exhibitors of all ages enjoyed the competition and friendly atmosphere. Jennifer Poorbaugh’s sentiments of Friday’s classes were shared in a Facebook post: “Tommie and Sydney did great at the show today. Happy kids.”


On Saturday, the day began with AQHA Judge Butch Carse from Davenport, Florida sharing how the MatSu Valley Circuit Show brought back memories of shows he attended during the 1960s and ’70s. He noted that these events were run in outside arenas by volunteers, providing a very friendly, easy-going environment typical of classic AQHA shows.

Judge Case also mentioned that he is a big fan of all-breed classes and the opportunity it provides for exposure to AQHA.  They can help exhibitors see the benefits of AQHA classes and encourage them to get involved with American Quarter Horses.

Highlights of Saturday included a visit from DeeDee Jonrow, Iditarod Musher, Ironwoman and cancer surviror.  DeeDee is one of the top female dog mushers competing today with sixteen top ten finishes in her career. She came to watch her friend’s two daughters show. 

DeeDee comes from a horse showing family, but she turned her focus to dogs when she moved to Alaska at 17. She commented that her early involvement with horses has served her well.

“Learning how to deal with frustration at an early age with the help of animals has helped me throughout my life,” DeeDee stated.

Saturday evening ended with the ASQHYA sponsored “Pizza Party,” which included 40 youth ranging from 1-year to 18-years-old. 


Sunday morning began with AQHA Judge Mike Carter from Goodlettsville, Tennessee welcoming participants into the ring for halter followed by showmanship. Exhibitors had a great time performing their best and encouraging others. 

The show wrapped up Sunday evening with friends stripping stalls, loading trailers, saying quick goodbyes and heading home.


One of the highlights of the weekend was welcoming three new AQHA members to the show, including Kevin Lubin from Anchorage. Kevin had a fantastic time at his first AQHA show with his new horse, “Banjo,” from Texas.  Kevin showed Banjo in all the western events, as he is working towards his goal of training him to be a true all-around horse.

Exhibitors found that one of the MatSu Valley Circuit Show highlights was seeing their “horse friends” from all over the state of Alaska. Attendees commented that it was a great weekend and they will be back for next year!

Judge Carse and ASQHA President, Loti Hackenberger, at the  ASQHA MatSu Valley Circuit Horse Show

AQHA Judge Butch Carse and ASQHA President Loti Hackenberger.

Kevin Lubin at the ASQHA MatSu Valley Circuit Horse Show

Kevin Lubin showing his new American Quarter Horse, "Banjo."

ASQHYA officers at the ASQHA MatSu Valley Circuit Horse Show

ASQHYA officers at the pizza party showing the Alaska hand sign.

Ralph Seekins' grandaughter gives Quarter Horse Lilly a hug

AQHA First Vice President Ralph Seekins' granddaughter gives "Lilly" a hug.

Show moms at the ASQHA MatSu Valley Circuit Horse Show

Show moms are always ready to help kidos out!

DeeDee Jonrow at theShow moms at the ASQHA MatSu Valley Circuit Horse Show

DeeDee Jonrow at the MatSu Valley Circuit Show.