Peter J. Cofrancesco III
Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2017
"From the first meeting of the Executive Committee, you begin to realize how big AQHA is and how much it encompasses: youth, racing, ranching, affiliates and alliance associations."
Peter J. Cofrancesco III said his emergence as a leading force in American Quarter Horse history came easily enough, as he was constantly surrounded by a home that told the story of his parents’ dedication to the American Quarter Horse.
The ambassadors of the family were often Peter’s mother, Peggy, and Peter himself. While brothers Jarrod and Jason, and sister Daria dabbled in the sport, it was Peter and Peggy who came to be the common names in the arena. But for Peter, he felt it was his responsibility to become a part of seeing the breed grow. That sense of giving back, took Peter to the role of American Junior Quarter Horse Association president – now called AQHYA – and he set his sights on becoming AQHA president, knowing that the path to leadership was through service.
“Peter was basically the captain of ship in a perfect storm of growth in the AQHA youth program,” says Julie Bryant, who was youth director for AQHA during Peter’s term. “Peter was the perfect ambassador.
Peter excelled at showing halter horses, competing at every major circuit across the United States and reveling in his new friends while building his own family, meeting his wife, Carmen, at the All American Quarter Horse Congress.
When Peter’s father died in 2001, Peter stepped up to help his mother continue the family legacy while continuing to show horses. Peter was elected to the AQHA Executive Committee in 2008 and served as president in 2011-12, focusing on youth expansion and development.
Peter saw the challenges ahead and remained committed to doing his part to help the horse industry grow, continuing in his goal to ensure, that like the halter horse, all parts created a better whole and worked to drive an expanding focus on youth.
“We have to do something to reinvigorate our youth programs,” Peter said. “I’m a prime example of someone who can be born in a city in New Jersey, go through the 4-H program and become involved in AQHA. We have to make horses accessible to kids from all areas of the country and all environments if we’re going to continue to grow.”
Cofrancesco III was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2017. He passed away August 1, 2017.