Meet Tony Patterson
Tony Patterson took the helm of the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association in January.
By Richard Chamberlain | March 9, 2014
Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association Executive Director Tony Patterson was 6 years old when he attended his first horse race.
“My Granddad had to sneak me into the Fair Grounds,” he told the Q-Racing Journal in an interview that will appear in the April 2014 issue of the digital magazine.
So there’s no doubt that horse racing is in his blood. The American Quarter Horse Journal caught up with Tony at the 2014 AQHA Convention in New Orleans to snap a few photos of him for the Q-Racing Journal article.
Tony, 53, has been at LQHBA since April 2008, when he took the mount as assistant director. He took the reins of the organization in January after long-time executive director Leverne Perry retired.
It is always a big deal when you change horses – or riders.
“The one thing he told me was to ‘Get to know your legislators,’ ” Tony says of Leverne Perry’s best advice to him.
And considering the sport's reach in the state, that’s a good idea.
With 152 days of racing in 2013, Louisiana offered $22.8 million in purses, second only to New Mexico and comprising almost a fifth of the industry total. Louisiana has two of the sport’s three leading tracks in daily purses, with Delta Downs last year averaging more than $193,000 over 45 days of racing and Fair Grounds exceeding $205,000 for 10 days. And LQHBA does its share in spreading the wealth: The official registry of Louisiana-bred racing Quarter Horses in 2013 paid $4.6 million in breeder and stallion awards, which includes $344,000 in annual stallion awards as fixed by statute.
And the state’s racing industry continues to grow.
“There was nearly $23 million paid in purses in this state last year and $4.6 million in breeder awards, both all-time high numbers for us,” Tony says. “And, for the record, those purses do not include the $4.6 million in breeder awards.”
Then, there’s the LQHBA scholarship program.
“We give the scholarships in increments of $1,000 to seniors graduating from Louisiana high schools,” Tony explains. “We give out 25 scholarships a year, mainly from money through our stallion auction and also donations and a few things such as selling shirts and such. We started the scholarship program in 2001, and the total through 2013 – not counting the money that will be given this year – is $297,000.”
Make sure to read the April issue of the Q-Racing Journal for more on Tony, the LQHBA and what brought the two of them together. For more coverage of the 2014 AQHA Convention, go to www.aqha.com/convention.