VanBebber Blog

It's time to make some new memories.

This week, I helped move my daughter, Taylor Anne, into her dorm room for her first year at University of Oklahoma. It is a bittersweet moment for me as a parent, and is a time where so many memories come back to you. One of those is from when she was little, in the shedrow of my training barn, as we prepared to send Tailor Fit out for the Challenge Championships. Tailor Fit was always a gentle horse, and I remember when my little girl would pull grass, put it in a bucket and carry it to his stall for this giant racehorse to gently nibble.

Last week, I was at Los Alamitos, the very site of that memory, to discuss upcoming plans for the Bank of America Challenge Championships. The event is October 29, and I now get to see the Championships from a different seat than before: I get to help many of you make memories, too.

While at Los Al, I got to visit my friends at TVG, and get behind the microphone. While we visited, I had the opportunity to discuss AQHA’s pre-transport drug testing option. It was important to me to implement this to help horsemen who compete in different jurisdictions that have different rules, and to allow them a comfort zone and help ensure their ability to follow Los Alamitos’ requirements. Be sure to read up about it if you haven’t yet.  


To help us with the Challenge, we have brought Darrell Hare in as a consultant. I look forward to the opportunity to learn from his years of expertise and have him mentor my future work with the program. Darrell was involved with the Challenge from the start, as a member of the committee that helped form it. He is passionate about the program and I very much appreciate his knowledge and enthusiasm.

As many of you know, Thoroughbred racing will gather for its Breeder’s Cup at Santa Anita the week after the Bank of America Challenge Championships. I have been asked to be the keynote speaker at the Race Track Chaplaincy of America’s White Horse Awards luncheon on November 3. It is really an honor to be able to help recognize individuals who have contributed in significant ways to our industry. I am also very excited to be able to represent our sport and AQHA at such a prestigious event.

Sale season is fully underway, and I enjoyed being at the recent TQHA Yearling Sale and seeing all the horsemen. It was so much fun to be at the sale and at the races. Thank you to all of you who stopped by to say hello.

Hopefully you got a chance to take advantage of AQHA’s On-Site Services, and to visit with our Spanish-speaking representative Betty Berge. If not, we will be at Ruidoso and then Heritage Place in the coming weeks, so be sure to bring your paperwork along.

I hope to see you at a racetrack soon, or feel free to contact me at 806-378-4611 or email

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, “like” Q-Racing on Facebook and visit