New Racing Council Members Elected

Duayne Didericksen, John Hammes and Melodie Knuchell elected to serve.


AQHA Past President Dr. Glenn Blodgett gives Duayne Didericksen a gavel in honor of his past service. PHOTO: AQHA

Three new members were elected to serve on the AQHA Racing Council, including Duayne Didericksen of Eagle, Idaho; John Hammes of Holly, Colorado; and Melodie Knuchell of Los Alamitos, California.

The new members were elected by members of the AQHA Racing Committee. Didericksen and Hammes are AQHA directors-at-large, while Knuchell was elected as a racetrack management representative. Each will serve a three-year term ending in 2019.

The 10-member Racing Council also includes AQHA Executive Committee Member Butch Wise, Council Chairman Micah McKinney, Racing Committee Chairman Kelvin Childers and members AQHA Past President Walter Fletcher, John Andreini, Bob Gaston and AQHA Past President Johnny Trotter.

Didericksen has spent decades in service to the sport of American Quarter Horse racing. An AQHA director for 19 years and now a director-at-large, he has served on the racing committee since 1991 and has been on the Racing Council several times before, including serving as the chairman in 2009-10. He has also served on other committees, such as the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame Selection, Racing Champions Selection, Graded Stakes and the Equine Health, Welfare, Integrity and Research committees or subcommittees. He is a horseman and experienced with racetrack ownership and management. He earned the 2004 Gordon Crone Special Achievement Award for his service to the industry.

Hammes is a respected trainer from Colorado, who has saddled the earners of more than $9 million in his career. Also active in various racing committees, this will be the first time he serves on the Racing Council. An AQHA director since 1999, and now a director-at-large, he has served on the Champions Selection, Graded Stakes, and Equine Health committees and subcommittees.

Knuchell is the simulcast/nominations director at Los Alamitos Race Course, and enters the Racing Council as a racetrack management representative, a new position created this year. She has been a racing committee member since 1999, and last year, she served as the chairwoman of the Graded Stakes Committee. She has also served on the Champions Selection Committee and Graded Stakes Task Force.

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