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Source: American Quarter Horse Association news release

The American Quarter Horse Association is an organization that works for its members. Each spring, AQHA holds an annual convention to review member-submitted rule changes, appoint new AQHA directors, induct members into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and elect the AQHA Executive Committee. The 2018 AQHA Convention was March 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront in Jacksonville, Florida.

AQHA Executive Committee

The new AQHA Executive Committee was elected March 5. This five-person committee is responsible for implementing important decisions made by AQHA members through the board of directors.

The 2018-19 AQHA Executive Committee is President Dr. Jim Heird of College Station, Texas; First Vice President Stan Weaver of Big Sandy, Montana; Second Vice President Butch Wise of El Reno, Oklahoma; member Norman Luba of Louisville, Kentucky; and member Dr. Scott Myers of Sharon Center, Ohio.

Hall of Fame Inductees

The 2018 American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame inducted 11 legends at convention: Princess Abigail Kawananakoa of Nuevo, California; Dr. Tom Lenz of Louisburg, Kansas; the late AQHA Past President Gene Graves of Grand Island, Nebraska; Georga and the late Raymond Sutton of Gettysburg, South Dakota; and the late Robert Sutherland of Kansas City, Missouri; the 1949 mare Maroon (TB), the 1960 stallion Otoe, the 1985 stallion Runaway Winner, the 1985 stallion Smart Chic Olena and the 1963 stallion The Ole Man.

In addition to the Hall of Fame inductions, Cathy Hanson of Fallbrook, California, was presented the 2017 Merle Wood Humanitarian Award.

Professionals of the Year

The 2017 Don Burt Professional Horseman of the Year, AQHA Professional Horsewoman of the Year and Most Valuable Professional awards were presented on Saturday, March 3.

2017 Don Burt Professional Horseman of the Year: Dan Trein of Seville, Ohio;

2017 AQHA Professional Horsewoman of the Year: Holly Hover of Cave Creek, Arizona;

2017 Most Valuable Professional Gretchen Mathes of Harwinton, Connecticut.

Additional awards were presented to the 2017 Zoetis AQHA Best Remuda winner, Silver Spur Operating Co., and the 2017 AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder of the Year, Crago Cattle Co.

AQHA Bylaw and Registration Changes

Modifications to AQHA Bylaws, as well as registration-related items, were reviewed by AQHA members and the AQHA Board of Directors at convention. Per the Association's bylaws, the board of directors has the final authority when it comes to changes or additions to AQHA's bylaws and rules of registration. We'll bring you more later on the rule changes recommended by these two committees and approved by the board of directors.

Stay tuned to www.aqha.com for further information on committee actions at convention and YouTube videos of the Equine Industry Business Workshop, Industry Issues Town Hall meeting, and general membership meeting.

Visit www.aqha.com/convention for future convention dates and to see additional coverage by The American Quarter Horse Journal from the 2018 event.