Impact of AQHA move on TX Panhandle residents

    They AQHA website states group leaders are meeting with key stakeholders and a project planning group as fundraising efforts accelerate. (ABC 7 Amarillo-Tiffany Lester)

    The American Quarter Horse Association headquarters is considering a move from Amarillo to Ft. Worth.

    The organization’s Adequan Select World Champion Show announced last year that it would be relocating there in 2019.

    Last year's event had an economic impact of roughly $5.5 million in Amarillo, and had topped that number in prior years.

    While talk of moving the AQHA headquarters is nothing new, Amarillo Convention and Visitor Council Senior Vice President Dan Quandt said it is disappointing.

    “There have been people trying to move them since they first moved here in 1946,” Quandt said . “They won’t stand out in Ft. Worth the way they stand out in Amarillo. We have an appreciation for the fact that they’re here that I think a larger city won’t have. (It is) Just another notch for a larger city and here, they’re family. We don’t want them to leave home.”

    Quandt said the economic impact of the move is tough to pin down.

    “You’ve got all of these horses registered through Amarillo, with an international membership and when they talk about what they do and where they do it, they talk about Amarillo and that’s a public relations number that we can’t really put a decent dollar thing to,” said Quandt.

    The AQHA has 200 employees.

    It is unknown what would happen to them in the move.

    “They’re members of the PTA and coaches. They’re involved in our community,” said Quandt.

    The move would also inconvenience Running T Farms horse breeder and AQHA member Tommie Potter.

    “You’ll have to deal with mail time or email over computer. I know of people who have had to send in paperwork several times because it was lost. People have had to pay for the same DNA kits, as well,” said Potter.

    Potter and her husband love horses and have been breeding them in Canyon for almost 20 years.

    She said lost paperwork can be both frustrating and expensive.

    “It’s nice to have paperwork back in a timely manner, especially if you’re buying or selling a horse and you want to transfer into your name, or when you’re getting your babies registered, you want to get your papers back as soon as you can,” said Potter.

    There is no set timeline on when, or if, the move will actually happen, but strong efforts are already being made.

    They AQHA released a statement on its website stating group leaders are meeting with key stakeholders and a project planning group as fundraising efforts accelerate.

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