Journal on the Road

2013 AQHA Convention – Awards Banquet

March 10, 2013

Our horses forge relationships that years only strengthen.

John Hoyt and Pete Kyle at the 2013 AQHA Convention

AQHA Lifetime Achievement Award winner John Hoyt and AQHA Professional Horseman Pete Kyle at the 2013 AQHA Convention (American Quarter Horse Journal photo)

By the time all is said and done, AQHA Convention-goers will have faced three long days of committee meetings, and two late night and emotional banquets. But in a scattering of random instances, it’s easy to see what makes AQHA Convention a worthwhile experience.

Standing in line for a bagel, Lynn Long of Sedalia, Colorado, was all smiles because she was able to present to the Show and Professional Horseman Committee an idea for a new program designed to encourage young people wanting to become horsemen, modeled after a similar United States Equestrian Federation called the Emerging Athletes Program.

Gathering for the awards banquet, equestrians with disabilities riders Stacey Johnson and Sabrina Griffin were surrounded by a crowd of loved ones and friends who all came to Houston just to cheer them on in picking up their awards for their 2012 high-point accomplishments on their American Quarter Horses.

All-around youth high-point winner Erika Rodenski of Hickory, Pennsylvania, had one “person” in particular to thank in her acceptance comments – one 13-year-old gray gelding named Good Time To Win who carried her down the road to the year-end award.

And as the banquet staff cleared tables, AQHA Professional Horseman Pete Kyle proudly helped legendary trainer and dear friend John Hoyt – a recipient of an AQHA Lifetime Achievement Award – get ready to leave the hall. Pete was delayed by two old friends who wanted to congratulate John, a man they’d shared the horse show road with and looked up to: AQHA Professional Horsemen Al Dunning of Cave Creek, Arizona, and Cynthia Cantleberry of Paso Robles, California.

AQHA Convention is about caring enough about an industry to take the trouble to fly to Houston just to present an idea that could foster its future. It’s about honoring people who overcome tremendous challenges through riding. It’s about appreciating our horses and our big-hearted breed. And it’s about taking the time to remember old friends.

Enjoy this American Quarter Horse Journal slide show from the 2013 Awards Banquet. And here’s to enjoying the ride forward to 2014.

Don't miss the 2013 AQHA Hall of Fame Banquet March 10 at 6 p.m. It's webcast live! Watch AQHA legends come to life, honored for making American Quarter Horse history.

Do you tweet? Follow the Journal's Twitter feed @AQHAJournal and onsite Journal Editor Christine Hamilton @ChrisHQH.

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