April 17, 2009
AQHA is committed to making sure AQHA members have every opportunity to enjoy their American Quarter Horses.
Welcome to my new blog, Quarter’s Worth. I’m Don Treadway Jr., AQHA’s new executive vice president, and I plan to use this blog to open the communication lines with AQHA members. Let me begin by telling you a little bit about myself.
I have been an AQHA employee for nearly 35 years and been part of the AQHA family for even longer.
I was born in Arkansas City, Kansas, and raised on a small farm and ranch east of Newkirk, Oklahoma, in Kay County. I attended Consolidated 106 – a rural, two-room school. There were 30 students in the first through eighth grades. I actually rode my horse to school – once with 10 of my horse-owning friends so we could say we did!
I’ve always had an appreciation for the American Quarter Horse. I grew up in horse country – watched match races, attended rodeos and participated in 4-H events – and around working ranches where Quarter Horses were used. So Quarter Horses were a big part of my years as a child and growing up. In fact, in August 1960, I began subscribing to The Quarter Horse Journal.
I’ll never forget my first horse – a Shetland pony. When I was 9, my parents purchased my first “registered” horse – Miss Sis Cuero. Her paternal grandfather was Peppy 212 of the King Ranch and her maternal great-grandsire was Joe Hancock of the Four Sixes.
The year 1974 was BIG for me.
I graduated from college in May with an ag journalism degree, I got married in June and on August 12, I went to work for AQHA as a public relations assistant working for Ronnie Blackwell, who would go on to be AQHA executive vice president. Honestly, working at AQHA is the only REAL job I’ve ever had, even though I don’t really consider it a J-O-B. I wake up every day excited about what the day holds.
The Treadway family consists of my wife, Robbyn, our son, Jeff, and his wife, Melissa, and our daughter, Stacey. Robbyn and I are going to be first-time grandparents in June.
My management motto is: “Find simple solutions to complex problems and logical solutions for all the rest.” I consider myself a centrist who is willing to listen to all sides of the issue.
The objective of AQHA’s staff is to make sure AQHA members have every opportunity to enjoy their American Quarter Horses.
Toward this goal, the AQHA Executive Committee has approved six priorities for AQHA.
1). Sensible management and ensuring our business operations are profitable.
- Not business as usual
- Create a business plan and budget for profitable operations
2). Solidify and expand our marketing and membership efforts.
- Continue with a strong youth platform – NCAA equestrian program, Junior Master Horseman, 4-H
- Strengthen AQHA’s major events – World Shows, Bank of America Racing Challenge, AQHA Incentive Fund, AQHA Regional Experiences
- Continue Corporate Partner support
- Expand international opportunities – FEI/World Equestrian Games and reining
- Encourage racing opportunities in the Midwest and Florida
- Provide superior customer service
3). Renew our commitment to the horse by making breed integrity and animal welfare a top priority.
- Protect the brand – ensure disposition, soundness and willingness to serve his owner remain as primary American Quarter Horse traits
4). Enhance our communication with and opportunities for all levels of horse owners.
- Keep core fees reasonable
- Encourage horses for every price range
- Provide education for those who are new or who want to learn more about caring for or training their horse
- Create new avenues for member communication, such as this blog
5). Improve AQHA’s governance, as well as the communication and accountability of our infrastructure.
- Director communication, engagement and accountability
- Local representation from affiliates and grassroots organizations
- Ethics – ensure breeders, trainers and other professionals are accountable
6). Continue to lead the horse industry with humility and integrity.
In this new forum, I plan to keep you updated on AQHA activities and initiatives. Occasionally, I will have guests share their thoughts here, too. Look for a blog entry from AQHA President Jim Helzer in the coming weeks on his goals for his presidency. As we are blazing a new trail on the information super highway, I plan to keep the communication lines open.
We are facing a changing environment in the horse industry, and you can help by sharing your ideas. If you have a topic you would like discussed, please leave a comment.
We promise to review every suggestion, comment or concern and will place those that are the most critical and beneficial on our list of topics for consideration to discuss. Those recurring/multiple submissions that might not be selected as a “topic” or might already be “in the works,” I may discuss in a future blog.
Let us hear from you – the members of AQHA. What’s on your mind? What can we do? What can we develop to allow you to continue enjoying your horses while keeping the welfare of our horses at the forefront?
Before you make a submission, please ask yourself, “Is my suggestion achievable, affordable and measurable?”
- Will it reduce expenses and/or increase revenue?
- Will it promote better customer service?
- Will it improve the welfare of the American Quarter Horse and contribute to its “brand”?
- Will it encourage ownership of American Quarter Horses and membership in AQHA?
Don Treadway Jr.
AQHA Executive Vice President
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