I spent most of this week in Amarillo TX for meetings at the International Headquarters of the American Quarter Horse Association. Although sitting in meetings all day is not on the top of the list of my favorite things to do, I have to say, I really enjoyed the trip. Well, most of it. The travel part left something to be desired. It’s only a 6 hour drive to Amarillo, but instead I flew and it took me 12 hours door-to-door. Normally I fly United, but on this trip I had to fly American. Because I rack up a lot pf miles every year (about 75,000) I get a LOT of perks with United. It’ll be a while before I venture outside the fold again.
The meetings were about AQHA’s Professional Horseman’s Association and how to expand this branch of the organization to better serve its members. AQHA is the largest breed organization in the world, recently registering its 5 millionth horse. It was a very productive meeting and an honor and pleasure to meet some of the top horsemen (and women) in all of the US and Canada.
Taking a tour of AQHA’s inner sanctum was most impressive. There are nearly 300 employees and from what I could see, they are all dedicated, happy and hard working. The corporate culture there is remarkable and clearly it is an organization that highly values its staff. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of AQHA’s prominent staff members before and I have to say, they are an impressive lot.
We also got to tour the museum and Quarter Horse hall of fame. It was so interesting to see the history of the breed, all its most prominent horses through the decades and the men and women that made history along side their horses. The timeline was intertwined with world history, giving great perspective on what was happening when.
A little wining and dining on the town made up for a long day around the board room table but I have to say, the best meal I had was at the Stockyard Café—a classic greasy spoon, hall of fame diner. It’s located at the Amarillo stockyards and totally full of atmosphere, from the matronly waitresses who could whip out the food before you could get your napkin in your lap to the best green chili cheese burger I think I’ve ever had.
I got home late Thursday night, just in time to unpack and repack and hit the road on Friday with Rich and the horses. We are headed to a cutting clinic for two days of fun, fun, fun!
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