AQHA News Affiliates News

AQHA Rule-Change Canadian show Approvals

Per the 2023 AQHA Convention, starting on January 1, 2024, the Canadian and International show approval deadline will change.

International countries, excluding Canada, must submit show approval applications 60 days prior to the show. For example, if you have a show planned for January 2024, you will need to submit your show approval application in November 2023.

If you are in Canada, you will need to submit your show approval application 120 days prior to the Canadian show. For reference, November 3, 2023, would be the deadline for a March 2, 2024, show.


The 2024 AQHA Rulebook states:

SHW763.1 To obtain tentative AQHA-approval, application must be submitted a minimum of 120 days prior to the event on forms either provided by or acceptable to AQHA, stating the date and location of the desired events along with the show approval fee.


SHW763.1.1 Regarding International Shows (excluding Canada),

show approval applications must be submitted a minimum of 60-days prior to the first date of the proposed show.

Failure to submit your completed show approval application on time, will result in a late fee up to $1,000 USD and subject to denial. We encourage you to share this information with anyone in your country that might deem it beneficial.

$200 – 90-119 days prior to show date
$400 – 60-89 days prior to show date
$1,000 – less than 59 days prior to show date and subject to denial.

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Picov Family Unveils Memorial Bench and Plaque at Ajax Downs

Families cram Ajax Downs for Family Fun Day and Norman Picov is Remembered

A commemorative bench and plaque were unveiled at Ajax Downs, beside the walking ring, for Norman Picov, one of the founding fathers of Quarter Horse Racing in Ontario
Barry and Robin Picov at the memorial bench for Barry's father Norman
A J greeted kids at the track!
AJAX DOWNS AUGUST 27, 2023 – The two things most dear to the late Norman Picov were family and horses. His Ajax Downs held its annual Family Fun Day in support of the Ajax Pickering Hospital Foundation on Sunday, August 27 and the event was yet again a rousing success. On a picture-perfect summer Sunday, Ajax Downs was filled to the rafters with families who enjoyed dozens of fun activities and got up close to the Quarter Horses racing during the afternoon.
It was also a fitting day for the Picov family to unveil a memorial bench and plaque for Norman, adjacent to the walking ring on the track apron. Norman passed away in February. 
“Norm was a visionary horseman, who, along with our grandfather Alex and our mom Linda. dared to dream and embark on a journey that turned into a reality,” said Barry Picov, one of Norman’s sons. “In 1969, the seeds of Picov Downs were sown… It was a dream rooted in the simple idea of bringing people together to enjoy all that he believed in. Picov Downs, bourne for this vision, emerged where families could come together.
This bench stands as a symbol of his enduring presence. It is meant to be occupied just as Norman sat here and enjoyed conversations with all of you.”
While kids of all ages enjoyed games, live entertainment, exotic animals, and a variety of treats, on the track the racing was fast and furious. The featured race of the day, an allowance race for some of the top 3-year-olds in the country, was seemingly won by the current leader of the division Snow Moose but the Ontario bred gelding was disqualified as the stewards deemed him to be guilty of interference. Placed first in the 350-yard race, which was serving as a prep for the $50,000 Norman Picov Derby next month, was SOUR CANDY, who was recently purchased by Craig Spada and Rick Crispi. Trained by Lauren Spada and ridden by Alexis Sanchez, Sour Candy was one of two winners for his team of owners, trainer and jockey on the afternoon.
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AQHA Hires Director of International Activities

The world’s largest equine breed registry hires Tate Eck as the AQHA director of international activities.

The American Quarter Horse Association is pleased to announce that Tate Eck has been named director of international activities. Eck will begin his new role on May 1.

“The love of the American Quarter Horse was instilled in me at a young age by my aunt who bred, raised and trained them for the rodeo and show arenas. I was given the opportunity to take my gift of teaching and my love of the horse to an international level as a clinician for the AQHA Educational Marketplace,” said Eck. “During these trips to Europe, I witnessed a new enthusiasm and desire to learn about the Quarter Horse and our western heritage. Promoting the American Quarter Horse on an international scale will be an honor. I look forward to meeting and working with the international affiliates and advancing AQHA into the future.”

As the director of international activities, Eck will be responsible for AQHA’s international member support by providing activities of value to the international membership through partnerships with AQHA international affiliates, U. S. Livestock Genetics Export (USLGE)/United States Department of Agriculture cooperator contract and programs sponsored through AQHA, such as Educational Marketplace. He will oversee policies and procedure

s to provide an overall direction of AQHA’s international affairs. Additionally, Eck will assist with maintaining and advancing AQHA’s international market by continuously examining, locating and developing international business relationships.

“We are proud to have Tate on board to serve our international members and their American Quarter Horses,” said Karl Stressman, AQHA chief executive officer. “He brings a broad skillset to the table alongside a long history of equine knowledge, and understands where our international members are coming from. We do business in over 90 countries and serve approximately 31,000 members and 440,000 registered American Quarter Horses and our goal is to provide more services to more members worldwide.”

Eck will lead an enthusiastic team that serves international affiliates and members, serve as the staff liaison for the AQHA International Committee, organize international events and travel internationally.

Eck received a master’s degree in agriculture education from North Dakota State University and also served as an equine science instructor at NDSU for 15 years. Eck brings over 30 years of experience in equine management and training. He is an avid supporter of AQHA and held multiple professional titles, such as the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association faculty president and is an AQHA Professional Horseman.   

For more information on AQHA staff, visit AQHA’s staff directory.

AQHA news and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA on Twitter and visit

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Fans Flock to Family Fun Day at Ajax Downs; Ivory Rolls Again

AJAX DOWNS, AUGUST 22, 2022 – Ajax Downs’ popular FAMILY FUN DAY returned to the Quarter Horse track for the first time in three years on Sunday, August 21 and it was standing-room only for an afternoon of racing and fun events, kid’s games and prizes with proceeds benefitting the Ajax Pickering Hospital.
The crowd roared for every race on the afternoon and wagered with enthusiasm and the highlight dash was the 11th running of the Ontario Bred Maturity worth $39,240. The country’s top older horse HAD TO BE IVORY rolled to his fourth consecutive win in the 400-yard Maturity, overcoming a bump at the start and then surging past his tough rival Countrys Comin Bac to win by a long neck. The 7-year-old, bred and owned by Hillsburgh’s Carol and Jaime Robertson, recorded yet another stellar clocking, speeding the distance in 19.779 for a 102 speed index.
Trained by Bryn Robertson, Had to Be Ivory was ridden by Cory Spataro, who was subbing for an absent Josh Scott. It was the 20th career win from 26 starts for the Ontario bred and he has earned over $327,000.
“He was a pro as always,” said Spataro. “When a horse beside him, Twixt of Fate, acted up, he got a bit scared so we had to reset the way he was standing. But then he broke like a rocket, I was bumped and then we had to re-rally. You can’t ever count out Countrys Comin Bac but I feel like I had it with about 100 yards left.”
Heading into the next racing day at Ajax Downs, Wednesday, August 31, there is an exciting four-way tie for leading jockey by victories. BRIAN BELL, RAMIRO CASTILLO, TONY PHILLIPS, and ISMAEL MOSQUIERA all have 12 wins. Bell leads in Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario points with 154 over Castillo’s 152. The points leader at the end of the racing season is honored with the leading rider trophy.
Keep up to date on news and entries for Ajax Downs on social media and at To find out more about how you can own a Quarter Horse or join a syndicate, contact the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario at
The Had to Be Ivory team from left to right, Mike Robertson, Jaime Robertson, Had to Be Ivory, Zac Kennedy, Carol Robertson, Paul Sauve, and Cory Spataro. Trainer Bryn Robertson was absent. (New Image Media Photo, crowd photo by Laurie Overton)
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Silver Lyning Scoops $63,360 Ontario Bred Futurity for Michelle Woodley

The 2-year-old filly Silver Lyning scored a half-length win in the $63,360 Ontario Bred Futurity at Ajax Downs on July 6 (New Image Media Photo)
AJAX DOWNS, WEDNESDAY, JULY 6, 2022 – Trainer Michelle Woodley held a hot hand in the final of the $63,360 Ontario Bred Futurity at Ajax Downs on July 6 and while the Alton, Ontario horsewoman came away with the winner of the important 2-year-old stakes race, it was not with the horse that most thought.
Woodley’s own filly SILVER LYNING, ridden by Tony ‘TP’ Phillips, scored a mild upset at 2 to 1 in the 300-yard race for Ontario-bred juveniles, holding on for a half-length victory over 23 to 1 shot Eyes Dasha Wacky, owned by Marie Broadstock and trained by Don Reid. It was another neck back to 15 to 1 shot Quick Asa Hicccup, trained by Woodley for Richard Wincikaby. Heavily favoured FIRSTPRIZE CHARLOTTE, also trained by Woodley for Wincikaby, finished fifth after becoming restless in the starting gate pre-race. Maximize was a late scratch at the gate.
The time of the race was a smart 15.624 for an 88 speed index. It was the second career start for Silver Lyning, who had a good closing kick to be second in the first Trial for the Ontario Bred Futurity on June 15.
Silver Lyning is the first horse Woodley has bred, sharing the breeding plans with her friend Gary McNichol, and the grey filly is the first foal to race from the Ajax Downs, stakes-winning mare Embrace Extravagence, also co-owned and trained by Woodley.
“She’s a really sweet filly, very laid back for a 2-year-old,” said jockey Tony Phillips. “She ran a good second in her Trial but I could feel like I had more so I was confident she could give them a run for the money.”
Woodley, who, along with her partner John McInerney, is well known for her success with young horses, said the win was bittersweet.
“Firstprize Charlotte got a little fractious in the gate and because of that I think she blew her break a bit,” said Woodley. “But Silver Lyning, she did everything right so we are super happy.”
Racing continues at Ajax Downs on  Wednesday. July 13, 2022, followed by a special Sunday day of racing on July 17, ‘Craft Brewery Day’ with on-track prizes for fans in attendance.
Follow us on social media @AjaxDowns on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest news and photos. The Ajax Downs races are also live-streamed on our Facebook and Youtube pages and you can watch and wager on the races at You can print out a free pocket program for the day’s races at
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Ontario Bred Juvenile First Cold Wave Named Ajax Downs’ 2021 Horse of the Year

First Cold Wave won the $115,000 Alex Picov Futurity in 2021 and was named Horse of the Year by the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario (Clive Cohen photo)
AJAX DOWNS, APRIL 25, 2021- For only the third time in Ajax Downs history, a 2-year-old has been named the track’s Quarter Horse of the YearFIRST COLD WAVE, who is Ontario bred and sired, was voted 2021’s top horse by the board of directors of the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario on April 22. 
Owned and bred by Robert Bailey of Oakwood, Ontario, First Cold Wave is the only provincially sired and bred juvenile Horse of the Year, following American bred Leanintoit (2011) and American sired/ Ont. bred One Kool Wave (2010).
The impressive-looking First Cold Wave earned 39 QROOI points in 2021, more than any other Ajax Downs starter. The sorrel-coloured gelding also collected the trophy for High Point 2-Year-Old Male horse. He is a son of young stallion Cold Hard Dash, whose first crop of foals raced in 2021. Cold Hard Dash is owned by a syndicate and stands at Iron Horse Reproduction in Port Perry.
Trained by Jason Pascoe, First Cold Wave made his Ajax Downs debut in July following a 10th place finish in his career debut at Remington Park in Oklahoma. He won his maiden in that first start locally under jockey Brian Bell and then finished a close second in the $61,000 Ontario Bred Futurity to Night Leader. First Cold Wave turned the tables on that rival, winning a Trial for the $65,000 Ontario Sires Futurity before taking the final. After a third-place finish in a Trial for the prestigious Alex Picov Futurity, First Cold Wave won a furious battle to the wire, taking the $115,000 Futurity final by a nose.
Produced from the mare Cassies Carver by Wave Carver, First Cold Wave completed his 2021 season with four wins in seven starts and earnings of $98,764 (Cdn.).
First Cold Wave recently returned to racing on April 15, finishing fourth in an allowance race at Remington Park. He is being pointed to that track’s Heritage Place Derby Trials on May 7 and should he qualify, would contest the $250,000 (US) final on May 28.
Ajax Downs racing fans will hopefully get to see the champ for the track’s big 3-year-old races this summer.
The 2022 Ajax Downs Quarter Horse season opens Wednesday, May 11 (first race post time at 1:30 p.m.). Racing will be conducted on Wednesdays, plus one Sunday a month, and there will be a special card on Thanksgiving Monday, October 10.
You can view the entire racing schedule with on-track events here
Follow Ajax Downs on social media @AjaxDowns (Twitter and Instagram), Facebook and at For more information on how to become an owner or partner in a Quarter Horse contact the QROOI at
News General News Affiliates News Youth News

Alberta Quarter Horse Launches New Youth Program for 2022

New Alberta Youth Quarter Horse Association  Initiative for 2022

Do you know an Alberta youth that has been wanting to try showing at QHAA shows that has never showed at them before?

Yes? Well the QHAA has the answer! They have developed a program just for them!

Alberta Youth Quarter Horse Association (AYQHA) and Quarter Horse Association of Alberta (QHAA) is offering a new program for youth that have never showed at QHAA shows but want to give it a try.

One selected youth per show in the 2022 show year will be selected to have show fees covered by QHAA and to be connected with a trainer (chosen by AYQHA and QHAA). The youth will get two lessons from that trainer and will get stalled with the trainer at the show. The trainer will help the youth out as much as they can at the show. The youth will be responsible for having own transportation, accommodations, tack and proper show clothes.

Interested youth can become eligible by submitting a video or written essay explaining what this opportunity means to them and what their goals are in the horse industry. The youth will also provide a video of them riding the horse they wish to show.

For more information please email .
Please note*

    • This is not open for any previous youth of AYQHA.
    • To show in AQHA classes the horse must be a registered quarter horse.
    • Youth must have a valid AQHA membership as well as a QHAA (AYQHA) membership this is at the expense of the youth.
    • To show in all breed classes no registration or AQHA membership is required, however QHAA membership is.

Selected youth will be told what show they get to attend, Canadian National Quarter Horse Show is not one of the options. Please understand that this is a one time opportunity, one a youth has been selected, they may not be considered again.

News General News Member News Affiliates News Breeder News Uncategorized

Big Weekend of Action for Racing Quarter Horses in Alberta

The CQHA Breeder’s award for the  Canadian breeder who consigned the highest selling horse was Ralph Danard of Stony Plain, Alberta.

Danard bred and consigned Hip #1 HOTT CORONA which was also the sale’s highest selling yearling.

The weekend started off with the AQHRA Canada Quarter Horse Cup Sale on Friday. Originally there were 27 Lots consigned but only 16 yearlings and 3 aged horses passed through the sale’s ring.

The sale started out strong as Hip 1 HOTT CORONA (Obsessed With Corona x Im Hott Ur Nott (Tres Seis) maintained the top bid at $15,500. The brown stallion was consigned by Ralph Danard and purchased by Dale Zukoswki.

Hott Corona is an Alberta Bred and Alberta Sired offspring as his sire; Obsessed With Corona who stands in Alberta at Danard’s Running Quarter Horses and Paints.

Hip 9 and 22 both brought the second highest bid of $12,000. Hip 9: Northfork Boss, a gelded son of Jd Wagon Boss was bought by partnership Gehring/Stockwell/Wills from consignor Glenn Wills. Hip 12: O Seeyalater, a daughter of AQHA Champion Sire First Timber was bought by Jeff Rath from consignor Wesley Oulton.

Saturday saw Hortons Real Deal prevailed over Eyesa Timber in a blanket finish for the Alberta Bred Derby. Racing for owner/breeder Charles Stojan, Hortons Real Deal has now won four races in a row, pushing his 2021 earnings to nearly $30,000 USD. William Leech trained and Ricardo Moreno was the jockey. Third was Bright Foo Fighter.

Sunday featured two Quarter Horse races. The first was the Donalda Cochrane Memorial which was won by first time starter Our Storm Chaser for owner/breeder Barry & Janice Sather, trainer Misael Moreno and jockey Diego Benitez. Smokin Ziva was second and Vinnie The Streak third. After gate delays in the feature race the Alberta Bred (RG3) Futurity was finally run. Destello De Luna nosed out O First Sweet Heart. Winning owners were Jane Leech and Haley Moreno, trainer William Leech and jockey Ricardo Moreno. Wave Burner finished third.

Photo Credits:
Hott Corona/Our Storm Chaser >>Julie Brewster
Destello De Luna/Hortons Real Deal >> Ryan Haynes, Coady Photo CtM

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EOQHA Hosts AQHA Virtual Clinics

Pre-Registration is required, and will close:
October 12th at 11pm EST.

Ranch Riding & Western Riding with Dr. Pipkin

The Eastern Ontario Quarter Horse Association is proud to be presenting Canadian AQHA members the opportunity to attend two virtual seminars presented by AQHA & multi carded judge Dr. John Pipkin.

Two separate seminars will be offered from October 15th to 28th: Ranch Riding & Western Riding.

You are invited to sign up for both, or which ever one you would prefer. Both seminars are being offered on AQHA’s virtual learning platform, and can be accessed at anytime during the duration that they are running.

Your AQHA membership number is required in order for you to complete the registration process.

Please use the in platform “discussion” option to submit any questions you may have for the clinician Dr. Pipkin, in place of live Q & A .

These virtual seminars are  made possible through the AQHA / CQHA Grant program which promotes AQHA & CQHA membership while recognizing the Quarter Horse breed’s participation in events outside AQHA sanctioned events & programs.

About Dr. Pipkin

John Pipkin has been an approved judge for over 30 years, and currently has judge’s cards with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), American Paint Horse Association (APHA), National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA), National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA), and World Conformation Horse Association (WCHA). He has judged over 478 total shows in 11 different countries and 33 states, and 17 World Championship shows including 13 AQHA World, 4 APHA World, 3 International Championships, and other major AQHA, APHA, NRHA, NSBA, WCHA shows.


Pipkin is currently the Director of Equine Industry Program and a Regents Professor of Animal Science at West Texas A&M University where his duties include coaching the Horse Judging Team, and supervising the Equestrian and Ag Science Competitive Teams, in addition to teaching, research, an administrative responsibilities. The judging teams he has coached have won 148 (127 at WTAMU) National or World Champion or Reserve Champion titles including the All-American Quarter Horse Congress, AQHA Collegiate World, and NRHA Championships multiple times; and Equestrian Teams under his direction have won 51 National Champion or Reserve Champion titles, including the IHSA Western National Champion team.

Dr. Pipkin was a nominee for the 2019 and 2020 AQHA Don Burt Professional Horseman of the Year. He has trained and shown professionally in Halter, Reining, Working Cow Horse, Western Pleasure, Western Riding, and Trail, and other classes. Pipkin works closely with several Equine and Breed Associations where he works with the rules and/or judges committees. He is a National Director for AQHA, currently serves on the AQHA and WCHA Judges Committees, and has served as Chair of AQHA’s Judges, and Show and Professional Horsemen Committees, and Show Council.

He is currently a Director and President of the National Horse Judging Team Coaches’ Association. He has been appointed as a Regents Professor and received the Teaching Excellence award from the Texas A&M University System, the Magister Optimus and University Teaching Excellence awards at WTAMU, and numerous Texas A&M System Regent’s resolutions and WT President’s Silver Buffalo awards; was inducted into the Texas Tech Department of Animal & Food Sciences Hall of Fame; and has over 150 publications, given over 100 invited professional presentations, chaired or been a member of over 70 graduate student committees, and secured over $5 million in donations, grants, and gifts.

His wife, Kenda, has also judged for AQHA, NRHA, NRCHA, and NSBA. He and Kenda live in Amarillo, and have two sons, John Luke and Joshua.

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2020/2021 AQHA & CQHA Affiliate Grant Program

The CQHA’s main purpose is to support and promote the development of the Canadian Quarter Horse industry in Canada and abroad. CQHA also strives to support the hard work of all the Provincial/Regional Affiliates.
Currently, the AQHA annually allocates Funds to CQHA to be used to support, promote and develop American Quarter Horse activities in Canada. The CQHA in turn administers the allocation of these funds in the form of Grant funding to the Provincial and Regional AQHA Affiliates and other events that use AQHA horses to financially assist them in achieving these AQHA objectives in Canada using the Category criteria listed below.
The current objectives for Grant funding include activities to encourage the expansion of the AQHA and CQHA membership, AQHA registrations, the marketing of the American Quarter Horse, the understanding and protection of the breed integrity as well as the discovery of the American Quarter Horse’s many talents.
There are Three (3) Categories eligible for Grant Funding as set out by AQHA for 2020-2021:
  • Category 1: Education/Clinics
  • Category 2: Competition/Use – Funds not to be utilized for AQHA shows with greater than 100 entries (1 entry is a horse and rider combo per class entered)
  • Category 3: Marketing & Membership Outreach