Patti Carter-Pratt Joins AQHA as Executive Director of Shows



The American Quarter Horse Journal -- As part of an effort to foster and guide the American Quarter Horse show industry in a direction that will ensure its continued success and longevity, the American Quarter Horse Association is excited to announce that Patti Carter-Pratt of St. George, Ontario, has been named to the new position of AQHA executive director of shows.

“When I was tapped to manage and oversee AQHA’s multifaceted competition and breed integrity division, I was charged with ensuring that the AQHA show segment is on the right track. That involved getting the right people in the right places to guide those efforts,” said Tom Persechino, AQHA executive director of competition and breed integrity.

“We needed someone who knows the AQHA show industry and the people in it from the inside out and is widely respected. We interviewed candidates, and Patti has accepted the job. She is aggressive and progressive in her thinking with regard to the AQHA show industry and the direction it needs to go.”

Patti is an exhibitor and AQHA Professional Horseman; she was the 2005 AQHA Professional’s Choice Horsewoman of the Year. An AQHA judge, Patti has judged the AQHA World Championship Show, she spearheaded the 2008 American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup in Ontario, and she is the chairwoman of the AQHA Professional Horseman’s Committee and the Professional Horseman’s Council. Additionally, she comes from a family with a long history with AQHA. Her father, AQHA Professional Horseman, judge and AQHA Director-at-Large Joe Carter, assists with monitoring at the AQHA World Show.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me to help an industry that is very near and dear to my family and me,” said Carter-Pratt.

“I took this job to help make sure that the American Quarter Horse show industry is viable for years to come, especially for my daughter, Paige, and all of the other youth that show American Quarter Horses and even the children they might one day have.”

This appointment is another component of the AQHA Blue Ribbon Task Force’s efforts to review and address AQHA’s show initiatives, with an eye toward increasing participation in AQHA-approved events. The task force is made up of exhibitors and trainers.

In 2007, several demographic research projects identified three types of show participants: entry-level, midlevel and top-level. The research proved that the midlevel show participant is the most vulnerable, as these show enthusiasts seldom win classes, earn points or receive other forms of recognition. These midlevel show participants often leave AQHA after sampling the Association’s approved shows.

We want to change that. Based on anticipated recommendations and subsequent approvals, most especially from the AQHA Show Council, we expect to begin managing more closely the number and types of approved shows in 2011, with an approved leveling program tested and retested throughout 2011, with implementation in 2012. The leveling program is being developed to offer a broader variety of exhibitor skill-level classes.

Carter-Pratt joins the rest of AQHA’s competition and breed integrity staff: Charlie Hemphill, Alex Ross, Rajeana Thompson, David Avery, Ward Stutz, Trey Buck and a team of support staff that is committed to seeing these efforts through and meeting the needs of AQHA’s members.

Carter-Pratt and her husband, AQHA Professional Horseman Doug Pratt, will relocate from Ontario to Amarillo, and she will begin her new duties around the first of the year.

Additional details on her position will be made available at a later date.

AQHA news and information is a service of AQHA publications: The American Quarter Horse Journal and America’s Horse.