Straight Talk With Patti Carter-Pratt
By Patti Carter-Pratt for The American Quarter Horse Journal
I have always loved training, judging, showing and coaching people on American Quarter Horses. It has been my life’s passion. If someone would have told me two years ago that I would give all of that up for an office job, I would’ve called them crazy.
The fact is, it was crazy, moving from Ontario to Amarillo to be the AQHA executive director of shows.
Would you expect a big move like that to be easy? You might be surprised how relatively easy the relocation itself has been. However, can you imagine a transition from working outside your entire life and being your own boss, to reporting to an office 8-5, Monday through Friday (not counting world shows and events, of course!)? It has been a real lifestyle change, to say the least.
Back in November 2010 at the AQHA World Championship Show, I was still living my dream as an AQHA Professional Horseman, AQHA judge and AQHA director. In fact, judging was what brought me to that fateful AQHA World Show, where I was approached by Tom Persechino, AQHA executive director of competition and breed integrity, with a job offer. I was honored to accept the position, but I was totally blown away.
Even though I have always had a love for the American Quarter Horse, honestly, the thought of working at AQHA had never crossed my mind. Looking back on it now, I shouldn’t have been so taken aback by the offer. I had served AQHA and the membership through several committees and as a Professional Horsewoman, director and judge – it was probably a natural progression that I would migrate south to AQHA headquarters.