China Quarter Horse Association Visits Congress
“First, we love the Hollywood cowboy. Then, we love western riding.”
The American Quarter Horse is a breed that is internationally recognized and embraced in multiple countries across the world. As the largest single breed horse show in the world, the All American Quarter Horse Congress (AAQHC) is a destination point for many people to see the vast abilities of the Quarter Horse. For the China Quarter Horse Association, the AAQHC represents an imagined future.
About 13 years ago, the Chinese people started using domestic Chinese horses to barrel race. “The barrel racing was a good start because many of the Chinese were interested in speed. But when they tried to do more, they started realizing that their horses weren’t up for the challenge,” translated David Snodgrass, the International Director for AQHA China. “After a while, they believed that the American Quarter Horse would be a good option for taking the barrel racing to the next level.”
In 2007 China and the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) partnered to bring the first group of Chinese buyers to the United States resulting in the first groups of Quarter Horses being shipped to China. After equestrians in China saw Quarter Horses, “more and more people were interested and we [China] formed an association in 2013 and now have regular competitions,” said An Tao, the Chairman of the China Quarter Horse Association. “In the past three years, we’ve added barrel racing, pole bending, and ranch work, which are our main events.”
Li Song Tao, the Chairman of the Horse Power Camp became an instrumental force in organizing horse shows. “From a horse show perspective, the shows went from being grassroots to being more organized with the help of Li Song Tao,” explained An Tao.
As of last year, the China Quarter Horse Association had their largest show to date with 110 entries and 85 exhibitors.
“One of the biggest jobs we have with the China Quarter Horse Association is promotion and educating the Chinese who are excited about western,” said An Tao. In addition to being the International Director for AQHA China, David Snodgrass is the President of Unbridled China Ranch. Unbridled China Ranch is the base for the China Quarter Horse Association whose mission is to promote the Quarter Horse in China. “We bring over trainers to work with clients and they’re learning from Li Song Tao too. We want to get the word out that the Chinese are learning and want to have trainers that are interested in helping in order to get more Chinese to become better riders,” voiced An Tao.