On the International Trail

China’s Enthusiasm for the American Quarter Horse

Two delegations from China recently visited Amarillo to connect with AQHA and support the American Quarter Horse industry in China.

The AQSIQ and APHIS delegation from China tours the AQHA Hall of Fame and Museum.

While the majority of my opportunities to connect with our international membership since January have involved me traveling outside of the United States, this past week, I had the great pleasure of hosting international guests at the American Quarter Horse Association International Headquarters right here in Amarillo.

Last week, we welcomed a delegation from China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, and supported their efforts to learn about United States practices for equine disease monitoring and control. During their visit, the delegation toured the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum and offices, and also paid a visit to the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab. As horse owners, we may not often think of the important role that diagnostic labs play in ensuring that we have a healthy equine population in the United States, but we all rely on them on a regular basis. If you live in Texas, it is the TVMDL that will receive and test the blood samples your veterinarian draws for your annual Coggins tests. The TVMDL also provides diagnostic testing for a number of other equine diseases, and the lab’s high-quality work helps our industry to identify and control health threats that pose a risk to the equine population in the state.

Earlier this week, we hosted a second delegation from China. This time, our visitors joined us from the China Quarter Horse Association, headquartered in Beijing. An Tao, chairman of the CQHA, and David Snodgrass, longtime supporter of the American Quarter Horse industry in China, visited the Hall of Fame and AQHA offices with a team in tow to secure photos and videos so they can promote the American Quarter Horse in China.

An Tao and his team helped the international department staff learn some basic phrases in Chinese, and later, I was thrilled to have An Tao join me on a ride with my two American Quarter Horses, Twice The Solano and Easters Lil Ruf Chic. We wrapped up the CQHA visit with a special tour of the AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder and Zoetis Best Remuda-winning Four Sixes Ranch, hosted by AQHA Past President Dr. Glenn Blodgett and his wife, Karen. The incredible history of this ranch and its impact on the Quarter Horse made quite the impression on our Chinese visitors.

I was pleased to expose our visitors to some new experiences, and they helped me have a new Amarillo “first,” as well! Both groups wanted to have dinner at the famous Big Texan Steak House. Not a single one of our visitors attempted the 72-oz. steak challenge, but I think it’s safe to say they all enjoyed the experience!