Debbie Meek of Cloverdale recently earned an award for logging 2,000 hours in the American Quarter Horse Association Horseback Riding Program.
The program recognizes and rewards AQHA members for time spent with their American Quarter horses in activities such as trail rides, working cattle, pleasure driving and simply riding.
A unique aspect of the program is its simplicity. Current AQHA members complete a program application and pay a one-time $25 enrollment fee. Each enrollee receives an official AQHA log sheet to record their hours driving or riding an American Quarter horse. Participants need not own their own horse, but all official hours must be accrued with a registered American Quarter horse.
Nine subsequent awards are presented to 100 to 5,000 hour levels and range from merchandise gift certificates from Drysdales Western Store to a Montana Silversmith trophy belt buckle at the highest level.
Other awards provided AQHA corporate sponsors include $25 gift certificate, at the 750 hours, a Tex Tan basket stamped belt. For each additional hour levels achieved, members will receive Montana Silversmith products as awards.
Also at both 500 hour and 5,000-hour award levels, recipients receive recognition in "The American Quarter Horse Journal," AQHA's monthly magazine.
"AQHA is very proud to offer this program rewarding people who enjoy riding and driving American Quarter horses. Enrollees are doing such diverse activities that it's obvious this program literally fits everyone who likes spending time with horses," said Stephanie A. McCammon, AQHA manager of membership services.