China Quarter Horse Association visits Congress
October 13th, 2015Tweet
By: Barbara Aitken
"First, we love the Hollywood cowboy. Then we love western riding."
Left to Right: Wang Yanbiao,Li Song Tao, An Tao, Barbara Aitken, David Snodgrass, Xie YuXiong
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.
China Quarter Horse Association members pose with AQHA judge/trainer Bennie Sargent and his daughter, who is active in Unbridled China Ranch.
In addition to An Tao, Li Song Tao, and David Snodgrass, two other China Quarter Horse Association members visited the 2015 AAQHC in hopes to learn more about the American Quarter Horse Industry. “We came to the AAQHC and we’re using Chinese social media to promote the versatility of the Quarter Horse to show it’s not all about going fast. It’s about going fast in control. We’re trying to bring more and more people here to show them what all the Quarter Horse has to offer,” added An Tao.
The China Quarter Horse Association is striving to become a strong force within the Quarter Horse industry on a global level. David Snodgrass believes China has the potential to grow faster than other international markets. “Our goal is that in 20 years, China would be the within top three in the world.
China is currently working on bringing reining trainers to Unbridled China Ranch to participate in clinics. “Our goal is to bring the first Chinese reining team to the FEI World Equestrian Games in Canada in 2016,” expressed An Tao.
All four China Quarter Horse Association members were impressed with what the AAQHC offers. “It’s a professionally ran horse show. We may be years away from something like this in China, but it gives us something to work toward in the future. The Chinese are diligent and if we continue to ride and continue to do events, then hopefully someday we can do something like this,” said Wang Yanbiao.
For more information on the China Quarter Horse Association please visit the China Quarter Horse Association Facebook page.
For more information on Unbridled China Ranch please visit Unbridled China Ranch Facebook page.