(reprinted from the QHAA Magazine's 25th anniversary edition, March 1988)
The following is an excerpt from an article by Verna Mae Gannon, published in 1981. Since then the association has had its ups and downs related to the economic conditions in Alberta. In 1983 the Twentieth Anniversary Bronze in the 1985 Canadian National Championship Show was born...in cooperation with the Canadian Quarter Horse Association and some very generous sponsors. The Fourth "Canadian National" will unfold in October at Lethbridge...bigger and better than ever.
In 1988 the Canadian QHA took over the management of the Show, but the QHAA will always take pride in its part in bringing Canada's premier Quarter Horse event into being. Just one month into 1988 the QHAA membership had soared to over 1200...a fitting way to celebrate the Association's Twenty Fifth Anniversary!
On March 27, 1963 an application was made to the Canadian Quarter Horse Association for approval for the formation of the Alberta Quarter Horse Association. The application was approved. Ken Paget, the author of the application was requested to act as Provisional Chairman and the signatories were constituted as a Provisional Board of Directors. They were: A,G. Bailey, Calgary; A Bohomolec. Coleman; A.P. Bowsher. Calgary; Harvey Burrows. Cochrane; Royal Burrows, Midnapore; R.V. Clark, Medicine Hat; T.G. Eastland, N. Edmonton; T.P. Fox, Edmonton, W.L. Griffith, Calgary; G. W. Golden, Edmonton, J.S. Horne, Calgary; K.K. Paget, Cochrane; Cliff W. Ross, Edmonton; Alf J. Turlock, Medicine Hat.
The purpose of the Provincial Association as outlined in the application was “To carry on the grass roots promotion of the Quarter Horse industry in the Province through promotion of shows, clinics, contests, etc.” A meeting was planned to be held in Calgary during the Spring Horse show. This meeting was held in Calgary in May of 1963 when Harvey Burrows was elected President.
There were 16 members present. Members present were: Cliff Ross, Tom Fox, George Cheatham, Don Postlewait, Florence Mewburn, George Golden, Alex Bailey, Harvey Burrows, Ken Paget, Jack & Molly Reilly, Jerry D' Arcy,. Wilbur Griffith. Colonel & Mrs. Bohomolec. On May 6, 1964 Tom Fox was elected President and Don Postlewait was the first Secretary/ Treasurer. Tom Fox held office for 3 1/2 years and, in his usual energetic manner, proceeded to get things moving. According to the minutes of a Directors Meeting held in Edmonton on September 15, 1964, "It was agreed that we keep our members informed of our
activities by means of an occasional newsletter and by news in the “Canadian Quarter Horse". This was the beginning of our Journal, and of course, the editor was Tom Fox.
The first banquet was held December 3, 1967 and for 13 years, Jack Reilly was the Master of Ceremonies. the banquets were held in Edmonton, Red Deer, Ponoka, Medicine Hat and Calgary. It was at an annual banquet in 1987 that Jack Reilly presented Tom Fox with a riding crop with the quote “A man’s greatest heritage is the memories he leaves in the hearts of his friends”. During the time he was President, Tom organized and promoted the Canadian Western Northland Show. It was first held in 1965 It was sheer coincidence that Tom was a Director of the Edmonton Exhibition Association, and the facilities were supplied by the Northlands Horse show at no cost to the Quarter Horse Association. The profit was to be turned over to the Quarter Horse group. It was also in 1965 the Board of Directors decided to award trophies for points won at Alberta Quarter Horse Association approved shows. In a report to members, Tom closed with “We need new members--why not get you friends to join so that they may compete for the trophies!" At that time the membership was approximately 30 members.
The Association was known as the Alberta Quarter Horse Association until 1968. A letter to Jack Reilly (secretary) from the Canadian Quarter Horse Association states, "In our last Executive Committee Meeting, we gave unanimous vote in favor of your change of name from Alberta Quarter Horse Association to Quarter Horse Association of Alberta. The letter dated February 14, 1968.
The Quarter Horse Association of Alberta is the official affiliate of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA). It was formed in 1963 with the mandate to carry on the grassroots promotion of the Quarter Horse industry in the province through promotion of shows, clinics, contests and related activities. The QHAA recognizes the top Quarter Horses competing in QHAA sanctioned events through awards at the year end.