BIG SANDY, Mont. – With the fine weather over the New Year, the Weavers finished hauling hay and the second tractor home from nearby Denton, ready to start feeding now winter seems to be here at last.
“We feed cows at two places so we need two tractors and two processors,” said rancher Stan Weaver of Weaver Quarter Horses.
After a quiet Christmas during which their three married children each went to his or her in-laws, Stan and Nancy welcomed everyone home – 12 with spouses and grandchildren – for a prime rib dinner on New Year’s Day.
Early in the New Year, the Weavers wormed, worked and took to winter pasture the 2 and 3- year-old fillies.
“It was a cold, windy day, but the colts did really good,” Stan said. “All our cows and all our horses are on winter pasture now.”
It was the calm before the coming storm: a full docket of American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) trips for Stan, the organization’s 2019 president, beginning with one to Pierre, S.D. for the South Dakota Quarter Horse Annual Convention.
After that, Stan’s off to Fort Worth, where AQHA Past President Dr. Glenn Blodgett will be inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, honoring individuals who have shown excellence in competition, business and support of rodeo and the western lifestyle in Texas.
“That first weekend of the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is known as the horse weekend, the cowboy weekend,” Stan said.
Blodgett began working for Burnett Ranches in 1982, which includes the Four Sixes Ranch at Guthrie, Texas. Under his direction and management, the ranch developed a state-of-the art equine breeding and production facility. The ranch is now known an industry leader in equine embryo transfer and artificial insemination, producing and developing some of the most highly-recognized racing and western performance American Quarter Horses in the world.
After Fort Worth, Stan will travel to Amarillo, Texas for AQHA meetings, then Minneapolis for the Minnesota Quarter Horse Annual Convention.
Stan says he enjoys the travel, which is part of the five-year commitment of being on the AQHA Board of Directors, and he derives satisfaction helping members resolve small-but-maddening issues to do with registrations or DNA.
“It’s my responsibility to attend as many AQHA events as I can,” Stan said. “It makes AQHA more personable and lets people know we care about them.”
After Minneapolis, Stan will travel with Nancy to Mexico City for the AQHA Latin American Summit. Horse racing is big in Mexico, which follows AQHA rules and imports horses from the United States. In Brazil, where Stan traveled last year for the 2018 summit, roping and barrel racing are popular. AQHA horses are registered in 86 countries, 52 of which register 50 or more colts a year.
“It’s really gotten international,” said Stan. “It’s been a slow growth, but we’re really promoting internationally now. If we want to be an international association then we have to act like one.”
For Stan, it all comes back to the horse.
“We want to add value to that horse for breeders in Germany, in Brazil, Mexico or South Dakota,” he said. “The breed is so versatile. In the disciplines AQHA horses are known for – racing, barrel racing, roping – of all the breeds, we’re the best.”