Helzer Elected President of AQHA

At the 2009 American Quarter Horse Association Annual Convention this week in San Antonio, Jim Helzer of Arlington, Texas, was elected the 59th president of the world's largest equine breed registry.

Helzer is CEO and President of JEH Stallion Station and other JEH companies. JEH Stallion Station is a commercial horse breeding operation and the other companies are real estate and investment businesses.

Born in Loveland, Colo., Helzer began racing American Quarter Horses in Colorado in his home state in 1962. Since then, the Helzers have successfully raced Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds throughout the United States. The most noteworthy Quarter Horse campaigned by the Helzers was Refrigerator, the sport's world champion in 1992 and 1993. Refrigerator is currently Quarter Horse racing's leading all-time money earner at $2,126,309.

"I want to be known as the members' man," Helzer said. "We want to make sure that the members obtain a sound return on their membership investment."

He also believes that AQHA must operate with a balanced budget.

"The erratic behavior of the economy will test our management skills in 2009 and beyond," he added. "We must maximize our returns while minimizing our risks with the Association's monies. We will make our membership more cognizant of the value of our corporate partners and to utilize their products and offers as a top priority."

The rest of Helzer's to-do list includes:

  • Further refinement of AQHA's registration process;
  • A full-scale redesign of AQHA's information technology systems;
  • Some changes in the Bank of America Racing Challenge Championship and enhancing Championship day;
  • A change in western pleasure classes to better portray the athleticism of the Quarter Horse relative to form versus function;
  • Changes in AQHA's convention format;
  • Inspire AQHA members to submit ideas relative to classes and/or programs that will benefit the entire organization; and
  • Ensure that the transparency of the organization is available and understandable to the entire membership.

Helzer has been an AQHA director and chairman of the AQHA Racing Council. He also is a member and past president of the Texas Quarter Horse Association, and a member and past director of the Texas Thoroughbred Association. Currently, Helzer also serves on the board of the Texas Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association as its president and as a member of the Texas Horsemen's Partnership management committee.

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