Dogwood Foundation Proposes Second Challenge

With the tremendous success of the first Dogwood Challenge, the Merrill family has challenged American Quarter Horse Association Members to do it again.

A second Dogwood Challenge has been established to raise money for equine research. The Merrill family-siblings, Frank, Holly, Dani and Kyle Converse announced the second Dogwood Challenge at the 60th Annual AQHA Convention last March in Reno, Nevada.

Following the same guidelines as the first challenge, each $2 donation made to the American Quarter Horse Foundation, specifically for equine research, will be matched with a $1 donation from the Dogwood Foundation. The challenge is for AQHA Members to raise $1 million to be matched with a $500,000 donation from the Dogwood Foundation, for a total of $1.5 million-for equine research.

In July 1997, the Florida-based private, nonprofit organization challenged AQHA Members to raise $1 million for an equine research permanent fund by May 1999.

In February 1999 AQHA Members had raised $1 million and the Dogwood Foundation agreed to donate their challenged amount of $500,000, bringing the complete total to $1.5 million to be used for various equine research grants.

"A vital part of AQHF's mission is to offer support for equine research," said Patti Colbert, AQHF Director of Development. "AQHF's long-term goal is to raise $10 million for equine research. The Foundation offers grants to colleges and universities across the country to further their equine research projects."

The effects of equine research are far-reaching—it enables AQHF to protect the health of the American Quarter Horse and also impacts the entire equine industry as other breeds benefit from the research the Foundation funds.

Started in 1975 as the philanthropic arm of the American Quarter Horse Association, AQHF receives and distributes tax-deductible donations. In 1999, more the $237,000 was awarded in research grants to nine universities across the nation.

For more information or to make a donation to the American Quarter Horse Foundation call 806/376-5181, or visit The Foundation on AQHA's web site at

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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