* Photo courtesy of AQHA.

Craig Huffhines Leaving AQHA

American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines is leaving the association, officials say. His last day with the Amarillo, Texas-based association will be May 17.

A statement from the association announcing Huffhines’ resignation said he was leaving to “pursue an opportunity in the equine and livestock industry.” It did not specify a company or organization.

Huffhines said in the statement he was proud of accomplishments such as creating financial stability an sustainability, tackling the AQHA’s information technology challenges, navigating the business during the pandemic and instituting welfare reform standards.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the American Quarter Horse Association as executive vice president,” Huffhines said. “I am proud of my staff, the AQHA Past Presidents, AQHA Executive Committee and AQHA Board of Directors, whom I served over the past six years. 

When Huffhines departs, AQHA Chief Legal Counsel Chad Pierce will serve as interim executive vice president

“Craig navigated the Association through a monumental database conversion and remote service platform that allowed us to continue working during the pandemic,” said AQHA President Norman K. Luba. “Over the years, he has compiled a strong team of staff with talents and professionalism that will continue to propel AQHA into the future. Though we will miss him, the AQHA Executive Committee and I have full faith in Interim Executive Vice President Chad Pierce to maintain the precedent set by Craig. We will work quickly to find the right person to fill the role and wish Craig and his family the best in his new endeavor.”

Chad Pierce

Pierce has been with AQHA for more than 12 years as the Association’s chief legal counsel. Prior to his tenure with AQHA, Pierce was on staff with the Underwood Law Firm in Amarillo, where he served as the lead attorney for AQHA support beginning in 2003. He has successfully navigated countless equine welfare cases for the Association to set a standard to protect the American Quarter Horse.

The AQHA said Pierce’s knowledge of equine case law and Association corporate nuances are second to none, and he has been the standard bearer for the multitude of contract coordination with sponsors, corporate partners and a plethora of industry vendors. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and law degree from Texas Tech University.

Officials say more information about the official search to fill the position will be available soon.