Three members of the cutting and reined cow horse industries were reappointed to the American Quarter Horse Foundation Board of Trustees.
The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) announced recently the reappointment of Robin Merrill, Catherine Nicholas and Larry Bell to serve on its Board of Trustees. Dr. Scott Myers, Kenneth Banks, James “Jim” Hunt, Jeff Tebow and Jim Brinkman were elected to the Board of Trustees during the 2022 AQHA Convention in Las Vegas.
“We are pleased to have a board that is not only dedicated to the horse we love, but also passionate about the Foundation’s programs and initiatives,” said Chief Foundation Officer Chris Sitz. “With advisement from the Foundation Council, the Board of Trustees will continue the efforts in place to ensure the charitable purpose of the Foundation is met through its grantmaking and programmatic activities.”
Appointed Trustee Robin Merrill
Robin Merrill of Poolville, Texas, served as the first appointed member to the Board of Trustees in 2019 and was reappointed in 2020, 2021 and 2022. She has also served on the Foundation Council, was the Foundation Council’s chairwoman from 2001 to 2004 and was elevated to AQHA honorary vice president in 2019.
Merrill and her husband, AQHA Past President Frank Merrill, have been involved in AQHA and the American Quarter Horse industry for many years and have been major supporters of the Foundation and its initiatives. Merrill was also involved with the New Jersey Quarter Horse Association, Florida Quarter Horse Association, Oklahoma Horseman’s Association, the Heart of Oklahoma Horseman’s Association, Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association was a member of the National Cutting Horse Association Historical Committee. She also serves as an board member for the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.
Appointed Trustee Catherine Nicholas
Catherine Nicholas of Douglas, Wyoming, is the managing partner, chief investment officer and co-founder of Nicholas Investment Partners. Additionally, she and her husband, Art, own and operate Wagonhound Land & Livestock, which received the 2018 AQHA Best Remuda Award and 2019, 2020 and 2021 AQHA Highest Money-Earning Ranching Heritage Breeder Award and the Nicholas’ have been supporters of youth activities through the Foundation for many years.
Nicholas was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2021 and reappointed in 2022. She serves as a member of the American Quarter Horse Foundation Council, recently concluding her role as chair and is active in the finance/budgeting activities of the Foundation. Nicholas is currently serving on the Douglas Boys & Girls Club as treasurer and as a board member for the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. She previously served on the USC Marshall School of Business and on committees of Rady Children’s Hospital, Francis Parker School, Scripps Hospital and on the board of the San Diego County YMCA. She earned her bachelors of science in business administration, and her MBA in finance from the University of Southern California.
Appointed Trustee Larry Bell
Larry Bell of Midland, Texas, and his wife, Ellen, own Parks Bell Ranch and Kalpowar Quarter Horses. Parks Ranch was recognized as AQHA 50-year legacy breeders and the Bell family have been supporters of the Foundation and the Hall of Fame & Museum for many years. Ellen’s family is deeply rooted in the American Quarter Horse industry with her grandfather, Roy Parks, serving as AQHA president in 1960 and was later inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.
Bell is a certified public accountant and brings personal experience working with both private and public charitable entities, their governance, policy, investment oversight and charitable giving. Bell was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2021 and reappointed in 2022. He was on the Foundation Council from 2007 to 2011 and served on the scholarship selection group and budget task force during his tenure. Bell currently serves on the AQHA Investment Oversight Committee and is active in the finance/budgeting activities of the Foundation. In addition to his work with charitable and humanitarian organizations in the United States, as well as overseas, he has also served on the boards of the Southwest Reined Cow Horse Association as president, the National Reined Cow Horse Association as executive vice president, the American Quarter Horse Foundation Council and was inducted into the NRCHA Hall of Merit in 2017.