Challenge Award Winners

Challenge program recognizes leading owner, breeder, trainer and jockey.

October 28, 2012

2009 Bank of America Challenge Logo

The 20th year of the Bank of America Racing Challenge was a great one. The program was created to provide more opportunity for racing American Quarter Horses, and by all indications it has succeeded in that goal.

It saw 23 different tracks host 61 regional qualifying races, with more than $2.5 million dollars in purses – $1.8 million of that as added money. There were also 28 tracks that hosted 33 Bonus Challenge by Markel races, whose purses included more than $398,000 in added money. And the Bank of America Maiden Challenge continues to gain ground, running at mega-tracks and county fairs, from Alberta to Mexico City, from Hialeah, Florida to Washington State, and everywhere in between.
The Bank of America Racing Challenge Champion Owner, Trainer, Breeder and Jockey are determined by points accumulated in regional final races. Contenders receive 10 points for a win, 9 points for a second-place finish, and so on. At year-end, the top earner in each division receives an award from one of AQHA’s Corporate Partners.

The 2012 John Deere champion owner was newcomers Gully Enterprises of Novice, Texas. Carolyn and Pat Gully are experienced horsemen, and very involved with cutting horses. This is, however, their first year as racehorse owners. With the help of trainer Alvin Turner, it was a memorable one. Among their horses was Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G1) finalist Special Awards. They earned the most points of the year with 52, a five point lead over second-place finisher Dean Frey. As champion owners, the Gullys take home a John Deere Gator utility vehicle and a custom buckle from Montana Silversmiths.

AQHA champion breeder Bobby Cox is this year’s Challenge Nutrena champion breeder with 91 points earned. With the win, Cox earned $5,000 cash, three tons of Nutrena feed and a custom buckle from Montana Silversmiths. Vessels Stallion Farm LLC was second with 88 points.

The closest race of the year was the Vetrolin champion trainer award. Trainers Charley Hunt and Bret Vickery tied with 95 points, but Hunt won the tie breaker and earned the title. Hunt earned a $5,000 check, a Tex-Tan saddle, a custom buckle from Montana Silversmiths and product from Vetrolin.

AQHA champion jockey and all-time leading money earner G.R. Carter Jr. brought home yet another award, as he was this year’s Wrangler champion jockey. Carter earned 121 points to defeat second place-finisher Stormy Smith with 93 points. Carter wins $2,000 cash, a Tex-Tan saddle and a custom buckle from Montana Silversmiths.