AQHA Executive Committee

Meet AQHA's team of dedicated leaders.

aqha executive committee 2016Though AQHA operates primarily upon the decisions of its members through the board of directors, the five-person executive committee is responsible for implementing these important decisions and governing AQHA between the annual meetings of the membership and the board. 

The AQHA Executive Committee - consisting of a president, first vice president, second vice president and two additional members - is elected each year by the board at the AQHA Convention. Each member serves a term of one year until the selection of his/her successor. The executive committee convenes bimonthly at AQHA International Headquarters in Amarillo to conduct business and consider all disciplinary matters. Learn more about how rules are made.

President Sandy Arledge
Sandy Arledge of Encinitas, California, has been an AQHA director since 1997 and elevated to director emeritus in 2011. She has served on the membership, shows and professional horsemen, judges, stud book and registration, and hall of fame selection committees. Arledge also served on the nominations and credentials committee and served as the committee’s chairwoman in 2010. She currently serves on the American Quarter Horse Foundation Council.

She received her bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law.

Arledge is active in the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Association and California Horse Council. She owned and operated Sandy Arledge Quarter Horses and was a general partner and manager of Far West Farms, a full-service boarding facility in Del Mar, California. She has bred and trained numerous AQHA world champions and reserve world champions. She was named the 2010 Professional’s Choice Professional Horsewoman of the Year and was inducted into the Pacific Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame in 2015.

When she’s home in California, Arledge enjoys gardening and keeping up with her koi pond in the company of her two corgis, Zip and Zoom.

First Vice President Ralph Seekins
Ralph Seekins of Fairbanks, Alaska, has been an AQHA director since 2006 for Washington/Alaska and was elevated to director emeritus in 2016. Seekins has served on the AQHA Marketing and Membership Committee, the Foundation Council and the AQHA Public Policy Committee.

Seekins has owned American Quarter Horses since 1995 when his daughters convinced him and his wife, Connie, that they really needed horses. His early horse years were spent in Wyoming and Montana and included ranch work and sprint racing. The family’s first two American Quarter Horses were home-trained and went on to earn AQHA Open Champion titles, Youth Champion titles, Youth Supreme Champion titles and one Youth Versatility award. Over the years, the Seekins family has raised and trained horses that have earned nine AQHA Champion titles, three AQHA Supreme Champion titles and two versatility awards.

For more than 14 years, the Seekins family has used their American Quarter Horses in the Helping Hooves therapeutic riding program for riders with disabilities.

They have four children – two sons and two daughters. All the children and their families live in Fairbanks. Aaron Seekins has four sons, Austin, Brandon, Gabe and Zachary along with one daughter, Shelby. Ben Seekins and his wife, Tamie, have sons Christian and Caleb and daughter Larissa. Daughter Andrea and her husband, Ryan Reinheller, have twin boys, Jakan and Logan, as well as three daughters, Rebecca, Tricia and Sarah. Daughter Beth and her husband, Paul Austin, have three daughters, Emma, Leah and Madison, and son Isaac.

Second Vice President Dr. Jim Heird
Dr. Jim Heird was an AQHA director for Colorado in 2009 and Texas in 2011. He has served on the judges, international and show committees, and on the show council and animal welfare commission. Dr. Heird was the chairman of the judges committee, 1989-1991; show committee, 2008-2010; international committee, 2013-2015; show council, 2008-2011; and the animal welfare commission, 2011-2015.

He was the former extension horse specialist at North Carolina State University, a former instructor/professor at Texas Tech University in Lubbock and has held various dean/director positions at Colorado State University for the colleges of agricultural sciences and business and equine sciences program. Dr. Heird is currently the executive professor and coordinator of equine initiatives at Texas A&M University. He also holds the Dr. Glenn Blodgett Equine Chair at Texas A&M. He was on the executive committee of the National Western Stock Show and is an ex-officio director of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.

Dr. Heird is an honorary vice president of the Uruguayan Quarter Horse Association. He was an AQHA judge from 1977 to 2015 and has judged 13 AQHA World Championship shows, multiple international championships and two National Reining Horse Association futurities.

He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.S. and M.S. and has a PhD from Texas Tech University. He and his wife, Dr. Eleanor Green, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M, live in College Station.

Member Stan Weaver
Stan Weaver of Big Sandy, Montana, has been an AQHA director since 2011. He is currently on the Foundation council, and is a former member of the studbook and registration, public policy, Hall of Fame selection committees, marketing and ranching councils, and served as chairman of the ranching council. He was also instrumental in helping develop the AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders Program.

Weaver has bred American Quarter Horses for more than 30 years and has registered more than 1,400 foals with AQHA during that time.

Weaver and his wife, Nancy, began a Quarter Horse production sale in 1996 under Weaver Quarter Horses. Through the production sale, horses from the Weaver Ranch have sold to all 50 states, seven Canadian provinces, South Africa, Australia, Germany and Mexico. Weaver has shown his own horses in cutting, reined cow horse and working cow horse. Weaver is involved with the Big Sandy Public School Board, North Central Montana Stock Growers Association, Montana Reined Cow Horse Futurity, Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame, Montana Quarter Horse Association, Montana Land & Mineral Owners Association, and the Chouteau County Livestock Protection Association.

Weaver has owned and operated Weaver Cattle Co., a cattle and farming enterprise in North Central Montana for the past 40 years. Weaver also owns and operates Weaver Order Buying, a cattle brokerage firm.

He and Nancy raised three children on the ranch. All three children and families continue to work on the ranch, but have also expanded their own ranching and farming interests in the area. KellyAnne Terry is married to Casey Terry and they have two children, Wyatt and Avery, and live in Lewistown, Montana; David Weaver who lives in Big Sandy, has one daughter, Hailey; and Daniel Weaver also lives in Big Sandy.

The Weavers received the 1997 Montana Quarter Horse Association Ranch of the Year award, and Weaver Cattle Co. was recognized as the 2014 Montana State University Family Business of the Year in the business category for operations in existence at least 50 years.

Member Butch Wise
Butch Wise of El Reno, Oklahoma, was named an honorary AQHA vice president in 2015. He was an AQHA director from 2001 to 2015.

He currently serves as the Executive Committee representative on the racing council. Wise is a former member of the  studbook and registration committee, nominations and credentials and racing committees and the racing council. He was the chairman of the Hall of Fame committee from 2013 to 2015 and also served as chairman of the racing council. In 2014, he was a member of the AQHA Governance Task Force.

In 2004, Wise received the Oklahoma State University Animal Science School Graduate of Distinction award and in 2007, he received the AQHA Racing Council Special Recognition Award.

He is a member of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse and Florida Quarter Horse Racing associations. Wise owns Stone Chase Stables LLC and is the bloodstock agent and president of Wise Sales Co. Inc. His former career experience includes AQHA, Ridgeleigh Farms Inc,. Mel Hatley Farms and Cox Manufacturing. Locally he is involved with the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association in establishing a successful working arrangement with the Oklahoma legislature.

Wise and his wife, Nancy, have two sons and two daughters. Their sons are Clay and Parker Wise, and daughters are Mallory Wise and Ashlie Blair. Blair and her husband, Shawn, have two children, Derek and Lacie.

AQHA Convention

Learn more about AQHA Convention and how AQHA rules are made.