The American Quarter Horse Association has hired John Pipkin as the AQHA director of officials. Pipkin will begin his new role on December 4.
As the director of officials, Pipkin will be responsible for overseeing the direction of the AQHA judges, stewards and drug-testing programs. He will work alongside the show department and judges committee members to provide industry-leading service and educational opportunities to advance the mission statement of the Association. Additionally, he will work to advance AQHA’s position as an industry leader while ensuring the integrity of its officials.
“How exciting for me to be joining the AQHA competition team,” said Pipkin. “I have had the pleasure and honor to judge and steward shows, and work alongside my colleagues on AQHA committees and councils for 30-plus years. What a great privilege for me to have served as chair of the judges and show committees and show council, and currently serve on the Professional Horsemen’s Council. My hope is to bring the experience I have gained for AQHA’s benefit and continue working with AQHA’s judges and stewards to provide the best service possible to owners, exhibitors and the horse.”
Pipkin currently serves as the director of the equine industry program at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, while also being a regents professor and Engler Professor of Animal Science. As program director, he oversees the inner workings of the equine program and is the faculty supervisor for the WT Horse Center. He also oversees the judging and equestrian teams for the university and is the head coach for the WT horse judging team. Under his leadership, the judging team has won 160 national, world champion and reserve champion titles; and the equestrian and ranch teams have won over 60 national champion and reserve champion titles.
Outside of the university setting, Pipkin has judged hundreds of shows in several different countries and over 20 world championships, and trained and showed horses professionally in several different disciplines. He has worked with equine and breed associations all over the country and served on various committees. He is an AQHA national director and has served as chairman of the AQHA Judges Committee, AQHA Show and Professional Horsemen Committee, and the AQHA Show Council. Pipkin has also been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, whether that be for his teaching or his devotion to the different aspects of the industry.
“The AQHA Show Department is very excited to have John join our team as director of officials,” said Scott Neuman, AQHA director of competition. “John has judged every major event many times and he has served as the chairman of the AQHA Judges Committee all while actively coaching a champion collegiate judging team. When you combine those judging accolades with his superlative educational credentials, he is a perfect fit as director of officials. We can’t wait for his arrival.”
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