By Laurie Haughton, Chair, CQHA Media, Marketing & Communications Committee
In its inaugural year, the CQHA Canadian National Amateur Team Tournament (CNATT) was more successful than anyone could have imagined! Developed by the CQHA’s membership committee, CNATT was a program designed to target the Quarter Horse industry’s largest and most lucrative population, our Canadian American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) amateur members. The 2022 CNATT roster consisted of ten teams of ten AQHA amateur exhibitors from across the country.
Each team was sponsored by a Canadian-owned and/or bred AQHA stallion. In appreciation of this support, each team member promoted their stallion through their personal social media account and by wearing stallion-sponsored merchandise at the shows they attended. These activities, along with some other fun non-horse events and contests, provided an additional way for team members to earn team points outside of their placings at 2022 Canadian AQHA sanctioned events hosted from May 1 to December 31, 2022.
“Canadian Quarter Horse owners came together through social media to support each other during the pandemic, and to keep that communication and momentum going the CQHA membership committee wanted to develop a program that would keep the community members invested in each other as we return to a regular show season,” said tournament chairperson Joelle Johnson of Drumheller, Alberta.
Laurie Haughton, the chair of CQHA’s Media Marketing and Communication’s committee, stated: “The tournament was welcomed with great excitement across Canada and attracted interest from a wide variety of Canadian AQHA amateurs who compete in everything from reining and halter to walk/jog and cow horse events. CQHA’s social media has been abuzz all season with talk of the tournament and team members supporting each other and the program with the extensive use of the hashtags that the program employed.”
The hope was that the 100 Canadian amateurs and ten Canadian-owned AQHA stallions involved in the 2022 tournament would be the beginning of a new program which CQHA could expand in the coming years; what it developed into was a program worth over $15,000 in sponsorship monies and prizes, none of which the committee solicited, and stallion owners are already inquiring about sponsoring teams for 2023.
The original inspiration was to use CNATT as a way to keep Canadians connected and supportive of each other by using the excitement of competing with their Quarter Horses as the common denominator no matter what discipline. In keeping with this, the membership committee has plans to expand the number of teams for 2023 and also allow team members to compete at AQHA/CQHA Alliance Partner sanctioned events such as, rodeo, reining, cutting, and hunter-jumper events to earn points for their team.
Thank you to our Program Sponsors:
- American Quarter Horse Association
- Official Awards Sponsor: Rose Fire Saddles
- Official Digital Media Partner: Show Horse Today
- Ace Therapy Canada, CQHA’s Official BEMER Partner
- Tendo Enterprises, supporting non-horse activities
If you are interested in learning more about being a team sponsor or member in 2023, please email admin@CQHA.ca.