50 year lease in Fort Worth may mean AQHA is leaving Amarillo

The American Quarter Horse Association is exploring the idea of relocating from Amarillo to...
The American Quarter Horse Association is exploring the idea of relocating from Amarillo to Fort Worth. (SOURCE: KFDA)
Updated: Oct. 31, 2019 at 11:42 AM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Fort Worth city council approved a lease Tuesday that could take the international headquarters of the American Quarter Horse Association and Museum from Amarillo to Fort Worth.

According to Fort Worth city documents, the council voted unanimously to approve a ground lease for the construction of a new headquarters and museum. The lease would last 50 years with renewals possible after that. The property is near the Will Rogers Memorial Center. The agreement allows the association to build a headquarters and museum.

The Potter Randall Appraisal district currently values those properties in Amarillo at a combined value of $8.2 million.

The deal also includes a 25 percent discount on rent each year the AQHA Youth World Championships Show and the AQHA World Championship show are held in Fort Worth. Last yea,r the association’s largest event for seniors moved from Amarillo to Fort Worth. The agreement also allows for discounts for other events going there and for donations of items like horse trailers or horses to the Fort Worth Police Department Mounted Patrol or Forth Worth Herd.

According to the agreement, the AQHA must complete construction within three years. The city will provide improvements like sewer and storm water service and road improvements.

AQHA declined comment but posted this statement yesterday.

This action by the Fort Worth City Council does not mean AQHA has made a definitive commitment to relocate. This is only a step in the process of the possibility of a move. There is no timeline for construction or relocation, as relocation is not guaranteed at this point. It’s important to understand that a move is not imminent and there is no plan for future staffing changes.

Earlier this year, Craig Huffhines, the executive vice president of AQHA, announced the possible relocation.

Community members spoke on their concerns about how the move could impact the area.

There are numerous activities for the breed including racing, cutting, pleasure riding and showing.

According to the association’s records, it formed in 1940 at a meeting in Fort Worth. It is the international register for the breed and in 1974 marked its one millionth registration.

The association opened its new Amarillo offices east of the downtown highway interchange on Quarter Horse Drive in 1984 and built the hall of fame and museum next to its headquarters in 1989. Before that, its offices were on Southwest Tenth Avenue west of Washington Street.

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