The American Quarter Horse Association and Museum is currently located in Amarillo, Texas. This Journal file photo from 2005 shows the office building. (Journal photo by Kylene Scott.)

On Oct. 29, the Fort Worth, Texas, City Council approved the adoption of a ground lease between the city and the American Quarter Horse Association. If developed, the land could house the AQHA headquarters and a museum.

A ground lease is an agreement in which a tenant is permitted to develop a piece of property during the lease period (typically 50 to 99 years) after which the land and all improvements are turned over to the property owner.

The AQHA’s international headquarters is currently located in Amarillo, Texas. The breed registry for quarter horses has recorded nearly 6 million registrations since it was established in March 1940.

Craig Huffhines, AQHA executive vice president, said in February, a group of stakeholders were raising funds for a possible relocation of the AQHA to Fort Worth, Texas.

“This action by external stakeholders and the Fort Worth City Council does not mean AQHA has made a definitive commitment to relocate,” Huffhines said. “This is only a step in the process of the possibility of a move. There is no timeline for relocation.” 

Huffhines added, “we greatly appreciate our Amarillo employees, who are focused on providing quality service to AQHA members worldwide.”

According to an article on, by Rick Mauch, FWBP contributor, the AQHA could have a new home in Cowtown. Part of the article states, “The Fort Worth City Council at it’s Oct. 29 meeting authorized execution of a ground lease between the city and the AQHA and the city of Fort Worth to construct a facility at 1400 Gendy. The association may relocate from Amarillo to the Will Rogers Memorial Center campus. 

The ground lease is only a step in the process of a possible move, according to the Amarillo-based organization. A group of external stakeholders have been working on a possible move. 

According to the article, the ground lease agreement has a 50-year initial term with five 10-year automatic renewal terms. Council also authorized a waiver of the portion of the rent that is proportional to the square footage of the facility used for a public museum.

“The American Quarter Horse Association has been a great partner in the Will Rogers Coliseum and a great member of the equestrian culture of our city. It makes great sense to have it here,” said District 7 Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Dennis Shingleton, in whose district the facility would be.

“Discussions of moving the AQHA headquarters and museum to Fort Worth have been ongoing for some time. Last year, the organization moved the Adequan Select World Championship Show to the Will Rogers Memorial Center for 2019-21. This is the world’s largest, single-breed world championship horse show open exclusively to amateur exhibitors age 50 and over, the pinnacle event for select amateur competitors around the world,” the article stated.

Kylene Scott can be reached at 620-227-1804 or

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