Texoma Quarter Horse Association disbands - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Texoma Quarter Horse Association disbands

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GRAYSON COUNTY -- In an area of Texas where quarter horse ranches line highways, some may find it tough to believe that any organization with the name in its title could disband.

But the Texoma Quarter Horse Association is.

Audra Burnett is the organization's president.

Each year, the Denison-based non-profit earned money to stay afloat by hosting a rodeo at an arena just off Texoma Parkway.

Burnett remembers attending the show growing up.

"This right here was the thing," she said. "Every summer, it was from Wednesday to Saturday night. You had the parade downtown. I mean it was a big deal. You're talking thousands of people."

But dwindling interest in recent years and a lack of support is what Burnett says ultimately led the association to disband in February.

"Over the past year-and-a-half we've maybe had five new people join. It's just not in our community anymore," she said.

She says coming to the decision to end the decade-old organization was tough.

"It was because you're going to have mixed emotions of letting it go and it not being here anymore," she said.

According to the Facebook page for the TQHA, it began in 1955 as a way to introduce children in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas to the 'enjoyment of horses' and the 'ways of the west.'

Tuesday night, Burnett says the association's eight-member board accepted a bid from someone who wants to buy the nine-acre plot of land the arena is on.

She says the money made from the sale will go towards paying off property taxes.

We asked Burnett whether she believes the organization's demise is a sign of the times.

"That's hard to say," she said. "We're just not a rodeo community like some of the other smaller communities like Whitesboro and Durant, that have more of the horses and the big ranches."

The association says the buyer plans to keep the arena and continue to host rodeos.

Any extra money made off the sale of the property will be donated to other non-profits.