January 22nd, 2022

Hatter wins horse racing special achievement

By JAMES TUBB on January 15, 2022.

Medicine Hat's Ross Brigden accepts the Gordon Crone Special Achievement award that is given yearly to an outstanding man within the American Quarter Horse racing industry to recognize his achievement within the industry. Brigden was given the award on Jan. 12 in Oklahoma.--SCREENSHOT AQHA RACING AWARD SHOW

jtubb@medicinehatnews.com@ReporterTubb

Ross Brigden isn’t one to brag about awards.

The Hatter was named the winner of the American Quarter Horse Association’s Gordon Crone Special Achievement award on Wednesday.

He told the News on Friday in a phone interview from Oklahoma, where the awards were presented, that it felt great to be selected.

“There’s a lot of good people that probably deserved it,” Brigden said. “They voted on it, I was fortunate enough to win it and it makes you feel great, no doubt about it.”

Brigden has been a member of the AQHA since the 1970s and is the first Canadian to receive the Gordon Crone Special Achievement, which is voted on by the AQHA Racing Committee and given yearly to an outstanding man within the American Quarter Horse racing industry to recognize his achievement within the industry.

Brigden said it’s an honour to be the first Canadian to receive it.

“For a Canadian to win it, that’s pretty good, I’m happy,” Brigden said.

The AQHA functions as the official record-keeping and governing body of the American Quarter Horse industry and was founded in 1940. Brigden is an AQHA director-at-large and a member of the AQHA Racing Council. He has twice been the Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association’s president.

Brigden said he was voted onto the racing council two or three times and said it was just an honour to be able to do that.

Horse racing has been a hobby for Brigden as he’s had other business in the Hat. When asked what it is about horse racing that’s made him do it for decades, he likened the hobby to something he can’t control.

“It’s like a disease, once it gets in your blood you either enjoy it or you don’t and I’ve enjoyed it,” Brigden said. “It’s hard to quit.”

He said he’s been too big to be a rider but said he’s bred and trained a lot of horses over the years.

In its press release on the awards, the AQHA highlighted some of Brigden’s work as a breeder and trainer.

“During his career as a trainer, Brigden saddled graded stakes winners Katies Sign and A Special Martini and trained the earners of nearly $1 million. He has bred the earners of nearly $500,000, including stakes winners Snoboat and Princess Of Zoom.”

On reflection of getting the award, Brigden said he won’t change the way he works and said it will be business as usual for the Hatter in his 70s. He said he’s just happy he was considered for the award. He also said he’s just glad to be recognized by his colleagues.

“I’m so happy I got it but what do you say, I’m not one to brag, I’m just happy I got it,” Brigden said.

“Extremely happy that my fellow horsemen and horsewomen voted for me and I won the award, that just makes me happy. It’s not just something they just give you, I guess you have to earn it.”

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[…] interviewed just days after being honoured with the award by the Mediciane Hat News, Brigden said it’s an honour to be the first Canadian to receive it. “For a Canadian to win it, […]