Colleen McQuay, along with her husband Tim, own and operate McQuay Stables, Inc. in Tioga, Texas. The business consists of three divisions: Breeding, Reining training and sales, and Hunter-Jumper training and sales.
As a rider, Colleen earned numerous USEF championships in the hunter divisions while also competing at the AQHA events. She is a six-time Congress champion, with numerous AQHA World Championships as well.
Over the past 25 years, with the help of her husband and other mentors in the hunter business, she has trained both horses and riders to many wins and championships.
McQuay students have earned Youth, Amateur, and Open AQHA World Championships, numerous Congress Titles, USEF Championships, World Jr. Hunter Championship, and USEF top ten titles.
She has trained and developed such horses as Stallone – AHSA Top Ten Large Junior Hunter; River Rodes – USEF Top Ten Amateur Owner Hunter 18-30; Brother Streakin (aka Chance) – two-time World Champion; Lonsum Zippo (aka Ziplock) – AJQHA and AQHA World Champion as well as AQHA/AHSA Best of Americas Horse Small Junior Hunter Champion; and Silver Spirit – USET/ROLEX Talent Derby Champion (along with Patty Stovel).
Colleen coached her daughter, Mandy, to top ribbons as a Junior rider throughout the country, including Reserve Champion large junior hunter and winner of the prestigious Winners Stake at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show as well as the bronze medal on her jumper and the team silver. Mandy was Grand Amateur Owner Hunter Champion at Cincinnati and was Amateur/Owner Hunter Champion seven out of nine times throughout the country her last year on River Rodes. Mandy also placed in many Southwest Grand Prixs and was the winner of the $10,000 Cosequin High Jumper Classic at Culpepper. Mandy also earned High Amateur Classic Wins at very prestigious shows such as the Indio, CA circuit and the Kentucky Spring show series.
Mandy and her husband Tom McCutcheon have both earned the distinction of being Million Dollar earners in National Reining Horse Association competition, and Mandy was inducted in to the NRHA Hall of Fame in 2011. Following in their footsteps is their son, Cade, who is a dedicated rider and showman, making the L4 NRHA Futurity Non Pro Finals at the age of 12, breaking Mandy's previous record. Their daughter, Carlee, enjoys showing Hunter ponies with Colleen and participates in Short Stirrup Reining at NRHA events.
With assistant Alexandra Ansteth now in the irons, Colleen divides her time between training her Hunters and Jumpers and helping with the Reining horse training. She also instructs clinics and helps other trainers to develop their overall training programs or correct specific problems. “I’ve been very honored to work with some of the top trainers in the country,” Colleen says.
Colleen has also helped to develop some of the top equine events and programs in both the Hunter/Jumper and Reining worlds. Starting in the mid 1980’s, she was a member of the team which developed and produced the NRHA Derby in St. Paul, Minnesota where the Freestyle Reining, Celebrity Reining and the intermediate divisions were born. It was also in St. Paul that the first Reining Nations Cup Competition took place initiated by Colleen and Ami Rossi.
In the past she has served on the board of the National Reining Horse Association, where she was on the Show Standard Committee and initiated the NRHA show rating system. In addition, she served on the Executive Board and chaired Event Production Committee for the two major NRHA shows, the Futurity and Derby.
Colleen continues to be a part of the team which developed and now maintains the National Reining Breeders Classic, a unique breeders program that produces the second-highest added money reining event in the industry, paying over one million in one class. The foal nomination formula which she helped develop for the NRBC is now integrated into the NRHA Futurity Program.
In the Hunter Jumper world, Colleen continues to serve as a founding board member of the United States Hunter Jumper Association. In addition, Colleen is a founding member of the USHJA International Hunter Derby, serves as a member of the USHJA Hunter Working Group, and a member of the Super Series Group, pilots of the Texas Pre-Green Super Stake Series which has paid out over $230,000 to enrollees in its first two years. After launching the Texas Pre-Green Series, Colleen was instrumental in the USHJA's launch of their national Pre-Green Incentive Program in 2013. She also serves as chair of the Hunter Development Task Force.
Serving on the USEF High Performance Reining Committee, Colleen is also a founding member of USA Reining. As a founder and developer of the National Reining Breeders Classic and the Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic, Colleen has spent countless hours working to better the Reining industry.
Colleen has served as a consultant for both Reining and Hunter events and private clients, and enjoys sharing her perspective in an effort to build these industries and the programs of industry participants.
Even after decades in the industry, her sincere love of horses permeates and guides everything she does – from administrative direction to hands on horsemanship. Through her administration and implementation skills, Colleen has become known as a driving force in the equine world. Those who know her best cite her as an unquestionably great horsewoman; one with an uncanny eye for spotting equine talent, an unerring knack for keeping horses sound and working to potential, an an exceptionally skilled coach of riders of all skill levels.
Read Colleen's article in Practical Horseman HERE
Read Colleen's article in Chronicle of the Horse HERE