VIO330 - 334. Alteration of Tail Function

VIO330. ALTERATION OF TAIL FUNCTION. For the purpose of this rule, normal tail function is defined as “being able to raise the tail to or above the horizontal plane.” See diagram below. A horse’s inability to raise its tail to or above the horizontal plane in response to a tail test conducted on-site by an AQHA-approved veterinarian shall be considered a violation of this rule. An AQHA-approved veterinarian may examine any registered American Quarter Horse for an altered tail if entered in any event held in conjunction with an AQHA-approved show, whether or not said event is approved by AQHA.

Alteration of Tail Function

  • VIO330.1 The above prohibition includes application or administration of any drug, chemical, foreign substance, surgical procedure, or trauma, accidental or intentional (as to trauma, this prohibition applies to horses foaled after January 1, 1990), which results in, or could result in, alteration of normal tail function, carriage, conformation or overall appearance of the horse.
VIO331. The Responsible Party is eligible for disciplinary sanctions, whether or not they had actual knowledge of the trauma, authorized the surgical procedure or directly participated in the administration of any drug, chemical or foreign substance that altered normal tail function. Purchase and subsequent exhibition of a horse with such condition in an approved show makes an individual a Responsible Party under this rule. Violation of this rule is grounds for the Executive Committee, or an appropriate committee of AQHA, to take disciplinary actions according to AQHA’s disciplinary procedures.

If, upon examination by AQHA or show representative (after obtaining prior AQHA authorization), a horse’s tail function or appearance is found to be abnormal, the horse shall be immediately reported to AQHA. Upon written notification to the owner by AQHA, the horse’s participation privileges in AQHA-approved events may be temporarily suspended pending hearing.

A horse found to have abnormal tail function or appearance may have its participation privileges reinstated if, upon examination by AQHA’s approved veterinarians, the tail is found to be normal in both appearance and function. Unless otherwise specified herein, a minimum of one year from the time of suspension of privileges must elapse before the horse is eligible for re-examination at the owner’s expense. After such examination, participation privileges of the horse will remain suspended until reconsideration by the Executive Committee or any appropriate committee of AQHA, which the owner must request in writing. The owner shall have the burden of persuasion to prove normal tail function and appearance.

In the case of trauma to a horse’s tail which does alter or could result in alteration of tail function, to shorten the stipulated one-year period prior to consideration for reinstatement provided above, the owner shall file a written report concerning the injury and its circumstance with AQHA within 30 days of the occurrence.
  • VIO334.1 Upon receipt of this report, at the owner’s expense, AQHA may require a veterinarian examination that becomes a part of the horse’s file. The veterinarian must be approved by AQHA.
  • VIO334.2 Within one year from the filing date by the owner of the trauma report, if the Executive Committee has, in the meantime, barred the horse from participation in AQHA-approved events, or if an owner’s report has been filed, after one year from the date of Executive Committee action barring the horse, the owner may request, in writing, a re-examination of the horse and rehearing before the Executive Committee for a determination as to whether the horse’s tail function, carriage, conformation and overall appearance is normal. If the Executive Committee’s determination is adverse, the owner may repeat his request for reinstatement at the expiration of one year from the date of the latest hearing. The owner shall have the burden of persuasion to prove normal tail function and appearance.