angle-left 2019 AQHA Standing-Committee Reports Available

2019 AQHA Standing-Committee Reports Available

The AQHA Executive Committee recently reviewed and took action on recommendations from the AQHA Board of Directors, which met at the 2019 AQHA Convention in Fort Worth, Texas.

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The American Quarter Horse Association Executive Committee met April 2-4 in Amarillo to review the standing-committee recommendations approved at the 2019 AQHA Convention by the AQHA Board of Directors, with the exception of those related to bylaw changes and rules of registration, for which final approval lies with the board of directors. Even though some agenda items were not approved, careful consideration, discussion and debate were devoted to each item. Below are the highlights of approved agenda items from the 2019 standing-committee reports. Read the full committee reports at

All rules are effective January 1, 2020, unless noted otherwise.

AQHA Amateur Committee
The Executive Committee approved to:

  • Modify SHW804 to allow Select all-around titles to count toward earning a superior all-around award. **
  • Modify SHW240.4 the term of the lease must be for a minimum one year period, and the lease must be to an individual only. If the lease is terminated for any reason other than the death of the lessee before the minimum one year period, the following penalties/restrictions shall apply except as provided by the International Lease for World Championship Show rules:
    • SHW240.4.1 unless the lessor pays a $1,000 early termination penalty (“Termination Penalty”), the horse can only be shown in the Open Division, Level 1 classes and/or Rookie classes until one year has passed since the original start date of the lease;
    • SHW240.4.2 regardless of whether the Termination Penalty is paid, the horse shall be ineligible to participate in AQHYA World Show, AQHA Select World Show and/or AQHA World Championship Show that occur in the same year that the lease was terminated; and
    • SHW240.4.3 regardless of whether the Termination Penalty is paid, any points earned with said horse will not count toward Year End Awards until one year has passed since the original start date of the lease; however, such points will be recorded on the horse’s permanent record.
  • Add SHW245.3.6, which makes any youth or amateur competing on an NCEA Equestrian Team on a scholarship or riding as a starting exhibitor ineligible for Level 1 in the classes for which they compete.
  • Allow participants competing at the Select World Show or AQHA World Show to be eligible for the Select All-Around Amateur Award and All-Around Amateur Award, respectively, provided they meet the requirements for tabulation, regardless of their method of qualifying. (Previously, only national point qualifiers are eligible.). **
  • Form a task force to review amateur eligibility guidelines with respect to AQHA Alliance Partner, National Cutting Horse Association.

2019-20 AQHA Amateur Committee Chairwoman: Cheryllee Sargent

AQHA Equine Research Committee
The Executive Committee approved the American Quarter Horse Foundation funding $209,495.17 for the following research projects:

  • Evaluation of Single-Dose Misoprotosol for Reducing Effects of Endotoxemia in Adult Horses at Auburn University.
  • Metabolite Profiles of Tendons and Ligaments in Equine Patients at Colorado State University.
  • Influence of Circle Size and Speed on Forces Experienced by Horses at Michigan State University.
  • Impact of Cryopreservation on Distribution of IZUM01 in Stallion Spermatoza at Texas A&M University.
  • Entry and Modulation of Signaling Pathways of Macrophages by Rhodococcus equi at Texas A&M University.
  • Field Evaluation of a Rapid, Mobile, Novel Sequencing Technology for the Detection of Equine Herpesvirus-1 in Equine Nasal Secretions at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.

2019-20 AQHA Research Committee Chairman: Dr. Jason Bruemmer

AQHA International Committee
The Executive Committee approved:

  • The Asociacion Balear del Caballo Cuarto de Milla as a new AQHA International Affiliate in Spain and request that the organization modify its name to Asociacion Espana del Caballa Cuarto de Milla, if legal to do so.
  • The Slovak Association of Western Riding and Rodeo as a new AQHA International Affiliate in Slovakia.
  • Formation of a task force to explore ways to increase international participation at AQHA world championship shows.
  • Formation of a task force to address international showing welfare concerns.
  • Establishing a training and credentialing process for international show stewards as recommended by the AQHA International Stewards Task Force.
  • Formation of a joint task force between the AQHA International Committee and the AQHA Nominations and Credentials Committee to explore international representation on the AQHA Board of Directors.

2019-20 AQHA International Committee Chairman: Jose Ignacio “Nacho” de Mendiguren

AQHA Judges Committee
The Executive Committee approved amendments to rule SHW909 to read: International AQHA-approved judges resident in an international country may make four trips or judge four shows in any one country in a calendar year.**

2019-20 AQHA Judging Committee Chairman: John Pipkin

AQHA Marketing and Membership Committee
The Executive Committee approved the recommendation for AQHA staff to support the development of a tiered membership concept and to form a task force to examine a discounted fee or rewards program for AQHA members doing a certain volume of business.

The AQHA Marketing and Membership Committee spent the majority of its time in a workshop setting, discussing member value proposition and levels of membership. The committee provided input on a prototype for a member dashboard. The following items will be worked through existing subcommittees:

  • A variety of potential membership tiers and associated benefits.
  • Target audiences for membership acquisition.
  • The evaluation of membership length and cost options.
  • Additional benefits, like the dashboard, for added value.
  • A breakdown of available programs and member benefits for specific member personas.

2019-20 AQHA Marketing and Membership Committee Chairman: Marc Ristow

AQHA Nominations and Credentials Committee
Two bylaw changes were approved by the Nominations and Credentials Committee at the 2019 convention. The committee’s recommendations were approved by the AQHA Board of Directors at convention. Read more about the bylaw changes.

2019-20 Nominations and Credentials Committee Chairwoman: Georgianna Renouard

AQHA Public Policy Committee
The Executive Committee approved to:

  • Actively advocate for increased funding in the Veterans Benefits Administration budget for Equine Assisted Activity Therapy.
  • Continue working with industry partners to identify a long-term solution to eliminate chronic labor shortages by raising the cap for guest-worker visas.
  • Continue supporting tax extender legislation for the accelerated depreciation of racehorses.
  • Continue supporting the Prevent All Sorting Tactics Act (H.R. 693).
  • Continue to oppose the Safeguard American Food Exports Act (H.R. 961).
  • Continue to oppose the Horse Racing Integrity Act.
  • Advocate for the inclusion of the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act and the Recreation Not Red Tape Act in a “land package” to address trail maintenance issues.
  • Continue to pursue regulatory and legislative options that would exempt the livestock industry from mandatory use of electronic logging devices.
  • Support the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ position on the management of Bureau of Land Management wild horses and burros.
  • Request funding from the Animal Welfare Council to fund an update to AQHA’s 50-state statutory survey defining how horses are categorized as “livestock” or “companion animals.”
  • Support an AQHA public policy congressional internship program via the American Quarter Horse Foundation, with start-up funding of $5,000.
  • Fund-raise to implement the George Phillips Memorial Congressional Fellowship Program to support AQHA’s public policy lobbying and fundraising efforts.
  • Appoint a task force to update AQHA’s position and messaging on horses in transition.
  • Appoint new Political Action Committee trustees.

2019-20 AQHA Public Policy Committee Chairman: Dr. Calvin White

AQHA Racing Committee
The Executive Committee approved:

  • The appointment of individuals selected for the 2019 Champions Selection Committee.
  • Re-establish the International Racing Subcommittee.
  • AQHA legal counsel’s verbiage was approved modifying the AQHA Policy Concerning Awards & Publicity to include jurisdictional rulings for failure to report for out-of-competition testing.
  • Recommend AQHA, as the Quarter Horse breed registry, collaborate with The Jockey Club advising Equibase and other TJC holdings to be consistent with the following: “Any purse earnings paid out on a no-contest race shall be counted in the horse’s earning record.”

2019-20 AQHA Racing Committee Chairman: Mark Brown

AQHA Ranching Committee
The Executive Committee approved several modifications and new rules related to ranch classes. View all the rules that were affected in the AQHA Ranching Committee report at Rule changes will also be shared on

2019-20 AQHA Ranching Committee Chairman: Alex Ross

AQHA Recreational Activities Committee
The Executive Committee challenged the Recreational Activities Committee to explore the development of the Youth Weanling Challenge, as proposed by the Youth Involvement Subcommittee. The Executive Committee approved for the Recreational Activities Outreach Subcommittee, along with AQHA staff, to develop a survey of Horseback Riding Program participants and recreational riding-interested members to gain information to help meet the needs of those AQHA members. The Executive Committee also approved for the committee to develop a contest among AQHA affiliates to enroll new Horseback Riding Program members.  

2019-20 AQHA Recreational Activities Committee Chairman: Bill Horton

AQHA Show Committee
The Executive Committee approved modifications to several show rules. More details on these rule changes are available in the AQHA Show Committee Report at and will also be released on

2019-20 Show Committee Chairman: Tom McBeath

AQHA Studbook and Registration Committee
The Stud Book and Registration Committee did not have any approved rule changes from the 2019 AQHA Convention. Read more about the items tabled to be reviewed at the 2020 convention.

2019-2020 Studbook and Registration Committee Chairman: Jimmy Eller

AQHA Youth Activities Committee
The Executive Committee approved:

  • The creation of a scholarship program through the American Quarter Horse Foundation, benefiting youth members at the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.
  • The continuation of the Youth Activities Committee’s Young Adult Joint Committee Task Force to encourage young adult involvement with members of the Amateur, Marketing and Membership, and Youth Activities committees.

The committee also discussed various topics, including supporting a ranch riding division in National High School Rodeo Association events, technologies in youth programs, an overview of AQHYA programs, exploring a potential youth weanling challenge program and a variety of other ideas to grow AQHYA membership and encourage involvement from current youth members.

2019-20 AQHA Youth Activities Committee Chairwoman: Jennifer Horton

About the AQHA Convention and Rule Changes
AQHA is an organization that works for its members. Each spring, AQHA holds a convention to review AQHA rules and policies. During the convention, member-submitted rule changes and suggestions are also reviewed. AQHA wants to hear any suggestions you have to make AQHA membership, programs and services reach their fullest potential.

Even though members have until December 31, 2019, to submit items for the 2020 AQHA Convention, the Association encourages members to submit items as early as possible to give Association staff, committees and councils more time to prepare materials and communicate potential changes before the convention March 13-16, 2020, in Las Vegas.

Read more about AQHA’s rule-change process or watch this video on AQHA’s YouTube channel. Log in to the AQHA Member Services area for a list of the standing committees.

For guidelines on writing proposed rule changes, visit Submit a rule change to be reviewed at the 2020 AQHA Convention by using this form.

If you have any questions on the 2019 committee reports or about submitting a rule change, contact us!

For more information on the AQHA convention, visit

**Denotes pending computer programming.

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