2023 AQHA Standing-Committee Reports Available

2023 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 2023 AQHA Convention in Fort Worth, Texas.

mare and foal in grass pasture in front of purple mountain range (Credit: Kati Clyde)

text size

The American Quarter Horse Association Executive Committee met in April to review the standing-committee recommendations approved at the 2023 AQHA Convention by the AQHA membership and 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. View the bylaw and registration changes.

All committee recommendations were reviewed for feasibility based on a variety of criteria, including but not limited to available resources, budget constraints and necessary computer programming. Careful consideration, discussion and debate were devoted to each item. Below are the highlights of approved agenda items from the 2023 standing-committee reports. Read the full committee reports.

All rules are effective January 1, 2024, unless noted otherwise.

AQHA Amateur Committee

  • Create a task force with members from the Amateur, Show and Judges committees and show managers to investigate how age groups would impact the amateur division.

  • Continue the Entry-Level Involvement Task Force.

2023-24 AQHA Amateur Committee Chairwoman: Rebecca Halvorson

AQHA International Committee

  • Continue the international drug testing task force for one more year.

  • Accept the Chile Quarter Horse Association as a developing affiliate.

2023-24 AQHA International Committee Chairman: Victor Wolf

AQHA Judges Committee

  • Amend SHW912.2 to "judges may not judge two consecutive years at the same show, set of shows or circuit except when judging cutting, working cow horse, roping, team penning, ranch sorting, speed events, ranch riding, ranch trail, versatility ranch horse or ranching heritage challenge events where they may judge up to two consecutive years. EWD and speed events are exempt from the two-year maximum.”

  • Amend SHW912.4, "judges may not judge two shows within 150 miles of each other within 30 days, except he/she may judge multiple shows on the same grounds on consecutive days as long as the judge does not judge a particular class but one time during those shows or when judging speed events."

  • Amend SHW380, SHW438 and SHW622 to eliminate Off Patterns (OP’s), from Level 1 Showmanship, Western Horsemanship and Hunt Seat Equitation. Recommend that judges continue to score when a disqualification occurs.

2023-24 AQHA Judges Committee Chairman: Larry Little

AQHA Marketing and Membership Committee

  • Amend GEN107 to allow any individual member to change their name upon request to reflect their government-issued ID. The rule will read as follows:

    • GEN107. The name of a member may be changed to reflect their government-issued ID upon request.

  • Amend GEN105 to increase the name under which a membership may be obtained to 50 characters. The rule will read as follows:

    •  GEN105. The name under which a membership may be obtained is limited to 50 characters including letters, spaces and marks of punctuation.

2023-24 AQHA Marketing and Membership Committee Chairwoman: Anne Brzezicki

AQHA Nominations and Credentials Committee
There were no bylaw rule-change recommendations from the AQHA Nominations and Credentials Committee.

2023-24 Nominations and Credentials Committee Chairman: Randy Ratliff

AQHA Public Policy Committee

  • Approve the health and well-being policies as submitted by the Equine Health Task Force for inclusion in AQHA’s Legislative and Regulatory Policy Book.

  • Strongly encourage all federal and state regulatory bodies to protect sanctioned horseracing from illicit activity to ensure the health and welfare of racing American Quarter Horses.

  • Appoint a task force to revitalize AQHA’s grassroots public policy communications network.

2022-23 AQHA Public Policy Committee Chairman: James Clement

AQHA Racing Committee

  • Implement the following changes to the AQHA Racing Champions Selection Committee process:

    • Cease publishing individual votes of committee members.

    • Direct staff to present a proposal at the 2023 AQHA Racing Conference to move the meeting process to a digital meeting platform, such as Zoom.

  • The Executive Committee approved individuals to serve on the 2023 Champions Selection Committee, as nominated by the Racing Committee.

  • Modify RAC308.3 and RAC308.4 so that speed indexes are calculated based on the Five Track Average rather than the Minimum Standard Time for any year(s) a previously recognized racetrack does not have three winning electronic times at the distance in any one of the previous three years, effective January 1, 2024.

  • Direct AQHA to release the following statement with regard to unsanctioned horse racing:

    • “AQHA encourages all racing regulatory bodies, as well as horsemen and breeders’ associations, to ban participants in unsanctioned racing.”

2023-24 AQHA Racing Committee Chairman: G.R. Carter Jr.

AQHA Ranching Committee
The Executive Committee approved several modifications related to ranch classes. View all the rules that were affected in the AQHA Ranching Committee report at www.aqha.com/committee-reports. View highlights of the ranching rule change.

2023-24 AQHA Ranching Committee Chairman: Turner Armitage

AQHA Recreational Activities Committee

  • Approve the Affiliate Horseback Riding Incentive Task Force and Affiliate Horseback Riding Membership contest as follows:

    • The contest period is May 1, 2023 - December 31, 2023.

    • Affiliates will receive one credit for each new AQHA Horseback Riding enrollment during the above defined period.

    • AQHA will contact each AQHA affiliate regarding the Horseback Riding Affiliate Rewards Program. The affiliate must contact the AQHA Horseback Riding Team to opt into the program and receive promotional information.

    • The AQHA Horseback Riding Team will verify all enrollments.

    • The AQHA affiliate accumulating the largest number of credits for new AQHA Horseback Riding members in the defined period of time will be awarded a certificate for a custom Billy Cook saddle to be used at the affiliate’s discretion.

2023-22 AQHA Recreational Activities Committee Chairman: Karl Bauer

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 www.aqha.com/committee-reports.

2023-24 Show Committee Chairman: Eugene Spagnola

AQHA Studbook and Registration Committee
Registration-related rule-change proposals were reviewed by the Stud Book and Registration Committee. The committee’s recommendations were approved by AQHA membership and the AQHA Board of Directors at convention. Read more about the registration-related rule changes.

The Executive Committee approved to reappoint the joint committee task force with the international committee to review the international registration process for affiliates with an approved stud book.

2023-24 Studbook and Registration Committee Chairman: Dirk Jones

AQHA Youth Activities Committee

  • Create a points-based scholarship program for youth members competing at AQHA shows, and create a task force to develop a scholarship program outline and criteria.

  • Standardize young adult leadership programs to serve members between the ages of 21 through 35.

  • Discontinue the AQHYA Alumni and Young Adult Task Force and establish a sub-committee of the Youth Activities Committee by the same name focusing on the following topic areas:

    • Efforts and resources on retaining members aging out of youth.

    • Providing career resources such as networking, resources, job opportunities and professional development.

    • Engagement that works for young adults and their busy lives.

  • Explore ways to connect entry-level youth and families with nearby existing lesson barns and professionals through a simple and easy online resource.

2023-24 AQHA Youth Activities Committee Chairwoman: Arizona Parker

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-change proposals 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, 2023, to submit items for the 2024 AQHA Convention, the Association encourages members to submit rule-change proposals as early as possible to give Association staff, committees and councils more time to prepare materials and communicate potential changes before the convention March 15-18, 2024, at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The 2024 rule-change proposal form will be available soon.

Log in to the AQHA Member Services area for a list of the standing committees.

For more information on the AQHA Convention, visit www.aqha.com/convention.

*Pending further review regarding feasibility of recommendation, including but not limited to available resources, budget constraints and necessary computer programming.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA on Twitter and visit www.aqha.com/news.