angle-left Additional Animal Welfare Initiatives

Additional Animal Welfare Initiatives

Information on the AQHA Stewards Program, Owner Responsibility, Drug Testing and Responsible Breeding Practices.
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AQHA Stewards
The stewards program was started by AQHA to develop a network of individuals to be advocates for the horse and help ensure fair competition. Stewards also help prevent inhumane practices and unsportsmanlike conduct at AQHA shows and events. The health and well being of the American Quarter Horse is our utmost concern and stewards help to ensure that. Stewards answer exhibitor questions about rules, identify and document inhumane treatment, evaluate any unsafe conditions regarding the show grounds, and guide others on acceptable training practices and equipment. AQHA stewards are trained and tested on AQHA’s rulebook, the stewards training manual, and their ability to handle difficult situations professionally. Most importantly, stewards help protect the breed, advance animal welfare and help ensure the integrity of the competition. The AQHA Animal Welfare Commission helps protect the horse by defining inhumane practices, outlining acceptable training equipment at any AQHA show and outlining a penalty system (Page 15-16 of the Showing section of the AQHA Rulebook) for individuals who violate the rules designed to protect the horse.
Locate Stewards by Region

Owner Responsibility
AQHA believes it’s the owner’s responsibility and, ultimately, their choice regarding decisions concerning the welfare of their horse(s). The Association encourages responsible ownership practices and management that will reduce the number of unwanted horses. Read the Unwanted Horse Coalition's booklet on responsible horse ownership.

AQHA, along with the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the American Veterinary Medical Association, recognizes that the processing of unwanted horses provides a humane euthanasia alternative for horses that might otherwise continue a life of discomfort and pain, or inadequate care or abandonment. AQHA has actively supported legislation to ensure the safe and humane transportation of horses that are bound for processing facilities and backed guidelines for how horses must be treated at the facilities. AQHA supports other choices for unwanted horses, including euthanasia by injection, life in an equine retirement facility, donation to a college or university, or other options.

Drug Testing Program
Read the Rule VIO300-VIO406 in the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules & Regulations.
USEF Therapeutic Medication Hotline if you have questions about medications, call 1-800-633-2472
AQHA Rule VIO401.1 Prohibits an drug or substance considered a Class I or Class II substance as defined in the most recent edition of American Racing Commissioners International Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances. Click here to find out if a drug you are considering using is a Class I or Class II substance.

Considerations for a Responsible Breeder
Information coming soon.