angle-left AQHA Convention: Are You in the Know?

AQHA Convention: Are You in the Know?

AQHA breaks down the Association’s rule-change process, starting from when an AQHA member submits a rule change to how new rules become approved.

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The American Quarter Horse Association is an organization that works for its members. Each spring, AQHA holds an annual convention to review member-submitted rule-change proposals, elect new AQHA directors, induct new members into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and elect members to the AQHA Executive Committee. The 2020 AQHA Convention is March 13-16 at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

AQHA’s Rule-Change Process
Each year, AQHA members submit rule-change proposals by December 31. To get an item on a committee’s agenda, members fill out a form and submit it to AQHA by the deadline. Once the rule change proposal is submitted, it is sent to the appropriate standing committee.

Before meeting as a committee at convention, each committee member receives the member-submitted proposals so they are prepared to discuss and consider them with their committee at convention. Members who submit rule-change proposals and register for convention have the opportunity to address their proposal with the committee. However, if individuals can’t make it to convention, support materials can be submitted and will be taken into consideration during committee discussion.

Committee meetings are open to registered convention attendees and are conducted in two sessions: a session in which noncommittee members can join in the discussion of the committee and a session in which the discussion is limited to committee members only. Occasionally, a meeting may move into a “committee members only” session per direction of the committee or chairperson, and only committee members are allowed in the room at that time.

After each AQHA standing committee meets and votes on which member-submitted proposals to advance, or modify and advance, the chairman of the committee presents a report to the general membership at a meeting held on the Monday of convention.

The membership in attendance at the Monday meeting then votes on which committee recommendations to advance, or modify and advance, to the board of directors. The directors are also elected at this meeting. The membership is responsible for voting on the slate of board of directors recommended by the AQHA Nominations and Credentials Committee.

From there, the board of directors vote on whether to advance or modify and advance, the membership’s recommendations to the AQHA Executive Committee, unless the rule-change recommendations pertain to bylaws or rules of registration. The board of directors has the final say when it comes to AQHA’s bylaws and rules of registration. Both board meetings during convention are open for observation to all registered convention attendees.

The board of directors’ recommendations then go to the AQHA Executive Committee to consider during its April meeting. The Executive Committee can approve, modify, table, deny or send a recommendation back for consideration at the next year’s convention. There are various reasons for the Executive Committee’s decisions – feasibility of implementation, programming conflicts, budget and many other reasons.

After the Executive Committee meeting, the new rules and when they will become effective are announced on The approved rules are also added to the following year’s AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations.

As a reminder, AQHA and The American Quarter Horse Journal are the official source for all Association news. Any updates or rule changes will be posted after the April Executive Committee meeting.

For more information on the AQHA convention, visit

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