Dedication to the Welfare of the American Quarter Horse

Dedication to the Welfare of the American Quarter Horse

The well-being of the American Quarter Horse is protected by the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission with the implementation of rules, regulations and programs.

palomino horse photo by Elizabeth Hay for 2018 AQHA Calendar contest

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The American Quarter Horse Association’s top priority is to ensure every American Quarter Horse shall at all times be treated humanely with dignity, respect and compassion. Recognizing that animal welfare is the single most important issue facing the equine industry today, the AQHA Executive Committee created the Animal Welfare Commission in 2012 to protect the welfare of the American Quarter Horse. From new rules and protocols to implementing programs and resources for horsemen, the animal welfare commission has made tremendous strides since its inception. AQHA is dedicated to the welfare of the American Quarter Horse.

One of the initiatives for AQHA staff in 2023 from Chief Executive Officer Karl Stressman stated the significance of animal welfare and animal welfare education. Taking these steps is not only a year-long goal, but a crucial part of driving AQHA forward for years to come.

AQHA is proud to share the new podcast, “Let’s Talk AQHA,” which features an animal welfare segment in each episode highlighting updates from the Animal Welfare Commission and updating listeners on what is happening in the industry from an animal welfare perspective.

As the largest equine breed registry in the world, AQHA and the Animal Welfare Commission continuously find new ways to ensure that the American Quarter Horse is taken care of.

“Backed by our Executive Committee, and of course staff, we at AQHA have taken a firm stance and are at the forefront of all animal welfare issues,” said AQHA Animal Welfare Commission Chair Robin Frid. “The Animal Welfare Commission is made up of a cross section of passionate industry leaders including several national level veterinarians, ranchers, show and race professionals and recreational riders that represent our nearly 235,000-member association.”

About the Animal Welfare Commission
The AQHA Animal Welfare Commission, which was created by the AQHA Executive Committee in 2012, reports directly to the Executive Committee, which evaluates all proposals in relation to the current state of the industry. The Animal Welfare Commission serves as AQHA’s primary body for rules, policies and procedures related to all areas of animal welfare. In addition, the commission oversees the educational processes associated with AQHA officials responsible for animal welfare.

The Animal Welfare Commission’s mission is to provide a framework for its members to 1.) Identify issues negatively affecting the welfare of the American Quarter Horse, 2.) Stay current on all animal welfare issues and 3.) Recommend actions that will help protect the American Quarter Horse from inhumane practices and AQHA and its members from the negative impacts associated with those practices. The AQHA Animal Welfare Commission will share discussion, action items and recommendations with the Association’s alliance partners to ensure all horses are treated humanely, with dignity, respect and compassion at all time.

AQHA's prohibition against inhumane treatment applies to AQHA members and nonmembers.

AQHA news and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more information visit or tune into our Podcast, “Let's Talk AQHA.”