AQHA to Appeal Verdict

AQHA announces its intentions to overturn the federal jury’s verdict.

The American Quarter Horse Association
August 1, 2013

American Quarter Horse Association

AQHA announced today it will take any and all necessary legal steps to overturn Tuesday’s verdict in the Abraham & Veneklasen Joint Venture et al, v. AQHA lawsuit.

“This morning the Executive Committee unanimously voted to continue to fight for our members’ rights,” said AQHA President Johne Dobbs.

On Tuesday, a 10-person jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division, ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, Abraham & Veneklasen Joint Venture et al. The plaintiffs sued AQHA alleging that AQHA Rule REG106.1, which prohibits the registration of cloned horses and their offspring in AQHA’s breed registry, violates federal and state anti-trust laws. While the jury ruled that AQHA violated anti-trust laws, it awarded no damages to the plaintiffs although the plaintiffs had sought $5.7 million dollars in damages at trial. The 10 day trial began July 17.

AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway, Jr. re-emphasized his disappointment with the trial’s outcome.

“It continues to be our position that our rule prohibiting the registration of clones and their offspring is both reasonable and lawful,” he said.

The lawsuit was filed in April 2012; Rule REG106.1 has been on AQHA’s books since 2004 although clones and their offspring have never been eligible for registration with AQHA.

“When individuals with shared interests, goals and values come together to form a voluntary association to serve a common purpose, the members have a right to determine the rules for their association. The wisdom of our membership – which is largely not in favor of the registration of clones and their offspring – has not been upheld by this verdict,” Treadway said.

“We appreciate the support, phone calls and comments we’ve received from our members since the disappointing verdict. It is clear from our members overwhelming support that they too are deeply disappointed in the verdict and continue to be against the registration of clones and their offspring,” said Treadway. “The membership clearly understands the importance of the members of this Association being able to make their own rules.”

Although a verdict was reached by the jury, a final judgment has not yet been entered, and it is expected that it will take several more days before that final judgment is entered by the court. AQHA will update the membership and board of directors with any developments in this process.

For more information about the cloning lawsuit, view the Cloning Lawsuit Resources pages.