The Pay-Off

How the AQHA Incentive Fund made showing more lucrative for one member.

Submitted by Beth Ann Conrad

The AQHA Incentive Fund is a well-established program to help you increase the returns you get from exhibiting or breeding your American Quarter Horse. Beth Ann Conrad has been an AQHA member since 1990. Here, she shares the story of how her Incentive Fund horse, Atta Dirty Dancer (aka "Juice"), made her a fan of the Incentive Fund for life. "My horse, Atta Dirty Dancer, was my first homebred horse. He ended up being a show horse by default. I never showed until I had him. I was just breeding for another horse to trail ride, as my grade trail horse was getting up in age, and I figured when this one was old enough, the other one could retire. I paid him up in the Incentive Fund since it was a reasonable amount. "A friend of mine had this big gray mare named Happyatta that was the smoothest horse to ride, though not much to look at. I wanted a gray horse that moved like her, but wanted something a little prettier. I found a stud I thought she'd cross well with.

The stallion was Commanders Dancer. His owners were willing to work with me and suggested that in order to save some money on the stud fee, I should purchase a breeding through one of the futurities offered by the Ohio Quarter Horse Association. The Northern Ohio Futurity was available. I paid $300 for the breeding. It was the best $300 I ever spent.

Whether you've got a stallion, mare, or gelding, the AQHA Incentive Fund can help you rack up the returns. See what it can do for you today.

"We rode in parades, won three Ohio Quarter Horse Association Futurity awards and earned points in events. My horse being in the Incentive Fund kept me in showing. I usually made enough money to cover all my stall costs for the next year, and I saved enough of it to buy a nice saddle, which I still have. "Juice was the best horse to be around. He loved to be loved on. He would pack kids all over. He was a great babysitter. He also loved to trail ride. We would take weekends and ride for hours when not showing. We would pack a lunch and ride in the Mohican Forest near where I lived in Ohio. He loved to lie down in the river that ran through the forest. He would go completely under water and then jump up and scare people canoeing on the river. "In 2008, Juice died of complications resulting from laminitis. My years with him were the greatest 20 years of my life. "All of the horses I own now are Incentive Fund-eligible. I think it is a program that can always be counted on for a little extra incentive to come to an AQHA event, put points on your horse and recoup a little of the cost. After 20 years of showing, I'm still a firm believer in the benefits of the Incentive Fund. I believe it is also a real benefit when selling a horse."

The AQHA Incentive Fund helped make showing worthwhile for Beth Ann. See how it can help pay off for you, too!

Incentive Fund Points of Interest

  • For a stallion's offspring to be eligible, he must be enrolled by November 30 prior to each breeding season at a fee based on the number of mares on his previous year's breeding report. This annual enrollment makes his foals resulting from that breeding year eligible to be nominated into the program.
  • Youth and Novice competitors are not eligible for Incentive Fund returns.
  • The money won by a horse is divided three ways: The stallion nominator for the appropriate breeding year receives 10 percent, the nominator of the foal receives 10 percent and the remaining 80 percent goes the recorded owner of the horse who won the points.
  • Foals can be nominated until they are 24 months of age. However, it is more cost-effective to nominate the foal before 12 months of age, since the nomination fee increases after the 12-month point.
  • For points earned in 2008, more than $4.3 million was distributed among stallion nominators, foal nominators and recorded owners.
  • For 2008, Incentive Fund-enrolled horses earned a total of 147,864 points.
  • For 2008, the monetary value assigned to each point earned was $22.35.

Beth Ann's horse was at the top of his game when they showed together. This year, many horses at the top of their game will be at the AQHA World Championship Show November 6-21, 2009. You can choose to have a World Show program mailed to you.