The Pay-Off

Whether you’re into horse-breeding or competing, the AQHA Incentive Fund is a lucrative way to make money.

Submitted by Beth Ann Conrad

The AQHA Incentive Fund provides many benefits to horse owners. Photo by Christine Hamilton

Note: Beth Ann’s story originally appeared on America’s Horse Daily in 2009.

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.

What would you do with a little extra cash? Learn how you can rack up the returns with the AQHA Incentive Fund!

“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 made showing more worthwhile and profitable for Beth Ann. Learn how it can pay off for you!

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. Once enrolled, his foals born in the subsequent year are eligible to be nominated into the fund.
  • Nominated foals competing in amateur and open divisions of AQHA shows earn points that become money at the end of the year.
  • The money won by a horse is divided three ways: The stallion nominator for the appropriate breeding year receives 15 percent, the nominator of the foal receives 15 percent and the remaining 70 percent goes to the recorded owner of the horse who won the points.
  • Foals by eligible stallions can be nominated until they are 24 months of age. However, it is more cost-effective to nominate the foal before seven months of age, since the nomination fee increases after the seven-month point.
  • $1.7 million was distributed among owners, stallion and foal nominators in 2015.
  • Incentive Fund-enrolled foals were paid for a total of 133,357 points in 2015.
  • The monetary value assigned to each point earned was $15.65 for owners in 2015.

Whether you are a breeder or competitor, the AQHA Incentive Fund can truly pay off, just as it did for Beth Ann. Learn more about the Incentive Fund program and how you can get started.