The health and well-being of the American Quarter Horse is AQHA’s utmost concern. In accordance with AQHA’s mission statement, the American Quarter Horse shall be treated humanely, with dignity, respect and compassion at all times. It is the goal of AQHA to educate members and non-members on this issue. The AQHA steward program is one piece in the animal-welfare puzzle.
Designation as an AQHA steward is a privilege, not a right, bestowed by the AQHA Executive Committee according to procedures formulated by it, to individuals whose equine expertise and personal character merit the honor.
AQHA stewards' responsibilities include:
- Monitoring show grounds for inhumane treatment of horses and unsportsmanlike conduct;
- Answering exhibitors' questions about rules;
- Assisting show officials with proper set up of practice jumps and courses;
- Investigating complaints of class filling;
- Evaluating potentially unsafe conditions related to the show, e.g. poor footing in the warm-up area, and bring to attention of show management to correct;
- Issuing warning or removal cards from show ground as warranted according to AQHA rules and/or guidelines;
- Timely filing an AQHA steward's report and evaluation with AQHA;
- Adhering to the AQHA Stewards Code of Ethics
- Are assigned to specific regions
- Are permitted to show in an AQHA competition in which they are not actively stewarding
- Are required to attend steward seminars to expand their knowledge on animal welfare
Refer to AQHA Rule SHW133-134 for more on AQHA stewards.