AQHA's Financial Health

AQHA Treasurer and Acting COO Trent Taylor tells members that the Association’s end-of-year numbers were up.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

"Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words," said AQHA Treasurer and Acting COO Trent Taylor. "Here is a pie chart showing our memberships in blue compared to the other 10 (equine) breed associations' membership numbers."Journal photo

AQHA's core numbers for 2014 tell a distinct story.

“We are coming out of some of the toughest years in AQHA history, and we're moving in the right direction,” AQHA Treasurer & Acting Chief Operating Officer Trent Taylor told AQHA members at the 2015 AQHA Convention in Fort Worth, Texas.

Trent added, “For those of you who normally sleep through the treasurer's report there are three things I want you to remember:  

  1. The audited financials show an increase in assets of $6.6 million.
  2. Net assets increased by almost $5 million; $1.9 million of that was the Association by itself.
  3. There are many positive signs for our industry and this report will reflect those.”

The entire consolidated financial statements are included in the annual report on the website. The audited financial statements are also available individually on the AQHA website. In addition, AQHA directors receive quarterly financial statements to keep them informed on the financial status of AQHA so they will have that information to pass along to the members.

“Please keep in mind that to be in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), our audited financial statements must be a consolidation of the Association, the Foundation, the AQHA Incentive Fund, the Bank of America Racing Challenge and the Robin Glenn Pedigrees, even though we account for all of these as separate companies,” he said.

Here are a few statistics from Trent’s presentation:

  • In 2014, registration numbers were up at 83,146 from 74,114 in 2013, 10,000 more than expected. That’s a 12 percent increase.
  • Transfers were at 123,516 in 2014, up from 122,864 in 2013.
  • For the first time since 2004, stallion breeding reports through the deadline show an increase, although slight, in the number of mares bred.
  • We had an increase in the total number of entries at our shows. Equestrians With Disabilities led the way with the biggest percentage increase followed by youth and amateur entries. Combined show and special-event entries reached 963,525.
  • In racing, total purses for American Quarter Horses ticked up seven-tenths of a percent to more than $126.5 million and average handle increased eight-tenths of a percent to nearly $292 million, which is a true reflection on the health of American Quarter Horse racing. Better news for owners came in the form of an increase of average purse per race (up 5.3 percent to nearly $16,000) and average earnings per starter (up 1.6 percent to $8,100).

Trent used pie charts to show the distinct differences in Association and industry statistics that he was presenting.
 
“When you compare our membership numbers to 10 other equine breed registries, AQHA makes up almost 66 percent of the memberships in equine breed registries,” he explained. “Even though our membership numbers have decreased, our piece of the pie has increased dramatically. In 2006, our piece of the pie was 57.5 percent that’s an 8.5 percent increase.

“Transfers were up slightly this year to 123,516. Comparing our transfers with these five other breed registries. Our piece of the pie represents 70 percent of the transfers reported. Incidentally, our transfer numbers were the only ones that increased over the previous year.”

When discussing the increase in registration numbers for 2014, Trent added, “Some of you may remember, we were 3,500 registrations under what was projected for 2013. We also have been able to improve our procedures on registrations that come in with incomplete information. By doing this, we have reduced our number of pending registrations in half.”

AQHA’s registration and transfer department has also reduced the turnaround time for both registrations and transfers.

“If your transactions come in today and everything on your application is complete, we are completing the registrations in under seven calendar days,” Trent said.

If you have seen Trent’s “By the Numbers” presentations in previous years, you may remember a graph showing the number of registrations by foaling year.

“This is an important statistic to follow when you consider the supply and demand for our horse,” he said. “The great news here is we are seeing a leveling of the number of horses registered and hopefully a sign that we have reached the end of the recession we had experienced over the past 10 years.”

He added that one of the most positive signs he has seen is the slight increase in the number of mares bred since 2005. In 2014, that number was 96,338, up from 95,920 in 2013.

“Based upon historic data and the number of mares bred, I would estimate our registrations in 2015 to be around 72,000,” Trent said. “Of course, I would love to be surprised and have another increase like we did this year.”

He added that the number of stallions filing a report by the deadline was down 3 percent.

“Even though the stallion numbers were down, I think it’s important to look at trends,” he said. “The number of stallions breeding 25 or more mares all increase, while the stallions breeding 24 or fewer mares all decreased. Please remember these are not static groups, they fluctuate from year to year. For example, the increase in stallions breeding more than 100 mares represents 17 new stallions in 2014 and 14 dropped out of that group from 2013. It is interesting to note that 25 percent of the mares bred were by stallions that were breeding more than 25 mares and 75 percent of the mares were bred by stallions breeding 24 or fewer mares.”

Racing Stats

In racing, total purses for American Quarter Horses ticked up seven-tenths of a percent to more than $126.5 million and average handle increased eight-tenths of a percent to nearly $292 million.

“This is a true reflection on the health of American Quarter Horse racing,” Trent said. “Better news for owners came in the form of an increase of average purse per race (up 5.3 percent to nearly $16,000) and average earnings per starter (up 1.6 percent to $8,100).”

Again, the annual report is on AQHA's website.