Modifications Approved for AQHA Stewards Program

The AQHA Animal Welfare Commission and Executive Committee modify the AQHA stewards program and announce new regional stewards.

The American Quarter Horse Association

The AQHA Animal Welfare Commission and Executive Committee modify the AQHA stewards program and announce new regional stewards.

A change is coming to American Quarter Horse Association competitions, as modifications to the AQHA stewards program roll out in 2016. Under these modifications, stewards will now be assigned to specific regions, will no longer be permitted to actively show in AQHA competition and will be required to attend steward seminars to expand their knowledge on animal welfare. 

Modifications to the AQHA stewards program began in 2015. The AQHA Stewards Task Force, appointed by the AQHA Executive Committee, assessed the program and developed ideas for enhancements. The task force proposed that the stewards program be dissolved to allow the program to be rebuilt from the ground up to ensure that the American Quarter Horse is treated humanely, with dignity, respect and compassion at all times. This recommendation was approved by the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission, then by the AQHA Executive Committee.

From there, the task force redesigned and rebuilt the program.

“The Stewards Task Force reviewed the number of AQHA-approved shows in the United States and Canada, and used these numbers to break the areas into multiple regions,” said Alex Ross, AQHA senior director of judges and stewards. “The goal of the program modification is to have AQHA stewards assigned to specific regions, but to also have the allowance for stewards to work outside their designated region.”

There will also be a difference in the number of stewards on hand.

“The number of stewards will be reduced to allow for more continuity in stewarding decisions,” Ross added.

The AQHA Executive Committee, Animal Welfare Task Force and AQHA staff will develop a long-term goal to provide an increase in funding for the modified AQHA stewards program so that a higher number of AQHA competitions can be stewarded.

For more information about AQHA stewards, visit www.aqha.com/stewards.

The regions and regional stewards are as follows:

Northwest
(Washington, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Northern California, Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan)

Jim Edwards
Tracey Hatakeyama
Lyle Jackson
Marilyn Randall

North Central
(North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Manitoba)

Leo Fourre
Gary Hersom

Midwest
(Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Ontario, Quebec)

Joe Carter
Denny Thorsell
Gary Trubee
Tracy Willis

Northeast
(Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maryland, Delaware, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia)

Craig Brown

Mid Atlantic
(Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee)

Casey Devitt
Roger Elder
Larry Little
Bob Standish

Southeast
(South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama)

Butch Carse
Debra Jones-Wright
Heather Yearty

South
(Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, East Texas)

Billy Steele
T.E. Vinci
Karen Watters

Southwest
(West Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, East Colorado)

Orin Barnes
Cam Foreman
Gary Moore
Karen McCuistion
Kenda Pipkin

Pacific Southwest
(Arizona, Southern California, Nevada, Utah, Western Colorado)

Garrett Cooper
Bob Kail
Clark Parker

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.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHAnews on Twitter and visit www.aqha.com/news.