Judges Code of Ethics

Designation as an AQHA judge is revocable by the AQHA Executive Committee if an individual does not adhere to the code of ethics.

Designation as an AQHA-approved Judge is a privilege, not a right, bestowed by the Judges Committee to individuals whose equine expertise and personal character merit the honor. It is important that you judge by and adhere to all the current rules and regulations as stated in the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations. An individual’s conduct as a member, exhibitor and judge, must be exemplary; is subject to continual Judge’s Committee review; and such designation is revocable by the Judges Committee with or without notice and formal hearing, subject only to ultimate review by the Executive Committee.

By signing below, I agree to the following:

  • To uphold all rules pertaining to Judges

  • To ensure that the welfare of the American Quarter Horse is paramount and that every American Quarter Horse shall at all times be treated humanely and with dignity, respect and compassion.

  • To abide by stringent rules established and enforced by AQHA demanding that American Quarter Horse breeders, owners, trainers, exhibitors, show officials and judges are continually responsible for the well being and humane treatment of any American Quarter Horse entrusted to their care. These rules include, but are not limited to, prohibited training practices, prohibited surgical procedure, prohibited chemical administration, or prohibited devises that could affect a horse’s performance or alter the horse’s natural conformation. Such rules further include compliance of all medication policies.

  • To adhere to the professional standards and ethics of the AQHA and at all times, act in a professional manner.

  • To adhere to the Judge’s Electronic Communications and Self-Adjusted Monitoring policies.

  • To be courteous to all parties (including exhibitors, Show Management and Secretaries, Show and Ring Stewards, arena crews and assistants) at shows and judge with a positive attitude.

  • To have the conviction and courage to judge by the rules and disqualify entries that are in the violation of the rules.

  • To refuse, decline, and promptly report to the Director of Judges any attempt by third parties to bribe or otherwise illegally persuade or influence any judge or judging, including any sort of remuneration, consideration, or anything of value that constitutes a bribe in the furtherance of judging duties.

  • To instill confidence among exhibitors and the public in the American Quarter Horse industry, avoiding any action conducive to discrediting it or membership in the American Quarter Horse Association.

  • To judge honestly, fairly and impartially each horse exhibited to me strictly on the horse’s conformation and/or its performance as the rules of the event dictate.