2022 AQHA Standing-Committee Reports Available

2022 AQHA Standing-Committee Reports Available

The AQHA Executive Committee recently reviewed and took action on recommendations from the AQHA Board of Directors, which met at the 2022 AQHA Convention in Las Vegas.

generic black and white image of an American Quarter Horse (Credit: Vickie Corbett)

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The American Quarter Horse Association Executive Committee met to review the standing-committee recommendations approved at the 2022 AQHA Convention by the AQHA membership and AQHA Board of Directors, with the exception of those related to bylaw changes and rules of registration, for which final approval lies with the board of directors. View the bylaw and registration changes.

All committee recommendations were reviewed for feasibility based on a variety of criteria, including but not limited to available resources, budget constraints and necessary computer programming. Careful consideration, discussion and debate were devoted to each item. Below are the highlights of approved agenda items from the 2022 standing-committee reports. Read the full committee reports.

All rules are effective January 1, 2023, unless noted otherwise.

AQHA Amateur Committee
The Executive Committee approved to:

  • Add SHW225.8 Amateur Eligibility, “Amateurs may appear in advertisements and/or endorse products or services. Remuneration, direct or indirect, may be received for these activities.”

  • Formation of a task force with members from the Amateur, International and Youth Activities committees and Professional Horsemen’s Council to investigate how to get beginners more involved in the American Quarter Horse industry.

2022-23 AQHA Amateur Committee Chairwoman: Rebecca Halvorson

AQHA Equine Research Committee
The American Quarter Horse Foundation Board of Trustees will review the Equine Research Committee recommendations at the end of April. More information, including the standing committee report, will be available at a later date.

2022-23 AQHA Research Committee Chairwoman: Dr. Holly Spooner.

AQHA International Committee
The Executive Committee approved to:

  • Change the Association’s policy to count members and registered horse population by the country listed in the member’s residential/domiciled address, rather than by the country listed in the member’s default mailing address.*

  • Form a joint task force between the show and international committees to investigate implementation of drug testing at international AQHA-approved shows.

2022-23 AQHA International Committee Chairman: Victor Wolf

AQHA Judges Committee
The Executive Committee approved to:

  • Amend SHW378.3 showmanship 10-point penalties to add “horse stepping out of or moving the hind end significantly during a pivot or turn more than one time.”

  • Remove the 10-point penalty for “unnatural ranch horse appearance (horse’s tail is obvious and consistently carried in an unnatural manner in every maneuver)” in ranch riding, ranch trail and Versatility Ranch Horse classes; and to add a Natural Ranch Appearance box to be scored +1½ to -1½ to the score sheets for ranch riding, ranch trail and Versatility Ranch Horse classes.

2022-23 AQHA Judges Committee Chairman: Wayne Halvorson

AQHA Marketing and Membership Committee
The Marketing and Membership Committee utilized the majority of its time in workshop settings discussing how to drive membership conversions, specifically for youth memberships. The Executive Committee approved the following items to be explored and implemented regarding youth memberships:

  • A competition-level membership fee to increase funds for scholarships and youth programs and services.

  • Partnerships with existing AQHA alliance partners to leverage into AQHYA memberships.

  • New alliance partnerships with youth equestrian organizations to leverage into AQHYA memberships, including youth side pots (or jackpots) at speed and timed events.

  • A letterman’s jacket and recognition program to be made available to all AQHA competing youth members.

The Executive Committee also recommends AQHA staff pursue additional notices in the emailed membership renewal series to include reminders for up to three months post expiration and promotion of member benefits to the affiliate and sanctioned-event level, utilizing affiliate and show management contacts.

2022-23 AQHA Marketing and Membership Committee Chairwoman: Anne Brzezicki

AQHA Nominations and Credentials Committee
Bylaw changes were reviewed by the Nominations and Credentials Committee at the 2022 convention. The Nominations and Credentials Committee, AQHA membership and board of directors did not approve any proposed bylaw changes at this year’s convention.

2022-23 Nominations and Credentials Committee Chairman: Randy Ratliff

AQHA Public Policy Committee
The Executive Committee approved to:

  • Support the Association’s agriculture partners who oppose state and local initiatives, which are detrimental to the equine and livestock industries.

  • Approve the AQHA Legislative and Regulatory Policy Book as submitted by task force.

  • Approve the procedures to modify the AQHA Legislative and Regulatory Policy Book.

  • Appoint a Public Policy Review subcommittee to evaluate member and affiliate policy recommendations prior to being submitted to the Public Policy Committee for review.

  • Establish a task force to develop policy to be included in the AQHA Legislative and Regulatory Policy Book on issues related to equine health and well-being.

  • Establish a task force to create and conduct year-round fundraising for the AQHA Political Action Committee.

  • Develop a letter-writing campaign regarding the Food and Drug Administration’s request for comments on the use of antimicrobials in companion animals.

2022-23 AQHA Public Policy Committee Chairman: James Clement

AQHA Racing Committee
The Executive Committee approved:

  • To remove the voting protocol regarding even numbers of votes for the Racing Champions Selection Committee as outlined in Section III “The Voting Process,” Subsection F of the Racing Champions Guidelines and replace with updated verbiage. View the Racing Committee report for the updated verbiage.

  • To implement a guideline under Section III “The Voting Process” of the Racing Champions Guidelines to keep the results confidential for any category in which the results are not required to be announced to the Champions Selection Committee as a condition of continued voting. These categories include Champion Owner, Breeder, Jockey and Trainer awards, as well as Canada, Mexico and South America champions.

  • Concept presented by the Racing Challenge Task Force for the Challenge Side Pot program and directed staff to take the necessary steps outlined in the Racing Committee report.

  • To amend RAC312 to adopt microchipping as the identification method of racing Quarter Horses. Read the amendments.  

  • To modify the Awards & Media Policy, effective January 1, 2022, as follows:

                For purposes of this policy, the term “Violation” shall mean:

                         i. a positive test for a Class 1 substance, Class 2 substance, Class 3 substance, Clenbuterol, any prohibited substances in the presiding                                    jurisdiction, or any medications on the ARCI Uniform Classification of Foreign substances that is assigned a penalty of A or B;

  • Individuals to serve on the 2022 Champions Selection Committee, as nominated by the Racing Committee.

  • Individuals to serve on the Champions Selection Committee to meet the requirement of a 21-person committee, which is inclusive of nominations made by the Racing Council.

2022-23 AQHA Racing Committee Chairman: G.R. Carter Jr.

AQHA Ranching Committee
The Executive Committee approved several modifications related to ranch classes. View all the rules that were affected in the AQHA Ranching Committee report at www.aqha.com/committee-reports. View highlights of the ranching rule change.

2022-23 AQHA Ranching Committee Chairwoman: Jecca Ostrander

AQHA Recreational Activities Committee
The Executive Committee approved to:

  • Expand the Horseback Riding microsite on AQHA.com to include 2,500- and 5,000-hour achievements, along with the currently featured 500-hour milestone.

  • Evaluate the sample Horseback Riding logo jacket to be offered at a discounted price to HBR enrollees.

  • Expand HBR award patches to include a 5,000-hour patch.

  • Introduce a quarterly deadline for the submission of Horseback Riding hours that are not logged electronically on AQHA.com.

  • Form a task force to create guidelines for an Affiliate Horseback Riding contest for new members.

2022-23 AQHA Recreational Activities Committee Chairman: Karl Bauer

AQHA Show Committee
The Executive Committee approved modifications to several show rules. More details on these rule changes are available in the AQHA Show Committee Report at www.aqha.com/committee-reports. View highlights of the showing rule changes.

2022-23 Show Committee Chairman: Robin Frid

AQHA Studbook and Registration Committee
Registration-related rule-change proposals were reviewed by the Stud Book and Registration Committee at the 2022 convention. The committee’s recommendations were approved by AQHA membership and AQHA Board of Directors at convention. Read more about the registration-related rule changes.

The Executive Committee approved forming the following task forces to:

  • Evaluate the processes and reporting options to aid breeders and owners using ICSI breeding methods.

  • Identify educational opportunities regarding breeding and caring for horses who are carriers of a genetic disease.

  • Create a joint committee task force with the international committee to review the international registration process for affiliates with an approved stud book.

2022-23 Studbook and Registration Committee Chairman: Ross Roark

AQHA Youth Activities Committee
The Executive Committee approved to:

  • Amend the AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program as follows:

    • To provide an additional facility form within the application for participants who anticipate moving their horse during the program year.

    • To add to the facility form a note recommending against utilizing barbed-wire fencing with horses and to request the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission provide guidance on fencing requirements for program horses.

    • To utilize members of the Youth Activities Committee and other suitable evaluators to review and approve applications.

    • To move the program completion date from September 30 to August 31.

  • Amend the AQHYA Championship Judging Contest as follows:

    • To allow contestants to enter as individuals.

    • To allow unlimited team entries for AQHYA affiliates, AQHA alliances, 4-H clubs and FFA chapters.

    • To add a contest rule that past individual and team winners of the contest may return to compete in the contest if they meet all other eligibility requirements.

    • To establish a separate contest division for introductory contestants.

  • Amend the AQHA Championship Collegiate Horse Judging Contest to allow unlimited team entries for junior and senior colleges.

  • Discontinue the Change of Affiliation subcommittee.

  • Create a joint committee task force to explore and develop youth alumni and young adult involvement with members of the Amateur, Marketing and Membership, and Youth Activities committees.

2022-23 AQHA Youth Activities Committee Chairwoman: Abigail Pait NeSmith

About the AQHA Convention and Rule Changes
AQHA is an organization that works for its members. Each spring, AQHA holds a convention to review AQHA rules and policies. During the convention, member-submitted rule changes and suggestions are also reviewed. AQHA wants to hear any suggestions you have to make AQHA membership, programs and services reach their fullest potential.

Even though members have until December 31, 2022, to submit items for the 2023 AQHA Convention, the Association encourages members to submit rule-change proposals as early as possible to give Association staff, committees and councils more time to prepare materials and communicate potential changes before the convention February 24-27, 2023, at the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth. Submit a rule-change proposal to be reviewed at the 2023 AQHA Convention by using this form.

Log in to the AQHA Member Services area for a list of the standing committees.

For more information on the AQHA convention, visit www.aqha.com/convention.

*Pending further review regarding feasibility of recommendation, including but not limited to available resources, budget constraints and necessary computer programming.

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