AQHA Registration Rule Changes

AQHA Registration Rule Changes

AQHA members and board of directors approved registration-related items at the 2024 AQHA Convention.

training ranch horses on the range (Credit: Jim Jennings)

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Modifications to registration-related items were approved by AQHA members and the AQHA Board of Directors at the 2024 AQHA Convention, March 15-18 in Las Vegas. Per the Association’s bylaws, the board of directors have the final authority when it comes to AQHA’s bylaws and rules of registration. Rule-change recommendations from all the other standing committees were reviewed and approved by the board of directors. Those recommendations go to the AQHA Executive Committee for review, modification and/or approval at the April meeting.

The Nominations and Credentials Commit­tee denied one member-recommended rule change to modify Article II Section 5 to forgo the physically present requirement and allow members to vote online or by paper ballot.

The AQHA Stud Book and Registration Committee discussed 23 proposed rule changes.

The agenda item that generated the most discussion addressed by the Stud Book Committee was AQHA’s move to digital registration certificates. The rule change, which was approved at the 2022 AQHA Convention, required AQHA to move to digital registration certificates beginning with foals born in 2024. However, due to a large amount of input from members in 2023, the Stud Book Committee revised the plan, and the implementation of digital registration certificates was to begin with foals born in 2025.

After members voiced their concerns on the rule’s implementation again prior to the 2024 AQHA Convention, citing frustrations with AQHA technology and internet access, as well as the desire to keep paper certificates, the committee came up with a new plan for moving to digital registration certificates, which was approved by the members and the board of directors: The committee recommends delaying the implementation of digital registration certificate until January 1, 2027, with the following resolution:

  • The current website for member services must undergo a complete and comprehensive makeover to be able to assure AQHA’s membership can and will be able to navigate the complexities, real or imagined, in the digital registration and transfer process.

  • Assurance must be provided that the technology to support the platform will be in place to support the complexities of the program. This committee shall meet every six months to receive compliance reports and monitor progress of the improvements up to December 1, 2026. At that time, the committee shall make the determination if the digital platform is ready to launch January 1, 2027, or determine if more time is required.

  • Prior to the launch of the digital certificate platform, a dedicated number of trained and expert staff must be in place to answer only digital certificate-related questions from members who are experiencing difficulties. These dedicated staff members will stay in place to afford this service for as long as it takes to satisfy AQHA management, the Stud Book and Registration Committee and the membership of AQHA that the digital registration process can be trusted to function properly and efficiently.

  • AQHA staff shall develop a comprehensive educational program that will include, but is not limited to, instructional videos, printed materials, articles published in The American Quarter Horse Journal, as well as other equine publications, and on social media and develop an industry-wide seminar schedule. These educational experiences are required to provide confidence and assurance that the platform has been thoroughly tested and will properly serve the membership.

Other rule changes recommended by the Stud Book Committee–and approved by the members and board of directors–include:

  • Amend REG104.4 and REG105.5, effective 1/1/2029 as follows: [A stallion, mare, gelding or spayed mare may be registered in the Stud Book that:] was foaled in an international country having a Quarter Horse association recognized by AQHA that operates its own stud book; was issued a registration certificate by such international association; and which the sire and dam have registration certificates issued by AQHA. Additionally, the committee recommends that the task force continue its work to identify accountability and compliance measures for registration rules and identify incentives for affiliates to encourage compliance.

  • Amend REG103.2 as follows: A name may be reused if all of the following criteria are met by the horse originally issued the name: REG103.2.1 is deceased as evidenced by AQHA records; REG103.2.2 does not have a performance record (show or race); REG103.2.3 has not received any AQHA special achievement recognition award or alliance recognition that appears on AQHA records as an award. REG103.2.4 has not appeared on any breeding document submitted to AQHA. REG103.2.5 does not have offspring registered with AQHA.

  • Amend REG111.6 and REG112.9 as follows: REG111.6 With respect to a stallion foaled in 2015 or after, the semen of such stallion may not be used beyond 2 calendar years following the year of his death or his being gelded to produce a foal eligible for registration with AQHA. If fresh, cooled or frozen semen is used to create an embryo, refer to REG112.9. Example: Stallion born in 2015, died in 2019, his semen cannot be used after 12/31/2021. REG112.9 With respect to a mare foaled in 2015 or after, any embryos of such mare may not be used beyond 2 calendar years following the year of her death or being spayed to produce a foal eligible for registration with AQHA. If fresh, cooled or frozen semen is used to create an embryo, the embryo must be in utero within the defined time as outlined for the stallion and the mare. Example: Mare born in 2015, died in 2019, her frozen embryo cannot be used after 12/31/2021. If the sire is born in 2015, embryo created and frozen in 2018, the sire died in 2021, the frozen embryo cannot be used after 12/31/2023.

  • Amend REG110.4 and REG112 to require a frozen embryo permit for each foal produced by a frozen embryo to be eligible for registration. If an appropriate frozen embryo permit is not provided, the foal cannot be registered.

  • Include ICSI as a breeding method on the certificate of registration once programming can be done to support it.

  • Amend REG102.9 to remove the reference of notifying the international affiliate of applications processed for horses within the country.

The additional 11 standing committee reports will be reviewed by the AQHA Executive Committee, and approved rule-changes will be released at a later date. Additionally, rule-change recommendations from the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission will also be reviewed by the AQHA Executive Committee in April.

AQHA will continue to hold its annual convention at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas through 2027. You can find those dates at

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