Broadening the Gene Pool

AQHA Board of Directors approves stud book and registration committee recommendations to limit the use of sperm, embryos and oocytes after death or sterilization.

The new rule, which only affects foals born in 2015 or after, will appear as subsections to REG 111 and REG 112.

The sperm, embryos and oocytes from foals born in 2015 or after will not be able to be used beyond two calendar years following that animal’s death or sterilization to register a foal with AQHA, based on a new rule approved by the AQHA Board of Directors at the 2015 AQHA Convention in March in Fort Worth, Texas.

“This new rule points the Association in the direction of more responsible breeding practices and broadening the gene pool,” says AQHA President Dr. Glenn Blodgett, a veterinarian and manager of the horse division at the Four Sixes Ranch in Guthrie, Texas.

AQHA’s registration rules REG111 and REG112, which allow for frozen semen, embryos and oocytes to be used indefinitely to register foals with AQHA following the death or sterilization of a stallion or mare, was approved in 2003. The new rule, which only affects foals born in 2015 or after, will appear as subsections to REG 111 and REG 112. So, if you already have frozen sperm, embryos and oocytes from deceased or sterilized Quarter Horses, this rule doesn’t affect you.

“This recommendation initially caused some confusion with our customers,” says La Donna Wilkinson, AQHA director of registration. “Many customers read this new rule to mean that the semen, oocytes and embryos that they currently have frozen cannot be used any more. That is not the case.  It only applies to the semen, oocytes and embryos of horses that are foaled in 2015 and eventually become breeding horses.”

You can read more about the reasoning behind this new rule in the May issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal.

Other Actions
Other action taken by the AQHA Board of Directors on recommendations from the stud book committee include the following:


  • AQHA Rule REG103.2 has been amended by deleting the requirement that if Arabic numerals are used in a horse’s name such numerals have to be spaced apart from the name. Under the new rule, such numerals can be directly next to the horse’s name.  
  • The board of directors has the final say on recommendations regarding rules of registration from the AQHA Stud Book and Registration Committee. However, this year, the AQHA Executive Committee will need to review a member recommendation that the AQHA Executive Committee approve and recognize at least one laboratory in Europe for panel and DNA tests for American Quarter Horses located in Europe and for an exchange of DNA information between AQHA and the approved laboratory.

“The stud book committee doesn’t have the authority to enter into contracts, so the committee approved a recommendation that the Executive Committee review the possibility, contingent on it being financially feasible and that ownership of samples remains with AQHA,” Wilkinson says. “The recommendation comes from a member in Europe, who believes having an approved lab in Europe will improve the turn-around time on test results.”

There were several other recommendations that the stud book committee denied, and those were noted to both the membership and the board of directors at their respective March 9 membership meetings in Fort Worth. Both the membership and board of directors agreed with the denials.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHAnews and visit