Back to Normal
I am pleased to report that AQHA is “caught up” and processing work at normal rates with turnaround at three days for accounting, five days for transfers and seven days for registrations. Additionally, shows are being processed normally as well!
If you have been holding work until AQHA was “back to normal,” now is the time to send it in, as all production areas are processing work on a normal turnaround time.
We appreciate your patience and continued support of AQHA. The offices will be closed July 4-5, so we’ll look forward to hitting the ground running Monday, July 8.
American Horse Council Convention and Capitol Hill Visits
AQHA President Johne Dobbs and Second Vice President George Phillips were in Washington, D.C., last week for the American Horse Council Convention and made visits to members of both the House and Senate. AQHA staff attending included Tom Persechino, Ward Stutz and myself, along with AQHA’s American Horse Council Trustees, Jim Shoemake and Jim Barton.
Johne spoke at AHC’s issues forum. She was on a panel of five women leading national equine organizations this year, and they spoke on a broad range of issues in the horse industry.
The other participants were Dr. Ann Dwyer, president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners; Robin Richards, president of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association; Cynthia Richardson, president of the Arabian Horse Association; and Chrystine Tauber, president of the U.S. Equestrian Federation.
In her remarks, Johne focused primarily on two issues she sees as key to the industry’s future – youth and animal welfare.
“To ensure that our industry thrives in the future, we are focused on developing the next generation of horsemen through our youth initiatives,” she said. “Since 2007, there has been a 30 percent decline in all youth horse association participation, regardless of breed or discipline. The underserved audience – 12 and younger – is learning and being entertained in front of a screen, spending countless hours each week learning in front of a screen, and we must confront that head on.
“We also must be mindful that animal welfare will play a bigger role in our horse lives as we attract new people,” she told the crowd of about 200. “I’m proud that AQHA is taking a leadership role with respect to animal welfare and think it’s relevant to any discussion about where our industry will be in 10 or 15 years. Not doing right by the horse is not an option.”
During their visits to members of the House and Senate, Johne and George touched on the many legislative topics facing the horse industry, including but not limited to immigration, taxes, disaster relief, therapy for returning soldiers using horses and horse processing.
“I wish every AQHA member would take the time and get involved with the legislative process,” Johne said after her visits. “I think so few people really understand what goes on in Washington, and it’s so important for us to be active with our lawmakers – especially because so few of them understand equine issues. It takes our complete attention to ensure that favorable laws are passed for the equine industry.”
Youth Excellence Seminar
This year, YES hosted 261 registered attendees. It was the largest seminar and youth convention in seven years. Youth from all over North America came to Amarillo to attend valuable equine career presentations, listen to a motivational speaker (who just climbed Mount Everest) talk about how to use your skills to be your own superhero, and vote on the 2013-14 slate of AQHYA officers and directors.
AQHA President Johne Dobbs was a featured presenter, as well as representatives from the American Quarter Horse Foundation who discussed the different ways these talented youth can apply for college scholarships.
A new community service project was announced titled “Heroes for Horses,” and this project will reward youth affiliates for the projects they develop to raise funds for equine research and for the hours they volunteer to assist veterinarians, riding centers and horse facilities. We hope these youth lend a hand to their local youth affiliates as they launch their individual campaigns to be heroes for the animal we all love, the horse.
Next year’s Youth Excellence Seminar will be in conjunction with the 2014 Youth World Cup in College Station, Texas. Plans are already being made to greet Region 11, our international friends with open arms!
Congratulations to the 2013-14 officers:
AQHYA President Austin Halvorson of Guthrie, Oklahoma
AQHYA Vice President Kalee McCann of Walnut Grove, Mississippi
AQHYA Secretary Lizzy Koons of Fairfield, Pennsylvania
AQHYA Treasurer Mary Claire Cornett of Purvis, Mississippi
AQHYA Sentinel Austin Bond of Norwalk, Iowa
AQHYA Immediate Past President Mark Mowbray of Rhodesdale, Maryland
The new AQHYA Directors can be found here.
We are headed to trial in the cloning lawsuit and the trial ready date is July 9. While there are other cases on the court’s docket, indications are that we will indeed begin Tuesday, July 9. It is anticipated that the trial will last two to three weeks.
As you recall, in April 2012, Jason Abraham and two of his related companies, Abraham & Veneklasen Joint Venture and Abraham Equine Inc., filed a lawsuit against AQHA in the U.S. District Court in Amarillo seeking to force AQHA to repeal Rule 227(a) (now Rule REG106.1) to allow cloned horses and their offspring to be eligible for registration with AQHA. Plaintiffs also seek money damages from AQHA.
At trial, AQHA and its legal team will continue to defend the right of the AQHA Board of Directors, acting on behalf of the membership, to decide whether horses produced by cloning ought to be eligible for registration.
I will continue to update you regarding the lawsuit and trial.
Until next time, enjoy the ride.
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