AQHA News Blog General Post

New AQHA Award to Honour Equine-Assisted Services American Quarter Horses

AQHA PATH Intl. EAS Horse of The Year Award

to Honor the AQHA-PATH Intl. Equine-Assisted Services American Quarter Horse of the Year with one $10,000 first-place award and one $5,000 second-place award!

Who Can Enter?

  • Any current PATH Intl. Center may nominate their registered American Quarter Horse(s). There is no limit to how many registered American Quarter Horses a center may nominate.
  • The center must hold an AQHA General membership ($65) to nominate their horse(s). If the center does not currently hold an AQHA membership, one may be purchased here for $65 and it provides myriad benefits throughout the year.
  • The nominated horse must be registered with AQHA. If the center holds the horse’s papers, you’re ready to nominate now! If the center wasn’t given AQHA registration papers at the point of purchase or donation but you suspect the horse may have been registered at some time or know his registered name, in addition to requesting the papers from the previous owner or donor, here are some useful tips for tracking down a horse’s papers.

How To Enter?

PATH Intl. will collect all nominations and deliver the entries to AQHA for judging and selection.

Complete the nomination form, including the required documentation, and tell us why your worthy nominee should win $10,000! Nominations must be received prior to 11:59 PM on December 31, 2023.

Questions? Please contact: Erika Berry at AQHA.


Can a center nominate a leased horse?

Yes, however please not the following details: The PATH Intl. Center that is leasing the horse will receive the award, not the owner of the horse. While many PATH Intl. Centers have their own written lease agreements with owners, in order to qualify for the AQHA award, they must have a current lease authorization form on file with AQHA at the time the center submits its nomination. The cost for filing the lease authorization form is $100 to AQHA. Please submit questions and lease requests to

Why isn’t the nomination form anonymous as they normally are for most PATH Intl. awards?

This is an AQHA award, so the process is a little different. AQHA needs information such as the name of the center and the horse’s name to verify registration. The judges appointed by AQHA will receive redacted information, focusing on the reasons in the nomination for why the center believes its horse should win the award.

When will the winners be announced?

The AQHA-PATH Intl. Equine-Assisted Services American Quarter Horse of the Year will be honored at the AQHA Convention in Las Vegas, March 15-18, 2024.

AQHA News Blog General Post

AQHA Animal Welfare Rule Changes


The AQHA Animal Welfare Commission met at the 2023 AQHA Convention in Fort Worth, Texas, and submitted several animal welfare-related rule-change recommendations to the AQHA Executive Committee, which approved them in April. These rule changes focus on revisions and updates to penalties, allowing the use of an approved lip cord in weanling halter classes, rules regarding the death of a horse at an AQHA-approved event and educational programming for animal welfare.

Here are the recommendations that were approved by the Executive Committee:

  • Keep the Conformation Alteration Task Force in place to identify funding mechanisms and continue to refine testing protocols and procedures for conformation alteration at AQHA World Shows.
  • Accept the Complaint and Reporting Task Force recommendations for the immediate implementation of: 
    • The recommended streamlined adjudication process for inhumane treatment violations; 
    • The update to the minimum levels of offense in VIO204.1-VIO204.20;
    • The revised AQHA Disciplinary Fine and Penalty Chart;
    • That all suspensions for inhumane treatment will trigger VIO657, a ban from AQHA show grounds;
    • That horses transferred out of the suspended persons name cannot be transferred back into their name until the probationary period resulting from their suspension is complete; and
    • That a suspended person cannot self-promote or be promoted by AQHA at any AQHA managed event.
  • Allow halter weanlings to be shown in an AQHA-approved lip cord or safety lead for immediate implementation.
  • Accept the task force recommendation to approve new AQHA Rule VIO207: In the case of a horse’s death as a result of an incident at an AQHA-approved event, AQHA will immediately appoint a three-person panel from the Animal Welfare Grievance Committee to review the incident. In conjunction with such investigation, a Responsible Party hereby agrees to cooperate with AQHA by (1) answering truthfully and promptly any inquiries; (2) providing medical/treatment records and post death reports/results (e.g. necropsy report) if any; and (3) authorizing any third parties to answer AQHA inquiries and provide the aforementioned records.
    VIO207.1 Subject to such panel’s review and recommendation, AQHA may temporarily suspend a Responsible Party as defined herein [see VIO250] pending AQHA’s further investigation of the horse’s death.
    VIO207.2 Should a temporary suspension be enforced a preliminary hearing will be held within two weeks of the horse’s death with the Responsible Part(ies), initial hearing panel and AQHA Staff.
  • Accept the task force recommendation to approve the mandatory necropsy rule as presented (April 13, 2023): This rule applies to fatalities of horses. For purposes of this rule, a “fatality” is defined as a death to any horse by any means including euthanasia at any time from when the horse/s arrives at the venue until the completion of the AQHA approved event or after the AQHA approved event where such fatal injury or illness is related to the horse’s presence at the AQHA approved event. This pertains to death on the grounds or death of horse transported to other facilities to seek care. 
  1. The trainer, owner or exhibitor as defined by AQHA rules, [see VIO250, Responsible Party], must notify the Steward or Show Manager as soon as possible but no later than one hour after such occurrence of any fatality. When a fatality occurs outside of competition hours, notification must occur as soon as possible but no later than one hour after the Steward/Show Manager reports to the show or returns to duty. 
  2. The Show Manager/Steward/Responsible Party must report a fatality to AQHA as soon as possible but no later than 24 hours after the incident as well as an explanation as to what happened to the horse. 
  3. If an official show veterinarian is not available, an on-call veterinarian or a veterinarian on the grounds shall be appointed to collect samples (blood, urine and/or vitreous fluid) at the earliest opportunity and submits the samples for analysis to the AQHA approved laboratory. (If the responsible party refuses the collection of samples, they are subject to temporary suspension pursuant to VIO207). 
  4. In addition to the duties set forth in SHW133, the Steward/Show Manager shall file an Equine Fatality Report Form with AQHA within 24 hours of notification, except in exceptional circumstances. 
  5. Show management must post emergency veterinary contact information as well as identify prior to the start of the competition the nearest Veterinary Pathology laboratory to facilitate a rapid and accurate post-mortem (information available at 
  6. A gross postmortem examination including histopathology must be performed in all incidents of euthanasia or fatality, except where the nearest Veterinary Pathology laboratory is further than 200 miles from where the equine fatality or euthanasia occurred. The trainer, owner or exhibitor as defined by AQHA rules, [see VIO250, Responsible Party] is responsible to transport the horse for the postmortem examination. If a horse is uninsured or a postmortem is not required by the owner’s insurance, AQHA will cover the cost of the gross postmortem and transport costs to the appropriate veterinary facility, up to a maximum in total of $1,000.00, unless a greater amount is pre-approved by AQHA should the circumstances warrant. If AQHA covers the cost of the postmortem and the relevant postmortem report is provided to the owner’s insurance, AQHA will only be responsible for half of the cost of the postmortem up to a maximum in total of $500.00. If a postmortem is required by the owner’s insurance, at no cost to AQHA, the horse’s owner shall provide AQHA a copy of the postmortem report within 24 hours of receipt of such report. (List of pathology laboratories can be found at (If responsible party refuses the necropsy, they are subject to temporary suspension pursuant to VIO207).
  7. In certain circumstances, as approved by AQHA Director of Breed Integrity, who may be contacted at 806-679-5693, a necropsy may not be warranted. (Add secondary contact number) 
  8. Within 12 hours of the horse leaving competition grounds, AQHA Show Management shall provide AQHA with the contact details of the applicable Veterinary Pathology laboratory. 
  9. The owner shall provide the preliminary and final reports of a postmortem to AQHA within 24 hours of the pathologist completing their report or the owner’s receipt of the report. Failure to submit reports could result in the temporary suspension to responsible party pursuant to VIO207. 
  10. The cause of death and, if relevant, the method of euthanasia should be included in the postmortem report. 
  11. The competition or treating veterinarian shall submit all information regarding any treatment or substance(s) administered to the horse prior to or during competition and before or during death or euthanasia with owner’s written permission to AQHA within 12 hours. Failure to submit reports could result in the temporary suspension to responsible party pursuant to VIO207. 
  12. Once all medical and treatment records and post death reports/results are forwarded to AQHA the Animal Welfare Grievance Committee will review within 72 hours to determine if further investigation is necessary. 
  • Cooperate with the United Horse Coalition to utilize its educational content to conduct educational programming about responsible ownership for AQHA members.

Recognizing that animal welfare is the single most important issue facing the equine industry today, the AQHA Executive Committee created the Animal Welfare Commission in 2012. The Animal Welfare Commission serves as AQHA’s primary body for rules, policies and procedures related to all areas of animal welfare. In addition, the commission oversees the educational processes associated with AQHA officials responsible for animal welfare.

Blog General Post

Barn & Stable First Aid

Every Barn & Trailer should be equipped with a first aid kit that has safe & practical items for an emergency! Both a equine & human emergencies should be considered for these!


Kits are $10 each (tax included) Team Canada receives $4 from each kit sold to support their fundraising goals for the American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup.

Every Barn & Trailer should be equipped with a first aid kit that has safe & practical items for an emergency! Both a equine & human emergencies should be considered for these! 

Keeping in mind you should be prepared to provide emergency health assistance until Paramedics or a Vet can attend. Please keep in mind that any emergency care you provide should only consist of knowledge you have & are confident doing until professionals can attend. 

When an emergency arises the most important thing and one of the hardest is to stay calm. 

Depending on the nature of the injuries you maybe able to manage the problem on your own with items from your First Aid Kits. 

If Not 

  • Call 911 or a vet needs to be called send someone to do that immediately (get the professionals to you as quickly as possible) 
  • Do a visual examination of the equine or human to determine the nature of the injuries.
  • If Paramedics are attending send someone to the roadside to flag them down direct them to the patient.
  • If a Vet is attending, make some notes on the horses condition and call the vet back to update. (A vet usually takes longer to attend)

I hope this will give you a better understanding of the importance of a stocked first aid kit in the barn or trailer. 

EOQHA is selling an assortment of first aid kits suitable for home, barn, trailer, or vehicle. 

A portion of all sales will go to the association to help support the 2023 Hot Hot Sizzler AQHA Circuit.

To Order please email

Blog General Post

Canadian Mare Highest Seller at the 2023 Heritage Place Sale in Oklahoma

Congratulations to Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association members Barry and Janice Sather from Beaverlodge, Alberta on selling their mare SINGLES CRUISE SI 101 at Heritage Place Sale in Oklahoma on Jan 19.

The 2016 brown mare was the top selling broodmare at the opening day of the Heritage Place Sale in Oklahoma on Jan 19th and the fourth high seller overall.

Singles Cruise is in foal to champion KVN Corona and fetched $95,000 USD. The California bred mare by Favorite Cartel and out of the Mr. Eye Opener mare Going Single was raced in Alberta and California by the Sathers. Singles Cruise won 9 out of 20 starts, earned $103,586 USD and is a Graded Stakes winner.

In 2018 she was the Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association’s Grand Champion Running Horse and Champion Two Year Old.

Janice and Barry have embryo transfer babies from this great mare coming to the track in 2023 and beyond.



Written with material supplied by the Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association

Blog General Post

2022 CNATT Fashion Show

The 2022 CNATT Fashion Show took place between Christmas and New Years. The videos submitted by all 12 Designers were posted on YouTube and the CQHA community was invited to vote on their favourites to determine the winners.
A total of 150 votes were cast, and in a last minute surprise the event’s sponsor Show Horse Today announced that they were so impressed by the creativity and fun, that all entries would receive a full page ad in a 2023 issue of their publication!!!
Congratulations to all participants and a special shout out to Leslie Riley of team My Sleepy Valentine on winning the fashion designer contest!
Leslie Riley of Ontario, representing team My Sleepy Valentine was crowned the 2022 CNATT "Barn Fashion" Designer of the Year
Blog General Post

Noseband November

Noseband November – how tight is too tight?

By Lindsay Grice

Lindsay is an renowned Ontario riding coach, horse show judge. You may know her as a columnist or speaker, specializing in equine behavior and equitation science.

Standard equipment in English disciplines. Training equipment in western. While nosebands are designed to prevent bit evasion, in the horse business, we’re inclined to think, “If a little is good, more is better!
Equestrian Canada initiated “Noseband November” , following a noseband measuring project at horse shows last year. (See below for horse show rules and current research findings re nosebands).
The question upstream from noseband “restrictions” is -Are we masking bit evasion without asking WHY the horse might be resisting?
The International Society of Equitation Science responded to the dilemma of cranking nosebands in equine sport with studies and by designing a noseband gauge for horse show ring stewards:
“Some equestrian manuals and competition rule books propose that ‘two fingers’ be used as a spacer to guard against over-tightening, but fail to specify where they should be applied or, indeed, the size of the fingers.”
“When this device was used to check noseband tightness on 737 horses at a variety of national and international dressage and eventing competitions, 44% of nosebands were found to be too close to the horse’s face to accommodate the tip of the taper gauge under the noseband. By extrapolation, this revealed that we are routinely preventing swallowing, chewing, yawning and licking in the name of sport.” I.S.E.S.
The EC rule, amended last year reads:
Cruelty can be defined as causing pain or unnecessary discomfort to a horse. As examples, an act of cruelty can be but is not limited to any of the following:
a) nosebands used in such a way that they interfere with the horse’s breathing, or be tight enough to cause pain or discomfort
Although we cannot interview horses to ask them how it feels to have an over-tightened noseband, the research is convincing that it’s a significant welfare issue.
Here’s a summary:
Horses wearing tight nosebands, have demonstrated elevated physiological stress responses (Fenner et al., 2016; McGreevy, 2012), are prevented from performing normal oral behaviours such as chewing, licking, and tongue resalivation (Fenner et al., 2016; McGreevy, 2012), experience stress due to constant unrelenting pressure, may experience physiological damage to nasal bones (Crago et al., 2019), and commonly experience pressure that greatly exceeds that of a tourniquet, which in humans restricts arterial blood flow and causes significant pain and potential nerve damage (Casey et al., 2013).
Blog General Post

Canadian Horse Journal Winter 2022 Issue

Featuring the CQHA sponsored Quarter Horse Division.


  • The Queen’s Legacy: A Passion for Horses
  • The Peter Gray Dressage Symposium
  • Lunging Horses – Why Bother?
  • Do Riders Crave Control?
  • Pony Club: Incubating Canada’s High-Performance Riders
  • Canada’s Wild Horses: An Uncertain Future
  • Crossing Mongolia for Charity



  • Can Horses Use Tools?
  • Three Common Equine Skin Cancers



  • The Geography of Belonging
  • Riders of a Certain Age
  • Essential Horse Speak



  • Alberta’s Equine Economic Impact Study
  • Horse Council BC News
  • Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association News
  • Canadian Quarter Horse Association News


Blog General Post

Equine Disease Surveillance in Canada

Equine disease surveillance in Canada

In Canada, equine industry organizations such as the Canadian Quarter Horse Association work closely with other partners including the Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System, regional animal health networks (Western, Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic), governments, universities, veterinarians, laboratories and others to monitor diseases and share information.  

At the moment, these networks are paying attention to:

  • Equine infectious anemia (EIA), particularly in western Canada
  • Respiratory diseases (Influenza, Equine herpesvirus)
  • Antimicrobial use and resistance in horses
  • Vector borne diseases and climate change

Up to date information for horse owners includes:

  • The interactive Equine Diseases Dashboard
  • Infographics on EIA in Canada, including what you can do to protect your horses
  • Infographics on good practices for managing snotty noses and minor wounds

These are free and can all be found at:

Blog General Post

Health and Regulations for the Transport of Animals in Canada Update

Transportation Code

An update to the 2001 transportation Code has been underway since December 2018. This multi-species Code of
Practice, covering animals from 14 national on-farm Codes, has been a massive undertaking. Additionally:

  • It has had to take into consideration robust federal regulations governing the transportation of animals in
    Canada (Health of Animals Regulations (HAR) Part XII: Transport of Animals), the long-awaited update of which
    was published in February 2019 along with an “evergreen” Interpretive Guidance for Regulated Parties.
  • The COVID 19 pandemic hit in 2020 halting all in-person meetings and requiring the nine Working Groups and
    the Code Development Committee to meet exclusively online. This was a huge learning curve for many and
    impeded the relationship-building opportunities and open dialogue that in-person meetings offer.
  • It is the first Code using NFACC’s Code development process that is not intended for on-farm use, and included
    the care of animals during transportation as well as when offloaded at specific types of intermediary sites.
  • It was initiated by NFACC versus a national stakeholder group representing transporters and other primary
    stakeholders, which has led to additional challenges in following the Code development process.

At the outset it was recognized that this complex Code required all the time afforded under the Canadian Agricultural
Partnership’s (CAP) AgriAssurance Program time allowance. Unfortunately, over the last several months it has become
apparent that a finalized transportation Code is not achievable by the CAP program end date of March 31, 2023. Initially,
attention was focused on finding alternative means for completing this Code. However, in recent months further
challenges surrounding the lack of national lead organizations have led to concerns with proceeding to update the
transportation Code. It has become prudent to take stock of the issues being raised and consider alternative approaches
for addressing humane transportation of livestock and poultry.

After deliberations with varied perspectives being brought forward, the NFACC board agreed, and secured support from
our project funders, to pursue a Risk Assessment (RA) coupled with a Collaboration Planning Exercise (CPE). It was
further agreed that RA & CPE are the soundest approach to:

  • Make best use of the time remaining under the current project to identify a path forward,
  • Ensure that we make best use of the time and funding already invested,
  • Ensure that we make best use of content developed to date through the project,
  • Unite the diverse interests around humane transportation into an achievable and cohesive plan,
  • Ensure that any decisions are consistent with NFACC’s mission and processes (and risk tolerances),
  • Ensure that we identify a viable path forward for the future.

Additionally, transporters and intermediary site operators are key stakeholders who need to be more formally
involved/engaged in a way that facilitates sector-wide inclusively. Hence, the remainder of the project will focus on
conducting a RA and CPE with the goal of determining viable options that can be operationalized with the broad support
of stakeholders.

Thank you to the many people who have participated in working groups and committees. There is a wealth of
information in the work already produced under this project activity and a strong desire has been expressed to make
best use of the content that has been developed to date. Both the RA and CPE are expected to provide possible
approaches for further consideration (e.g., incorporating transportation within commodity-specific Codes of Practice).

It should also be noted that while updating the transportation Code by March 2023 is not possible, much has already
been accomplished through this project. Aside from progress on various drafts of the transportation Code:

  • The transportation sections of 11 on-farm Codes were aligned with the new Health of Animals Regulations, an
    effort that required a significant investment of resources from 2019 until early 2022. The transportation Code
    team undertook this massive effort and worked with national livestock and poultry groups and CFIA.
  • A substantial update to the Environmental Scan of Regulatory and Operational Considerations report was
    undertaken in 2019, which included incorporating significant updates from both the Health of Animals
    Regulations and the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.
  • A survey at the outset of the project captured top-of-mind concerns related to humane transportation with a
    report produced.

Previous progress reports are available here.

For information on the steps of the Code development process and progress of the Codes being updated follow this link.

Funded in part by the Government of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriAssurance Program, a federal, provincial, territorial initiative.

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From the Desk of the 2021 Congress Queen

This past week has been a whirlwind to say the least! I wake up everyday and still cannot believe that I have this incredible opportunity to represent the All American Quarter Horse Congress as their 2021 Congress Queen! 
Firstly, to the Ohio Quarter Horse Association, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve as the 2021 All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen. It is an opportunity that I do not take lightly. As I have said previously, past Queens had a major impact on me as a youth, inspiring me with their poise, graciousness, and knowledge of the breed. I hope to follow their amazing examples throughout my year!
To my fellow contestants, it was an honour to get to know you over the course of the Queen weekend. You are an incredible group of young women, and I can’t wait to follow along to see all your future achievements! I am so happy to have made 14 new friends along the way.
I have so many people to thank for their support on this incredible journey. To the Ontario Quarter Horse Assoc, thank you for allowing me to represent you as OQHA Queen these past two years. Despite the challenges we have all faced, it has truly been an amazing experience. To everyone who has passed along their support over the past week, know I have seen all your positive messages and that they mean the world! Please bear with me as I do my best to get back to you all, but I want everyone to know how touched I am by your kind words!
To my parents Jacqueline and Andrew Woods, thank you for your everlasting support of me in every area of my life, igniting my passion for Quarter Horses, and shaping me into the person I am today. I love you both so much.
To my trainers Rick Fleetwood and Robyn Storey (Rick Fleetwood Show Horses), thank you for your guidance, encouragement, and support. I have grown so much and gained a second family since working with you!
Janine Domingos and Jenna Woodley, thank you for your advice, guidance, and resources in helping me to prepare for this contest.
To Taylor Gumz thank you for your mentorship throughout this past year and for ensuring that I was outfitted for the Congress, I truly cannot thank you enough for all your guidance and support.
To my sponsors whose support allowed me to navigate all the hurdles I needed to pass in order to just make it to Columbus during these difficult times, I can’t thank you enough for your support and belief in me. Without you, this simply would not have been possible.
To everyone who took the time to interview me in preparation for Congress, your guidance and advice was so important in providing me the tools and confidence to be successful in that portion of the contest.
To the Queen Team: Jaymie Wells-Drury, Elaine Wells, Jessie Elsass , and Brittany Barker-Hostetler – thank you all for the countless hours of hard work needed to put on this contest and for helping me get acclimated this past week. I feel so blessed for all the support you have given me.
To Sarah Johnson, thank you for beautifully capturing the magic of this past week for all of us girls to look back on and cherish!
To the ladies in the awards office, thank you for welcoming me with open arms and teaching me the ropes. From making sure I am always fed to checking that my lipstick is always on point, you have been there every step of the way. This past week working with you all has been a blast!
And to my horse Betty, you did your job girl… thank you.
I am so excited for the year ahead. My experience so far at the Congress has been so rewarding. Seeing the culmination of years of hard work put in by exhibitors and their horses as they earn their Congress placings and speaking with the future of the industry, the youth, and learning about their goals. It has all been truly inspiring!