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QH--Appendix Quarterhorses-AQHA Judging and other news

Appendix Quarterhorse-AQHA news and info








Horse Associations Meet to Discuss Direction of Western Pleasure

by: Press Release

December 22 2007 Article # 11029

They came to discuss one of the oldest and most traditional classes offered by the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and National Snaffle Bit Association(NSBA). And discuss they did. By the time the group of nearly 70 professionals, who came from as far away as Virginia, Kansas, Ohio, and Florida, were finished talking about western pleasure, there wasn’t a detail left unaddressed. The top 100 riders from NSBA, the top 10 riders from open Western Pleasure at AQHA’s World Championship Show from the past three years and a team of judges who specialize in western pleasure were invited to attend.

The purpose of the meeting, which was jointly hosted by AQHA and NSBA, was to develop a standardized system by which all western pleasure exhibitors are judged.

"I was very pleased with the willingness shown by these key professionals in western pleasure to be open in their discussion and truly interested in bettering the discipline," said Pete Kyle, chair of AQHA's Judges Committee, who helped facilitate the discussion.

Over the years as the event has evolved, issues such as head carriage, cadence, gaits, transitions, and overall expression have been interpreted differently, all of which was discussed at the December 19 meeting.

Some of the points that were made that will be included in a video to be developed by AQHA and NSBA are:

Placing more emphasis on judging the walk and using the video to educate exhibitors on improving the walk.

Finding a balance for the amount of time spent judging the jog and the moderate extension of the jog.

Addressing the head-bob at the lope, why it occurs and ways to avoid or correct it. This included educating exhibitors on lengthening their horse’s stride versus shorter, manmade strides; addressing the importance of conformation and what movements certain horses are physically capable of; and reassuring exhibitors that it is OK to show off the rail and that passing another horse can give exhibitors an opportunity to demonstrate their horsemanship, and show their horse's ability to guide while maintaining an even cadence and consistent performance.

Educating rank-in-file members and beginning western pleasure competitors on the positive and negative characteristics of western pleasure horses, and on how the discipline continues to improve.

Additional education for judges and continuing to push for and establish industry standards.

Varying the gait calls to make it more interesting for horses, exhibitors and spectators.

The participants appointed a subcommittee to further discuss the video, review it and approve the final version of the video. Cleve Wells, Karen Hornick, Jay Starnes, Brett Parish, Dave Dellin, J.R. Reichert, Shane Dowdy, Tom Chown, Troy Oakley, Brad Kearns, Charlie Cole, and Tina Kaven will serve on the subcommittee. The video, which is expected to be completed late summer or early fall 2008 will use the latest technology, including split screens, graphics and computer animation to underscore many of the nuances of western pleasure.

"Western pleasure is the foundation class for nearly every other event," AQHA Executive Director of Judges Alex Ross said. "There are some who feel the written rule is the benchmark. While that might be the intent, until we are all able to agree on what our standards are and be consistent, there will be confusion. I think we made a lot of progress during this meeting to get people to understand how western pleasure horses are to be exhibited."

The unprecedented step of gathering such a large group came after a western pleasure task force met in Dallas on September 27. That task force also began the discussion of developing a video that would illustrate the industry standards for western pleasure.

"One of the purposes of the NSBA is to define, promote and improve the quality of the pleasure horse as well as to encourage the use of standard rules for judging the pleasure horse," Director of NSBA Dianne Eppers said. "NSBA is proud to be part of the open dialog among industry leaders to improve western pleasure and help set standards for the class."


Readers are cautioned to seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian

before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.

Copyright 2007 BLOOD-HORSE PUBLICATIONS. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form

or medium without written permission of BLOOD-HORSE PUBLICATIONS is prohibited. THE HORSE, THE HORSE logo,





July 2006

Series Synopsis: Prepare for Training Level, Test 1 with Lynn Palm
Read some of the highlights of this 5-part series on basic training for your American Quarter Horse (or any horse).

Editor's Note: This article features highlights of Lynn Palm's 5-part series on basic training that ran from February to June 2006 in Dressage Today magazine. To order the back issues, call (301) 977-3900 ext. 0.


Series on Dressage Training by Lynn Palm, noted Quarterhorse trainer in Florida.





AQHA registration rules regarding HYPP go into effect in 2007

Halting HYPP in Quarter Horses
The American Quarter Horse Association restricts future registration of HYPP gene carriers.

This article originally appeared in the June 2004 issue of EQUUS magazine.

Article can be accessed at the Equisearch Archives,



 Quarter Horses Dominate North American League Jumper Finals [2005]

Harrisburg, PA - (October 18, 2005) - Spectators cheered for speed and clapped for the clean rounds as they watched the top fifteen horses race for the blue in the $10,000 North American League (NAL) Children's Jumper Finals. But it was Samantha Wagner and her Quarter Horse gelding Cisco who put speed and accuracy together to win the class held during the 60th annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA. ………

Another Quarter Horse to lead the victory gallop at the Pennsylvania National was Gold Bug who took the blue in the NAL Pony Jumper Finals with Rose Feldman of Huntington Valley, Pa., in the irons. Goldbug, an experienced 14-year-old mare, demonstrated her speed and agility as she stopped the clock in a blistering 28.524 seconds

The North American League (NAL) runs season-long series in six hunter-jumper divisions - Children's Hunter, Children's Jumper, Adult Hunter, Adult Jumper, Pony Jumper and Open Jumper Speed. Each series culminates with a championship final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA in October. Riders need not be members of the NAL to compete in any qualifying classes, but only current members earn points toward year-end finals. For more information, a list of qualifying competitions and results, please see the Ryegate Show Services website at .

Courtesy of Marty Bauman press release; full story at




The following was taken from the AQHA website in July, 2004, courtesy of



The topic of hunter under saddle was discussed during the Executive Committee meeting held June 15-17, in Amarillo. As you know, there have been various workshops, seminars, and other educational venues, in which the judging of the Hunter Under Saddle class has been discussed. The judging of the hunter under saddle class has been mentioned in several issues of the Judges' Update sent out by Alex Ross, AQHA Executive Director of Judges. Additionally, hunter under saddle will be held in the 2004-2005 judges' conference.

A letter has been sent to all approved judges advising them to judge by the Hunter Under Saddle rules listed in the “2004 AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations.”

The letter states:

“Unfortunately, we continue to receive complaints from owners and exhibitors of hunter under saddle horses that some judges are not judging by the rules. The majority of the complaints we are fielding deal with horses, which consistently carry their head too low and/or behind the vertical, and are still placing or even many times winning. We are also hearing that judges sometimes do not penalize horses demonstrating excessive slowness at the canter and the rider's failure to maintain light contact with the horse's mouth. This process must stop or we will address this issue directly with those of you who do not judge by the rules.

“In AQHA’s “Official Handbook of Rules & Regulations,” rule 464(a) describes the proper movement and head carriage for the hunter under saddle horse. It specifically states that, “the poll should be level with, or slightly above the withers, to allow proper impulsion behind. The head position should be slightly in front of, or on the vertical.” Additionally, rules 464 (e) (5,8,9and 11) and rules 464(f) (1 and 2) are in place to ensure that horses are penalized or disqualified which do not conform to the rules of the class. If you are uncomfortable with your ability to judge this class, you should attend the first session of the 2004/2005 judges conferences where we will be covering hunter under saddle.

“We are committed to seeing that this class is judged by the above-mentioned rules. The only way exhibitors can compete on an equitable playing field is when they know they are being judged according to the written rules.”

AQHA wanted to provide this information to hunter under saddle competitors so they can refer to their “AQHA Handbooks” to read how they will be judged. If you have any questions about this, please contact AQHA at 806-376-4811.






Sonnys Hot Jazz Sires Two Year End High Point Winners

By: Hunt Seat on: February 15, 2005

Sonnys Hot Jazz continues to make his mark as a sire. In 2004 this former World Champion and High Point Winner was the sire of TWO AQHA Year End High Point Winners.

Jazztastic & Chad Sandoval

Chad Sandoval and Jazztastic were the 2004 High Point team in the Amateur Hunter Hack.

Sonnys Sweet Jazz and Dawn Piper

Dawn Piper and Sonnys Sweet Jazz ended 2004 as the High Point winners in the Amateur Hunt Seat Equitation and were Reserve in the Amateur Hunter Under Saddle.

Congratulations to Dawn and Chad and their outstanding horses for these achievements. Congratulations also to Jerry Erickson and Lindsey Farms, owners of Sonnys Hot Jazz.


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