AHA Reports

2022 AHA Convention Delegate Reports

If ever the opportunity arises that you can spend one day at the convention, I highly recommend it, even if it is in your own office.

Carla Jackson

Carla Jackson

Thank you for allowing me to attend as an Aurora delegate. The opportunity to be a part of the convention is always a great learning platform. The AHA virtual experience definitely takes on a life of its own. Within the comfort of my own home office, I listened to more horse talk than I have heard in my entire horse training career!

For those of you who have not been able to attend a convention, I can offer an explanation to what it entails. AHA has an approximate membership of 18,000.

Mission Statement

To promote:

  • growth in the interest in, and demand for the Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horse; 
  • preservation of the integrity of the breed;
  • increased participation in activities involving the Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horse;
  • recognition by the equine industry and general public about the value and attributes of the Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horse; and
  • ensure that services and benefits are valuable and convenient for AHA members.

These avid members and enthusiasts participate in a number of committees, commissions and panels. Here is a list of the 45 groups organized to aid in delivering the mission statement of AHA.


Professional Horsemen
Judges & Stewards Selection
Budget & Finance
Breeding In Hand
Eventing & Driving
Local Level Involvement
Internal Audit

Sport Horse
Distance Riding

Working Western
Equine Stress/Research & Education
USEF Arabian Division
Judges & Stewards Steering
Resolution 5-90
Annual Convention


Agenda & Resolutions
Sport Horse National Show
AHA Nationals Distance
Arabian Breeders Sweepstakes

Canadian National Show
AHA Futurity
Market Development & Promotion

US National Show
Youth National Show


National Shows Directorate
Commissioner’s Review Panel
Emergency Response Team

Purebred Arabian Trust
Probable Cause Panel
Arabian Breeders Trustees

Arabian Horse Foundation
Ethical Practice Review Board

Each group has a chairperson, vice chair, and secretary. Many of the committee members have signed up prior to convention registration. Delegates, if not already involved, can sign up at time of enrolment. The core group of these committees and commissions have been working throughout the year.

These are the volunteer members that are helping us to achieve our goals with our Arabian horse. As delegates or guests, we can participate in the meetings held throughout the week. This is where the brainstorming from the year comes to a head and decisions are possibly made.

I had signed up for the Professional Horsemen, Equitation/Showmanship, Equine Stress/Research and Education, and the Working Western Committees. A strict schedule was adhered to through out the week which allowed me to sit in on other interesting group meetings. A Region 17 caucus meeting on Thursday evening brought delegates from other clubs within Western Canada together. We had an opportunity to collaborate and share our experiences with one another. 

I met with the Professional Horsemen Committee and 100 other meeting participants. Jim Hitt chaired the meeting for Chris Culbreth, addressing four of the initial 16 resolutions. The PHC talked about show horses on the local scene and the National level. There was discussion regarding shoeing, judging and safety of the Arabian horses.

​I attended the Education/Evaluation commission meeting where they discussed several of the resolutions. Even though I was not a committee member, I can attend and listen into the open session portion. Resolution conversation revolved around the shoeing and “to burgundy or not to burgundy” with the hunt coat in our hunter pleasure classes. The EEC is moving forward with Judges School and Seminar beginning of December 2-5, 2021. A portion of the school will be on site in Scottsdale Arizona and Judges interviews will be virtual. Details are on the AHA website.

The Working Western division has definite hotbeds within the US and Canada and overall is growing rapidly. The Working Western committee is hopping. Discussion on assigned resolutions were mostly housekeeping or verbiage related.

However, there is a difference of opinion in having the 10 & under class enter at the walk versus management deciding if their exhibitors are capable of entering at the jog/trot.  WW committee and guests had a lot of discussion regarding the number of go-rounds for the reiners.

The question out there is whether to run concurrent classes or individually.  They have added ABS reiner jackpots at US Nationals and therefore increasing the classes and go-rounds for patterning horses. My quick notes state they were thrilled to have a Ranch Horse Championship show this year. The one-hour time allotment did not meet the needs for the WW committee and they definitely had to continue discussions into a scheduled Friday slot.

The Equitation/Showmanship committee is talking patterns also. They want to see pattern selection appropriate to the level of exhibitors. There are some new penalties for hitting a cone in showmanship coming into play. Score cards for halter showmanship are being taught in the judges school. AHA is encouraging judges to use the score card and become familiar with it. Exhibitors are excited to see them butt this time it will not be mandatory that they be posted. This groups wants all 10 and under classes, to enter at the walk.  First year for Adult Hunt Seat Equitation at US Nationals. And stay tuned there will be mandatory patterns at this level. The Equitation committee reminds everyone there are equitation manuals for each seat that are available to AHA members. Check the website resources. These are great learning tools for our riders.

Competition and Advisory People talked about how to bring fun into shows. Show management groups are encouraged to minimize 1-3 horse classes and to “customize their shows.” No need to offer ALL age groups.

The qualification rules have been accepted by the majority of people. Your 2021 shows will count for 2022. Regional Top 5 placings qualify you for Nationals. A 1st to 6th in 2021 will qualify for one show but no participation records were kept in the transition year. The use of a 1-6 placing will count for 2022 qualification, but not if you simply participated in the 2021 class.

Please note it is no longer necessary to qualify for a specific Region. In 2022, do remember it is show participation not class participation.

The Amateur committee played a big part in the qualification changes. They worked very hard along with Competition and Advisory to meet wishes of membership and make all workable. Lisa Blackstone, AHA Vice President is also a liaison with USEF. She had a presentation which may crossover in time with Equine Canada. Please see the following:


The first three proposals deal with what amateurs can do for remuneration.

Rule Change Proposal #1.  Barn Duties 
Amateurs have always been allowed to do chores such as grooming, bathing clipping, braiding, etc.  In the past they were prohibited from lunging.  This rule change permits them to lunge horses as well.  That is the only change to the existing rule.

Rule Change Proposal #2.  Teaching Beginner Lessons 
This rule change will allow amateurs to teach basic riding lessons to rank beginners.  These lessons are for people who do not know how to ride at all, hoping to introduce horseback riding to a broader audience and grow our sport.  It was more controversial with the Hunter/Jumper population, but very popular with the Breeds. Because of that, there will be a “carve out” for those affiliates who want to permit this from those who do not.  We added some “teeth” to better enforce the new rule:

  • The amateur must register with USEF before they start
  • They can’t exceed 20 hours per week teaching
  • They must be under the supervision of a USEF professional 
  • They can’t teach lessons at competitions
  • Student must be a beginner who has never shown at any level of competition whatsoever (USEF or otherwise)
  • The amateur-teacher must keep a detailed log of their lessons
  • This log must be reviewed and signed off by the professional
  • Both the amateur and the professional are responsible for compliance
  • USEF may request proof of the lesson log and if either fail to comply, that’s a violation of the rule and both are subject to penalties

Rule Change Proposal #3.  Social Media Conduct
Brand Ambassadors and Social Influencers are permitted to earn money by engaging in these activities.  But amateurs cannot be Sponsored Athletes.  (There are specific definitions of these terms that I can share if needed.)

Rule Change Proposal #4. Reapplying For Amateur Status:
This rule will allow people 25 and under to reapply for their amateur status with only a three-month waiting period.  The intent is to keep our young adults in the saddle and not penalize them too harshly if they simply make a mistake in their decision to become a professional.  However, this is available ONE TIME only.  After that, the individual would need to wait one-year after ceasing professional activities to reapply, as is currently the case for everyone.

These rules will be voted on by the USEF Board in the very near future.  If passed, they will be in effect for the 2022 competition year.

The Youth National Show Commission is very happy with 1425 horses attending in 2021. Bringing adults into their show for Midsummer has doubled their horse count from 707 in 2018. The plan to continue with this venue is a definite yes. The question is will it have a National designation or will it be a Championship show? This is to be determined at the AHA Board meeting December 13, 2021.

The Canadian National Show Commission meeting was chaired by Gerald MacDonald. The show is scheduled for August 14-20, 2022 in Brandon, Manitoba. International travellers will have to comply with border crossing rules. There will be strong competition with other shows running in and around the traditional Canadian dates. The Commission is willing to work at offering the classes that draw the people to their show. They are confident in the facility and believe that the Canadian Nationals will be a great venue.

Arabian Horse Foundation reported a successful year giving scholarships to young people for secondary education. They have also been progressive in assistance to research for equine wellness. Information re scholarships and funding at: www.arabianhorrsefoundation.org

The Equine Stress and Education group was spear headed by Lori Conway. Conversation on the shoeing rules was lively and it was decided to take the upcoming 2022 year and do a revision of the rule. They are looking towards shoeing horses according to disciplines. Rules for overweight and length will probably remain but pad configuration and lead weights may become an option. They will study and have a new shoeing resolution by convention 2022.

Judges & Stewards Steering Committee spoke highly of the value show. We are not seeing a lot of Academy or Value shows in Canada at this time. They appear to run on lighter budgets and offer similar classes and if small enough do not require a show steward.  Great practice and fun for all.

The Nominating Committee is responsible for making sure there are people to take on the positions required in the above listed groups as well as executive positions. Creating a succession plan if you will, assuring the roles and duties are handed along.

Each of the meeting blocks were easily and hour and most committees used all of their time.

AHA President Deborah Johnson delivered an amazing speech for the opening of the general session Saturday morning. She spoke of the year in quarters, starting early on with new committees and the onboarding of new delegates. She commended the staff for surviving two malware attacks and living through the restrictions of Covid. President Johnson assured us that no files or documents were lost and service continued to customers and members as per usual even though the computer systems were severely compromised.

The second quarter saw excitement in the many Discovery Farms that became active. A simple, free program that anyone can sign up to. A Discovery Farm will put you on a map as one of the ‘go to’ places to visit an Arabian horse. Currently there are over 200 farms listed.

Along with some good news came some bad news. The Purebred Arabian Trust wants all income from the Purebred Arabian Registry. Currently AHA pays PAT for each registered horse since they merged the Registries in 2002. Earlier this year the courts had ruled in favour of AHA maintaining the Registry. It was in the second quarter that PAT decided to sue AHA once again. This trial date is now set for December of 2022.

Third quarter for President Johnson the qualification conversations were lively. Effort to communicate better with membership and be more transparency in decisions. AHA increased the number of meetings, podcasts and offered virtual town hall session where people could speak out. A move to sell the AHA building, start the process of updating the antiquated computer system was put into motion.

It is confirmed that Canadian Nationals 2022 will proceed. Youth/Midsummer National Show and the Ranch Horse Championship were on record as lucrative events.  The Distance riding Nationals with combined breeds offered rides that were 25, 50 and 100 miles long.

And finally, the fourth quarter included success at Sport Horse and US Nationals. Plans for the Judges school and seminar beginning of December are well under way.

A few other notable comments:

I would like to congratulate Mary Jane Brown on her appointment as Show Commissioner. Several special presentations for the volunteers were made at the Friday evening Award Ceremony. Our own Rob Calnan presented Karen Caughell and Emma Dybka with Region 17 volunteer awards. Congratulations to both of these hard-working ladies. There were four Regional Directors terms that had been completed. Rob Calnan was recognized as one of them. The incoming Directors were acknowledged as well. I would like to thank Rob for his dedication to Region 17. I look forward to representing our Regional membership at future AHA events.

The entire virtual Convention was very informative. I did miss the comradery with fellow horsemen and just being with friends overall. Home is a wonderful place to coffee but by the 6th day I needed a substitute stimulus.

The AHA staff did an amazing job. These people work very hard at servicing their membership. The number of people it takes to make our world go round is unbelievable. I am proud to call myself one of them. If ever the opportunity arises that you can spend one day at the convention, I highly recommend it even if it is in your own office.

This was our first virtual convention as a delegate and I loved it! Even though Doug and I struggled with technology we achieved our goals to be present for meetings and use the voter system all during a catastrophic flooding event unfolding below us in the Fraser Valley.

Brenda Driediger

Brenda Driediger & Doug Archibald (AAHABC)

AHA Futurity Even though the breeding of Arabians has been declining the entries in these programs remain the same. The one thing I found interesting is they welcomed all input because they were there to serve the needs of AHA membership and they were looking into sport horse 4 & 5 performance maturity.

Dressage / Western Dressage The dressage / western dressage mostly discussed that braiding is allowed BUT banding was not allowed in AHA shows but was allowed in open shows.

Feb 19 will be National Arabian Day!

Our new Judge’s & Stewards Commissioner is Mary Jane Brown from Oregon

Next years convention (2022) is in Myrtle Beach South Carolina Nov 9-12: (2023) is Virtual, (2024) is Reno Nevada.

From our Region I7, volunteer service awards were won by Karen Caughell and Emma Dybka.

A Great Big Thank You to Rob Calnan our out going director; a Big Welcome to our new director Carla Jackson😃

Our AHA President Deb Johnson reassured us besides COVID, two ransomware attacks and a law suite AHA is strong and moving forward👉

Gerald McDonald (VIAHA)

 I attended the Canadian National Show Commission meeting. 

  • Reviewed 8 Resolutions assigned to the Commission
  • Talked briefly about plans going forward and answered questions about the future format of the Canadian Nationals. 

Attended the Budget and Finance Meeting

  • No Resolutions were referred for review
  • We did a detailed explanation of how the B&F operates in putting together the AHA Budget.
  • Budgets are brought together by staff for most departments. The National Show Commissions are responsible for putting together a budget for their upcoming National Show. This is done with the help of Kelsey Berglund, Director of National Events
  • After budgets have been reviewed in detail by the B&F Committee, it is then presented to the AHA EC and then to the AHA BOD for final adoption.

Attended the National Directorate Committee Meeting

  • This committee is made up of the Chair & Vice Chair of each National Show and some other AHA members appointed by the President
  • The purpose of this committee is to determine appropriate  operational rules across all show commissions.
  • E.g. Job descriptions , various deadlines, cancellation and refund procedures, etc.

Attended Sport Horse Committee meeting and Dressage Committee meetings

  • Both committees reviewed resolutions assigned to them, Primary discussion was around resolution 1 & 2. 

Karen Caughell (Aurora)

The convention theme this year is Resilience.  The convention was supposed to be held in Niagara Falls, but due to ongoing covid restrictions, it was held virtually again.     There were 226 registered delegates.    

Amateur Committee

There were 149 people who attended this meeting.  They talked about the 4 USEF rule changes that that affect amateurs.  It will allow amateurs to be paid for barn duties that will now include lunging as well as grooming and bathing.  It will allow amateurs to teach the beginner riders under the supervision of a USEF professional.  They can be brand ambassadors using social media activities.  The other change would allow anyone under 25 years of age that had worked as a professional, to get their amateur status back after only 3 months instead of one year.  This will be allowed only once per person.  It was also mentioned that the Youth Commission was going to ask the BoD to make the Mid Summer show a National Championship show.  The survey after the show showed that people would not attend the show if it was not a National show.

Awards Committee

There were 35 people at this meeting.  They discussed the nominated horses for the Ambassador and Open Competition awards.  They voted on Intentially Adira+/ and JAG Kalico Kid+// as the Ambassador winners and Bristol Blaze and Trade Secret CC+// as the Open Competition award winners.  They discussed the issue of the sport horses blowing through the achievement levels so fast as they can enter several classes at one show and can win an award or two at one show or two shows.  What is the actual cost of the awards and staff work compared to the cost of entering the program.  A sub committee was formed to look into this issue and the effect of the new qualifications and how it will affect the achievement awards and earning points.

Board of Directors Meeting

The BoD meeting was all day Wednesday.  There were 112 people that attended.  The Treasurer said that AHA is currently in the best financial position since the 1990’s, but they still need to be careful with the spending.  They still need the local shows to occur for income from the 5-90 fees for the Judges and Stewards program.  They haven’t had an offer yet on the AHA building.  They would like to get it sold and downsize to a smaller one.  Mary Jane Brown has been named as the new Judges and Stewards Commissioner.  Stan Moray will stay on as the Executive VP.  PAT initiated another lawsuit for the Registry software.  A court date for that is set for December of 2022.  The Arabian Horse Foundation awarded $85,000 in scholarships.

Breeders Sweepstakes

57 people attended this meeting.  New for 2021 was adding PB and HA SHUS AAOTR Jackpot classes at Sport Horse Nationals.  It is for horse 4 years and over and must be a Breeders Sweepstakes nominated horse.  This was a huge success.  The entry fee is $500 (same as the other ABS Jackpot classes) and Sweepstakes will add in $1000 per entered horse up to a maximum of $15,000.  Payout is 20% for Champion, 10% for Reserve Champion and remaining Top 10 is 8.75%.   Money is paid out for all the Top 10, not the 50% rule.  As of 2021, HA Yearling classes at US Nationals will no longer be Sweepstakes classes.

Breeding in Hand Committee

There were 64 people who attended this meeting.  They have a proposal they are going to send to the CAC about halter qualifications.  They want to be moved from Category 1 to Category 2 so they can minimize the number of shows they take the horses too.  The more shows they go to, the horses tend to lose their sparkle if they are shown too many times before Nationals.  Hey also asked if a Scottsdale Championships could qualify a horse.  They like showing in the Pavilion as it has an electric atmosphere that everyone enjoys.  They were open to the idea of have some classes in the Ford, possibly some futurity classes.  They also suggested that maybe a few performance classes (like the AEPA) could be held in the Pavilion one evening.

Canadian National Show Commission

75 people attended this meeting.  The commission is planning on a show for 2022.   It will be the 65th anniversary of the show.  It is the oldest AHA National show.  There is a new hotel across the street from the facility.  It is a Holiday Inn Express.  There are some patrons already signed up and people are interested in attending.  The government rules may keep some people from crossing the border.  If the BoD decides to make the Mid Summer show a National show, it WILL hurt the Canadian National show.

Competition Advisory Committee

This meeting had 91 people attend.  They spoke about the qualification changes that will take effect Jan 2022.  If you showed at a Class A show in 2021 and placed 1st-6th, you are qualified for 2022.  If you did not place, you are not qualified.   If you went Top 5 or better at a Regional show, you are qualified for Nationals.  The participation part where you showed but did not place was not able to be tracked this year.  That has been set up and is ready to go for 2022.  One of the purposes of the participation change was to end the marathon days at class A shows and there is no need to hold all the classes.  It was suggested to get rid of the age splits as many classes had one or two horses in them.  It stays the same as before with an amateur qualifying for amateur and open classes and a professional can only qualify for open classes.  Equitation riders must qualify for themselves same as before.  They said to do what works best for your area and your show.

Convention Planning Committee

The 2022 AHA Convention will be in person in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Nov 9-12.  The 2023 Convention will be virtual. The 2024 convention will be at the Silver Legacy Resort in Reno Nevada.  It was supposed to be in Reno in 2020, but cancelled due to Covid.  They decided to have the Election year convention in person and every other year will be virtual.

Membership Committee

There are 15,259 AHA members.  Last year there was 15,688 which is a 2.7% decrease from last year.  Of those members, 9450 have a club affiliation and 9060 have a competition card. There are 215 clubs.  116 of those clubs sent/registered 226 delegates.  99 sent none.  49 clubs sent 1, 39 sent 2, 15 sent 3, 8 sent 4, 2 sent 5 and 1 club sent 6.

National Shows Directorate

49 people attended this meeting.  This is a committee that involves all four national show commissions.  They discussed the number of people allowed in photos.  It was also brought up that people would bring dogs in the arena as well. It is already a USEF rule that no dogs are allowed in the arena.  AHA will have to put something in the Omnibus and post signs by the rings that dogs are not allowed in the arena and for photos.  They discussed Patron stabling policies and it needs to be consistent between all four national shows. 

They set up a subcommittee to set the guidelines so it is fair for everyone. No subletting the patronship and how to deal with families that pass down the patronships, as well as tag a longs and seniority.  They talked about cut sizes at US and perhaps the classes that have 60+ horses should have four sections instead of three.  They discussed the chain of command on the show commission. 

USEF says the head is the show manager and AHA said it is the show chair.  Each commission has their members in charge of certain areas or rings, but they make decisions together.  The Show Commissions are elected by the BoD.  Names come up and they sometimes don’t know if they are an achieving or underachieving worker.  How they deal with or get rid of an under achieving worker.  They talked about possibly setting up a review/evaluation form to identity strengths and weaknesses.  A job description of each position needs to be developed.

Nominating Committee

This committee is charged with finding candidates to run for the Executive positions if there are no self-reporting candidates.  Since it is not an election year, there was no business to discuss.

US National Show Commission

There were 105 people at this meeting.  It was Glen True’s last year on the show commission as the stabling manger.  They thanked him for his years of service.  They had 3500 stalls for the show and used all of them.  They had to take some tack stalls away from some barns in order to have more stalls for horses.  They had 1886 horses.  The Ranch division is growing and could use another half a day in the schedule.  Performance halter was a huge success and they used the open card format this year and it worked well.  There was some discussion about holding some halter classes in the Ford on Friday and Saturday nights.  That will be looked at with the halter people to see what they want. There was an issue with the show program as the entry numbers in the back did not match the actually entry.

Working Western Committee

The Working Western committee met twice with 74 people attending.  The first part of the discussion was about the classes at Youth and US Nationals.  The Youth were asking for the patterns for the classes to be posted two weeks before the show.  All other breed shows have their patterns posted two weeks before the show.  It allows for a longer prep time instead of practising at the show.  The cows were sponsored at Youth which resulted in higher entry numbers.  

For US, the Ranch Riding has grown so fast that they almost need another half a day for all the classes.  They talked about the Reiners going back to one go instead of two as some of those horses also go in Ranch and Trail classes so they go several times.  The general consensus was to leave it as two goes. 

They talked about the ABSN Jackpot classes and perhaps holding those four classes one evening and showcasing them and the amateurs.  These would be single go classes.  For Trail, they asked that the course designer have a different level of patterns for the Open and the Derby.  The Derby is for greener horses and the open pattern was a bit too tough for them.   They will approach the US show commission about some scheduling changes.    

Marlene Tamusiak (Aurora)

Professional Horseman Committee Meeting

Reviewed and discussed resolutions that were assigned to the committee.  There was discussion on approving 1-21 in its original form.  Resolution 2-21 was discussed quite thoroughly as there as opposition as it stood in its original form.  Many thought the rule should stand as it is currently written.  After some debate the committee voted to not approve it.  This discussion took most of the time allocated for the meeting. There was some discussion regarding mouths being tied shut and may start testing for ginger.

Education/Evaluation Committee Meeting

Reviewed and discussed resolutions that were assigned to the committee.  Approvals on all resolutions assigned.  Talked about the upcoming Judges Seminar and School for 2021 and encouraged attendance.  Different this year with a combination of virtual and in person.

Working Western Committee Meeting

Youth Nationals had an increase in cow horse classes and there were a lot of new faces. They are asking to have patterns posted two weeks prior to show instead of one week, advised this may need to be a resolution. Requests for more courses to be appropriately leveled at show.  Cows were a sponsored expense again at the show.  USN schedule was highly discussed around reining and now that there are more attending ranch riding and need to consider.  Trail will not be moved at this time but suggestions are welcomed. The two go rounds was discussed with a possibility of going to one round was said for trail, after a vote it is going to stay at two rounds. Derby was discussed.  Ranch Riding/Rail would like to have a finals on Friday evening. Ranch rail is being split by age discussed, send in suggestions. Where does RR fall in the rule book, it is under Ranch and at this time no timeouts, homework to be done. TBC…

Membership Committee Meeting

New renewal information forms being launched on the website November 30, 2021.  There are 215 clubs and 99 did not send delegates. Every month a spreadsheet is sent to the membership chair of upcoming expired renewals and only approx. 56% of clubs open the email. Just a note that the Club Member Liaison is Victoria Collins.  There were no resolutions assigned to this committee.

Youth Committee Meeting

Discussed the AHYA budget.  Entries were down but more participated in classes so there was not much difference in the entry’s income. Had more sponsorships this year, fundraising was very good.  There is only one region (6) that does not have a youth representative, if anyone wants to adopt this post please advise.  Resolutions to be discussed at next meeting.

Equitation Committee Meeting

Resolutions assigned to committee discussed.  Discussed horsemanship and western seat equitation on level playing field for patterns.

Competition Advisory Committee Meeting

Discussed different ideas for improving your local level shows.  Some ideas: Put the fun back into shows by reducing the need for 1 to 3 horse classes in order to get qualified, take into consideration the wear and tear on our horses, many show in more than one division/class than they once did, encourage participation at one local and one regional show a year. 

Discussed opportunities to customize your show.  No need to hold all classes, utilize TBA slots, no need to hold all age splits, ask what is the draw in your area and use it to your advantage, with more free time run training/tack schooling classes or clinics and more free time to have social events. 

Encourage events that help educate and better your exhibitors. Try having a smaller show at a barn with extended training classes that have coaching and get ready for the big shows and the exhibitors go away with feeling they learned and grew and not be worried about points and qualify with a one or two horse class. 

Try having a training clinic in area day before the show to encourage confidence in the qualifying show ring the next day.  Listed what types of additional show options fit you best: USEF/ED, Pre-Show, Concurrent, Value Show and Specialty Show.  Discussed how qualifications are obtained and is listed in detail on the AHA website.  Resolutions assigned to committee discussed.

Amateur Committee Meeting

Lisa Blackstone gave a quick update on the USEF Amateur Task Force meeting held previously. There are four rule change proposals, three have to do with what amateurs do with renumeration at barns, etc. and one that was a bit controversial allowing amateurs to teach rank beginners.  Did resolutions by consent other than two pulled for discussion 2 and 16. Discussed both and 2-21 was not approved in original form, 16-21 was withdrawn.  Note:  USN survey has been sent out, please complete.

Equine Stress/Research & Education Committee Meeting

Discussed resolutions assigned to this committee.  1-21 and 2-21 were heavily discussed, both were not approved in its original form.

Working Western Committee Meeting #2

Continued to discus the two go round and cow discussion for USN and showed the history of the go’s. This took half of the hour allocated to this committee.  It was a general consensus that it would stay at 2 go’s outside of the sweeps classes. Trail will have a sub committee to discuss pattern relevancy and moving prime time to concurrent classes.

Awards Committee Meeting:

Discussed both awards for nominees and both were shared.

General Session:

Deborah Johnson gave her president’s report.  She talked about the struggles and triumphs during the past couple years and COVID.   We are still the premier breed.  Met with USEF president and discussed how all the breeds need to support each other. 

Talked about the ransomware that attacked the AHA twice in 2021.  They were transparent to the membership about the attacks.  There was minimal disruption to the membership as AHA handled the issues. 

All shows went ahead in 2021 except Canada and were profitable. 

The Purebred Arabian Trust started litigation with AHA regarding insourcing event or the ransomware attacks and an injunction was denied and a trail date has been assigned to December 2022. 

Discovery Farms and Meet and Arabian Horse Month were again successful for 2021.  SHN was held at a new facility in Wilmington Ohio and was very well received and was an amazing new venue.    The new Judges & Stewards Commissioner is Mary Jane Brown.  Awards: Sophia Huffman US Equestrian JR Equestrian of the Year, Peter Stachowski – Bill Robinson Trophy, Jeff Schall – Norman K. Dunn Trophy, Martha Rattner – Vaughn Smith Trophy, Vickey Bowman – Richard E. Mcdevitt Award of Merit and Jody Zeier – Richard E. Mcdevitt Award of Merit.

Nancy Harvey gave an educational presentation on MOS scoring system and Performance Halter Scoring System.  It was very well presented and gave a good handle on how these are used to decide placings.

All resolutions were adopted by consent agenda except 1-21, 2-21 and 4-21; these will be discussed individually.  1-21 was discussed on the floor and passed by delegates 138 to 56, 2-21 was discussed on the floor and was not passed in any form and has been referred to Equine Stress Research and Education 187 to 12.  4-21 was discussed on the floor and was not passed.   Resolution 16-1 was withdrawn. 

Closing remarks and another great year for the Arabian Horse in the books!  Looking forward to an amazing 2022 for everyone.

Lorne Robertson (AAHABC)

Once again the AHA convention was virtual, and although this did allow the opportunity to attend more meetings than at an in-person convention often the richness that is gained through in person discussion is not achieved.


Although I belong to a number of Committee’s and attended most of them, the two that were of most relevance to me were the Amateur and Breeding and IN Hand Committee’s

  • Amateur Committee:

As Vice Chair of the Amateur Committee, Katie Harvey (Chair) and I working along with Christie Capers and Lori Foster, headed a very active working group to respond to potential changes with the Qualification Process at AHA.  We had many committee members express their desire to remain with a no qualification requirement.  The Committee’ which grew to be AHA’s largest committee worked diligently with Competition Advisory, AHA’s Executive Manager, Stan Morey and members of the AHA Board, to firstly ensure that the membership was appropriately informed and secondly that the Amateur voice was well represented.  In the end, after a number of meetings held during the year, the Amateur Committee was instrumental in evolving the qualifications and ensuring that all disciplines are represented.

Secondly of interest was the upcoming proposed changes to Amateur Status with USEF.  The changes that are now being noted by USEF were first raised through AHA’s Amateur Committee and in fact the Amateur Committee successfully brought a resolution forward 3 years ago.  At that time USEF were unable to adopt our recommended changes but they did initiate a working group that has resulted in a number of USEF held meetings etc.  These changes will essentially ensure that the USEF Amateur Status parallel’s Equine Canada’s.  Once adopted these changes will allow some Canadian Amateurs, previously not considered an Amateur in the US, to show as an Amateur at all sanctioned Arabian Shows.  At our meeting at Convention, Lisa Blackstone, AHA VP and USEF Task force member, provided an update to the Committee.

These two items have occupied the Committee’s participation in the last year and at convention.

  • Breeding and In – Hand Committee

Working with Andy Sellman (Chair) and Isaac Taylor (Vice Chair) we developed a recommendation to the Competition Advisory and AHA Board for changes to the qualification process for Breeding and In Hand classes.  This recommendation was ratified by the Committee membership at the Committee.  If adopted this will see Breeding and In Hand classes be a Tier two qualification process and some other alterations to represent major Breeding shows like, Scottsdale and International Shows.  These recommendations were received favourably by Competition Advisory and we are looking forward to notification of what changes will be adopted.

Other topics included the US National Show and proposing some changes to the schedule to accommodate am evening of celebration in the pavilion.  This would include a mix of halter and performance championships. This has been done in the past and could work with some commitments from all parties.  Peter Conway is looking at the AHPA Finals as an example. 

Other Committees attended were the:

  • Equitation Committee
  • Working Western
  • Dressage
  • Sport Horse

If people have any questions on the above please contact me.


  • Canadian:  Hoping to have a show this year.  Border open and access possible however with restrictions.  Always concerned over restrictions with horses.Concerns exist over Mid-Summer.  Need to look at catering to “new” Customer. 
  • USN: High quality show.  Tremendous growth in all areas.  Working Western with the expansion of Ranch divisions and the expansion of Performance Halter growth created scheduling problems across the show.  The General Performance area also growth with futurities, and Maturities. 
  • SH:  I raised the question re East | West Location.  Still on the books but waiting for a possible location for 2024.  It will be in Ohio for 3 years.  I suspect that it will be a one time thing and frankly in the absence of no West Coast facility to compete against it is questionable that the SHN’s will ever return west.  Go Canada!!
  • Youth/Mid-Summer:  Mid-Summer is remaining but not as a national show.  We will see if that decision is overturned at the upcoming AHA Board Meeting.  This would have a negative impact on Canadian nationals but not all areas are interested in going to Oklahoma in July. 


Limited Resolutions this year. Two of note:

  • Placing of the Top Ten.  Withdrawn – more to come on this in the future
  • Disqualification versus elimination for showing violations.  Tabled to Committee

Many housekeeping or rule clarifications that will come into effect in 2023. Check AHA website for clarification.