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A New Age for the AQHA

The American Quarter Horse Association is one of the largest horse registries in the world. They have over 300,000 members and keep records of earnings, lineage, and show points for quarter horses across the world. They sanction numerous events including reining, halter, and hunter under saddle. The AQHA has indeed grown to a great organization but recently a few issues have to come to light.

The AQHA has been around since 1940, and though they have been a great source for registering and record keeping, they have been working on outdated systems. To try and remedy this, they decided to upgrade to a new system and build a new user-friendly website. Although intentions were good, they undoubtedly ran into roadblocks.

A recent debate was that the AQHA had denied a horse registration name to one of their members. The name this member was denied was “Good Sum Mitch”. This was obviously a play on words but not derogatory. This sparked some members speaking out against the ruling. They pointed out many other already registered horse names that were a play on words such as “Kissable Asset” or “Pain in the Glass”.

In response to the complaints from the members, the 2019 AQHA President Stan Weaver issued a letter informing the members about the issues. Weaver asked for patience and understanding during this transition. Weaver writes –

I can relate to this bumpy installation and roll out. It is like breaking a new colt, they all have their quirks, and occasionally things do not always go as planned. Yet, sometimes those who are the toughest to train have the most potential and are the best at their game once the kinks are worked out. I see this as similar to what we are going through with this technology.”

A recent Facebook post included that they hired many new employees to help with the backed up services. The AQHA also has added tutorial videos and a FAQ page to their website to help members with the new process.

Will the AQHA finally come back up to par? Perhaps this is only the organization’s way of blazing a trail for other associations to come into the digital age. Only time will tell…but the AQHA seems confident in their new improvements and devoted to their members.

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