Modifications to registration-related items were approved by AQHA members and the AQHA Board of Directors at the 2023 AQHA Convention, February 23-28 in Fort Worth, Texas. Per the Association’s bylaws, the board of directors have the final authority when it comes to AQHA’s bylaws and rules of registration. Rule-change recommendations from all the other standing committees were reviewed and approved by the board of directors. Those recommendations go to the AQHA Executive Committee for review, modification and/or approval at the April meeting.
There were no bylaw rule-change recommendations from the AQHA Nominations and Credentials Committee. The AQHA Stud Book and Registration Committee discussed 20 proposed rule changes.
The Association’s plan to change to digital registration certificates was one of the most-debated topics discussed by the Stud Book Committee at the 2023 convention. Previously, at the 2022 AQHA Convention, the committee recommended – and received approval by the members and Board of Directors – the implementation of digital registration certificates beginning with foals born in 2024. However, due to more than 1,000 rule-change proposals submitted for the 2023 convention by AQHA members asking the committee to re-examine and delay the digital certificate recommendation, the committee recommended delaying the implementation of digital certificates until 2025 to allow more time for member education on the benefits of moving to a digital certificate. Member concerns ranged from a strong preference to keep paper certificates to frustrations with technology and access to the internet to complete AQHA business digitally. The recommendation was approved by the members and the Board of Directors and goes into effect immediately, postponing implementation of digital registration certificates until 2025.
Other Stud Book and Registration Committee recommendations that were approved by the AQHA Board of Directors are:
- Amend REG124 to prevent an agent from transferring a jointly owned horse to one of the partners and require the other partner to sign a transfer.
- Reappoint the international registration task force for 2023 to evaluate rules related to international affiliates with an approved stud book.
- Modify REG117.5, REG117.6 and REG120.4 to include language that AQHA may request parentage verification if there is a significant discrepancy with the markings for a correction.
- Delete REG117.7 so that correction of a horse’s color follows the same correction standards in all instances.
- Modify REG118.3 to clarify that a horse with any achievement record with AQHA is ineligible for a name change.
- Amend REG123 to include microchip reporting as follows: REG123. SCARS, MICROCHIPS AND BRANDS. All scars, microchips, brands and tattoos on a horse should be shown on its registration certificate.
- REG123.1 Brands, microchips, scars or identifying tattoos not appearing on the certificate will be added by AQHA free of charge if the record owner submits the registration certificate. a diagram showing the shape and location of the scar or brand, and the date of injury or branding, if known; or the location and exact description.
REG123.1.1 Brands and scars can be added if the owner provides a diagram showing the shape and location.
REG123.1.2 Identifying tattoos can be added if the owner provides the description and location of the tattoo.
REG123.1.3 Microchips can be added if the owner provides the microchip number and implantation site, if known. It is recommended that International Organization for Standardization compliant microchips be used.
Frozen Embryo Rules
A large number of rules were amended, deleted or added regarding frozen embryos created from intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
“Rules pertaining to frozen embryos and permits were first adopted at the 2006 AQHA Convention and appeared in the 2007 rules,” said AQHA Registrar Tammy Canida. “In the past two years, we recognized that use of vitrified embryos and in vitro fertilization as methods for breeding had increased significantly. Many owners were not clear on the reason for a permit and its intended purpose to protect interest in a future foal for both the mare owner and stallion owner.”
A rule-change proposal was submitted to the Stud Book and Registration Committee at the 2022 AQHA Convention, and it was apparent then that a task force was needed to evaluate the rules in depth to fully understand the complexities surrounding the use of frozen embryos. The task force met several times leading up to the 2023 convention.
“The task force determined that the essence of the rules was OK, but that the rules needed to be clearer to help owners better understand what was required to ensure a future foal is eligible for registration,” Canida said.
Here is a link to those rule changes, deletions and additions.
AQHA – 2023