AQHA’s Purpose as a Breed Registry: How Do Welfare and Medication Fit In?

One of the key tenants of the American Quarter Horse Association’s mission statement is “To ensure the American Quarter Horse is treated humanely, with dignity, respect and compassion at all times.”

While AQHA is a breed association and thus not directly involved with racing regulation, it nevertheless strongly supports industry efforts to improve racing welfare, and works closely with international, national and state regulatory bodies to improve standards and ensure integrity.

Representatives from AQHA sit on racing industry boards for groups that work to –

  • Improve and refine racing testing
  • Increase uniformity in rules across jurisdictions
  • Fund and promote the use of racing investigators
  • Increase education of stewards and other individuals responsible for racing jurisdiction at the racetrack for the purpose of uniform application of rules
  • Increase educational opportunities and continuing education for horsemen involved with horses and racing on a daily basis

In addition to these outreach efforts in the racing industry, AQHA also serves its members every day.

AQHA provides for its racing members many advantages to increase the welfare of the American Quarter Horse. 

Educational opportunities include easy access to regulations, such as medication information and withdrawal times and regulatory rulings.

The association enforces disciplinary action for members who violate rules including animal welfare. These can and do include monetary fines and suspensions, during which a member cannot do business (such as transferring horses). 

In addition, any trainer, horse or associated horse that falls into certain medication positive rulings become ineligible for AQHA awards and publicity.