Tag Archives: American Quarter Horse Association

AQHA Racing to Begin Microchip Identification

The American Quarter Horse Association will begin the transition to microchips in place of lip tattoos to identify racing American Quarter Horses effective January 1, 2024.

Any horse that was not previously tattooed as of January 1, 2024, will have their microchip number scanned and used as part of the identification verification done by an approved AQHA-contracted identifier. Horses who were identified by tattoo before January 1, 2024, shall be allowed to continue to utilize their tattoo as a means of identification.

The microchip must be ISO compliant. This means the microchip must operate at a radio frequency of 134.2 kHz and contain 15 digits.

Read Microchipping FAQs.

AQHA is currently in the process of building an application to be used by our Identifiers named QHChip, and training will be provided to them soon.

Once a horse is microchipped and inspected by an official identifier, the information will be available on the identification platforms, both in InCompass Solutions and the QHChip app.

Read More.

HISA Implementation

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) has been preparing to implement the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act on July 1, 2022.

There has been an unclear implementation of rules related to the Act. On June 27, seven-term U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the second-most senior member of the United States Senate, sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and HISA demanding answers to questions about their failure to comply with the enabling federal legislation’s deadline of July 1 for implementation.

Read Sen. Grassley’s letter here.

Sen. Grassley and three other senators, Joni Ernst of Iowa, John Kennedy of Louisiana, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, are asking for clarification and explanation about HISA’s ability to meet the July 1 deadlines. The senators’ letter points out that neither the FTC nor HISA have the authority to extend the deadline.

While at this time, HISA has indicated that only Thoroughbreds will be covered under the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, the Authority’s intent is to include all breeds in the future.

It is important that members of the horse racing industry who have concerns regarding the implementation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act contact their representatives to voice their opinion and let their representatives know of Sen. Grassley’s inquiry.

To find your representatives, visit www.congress.gov/members/find-your-member and enter your zip code.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

Racing Special Achievement Winners

Each year, the American Quarter Horse Association recognizes the hard work of several individuals in the racing industry. For 2020, the John Andreini Special Recognition Award goes to Dr. Charles Graham of Elgin, Texas; the Mildred N. Vessels Special Achievement Award to Betty Raper of Norman, Oklahoma; and the Gordon Crone Special Achievement Award to Matt Vance of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Dr. Charles Graham is a member of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. The respected Texas horseman is known as a veterinarian, a horseman, and an influential voice in governance and political matters that benefit the horse industry.

He founded the Elgin Veterinary Clinic and Southwest Stallion Station, is a co-owner of Heritage Place Sale Co., and has numerous other businesses, including a 30,000-head feedyard. He was influential in getting Texas pari-mutual legislation passed, and in 2019 was instrumental in assisting with the passage of Texas legislation that boosted purses and significantly benefitted Quarter Horse racing in the state.

Dr. Graham is an AQHA director-at-large and has served on the AQHA Equine Research Committee.

Mildred N. Vessels Special Achievement winner Betty Raper has dedicated herself to the industry and is best known as the co-owner of Belle Mere Farm at Norman, Oklahoma. She and husband Dee stood legendary stallions Easy Jet, Mr Eye Opener, and Bully Bullion. Belle Mere was inducted into the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame in 2019.

As the vice president of racing operations at Remington Park, Matt Vance was instrumental in helping the Oklahoma City racetrack operate during the earliest months of the COVID-19 pandemic. For that, Vance earns the Gordon Crone Special Achievement Award. The racetrack not only operated through its season; it also shattered records with a 271.8 increase in pari-mutual handle and helped introduce people all over the world to American Quarter Horse racing.

For more information on AQHA racing, visit www.aqha.com/racing.

Racing Identification and Tattooing Fee

The American Quarter Horse Association is the largest single-breed association in the world and strives for excellence as a breed registry. As part of this endeavor, the AQHA Executive Committee and AQHA leadership are committed to maintaining financial transparency and making important business decisions that are essential to current and future business needs, while delivering the best services to our members and horse lovers around the world. AQHA must continue to reduce expenses, maximize resources, and drive efficiency, and fees must reflect the services provided to our members. These factors are essential to continue to be a financially healthy Association.

As part of this process, the Executive Committee has approved a fee increase for racing identification and tattooing that will go into effect on January 15. The updated rate is $120.

Racing identification via permanent tattoo is an effective way to ensure integrity at the racetrack and identify horses. Trained professionals identify the animals and apply the tattoo, which is duly recorded by AQHA. This tattoo is checked before every race to protect both horsemen and the wagering public.

All fees are kept as low as possible in order to be cost effective for AQHA members. These fees are used to help the Association maintain its commitment for recording the pedigrees and performance records of its horses, promotion of the breed and its sports, and maintaining the integrity of the horse.

For more information on AQHA racing, visit www.aqha.com/racing.

Bank of America Challenge Regional Stakes Set to Kick Off in March

The tentative schedule of 2021 regional Bank of America Racing Challenge races is available. It can be found at www.aqha.com/racing.

The Bank of America Racing Challenge program offers Challenge-enrolled horses more opportunity to race in various categories at racetracks around the world. At year’s end, qualified horses are invited to attend the Bank of America Challenge Championships, which in 2021 is set to be held at The Downs at Albuquerque in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Next year, several racetracks will add new regional stakes that were not previously offered at their location.

Among these is The Downs at Albuquerque, which will offer a $65,000-added Bank of America Albuquerque Championship Challenge in late August. This is in addition to the track’s other regional race it hosts, the AQHA Albuquerque Distance Challenge, set to run in mid-August.

Grants Pass in Grants Pass, Oregon also will for the first time offer the $40,000-added Bank of America Grants Pass Championship Challenge at 440 yards for older horses.

Indiana Grand will host two regional Challenge races – the $30,000-added John Deere Indiana Grand Juvenile Challenge and the $20,000-added Merial Indiana Grand Distaff Challenge.

The Bank of America Challenge regional races are scheduled to begin March 27 when Remington Park is set to offer the $60,000-added Bank of America Remington Championship Challenge.

Mark your calendars for October 23, 2021, when the winners of the various AQHA Challenge regional stakes will convene in New Mexico at The Downs at Albuquerque for the Bank of America Challenge Championships.

Enrollment nominations for the Bank of America Racing Challenge are due December 31.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

AQHA Addresses the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 is proposed national legislation that outlines a uniform anti-doping and medication control program to be developed and enforced by an independent horseracing anti-doping and medication control authority.

The Melbourne Cup is getting closer and closer, so we expect the operators to start putting out their Melbourne Cup betting offers very soon. Here are highly competitive Melbourne Cup betting offers. To make your choice easier, we will lay them out and compare them, so you can find the best ones and make the most of them.

While the American Quarter Horse Association is strongly committed to the welfare of the racehorse and supports industry reform to improve horse safety, the Association cannot support the current version of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act until key questions are adequately addressed.

  • The bill lacks details about the funding sources that would sustain the proposed authority. Protecting animal welfare is paramount but the funding for this central authority will need to be attainable, affordable, and sustainable for all jurisdictions.
  • While the bill in its current form allows jurisdictions an opportunity to include Quarter Horses upon their own choosing, the Association is concerned about our breed if they choose to do so. Of particular concern to AQHA is the proposed elimination of race-day use of the medication furosemide, commonly known as Lasix, which is used to mitigate the occurrence of exercised-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) in racehorses.AQHA is currently pursuing funding for a study to investigate the vulnerabilities that Quarter Horses in particular have to EIPH. Numerous industry studies provide evidence that the administration of Lasix improves the welfare of racehorses and indicate there is no link between the use of Lasix and musculoskeletal issues that may be a contributing cause in catastrophic breakdowns.

AQHA works closely with the Association of Racing Commissioners International and Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, which work to create uniformity in medication rules, as well as with state jurisdictions. Among the work on which AQHA has assisted is out-of-competition testing efforts and the use of hair as a testing mechanism and beta-2 antagonist bans. In the five years since many of these rules have gone into effect in the majority of Quarter Horse racing jurisdictions, reported injuries in American Quarter Horses have declined 16 percent.

AQHA is dedicated to industry reform and works closely with international, national, and state racing organizations and commissions to evaluate protocols that allow for uniform medication rules and strengthened deterrents to performance-enhancing drugs, and looks forward to continuing this collaborative effort.

AQHA is a strong supporter of reform and uniformity in racing, but for these reasons has concerns regarding the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 in its current form.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit Honored as Top Three Quarter Horse Show by AQHA

Canada’s Dr. Carole Joubert Gaboury and My Precious Gab competing in 2019. Photo: Cody Parmenter.

Tampa, Fla. – July 1, 2020 – The management team behind the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit is thrilled to announce that the record-breaking 2019 event has been awarded the coveted distinction as one of the top-three Quarter Horse shows in the nation, as ranked by the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA). Out of countless shows from across the world, the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, the highest non-ranking cattle event, ranked third behind only the All American Quarter Horse Congress and the Arizona Sun Country Circuit, high-quality company for an event that has consistently made the top ten leaderboard for years under the direction and show management services of An Equine Production.

“We are so pleased to once again have these shows recognized as some of the best in the country by the AQHA. It truly takes a village to accomplish such a designation, and we have to thank our exhibitors, staff and supporters for all of their hard work and dedication. We are looking forward to an even greater event in 2020 and can’t wait to see everyone back in the show ring,” commented Kathy Avolt of An Equine Production.

Expanding even further in 2020, the event will include a whole host of new classes such as AQHA Ranch Trail, L2/L3 Amateur, Select and 14-18 Showmanship and Horsemanship. In addition, the 2020 Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit will feature a series of amazing awards and parties, including a New Year’s Eve extravaganza. Save the date for Dec. 27-31, 2020, and then check flgoldcoastcircuit.com for schedules and forms when they become available in August.

For additional information on the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, please visit flgoldcoastcircuit.com.

Remember Me Rose Named a Dam of Distinction

The 16-year-old mare Remember Me Rose is the newest AQHA Dam of Distinction.

The award recognizes the accomplishments of racing broodmares. To qualify for the award, a mare must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Dams that produced two or more individual AQHA racing champions
  • Dams that produced at least three individual Grade 1 stakes winners
  • Dams that produced at least two foals ranked in the top 10 money earners of any particular year, as of December 31 of that year, and two G1 stakes winners
  • Dams that produced at least three foals that were in the top 10 money earners of any particular year, as of December 31 of that year.
  • When the award was created, a grandfather clause also allowed mares that had produced at least three individual stakes winners prior to 1983, and those wins were the equivalent of a G1-quality race, to be accepted.

Remember Me Rose, who is owned by champion breeder Dr. Steve Burns, earned the award by producing three individual Grade 1 stakes winners.

The mare was bred by Dr. Max and Linda Alumbaugh’s MLA International, was foaled in 2004 and was purchased as a yearling and raced by Azoom LP. She began her career in Mexico, but quickly came to the United States and finished second in the Rainbow Futurity (G1) and fifth in the All American Futurity (G1). She then won the AQHA Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) and the Southwest Juvenile Championship, which was then ungraded, and capped the year with a win in the Sunland Winter Futurity (G2). The following year, she won the Ruidoso Derby (G1) and was second in both the Texas Classic Derby (G1) and Championship at Sunland Park (G1).

She retired in 2008 with nine wins from 18 starts and earnings of $820,895.

As a broodmare, she has to date produced 28 foals, of which 19 are starters and 15 are winners. They have earned more than $2.3 million.

Her three Grade 1 winners include Powerful Favorite, Runforyourlife, and most recently Cyber Monday, who won the Ruidoso Futurity (G1) on June 7. All three horses are sired by Favorite Cartel.

Remember Me Rose is sired by Corona Cartel and is out of the Zevi (TB) mare Im Moonlighting.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

Update to AQHA Racing Awards and Publicity Policy

The American Quarter Horse Association is committed to the welfare of horses, as well as the integrity of American Quarter Horse racing.

In an effort to recognize only those whose standards help to maintain the integrity of our sport, the Association created the Racing Awards and Publicity Policy in 2018. This policy prohibits any horse or trainer of record with racing violations from being considered for AQHA awards or publicity.

Effective January 1, 2020, any horse associated with a trainer who is added to the violations list during the year will be required to pass a hair test, in addition to meeting the other requirements, before it will be removed from the AQHA Awards and Publicity list.

This recommendation originated from the AQHA Racing Committee, and was then approved by the AQHA Racing Council, followed by the AQHA Executive Committee.

Violations include positive tests for Class 1 or Class 2 substances, clenbuterol, any prohibited substances in the presiding jurisdiction, or any medications other than those defined by ARCI as being a controlled therapeutic medication, and also include as a violation the failure to report for out-of-competition testing.

The full AQHA Policy Concerning Awards and Publicity of Horses and/or Trainers with Racing Medication Positives, as well as a list of trainers and horses with violations, is available on the AQHA website. Information will also be posted about the standard procedure for the collection and testing of hair.

For more news and information, visit www.aqharacing.com.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

2020 Graded Stakes

American Quarter Horse Association, April 26, 2019 – The 2020 AQHA Graded Stakes have been approved and are now available at AQHA’s website.

Stakes grades are reviewed by the AQHA Graded Stakes Committee and ultimately approved by the AQHA Executive Committee. Approximately 2 percent of American Quarter Horse races run each year are graded stakes. Only 0.4 percent of all American Quarter Horse races run each year are Grade 1 status.

There is a total of 32 races that will have grades promoted in 2020, an increase of about 7 percent from 2019.

The year-over-year increase is due in large part to a yearlong, multifaceted overhaul to the Graded Stakes Committee process. The committee met on four occasions in 2017-18, with the objective of creating a more equitable method of assigning graded stakes. Reforms include broadened metrics to evaluate field quality, as well as divisional consideration given to filly and mare and distance stakes for 3-year-olds and up.

“The process for determining graded stakes has long been a topic of conversation amongst the racing community,” said AQHA Chief Racing Officer Janet VanBebber. “There was significant reform to the guidelines in 2000, 2004 and again in 2009. These modifications landed on a process of combining a point system, a three-year average and purse tiers as variables considered when determining a stakes race’s potential grade. While most felt the system did a good job in guiding the Graded Stakes Committee in making the final determination, there were specific instances where the criteria seemed to miss its mark.

“As a result of the in-depth meetings to discuss additional improvements, modifications were made to the system that involved an adjusted algorithm for quality points calculated per race. Before, only the first three finishers in a graded stakes race contributed to the points system, and with the revisions, all participants in a graded stakes contribute to the point value. Also, added consideration is now given to participants who compete in different regions and new criteria was determined for both filly and mare races and 870-yard races. Lastly, the purse values for each given tier were modified. The Graded Stakes Committee presented its modifications to the Racing Committee in November 2018 during the Racing Conference at Los Alamitos. All were in agreement that the new criteria were an improvement and better represented the racing industry today.”

Full guidelines for the graded stakes process are available at www.aqha.com/graded-stakes.

One race will gain an open Grade 1 status in 2020 – the Junos Request Stakes for fillies and mares age 3 and up at Remington Park, which moves from a Grade 2 to a Grade 1 race.

The Governor’s Cup Futurity at Los Alamitos will move from a Restricted Grade 2 to a Restricted Grade 1.

Former Grade 3 races that will move up to Grade 2 races in 2020 include the Decketta Stakes, Heritage Place Derby, the Downs at Albuquerque Distance Challenge, James Isaac Hobbs Stakes, Las Damas Handicap, Los Alamitos Championship Challenge, PCQHRA Breeders’ Derby and Remington Distance Challenge.

Restricted Grade 3 races that will move up to Restricted Grade 2 races include the Garanones Futurity, Subasta Selecta Futurity, Governor’s Cup Derby, Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap, Mighty Deck Three Stakes, Oklahoma Horsemen’s Association Mystery Futurity and Remington Park Oklahoma-Bred Derby.

Gaining a new grade is the First Moonflash Maturity, which jumps from simply a restricted race following its first three runnings to a Restricted Grade 2 in 2020.

Also gaining a grade are the Canterbury Championship Challenge, Will Rogers Distance Challenge, and First Down Dash Handicap, which go from non-graded stakes to a Grade 3 designation.

Going from ungraded to Restricted Grade 3 are the Bitterroot Futurity, Black Gold 350 Futurity, Black Gold 440 Futurity, Boyd Morris Memorial Handicap, Denim N Diamonds Handicap, Easy Date Stakes, FL Lady Bug Stakes, Laico Bird Stakes, Mr Master Bug Handicap, New Mexico Cup 870 Championship, and Wild West Futurity.

There are also a few stakes that will have their grades lowered.

The Lineage Championship and New Mexico Breeders’ Championship will both move from Restricted Grade 3s to non-graded restricted races. The Lubbock Stakes will move from a Grade 3 to ungraded.

For more information and a list of the 2020 graded stakes, visit www.aqha.com/racing.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104