AQHA Marketing Forum at the Convention

AQHA’s convention in March is also a place to learn about what’s going on at your Association, as well as in the industry.

Each spring, AQHA conducts a convention to review AQHA rules and policies. In addition to standing-committee and board of director meetings, AQHA also puts together an educational forum for its members. This year’s forum is the afternoon of Friday, March 9, at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Designed to inform a cross-section of the industry on what is going on within AQHA, this year’s forum will focus on show leveling; the Association’s new wide-ranging youth initiative; a review and update on industry registration, transfer and breeding statistics and forecasts; and a Washington, D.C., update on legislative issues in crucial election year.

In late July 2011, the AQHA Executive Committee approved the AQHA competition leveling plan, which was developed and recommended by the AQHA Blue-Ribbon Task Force that has met numerous times since September 2010 to address AQHA’s show structure. Full implementation of the plan will take place in 2013. AQHA Executive Director of Shows Patti Carter-Pratt will explain the leveling program concept; describe the different levels, including new Rookie and Intermediate levels; and talk about the two novice championship shows, which will be held in 2012.

It’s been long known that youth aren’t getting involved with horses like they used to. AQHA Director of Youth Development Todd Branson has taken on the charge of working with a number of national equine youth groups to coordinate and develop a national youth initiative that will inspire, reach and engage youth to get involved with horses.

“This youth initiative will be bigger than any one equine breed or youth horse entity,” says Tom Persechino, AQHA executive director of competition and breed integrity. “Yet, in the long-term, those groups will be the beneficiaries of this initiative. It is exciting, comprehensive and long overdue. I think members will really be interested in what Todd has to say about this initiative.”

Following the youth initiative segment in the program, AQHA’s own treasurer, Trent Taylor, will give his “By the Numbers” presentation on AQHA registrations, transfers and breeding statistics. His presentation will also include his insights on trends he sees in the industry, as well as his predictions on what’s to come.

After equine economics the forum topic will switch to legislative issues of a national perspective. American Horse Council President Jay Hickey will talk about the vote to remove the rider that prevented USDA from funding meat inspectors in horse processing plants in the United States, tax issues, national equine health and inspection issues, and land use issues.

If horses are your passion, business or pastime, make sure you’re at the Association’s Marketing Forum during the 2012 AQHA Convention in March in Las Vegas.

While all AQHA members are welcome to attend the Marketing Forum, you must be a registered guest of the 2012 AQHA Convention to attend the forum.  Print and complete your 2012 Convention Registration Form from, or use our online form to submit your registration. Fax completed registration forms to (806) 378-4757 or mail them to: American Quarter Horse Association, Attn: Crystal Latham, P.O. Box 200, Amarillo, TX 79168.

Here is the tentative schedule for this year’s Marketing Forum:

Marketing Forum

2-2:30 p.m. Leveling – Patti Carter-Pratt, AQHA executive director of shows

2:30-3 p.m. Youth Initiative “Digital Oats” – Todd Branson, AQHA director of youth development

3-3:15 p.m. Break

3:15-3:45 p.m. By the Numbers (registration, transfer and breeding statistics) – AQHA Treasurer Trent Taylor

3:45-4:15 p.m. Washington Update (including horse processing) – Jay Hickey, American Horse Council president

AQHA news and information is a service of AQHA publications. For more information on The American Quarter Horse Journal or America’s Horse, visit  AQHA Publications.