A 10-person jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division, ruled in favor of the plaintiffs July 30 in the Abraham & Veneklasen Joint Venture et al v. American Quarter Horse Association lawsuit. The plaintiffs sued AQHA alleging that AQHA Rule REG106.1, which prohibits the registration of cloned horses and their offspring in AQHA’s breed registry, violates federal and state anti-trust laws. The jury awarded no damages. The trial began July 17.
“We are deeply disappointed by the outcome of this trial,” said AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway Jr. “It continues to be our position that our rule prohibiting the registration of clones and their offspring is both reasonable and lawful.”
The lawsuit was filed in April 2012; Rule REG106.1 has been on AQHA’s books since 2004, although clones and their offspring have never been eligible for registration with AQHA.
“When individuals with shared interests, goals and values come together to form a voluntary association to serve a common purpose, the members have a right to determine the rules for their association. The wisdom of our membership – which is largely not in favor of the registration of clones and their offspring – has not been upheld by this verdict,” Don said.
“We will meet with our legal counsel and executive committee regarding our appeal options in continuing to fight for our members’ rights and announce our decision in that regard in the near future,” said AQHA President Johne Dobbs of Champagne, Illinois.