National Convention Reports/Notes

The AHA National convention is held annually during November. During the National Convention many of the policies and rules of the Arabian Horse Association are set and discussed by club delegates from throughout the United States and Canada.  Checkout below to find out what went on at the latest convention.  

2023 AHA Convention Report

Denise Cummings Report

With REVITALIZE as your convention theme how can you not have an
informative, educational, and association advancing agenda planned
and then, through the work of the delegates, accomplished. The 2023 AHA Convention kicked off with 331 delegates eligible and 190 to 200 attendees depending on the session the count was taken.

This year’s program was a virtual format. The Emerald Empire Arabian Horse Club sent 2 delegates, Denise Cummings and Barbara Tibbs and one guest Roxzene Bockstruck.

I attended 13 committee meetings from Working Western to Equitation/Showmanship to Hunter/Jumper and Equine stress, Research and Education. All were very educational.

The piece that hit home for me and was talked about in many of the committees was Social Media. No matter the platform you prefer we are our own worst enemy. And, by that, I mean our arguing, infighting and negativity to our own breed and participants. Mary Jane Brown is the Judges and Steward Commissioner and is where you need to report things you see as unjust, inaccurate or abusive—not on Social Media. If you truly want something investigated reporting to her is the step you need to take and her contact information is readily available. Help stop this insidious vitriol and use the established pathways to problem solving.

President Deborah Johnson talked about AHA’s accomplishments for 2023 which related to an outstanding year.  AHA was found in favor in the PAT suit and was paid for all monies spent on defense. AHA sold their old building in Denver and settled into the new smaller building in Greenwood Village. AHA had a good year working with USEF to be a breed leader and adopt a platform of reciprocity between them and EC Canada.

AHA has struggled in past years to stay financially secure with dwindling membership and registrations along with National shows that didn’t make money but since the Covid shutdown they have revamped themselves, adjusted employee counts and had a mindset of thinking outside of the box to become solvent.  In 2023 Membership was up, registrations were up and all four National Shows made money.

As four the resolutions, many were of housekeeping type that only worked in new wording to keep in line with the section of the rule book or added/deleted items to keep them in line with other classes of the same discipline. The one resolution that was withdrawn had the most emotional discussion of the lot and it was the registration of rescue animals for show purposes. These animals would have a special registration paper that would allow only showing no breeding. It would have been for previously registered horses with lost or non-transferred papers only. It seemed it had way too many moving parts that were not thought through well enough for everyone to get behind so was withdrawn. Maybe we will see a better resolution come through on this subject in the next couple of years.

Here is a good story on resolutions. Last year a resolution was introduced on

letting Tongue Ties be allowed.  Up until then they were prohibited in the show ring but you could use them up until going in the gate. As I prepared for convention I had made the decision that in my opinion I was against this resolution. Once I got to Convention and sat in committee after committee where I heard reasons I had never thought of before I changed my mind. I heard trainers speak, amateurs speak, veterinarians speak. There were many against to start with but by the time we voted on the subject many of the delegates voted for the resolution, me included. Once the rule change was passed it went to USEF for them to vote on it. This resolution then came to the Morgans, Saddlebreds, Hackneys and Driving where they then adopted or are in the process of adopting this same verbiage for their breeds as well. This is how far reaching good hard work on resolutions goes. It also put AHA in a leadership role, a first for them.

I also attended the Convention Planning committee which I felt was insightful. The committee went over all the items they need to hold a convention and their budget and really how few places meet those criteria. The 2024 Convention will be in Reno NV as well as the 2025 convention. 

One of my favorite updates every year at convention is The American Horse Council update. They are our Legislative and Regulatory body that represents our breed.  AHA is a founding member of this council. They are still working on a Farm Bill that includes disease tracking and other equine needs. Tax Policy that includes equine valuation. A labor bill that includes guest visas for farm workers. The American Outdoor Act that would keep trails and trail riding open in parks. And a bill that would allow for Vets to qualify for Equine Physical/Mental Therapy in coping with PTSD etc.

On the Regulatory side they are still working to eliminate Equine soring. Working on rulings for Import/Export of horses, updating federal data collection (equine census). Water rights for large equine facilities. Rules on unsanctioned racing (disease spread). And finally fighting to get Miniature horses accepted as service animals.

Of all the groups out there, this group fights for horses and the lifestyle that goes with it, more than any other. I always learn so much by attending the AHA Convention. This year I was revitalized to keep helping, to keep supporting, to keep promoting to keep educating, to keep volunteering….to keep this lifestyle I love.

023 AHA Convention Report

Roxzene Bockstruck

As a guest I attended meetings ranging from Working Western, Amateur to Dressage and Western Dressage.  I found them all interesting and educational. 

I am very glad social media was discussed, from my observation there seems to be more negativity and sometimes personal assaults than productive activity.  There is a better, kinder way to express yourself and accomplish your concerns. Think before you write. 

I really enjoyed the ability to attend the convention virtually.  I hope it will be offered again soon as it is a way to educate yourself on your association on a small budget.


2023 AHA Convention Report

Roxzene Bockstruck

As a guest I attended meetings ranging from Working Western, Amateur to Dressage and Western Dressage.  I found them all interesting and educational. 

I am very glad social media was discussed, from my observation there seems to be more negativity and sometimes personal assaults than productive activity.  There is a better, kinder way to express yourself and accomplish your concerns. Think before you write. 

I really enjoyed the ability to attend the convention virtually.  I hope it will be offered again soon as it is a way to educate yourself on your association on a small budget. 

2022 AHA Convention Report

There is something to be said for the South Carolina Low Country hospitality to be sure! The AHA Convention held in Myrtle Beach on The Grand Strand was a welcoming change from the last three years of virtual presentations.  This year’s convention theme was RESOLVE.

We were housed at the Sheraton Hotel that was hooked on to the Convention Center so it was an easy walk and all inside.  The beach was only 3-4 blocks away with abundant shopping and eateries. Wednesday started with the Board of Directors meeting followed by Trivia Night that benefited the AHDF (Arabian Horsemen’s Distress Fund).

Thursday found us at our first General Session where Deborah Johnson AHA President talked about the state of the association. This was good news as AHA is in the black for the first time in many years.  The Pat case goes to trial in December, this still ways heavy on everyone.  She discussed the cancellation of the Canadian Nationals and the reasons for it but did not mention bringing it back on board for 2023.  Private Canadians raised money and held their own national show in Red Deere, Alberta and that show has been picked up again for 2023 already. The second Ranch Horse Nationals was held and showed positive growth. Distance Nationals was also a success. This event is held in conjunction with other breeds to help offset costs and was held this year near Boise Id. No WI-fi or cell service made it interesting but still a success.  Youth/Midsummer has also grown. 2020 1230 horses, 2021 1422 horses and 2022 1155 horses.  Sport Horse Nationals was again held at the WEC in Ohio and has grown. 2020 383 horses, 2021 609 horses, and 2022 545 horses.  US Nationals also grew a lot this year. 2020 1679 horses, 2021 1854 horses 2022 1774 horses. The venue really works for all. 

AHA has sold their old building (too big and costly) and are moving into a smaller building in Greenwood, CO. Conventions: 2023 will go back to being virtual.  2024 will be held in Reno, NV.

215 of a possible 326 Credentialed Delegates were in attendance and no club revocations for this year.


442 thousand members; 2122 Licensed shows in 2022; 2141 licensed officials. What we learned through covid: be flexible, accept interruption, diversify revenue streams (shutdowns really affected revenue all around). USEF streaming will now go through a global distributor for all to watch. This will generate revenue through advertising. 

New for 2023 Fantasy Gaming watch for more info on the USEF website. USEF is looking at putting out its own “show Software” that would have live links to the association for reporting.

Social Media’s new pressure to behave and show you are enforcing rules. This was a long and involved discussion, but four examples were given. One, the Thoroughbred association did nothing at the Santa Anita Racetrack after several horses died there and SM got a hold of it and it ended up being taken over by the federal government (drug monitoring and testing). The other was in Alameda County, CA where a concerned citizen proposed a “No spurs or flank straps” ban to the Commissioners of the County. Both USEF and The American Horse Council stepped in to educate both the commissioners and the citizens on use, rules and disciplinary actions.  The ban was voted down. This could have potentially affected ALL HORSEMEN not just the intended. Thirdly, the NRHA passed a new “sedative” rule that has been very unpopular on SM and is having much effect on that association.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics pentathlon incident, which went viral on Social Media, caused the committee to drop the horse-riding part of the event starting in 2024. Basically, it came down to the fact that people, in general, do not associate horse events Racing, Rodeo, Horse shows, and Olympics with a breed but assume all horses fall under and are governed under the same umbrella.


Biggest issue right now Affordability followed by number of shows, number of officials, revenue. We are working with USEF of getting our judges eligible to judge in the US again after they changed the ruling in 2022. EC is very much a supporter of our breed and all breeds and makes them a priority…. a lot different than USEF.


Cash flow is now positive first time in 13 years. During covid the PPP loans really saved AHA.

AHA Future Challenges:

*P. A. T. Lawsuit

*National Economic uncertainty

*Canadian Nationals

*Strengthening Clubs and Regionals

*Employee retention and compensation

*Moving to new building

*Technology improvements

*Migration fro Oracle 8i to Multiview Cloud

*Cyber security

*National Scoring programs and Show Management.


The American Horse Council is our voice in DC.  They lobby for all kinds of equine issues from opening up trails to horse use to helping to get visas and green cards for non-citizen farm workers. A big one is keeping horses designated as “livestock” and not as “pets.”  They also work on tax benefits, humane treatment and laws. Liability laws and protection from animal rights groups.  AHA was a founding member of this council. Here are some fun facts: $122 Billion added to the US Economy by the horse industry. 7.2 million horses in the US. 1.74 million employed in the horse industry making $79 Billion in salaries, wages and benefits. Biggest segment of use is recreation (does not include showing, racing or traditional work). As you can see, this report is one of my favorites!

At the luncheon on Thursday we listened to The Judges Panel and Review Board talk on unnatural and altered tails and how to spot them.

Thursday night we attended a buffet provided by Region 5 and had our Regional caucus.

There were 16 resolutions presented to the convention floor to be voted on. The body of delegates voted for a consent agenda on Resolutions 3, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16. Resolutions 2 and 4 were withdrawn. We voted individually on 1, 5, 6, 7, and 8. These were much debated and hotly discussed in all of our committee meetings as well as on the convention floor. All were passed.


Stan Morey gave a good talk.  AHA employees 31 full time and 1 part time. Youth/Midsummer show will stay on course for the time being. SHN have showed they can grow at the WEC so will stay here. We need USEF for the liability and the safe sport protection.

Friday night we all met for the Presidents Banquet and AHA volunteer awards for both Regional and National levels. Our own Tibbs Arabians was runner up for the Discovery Farm of the year.  Big congratulations to Barbara and Laurie on this most prestigious award!!


Katie Feighner did an excellent job explaining SM and how it affects AHA.


2025- they recommended another virtual convention, and the membership voted a resounding no. They will go back to the drawing board and find somewhere to have it.


Created in 1979 as the 501 (c) (3) arm of AHA. Research and Education branches  gave out $46,000 in Scholarships this year (1.3 million to date). $11,000 in research. Up to now research has been genetic but now they are entering some areas where more than the Arabian breed may be affected.  Feed and feeding (ulcers) and age-related work injuries in soft tissue and bone such as PSSM (tying up), DFLD (degenerative Suspensory) and Anhidrosis (no sweating).


Many judges and stewards have retired over the last year and the collective age of the ones left are the senior age group.  We are at a critical point where we need younger people to step up and become judges. They also revealed judges hired for 2023 National events. Click here for judging panels for Youth Nationals, Sport Horse Nationals, and US Nationals. 

I attended many committee meetings. I am a member of the Working Western, Sport Horse and Dressage/WD committees and made those my priority but I also attended the USN committee, Distance committee, Hunter/Jumper committee, Equine Stress committee, and Arabian Horse Foundation committee.

There is so much information given out that I did not cover here.  If you have questions about any of this, please ask I would be glad to answer!


Respectively submitted,

Denise Cummings.





Report by EEAHC Delegate Denise Cummings

This year’s theme “Resilience” truly reflected the year and the attitude of AHA, its staff and all those that make up our membership.

President Debra Johnson started us off with a speech chronicling a year of opportunities for AHA. Some of those opportunities and issues included Covid and its nationwide reach, the PAT suit and litigation, and the hijacking and ransom of AHA’s Internet systems…. twice. On the brighter side AHA had a good year financially, no data was lost to the hijacking, and National Show entries were up unanimously across the board.

For Convention this year, 338 delegates were eligible with 210 credentialed in attendance. Since this was again a virtual convention many guests were able to watch and participate in the committee meetings and watch the general business meeting on Saturday.  I am a committee member of the Working Western, Sport Horse and Dressage/Western Dressage Committee and attended those along with the Education and Evaluation, Breeding and In Hand and Showmanship/Equitation committee meetings.  These meetings are where a lot of the Resolutions and changes of rules come from along with growing the list of classes that are recognized at our shows. Committee meetings are a lot of talk, wrangling, research, protocol and work, but are worth it.  Anyone can be on a committee; sign up is on your account page on the AHA Website if you want to get involved.

Awards:  Awards night is always fun to see and recognize the individuals who give their time to the Arabian Horse Breed in as many different ways and capacities as you could imagine!  From our Club, Denise Cummings received the Region 5 Volunteer of the Year Award and Bob Brannan was recognized as the Emerald Empire Volunteer of the Year recipient. Our very own Sophia Huffman was announced as the AHA Youth of the Year Recipient as well as the USEF Junior Exhibitor Awards. Click here for more information about Sophie's accomplishment. 

The American Horse Council:  The American Horse Council is the Legislative group lobbying for horses, and the people who own them along with workers and horse related Ag activities.  Did you know that 30.5% of American households have a horse enthusiast? Did you know AHA is a founding member of this council? Some cool trivia!  Some of the bills they are working on right now:

·  PPP- A Covid paycheck protection for Equine businesses

·  Horse Protection-Anti soring

·  Horse Racing-Horse Health

·  Horse Race Betting-Fairness

·  Federal Tax Policy for Equine Businesses

·  Labor Policy for ag workers seeking work visas

·  Great American Outdoors Act-Keeping trails open for horses and National Parks open for recreation.

Canadian Nationals:  This show will be back on for 2022 in Brandon, Manitoba. August 14-20. There is now a new Holiday Inn Hotel built right off the show grounds along with other close hotels and eateries.  They have been asked to add many new classes but will have to look at it closely as they cannot add any days to the schedule.  Please know the show commission is working tirelessly to accommodate what they can.  Click here for 2022 Judges panel.

US Nationals: Oct 21 – 29 2022.  Tulsa, OK.  This year was the largest they have had yet.  Complaints were not too bad except for some scheduling issues between the Pavillion and Ford Truck Arena.  Footing was the best they have ever had and exhibitors were really happy with it.  All the Ranch classes and Performance Halter were the two disciplines with the largest growth over last year.  Click here for 2022 Judges panel.

Youth Nationals:  July 17 - 23 2022. Oklahoma City OK.  Very well attended.  Click here for 2022 Judges panel.

Sport Horse Nationals:  September 12-17 2022.  Wilmington, OH.  This was the first year this show was at the WEC (World Equestrian Center) in Wilmington, OH. They showed a video of the facility and all I can say is WOW! What a place!!  It was well received by exhibitors and AHA staff alike. Complaints were minimal.  West coasters complained of the long drive and questions were raised of whether the commission is still looking for a West coast venue and the commission did say they are looking.  The show is contracted with the WEC for two more years.  Click here for 2022 Judges panel.

Nancy Harvey gave an overview of the MOS scoring system and how it works to the delegation. It was very thorough.

Youth Report:  They announced their leadership.  Region 5 was well represented.  They are going to continue their theme of “Are you OK” this year.  Checking in on each other to make sure everyone is ok.

MDP:  National Arabian Horse Day is Feb 19, 2022 during the Scottsdale Show they will be having a big celebration. 

Discovery Farms:  They were able to sign up quite a few farms during the week of US Nationals.  They are trying to grow the program, as this is an easy way for grassroots connections to happen.

Judges and Stewards Commission: Stan Morey took a promotion and his replacement will be Mary Jane Brown. A big concern they are worried about and still need to work on is ethics at the value shows. With the absence of a steward, many decisions are falling on Judges and show committees that may not know procedures and policies. The Judging School this year will be virtual (trial) to see if this format works, if it doesn’t, they will go back to in person. School is Dec 2 – 4 in Scottsdale AZ.

Arabian Horse Foundation:  This is the education and research arm of AHA.  The Foundation funds educational scholarships and research on Arabian horse diseases and genetic defects. Please keep them in mind for donations.  An easy way to support them is selecting them as your 501 (c) (3) designation on your Amazon Smile.

Local Level Committee:  Platforms are Meet an Arabian Horse, Discovery Farms and Lucky Listener (literacy project).

AHA Virtual Shows:  AHA will again be putting on Virtual Shows starting in December and running through May.  One each month. Please go to the AHA Website for further details.

Distance Riding:  69.4% of entries are either Arabian, Half Arabian or Anglo Arabian.   AHA held its first National Distance Championship in 2009 and it had 6 Rides (Classes) over the years they have partnered with other breeds to hold an all-in-one Championship but with different breed awards.  In 2021 they offered 26 Rides (Classes) for all the different breeds attending.  Ride Manager Alanna Frank gave a really in depth presentation on what all goes into running a National Ride; it was a real eye opener.  In 2022 the National Distance Ride will be held in Southern Idaho.

Convention Planning:  AHA Convention 2022 will be an in-person event In Myrtle Beach, SC.   November 9-12.  The host Hotel is the Sheraton rooms in our block will be $109.00.  The Sheraton is hooked on to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.  For 2023 AHA will return to a virtual Platform again and in 2024 convention will be held in Reno, NV at the Silver Legacy. 

2021 Resolutions: The delegation decided to approve a consent agenda for all resolutions except 1-21, 2-21, and 4-21. Resolution 16-21 was withdrawn from the floor.  Resolution 1-21, Blind horses competing in Sport Horse halter classes, was approved. Resolution 2-21 dealing with hoof length during longer shows was referred to the rules committee for review and to bring back to the next convention for a vote. Resolution 4-21 about adding the color burgundy to the list of acceptable hunt coats was passed as amended.

All in all, I thought AHA 2021 Convention was well done, organized and full of Information. AHA is ready for 2022.


Respectfully submitted,

Denise Cummings, Emerald Empire AHC Delegate



Below you'll find out what went on at the 2020 AHA Virtual National Convention

Click here to find out what went on at the 2020 AHA Virtual National Convention (what you'll find:  our voting delegate Denise Cummings' convention report followed by notes by Barbara Tibbs, Laurie Tibbs, and Roxzene Bockstruck)

 2020 ANNUAL AHA CONVENTION REPORT by Denise Cummings EEAHC Delegate

Wow, what a year.  The Annual AHA in person Convention for 2020 which was to be held in Reno NV was cancelled due to Covid 19 and the worldwide Pandemic.  AHA wasted no time looking into what it would take to go to a virtual convention then put every effort into making that happen.  It took 3 platforms, a byelaws change and a resolution that had to be approved just to be able to hold this virtual edition.  They had to have town halls to teach us how to use these platforms and explain how things would work, all before we could even get started.

Success is an understatement.  If you have ever doubted that AHA has your best interests in mind, please put them to rest.  The myriad of people- mostly volunteers- that run our organization and put together events do so with 100% loyalty to the breed, owners and trainers. The 2020 Convention had the most attendees of any convention put on by AHA with 342 eligible delegates and 252 voting delegates.

All of the 2020 Resolutions were passed.  Most of these were deemed “housekeeping” type resolutions where mostly wording was changed or cleaned up to match up to other classes, ages requirements etc.  There were no heated discussions as in some previous years.

President Nancy Harvey gave an in-depth speech into her term of service and thanked many that had supported her and helped her through it all.  She gave out 3 Presidents Awards.  One was to Jim Lolas (sp) for his over all help and expertise in the area of IT.  Kelsey Bergland for being her go to person that always said “How can I help” and to the AHA Emergency Response Team that put in hours and hours of work during this last 8 ish months working on the Pandemic shutdowns.

Elections were held, and the following elected:  

American Horse Council

This group is working to protect all horsemen in our Nations Capital by lobbying on be half of all breeds and disciplines.  They are working on keeping horse campsites in National Parks open for horses.  They have a survey out to new legislators coming into the House and Senate to identify those willing to support horse and ag legislation. They have been and continue to work on a bill for foreign workers visas and guest work cards as this closely affects the horse industry.

Arabian Racing

Arabian Racing continues to grow across the board in ownership, races entered and prize money!


The meet an Arabian Horse Days in May and September were a huge success even with only being virtual events.  We are already planning for next year.  They still need breeders/stable owners to sign up to be Discovery Farms.  This is the best grassroots way to introduce kids and adults to our magnificent Arabian Horse.

Arabian Horse Foundation

This organization works hard on research (disease and genetic defects), Education and Scholarships .  They rely on donations.  They are set up on Amazon Smile where if you select them, they receive .05% from your purchases.


The AHDF had a very busy year in 2020 and its not over yet.  They helped many families during bouts with cancer, wildfires, hurricanes, and all the horse industry employees that Covid 19 and the Pandemic shutdowns affected including trainers, stable owners, farriers, grooms, braiders etc.  They need our ongoing support to continue to do the wonderful work they do.

Judges and Stewards Commission

Stan Morey gave a good report of a terrible year for horse shows. Exhibitors for the most part followed mask and social distancing rules in the shows that were able to go on in the latter part of the year.  The 2020 judge’s seminar and exhibitor’s school was cancelled but they are already planning one for Dec 2021.  All three National Shows are also being planned for 2021.  The main concern they are working on now is getting judges the training they need for the Ranch slate of classes, Performance Horse Halter and the new showmanship score card usage. They plan on some town hall meetings and online training/education to get everyone on the same page and educated.

Executive Vice President

Stan Morey acting EVP filled us all in on the search for a new EVP since Glenn Petty’s retirement last June.  We had a resolution on the name change from EVP to Executive Director to more fit the job that is now needed.  This resolution was approved.  Now AHA will search for a person that most fittingly lines up with the position.

Convention Planning

National Show Commission

For a list of Judges for all three national shows please see attachments. There will be no qualifications for all three National shows.  The AHA BOD’s put forth a new proposal for qualifications starting in 2022 that they would like clubs to discuss and get any feed back to your Regional Director.

Committee Reports:

Working Western (Committee member)

Cow:  The cows at this years Midsummer/Youth show were all sponsored which cut entry fees by quite a bit.  We are trying to get these sponsored again. Reining:  We are trying to get patterns posted Up to a week earlier so people can study and practice more. Our focus is on the futurity.  The new AHA App is great everyone should get it and use it. We are considering switching the cow weekend and the reining weekend to make schedules more accommodating.  Trail:  Purebred trail entries were up this last year.  Trail futurity is already growing.  In hand trail is also growing and they would like to see it at Nationals, so are going to ask the commissions.  Ranch:  discussing a derby for ranch where PB and HA would be combined- still in the talking stage.  Jr classes were way up this year.

Sporthorse Committee (Committee Member)

The National Sporthorse Show is to be held at the WEC in Ohio this year and for the two years after that. So, no East/West rotation during this period.  There are numerous reasons for this change it is not permanent at this point.  The commission is still trying to find a west coast facility that can house this big of a show. Blindness for breeding in hand classes was discussed lots of opinion on this one.  We will no doubt see a resolution on this next year.

Eq/Showmanship Committee (Guest)

Hunt Seat AATR is really growing.  For this reason, we would like to see this become a US Nationals class.  Right now, it is held at Sporthorse and cannot run at both so it will be up to the two show commissions to decide. We discussed Equitation leveling.  There has been a proposal that will include Showmanship and Horsemanship.  One of the obstacles is where it would show in pleasure like it does now, or, in an equitation category that does not count against your pleasure leveling. Look for this to be a resolution in 2021.  A straw vote taken by the committee attendants pointed to it going to a new Eq leveling category. The new Showmanship Score Card goes into effect on Dec. 1, 2020.  Its usage is not mandatory, but they are asking judges to use it and get used to it.  Time outs were also discussed.  A sub committee was set up to investigate this.  A new chair of this committee will take over, that person in Michelle Pease Paulson.

I attended several more committees but didn’t glean anything news worthy from them.

In conclusion

I thought the Convention went seamlessly. AHA did an outstanding job in adverse conditions like always.  I did miss the in-person meeting of people and networking with others.  I didn’t miss the expense, travel time and jet lag.

Thank you for supporting your delegate.  There is a need to stay informed.  I am honored to represent the EEAHC.

Respectfully submitted,

Denise Cummings


Barbara’s 2020 Convention Notes 

Working Western Committee Meeting:  Monday, November 16 

U. S. NationalsCattle, Discussion about when cows come in to the show was discussed, Like to have the cows early in the show so that arena can be available later in the show for warm ups for non-cow classes. If cows come in early in the show the day previous to classes can be used for cattle warm-ups.

Reining –  Working on Scoreboards.  Was difficult this year because of Covid and the proximity where people gathered in small area around the board to view causing congestion.  Tried to get a screen set up, but didn’t come to pass.  Will try to have on screens available in the future.   Jim Hit discussed 2 go system scoring where both scores count and everyone gets two goes.  Also, discussion of offering AATR classes in addition to AOTR classes.  Talked about the possibilities of running some concurrently.  Will go back to committee for further examination. 

Trail – Purebred classes were up in numbers this year.  Usually half-Arabs have larger classes.  Karlan Downing will post trail stats on Facebook page.  The question came up as to why the rider, owner and horse’s name isn’t announced during each go as done with reining.  It was reported that this was an arena management issue.  Can easily be taken care of.  Some discussion of the $30-$35 warm-up fee/run wondering if Blocks of time should be used for various warm-ups to balance the number of horses and riders at a time. 

Cows – Velma Peach reported the classes were down in a numbers this year due to Covid.  Youth Nationals showed increases in herd work classes.  There was a desire for AATR classes in working cow.  Some voiced they want a second go in herd work classes. 

Ranch Riding – Request adding Ranch Riding Futurity/Derby to run concurrently with the Junior Horse Classes.  To be a combined purebred/Half-Arabian class until entries merit split because of the size of the purse.  It was also reported that the number of junior horses increased considerably over last year.

Youth Committee Meeting:  Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Minutes from the 2019 convention meeting were approved.  The 2020 agenda was approved.  Four resolutions affecting the youth committee were presented and approved.  Those resolutions included 6-20, 7-20, 8-20, and 17-20. 

Brenna Johnson presented the Youth financial report and noted that less money came in, but there were less expenses with putting on contests like the National Hippology Contest and the National Judging Contest virtually.  Still did very well with the sponsors for those contests. 

The Regional Youth Team Tournament was cancelled for 2020.  A sub-committee to deal with the RYTT was established from volunteers.  They will meet by 12/11/20 to discuss options for 2021. 

The Youth of the Year program was discussed and the committee will remain the same as last year as all members agreed to remain on the committee. 


Kathy Callahan-Smith expressed a large thank you for the Judging Contest and the Hippology Contest coordinated by Brenna Johnson. 

An invitation was extended to attendees to attend the Youth Board Meeting to be held on Sunday from 9-12 on Sunday, November 20. 

Youth Nationals Show Commission:  Tuesday, November 17, 2020 (came in on end of meeting)

Youth Nationals Show held with Mid-Summer Nationals.  Some of the points made:

Keep Youth Free Style as a Finals Night Class for youth.  Some of youth classes were pushed aside from the Adults. 

Canadian National Show Commission:  Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The first order of business was to review resolutions tagged to this commission.  The commission approved all resolutions. 

The Canadian Futurities were held at the Mid Summer Nationals in conjunction with the US Youth Nationals. 

The commission has been exploring the possibilities of holding a scaled down version of the Canadian National for Canadians only in 2021 if the border remains closed.  They already do have Sponsor that will remain anonymous for now.  Lots of “ifs”  so far, but plans are being ironed out now just in case. 

Right now there are not any Go/No Go dates established, but will be explored.  Still know nothing of border opening.    

It is suggested that budgets for Canada, Youth and Mid-Summer be set up as ‘’stand alone.’   Canada already has 51 Patrons Supporting for a show in 2021 which shows commitment to the show. 

US National Show Commission: Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Started right off with approval of resolutions 5-20, 10-20, & 16-20. 

Sheri Odom requested that the commission add Hunt Seat Equitation Not to Jump Adult to the National show.  She reported that it is offered and well received in 17 Regions at the Regional level and is now waiting to move to the National level.  There were 23 entries in the class at Mid-Summer.  The commissioners will take it under consideration. 

Juli Larson, a US Nationals judge in the Ford arena brought up that she and other judges in that arena felt that 20 horses was too many for a finals and requested that they considered moving the number back down to 8 in the go forward rounds. 

It was a large show that went well. 

There was also still a concern about riders riding the center rather than the rail especially in the amateur Half-Arabian Hunters making it difficult for the larger, bigger strided horses to maneuver around those riding the center.

It was also stated by some that they liked the 10 go forward because you might have all top 10 in one section. 

If you attended the show, be sure that you have completed your post show survey. 

It was expressed that allowing Select riders to also ride in AOTR classes of the same discipline was a good idea giving riders an opportunity to show in more than just one class in the show.

Jim Hitt complimented the commission for doing a good job at working with him on arena conflicts during the show since he was showing in all three arenas. 

It was reported that the APP was a great resource at the show and very helpful. 

It was also mentioned that the audience appreciated having the Top Ten pinned in the arena rather than excusing them and calling them back in. 

2021 Regional Show Schedule


Go Bingo Night Bingo:  Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Congratulations to our Bingo Winners
1st Game: Carrie Olson
2nd Game: Kelly Kenneally
3rd Game: Cricket Gates, Kaye Pheuf, Laurie Tibbs
4th Game: Cheryl Lane Canon, Stacy Dunn

The above received 25.00 Gift Certificates

Blackout Game Winner $100.00 Gift Card to Cheryl Lane Canon

Go Bingo night is sponsored by Wine Country Arabian Horse Association and Red Bluff Arabian Horse Association. 

Notes from Board of Directors Meeting:  Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Just a few highlights from AHA Board of Director's meeting.

A motion from the Emergency Response Team (ERT) was approved to eliminate qualification requirements for 2021 regional shows and national shows. This does not affect regional and national distance rides; a separate motion may come forward for those events.

Another motion from the ERT was to establish eligibility for 2022 and beyond regional and national shows based on participation at AHA recognized shows. The number of shows for each regional or national class is still in development and a final version will be presented to the BOD at our August 2021 meeting. (See attachments regarding participation qualifications)

Equitation Committee Meeting: Thursday, November 19, 2020

Came in late into the Equitation Committee meeting.  Discussion was held about holding adult Hunt Seat Equitation Not to Jump Classes at Nationals and utilizing the working western judges to judge the class.

Showmanship: It was reported that showmanship at US Nationals is growing by leaps and bounds. Committee shared the score sheet to be used and scored like trail.  The last column on the score sheet is labeled F & E, which stands for Form & Effectiveness, and the score sheet also includes penalty points. Implementing the score sheets will require judges to be trained in the use of the scoring sheet as well as require that judges will need scribes.  Discussion of the lack of allowances for time outs was brought up as well as the need for qualified walkers so that judges can keep attention on the exhibitors.

Working Western Committee:  Thursday, November 17, 2020

 Youth Nationals: Cows were sponsored in 2020 and will be again in 2021.  Anonymous donor sponsored the cows, which was much appreciated.  Patterns need to be posted online a week ahead of the show.  Ability to post early is much easier now that AHA has the app.

Trail had 77 entries in 2020 and 70 entries in 2019.  Purebred entries were up this year. 

Ranch Riding is starting to plateau with ½ Arabs growing.

US Nationals: Trail classes showed growth in purebreds this year with Ranch Riding classes plateauing. Suggested that have more organized warm-ups next year to level out the number of horses in the arena at one time for warm-up. Discussion was held about adding in-hand trail at Nationals to possibly run at the end of one of the lighter trail days with a modified pattern from mounted courses.   Also, discussion was held regarding the addition of leveling in the trail division as well as changing primetime to being 50 & over.  Many have also requested a 2nd go round for herd work classes as well as adding AATR to run concurrent w/AAOTR classes.  Addition of Futurity/Derby Classes in Ranch Riding to run concurrently with junior horse classes was also discussed.

Professional Horsemen’s Committee:  Thursday, November 19, 2020

This was an excellent session with a lot of discussion about the AHA relationship with USEF. Ended with recommendation to explore AHA relationship with USEF with a committee.  Investigate what other breed associations do. 

Competition Advisory Committee:  Friday, November 20, 2020

This session was dedicated to questions and answers regarding the new qualification chart.  (See attachments).   Starting in 2022 and beyond AHA, is moving from the point system of qualification to a participation system. In essence, under the new system a rider needs to merely enter, show and complete a given class in order to qualify for Regionals in one local show.  National qualifications would be the same only you would have to compete in two local shows.  The beauty of the new qualification system is that any local show's qualified ride, qualifies you for any regional show throughout the US or Canada. The time frame that the qualifications are valid remains the same as it is currently. 

Laurie's Convention Notes 2020

Sport Horse Session

Dressage and Western Dressage Session

 Sport Horse Nationals Session

 Canadian Nationals Session

Roxzene's Convention Notes 2020

Amateur Committee

Well, this is what I have, maybe there is something new or different than you all have.  I liked the virtual convention and enjoyed attending this way.  Maybe it will be considered again next year.  

2021 Regional Show Schedule (tentative)

Why attend Convention?  

Be a part of the first “Virtual” AHA Convention.  All registered attendees will have access to Committee/Commission meetings and virtual Awards Ceremony. Registered/Credentialed Delegates will have a virtual seat on the convention floor and will be able to vote on resolutions/convention elected positions for committees/AHA Officers.

Click below to get your all of your information about the 2020 AHA Virtual Convention

Convention Schedule - Updated 10/29/20

General  Session

General Session will be held on Saturday, November 21st from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Mountain Time.  It will be held in three sessions:

General Session #1 - 10:00 am to 12:15 pm MT

45 minute break

General Session #2 – 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm MT

30 minute break

General Session #3 – 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm MT

Plenary and Voter Training Session

Plenary led by Penny Wardlaw, Chair of Agenda & Resolutions

Voter Training provided by Mark Fite of Option Technologies

Wednesday, November 11th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm MT


$175 for Delegates/Directors – All access to virtual functions and Voting authority

$35 for Alternates/Members – All access to virtual functions (All members can attend without voting rights.)

$85 for Non-Members – Provides a one year membership and all access to virtual functions

Note: Prices increase after November 2nd and registration closes on November 16th

Click here to register for the AHA Virtual Convention online.

Click here to register for the AHA Virtual Convention via a printed form.

2020 Resolutions (all resolutions for 2020 were passed at convention) 

Resolution Log

Complete list of 2020 Resolutions can be found by below. Click on the number before each resolution subject to access the complete resolution.  

1. Electronic voting for AHA Elections (Bylaws 2/3 vote)>

2. Emergency Provisions - Amend Articles V, VI and VIII – Bylaws (2/3rds vote)>

3. Executive Vice President to Executive Director (Bylaws 2/3 vote)>

4. Scope of C2/TD Responsibility in Regular/Local Competition offering Dressage (USEF/EC)

5. Additional Modification to Regulation for Judging Conflicts (USEF/EC)

6. Western Dressage Equitation – Junior Exhibitor Age (USEF/EC)

7. Youth National Exception to the Breeding/In-Hand Order of Go (USEF/EC)

8. Permanent Changes to the Hunter Jog Rules (USEF/EC)

9. Modify AR172.3 Open Dressage Statement for Regular/Local Competitions (USEF/EC)

10. Breaking Ties in Working Western (USEF/EC)

11. Addition of Ranch Horse Reining (USEF/EC)

12. Addition of Ranch Working Cow (USEF/EC)

13 Addition of Ranch Cutting (USEF/EC)

14 Addition of Versatility Ranch Riding (USEF/EC)

15 Addition of Ranch Horse Conformation (USEF/EC)

16. Allowing National Classes Change of Venue

17 Exempting Western Horsemanship from MOS at Regional Shows

Click below to read a report of the 2019 AHA National Convention held in Tulsa, OK November 13-16 provided by delegates . . .

2019 AHA Convention Report 

This year the AHA Convention started out with the First-timers meeting which I haven’t been to in a long time. There were many excited faces in the room, and I got the feeling the breed has good people, that want to make a difference, there to watch out for all of us and our beautiful horses.

The first general session kicked off with AHA letting us know about some highlights of the past year and current items going on.  

*The lawsuit with the old Trust is over.  They didn’t go into the outcome or even who won except that it cost the membership1.37 million. 

*Entries at the National Shows were on budget.

*Regional boundaries task force will present a report later in Convention.

*AHA Handbook has been redone to make it easier to use.

*Glenn Petty is retiring so AHA is looking for a new Vice President.

*AHA will have a new documentary coming out - done as an independent film and will debut at the Sundance Film Festival.

*Of 435 elected delegates eligible to attend Convention only 269 attended Convention.

*There were no club revocations this year.  Good news!!

Marketing/Promotion Development (MDP)-Lisa Blackstone

Treasurer’s Report:

AHA is undergoing an IT and infrastructure upgrade with a price tag of 1.5 million.  This along with lawsuit has put the organization in a negative cash flow and will take several years to build back up to being cash positive.

American Horse Council:

Many Ag bills have been sent up from Congress, but the Senate isn’t voting on them.  One item that did pass is Horses are now deemed livestock.  This is huge as they were deemed pets before and underwent extreme scrutiny tax wise.

They are still working on the PAST Act-which gets rid of soaring. Mitch McConnell is against it so it won’t get voted on in the Senate and has been referred back to the Commerce Committee.

H-2A and H-2B, which is visas for farm workers, will be introduced by the end of the year.  This is to help farmers get the workers they need.  Farmers say 73% of jobs they need filled go unfilled.  This bill would change Ag language to include Horse Trainers and Managers allowing visa holders to take these jobs as Equine jobs as well.

Trails bill- Restore our Parks Act:  Simplifies outdoor access to all parks and recreation areas for equines.


Sweepstakes gave out $330,000.00 dollars to show folks where racing gave out 1.7 million.  Arabian racing is alive and well.  Most of the races are on the East Coast, Texas and California.

Arabian Horseman’s Distress Fund (AHDF)

They are still helping out those that need a hand.  They need your help. This year they set up a promotional side to their platform so you can earmark your money for what you want it to go to.  During Convention $36,800 was raised for AHDF.

Vice President Glenn Petty:

State of the Organization:  AHA is starting 1.3 million dollar capitol improvements that is cash based with no debt.  It will go towards new carpet, cubicles, paint and parking lot repair.  AHA employees 40 people.  The Magazine is still sluggish and is under review to see it warrants keeping it going.  All National shows are stable-Canada and Youth were down but nothing significant.  Registrations are down, but that is across the board in all breeds.  In racing 70 owners split over a million dollars in payouts/purses.  Distance Nationals this year they went together with other breeds to help with costs and it was very successful.  Membership is still declining (this again is in line with all other breeds).  AHA has 250 clubs through out the US and Canada. Convention attendees continue to decline also.  Social Media continues to grow, we are 4% above industry standards (Facebook and Instagram).

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ty Wallis

Dr. Wallis spoke on the Advances in Orthopedic Therapies.  Very interesting talk.  They can fix a lot of leg issues now that horses used to be put down for. 

Last Session:

We were given the lists of judges already hired for the National Shows. The Regional restructure and districting of shows was gone through with us and it wasn’t very popular, it is just the start and they still have a lot of work to do, but change is coming.  We cannot continue to decline in all areas of our association without making changes to stay solvent or even an organization at all.

Keynote Speaker: Christy Landwehr

Christy is the Chief Executive Officer of the Certified Horsemanship Association.  Wow, what a dynamic speaker. She covered so much stuff. 

Convention Delegates voted on where to have the 2022 Convention And Myrtle Beach SC won.  2020 will be Reno NV, 2021 will be Niagara Falls, Canada.

APAHA committee:

Discussed the rotating 6-judge panel pilot program that was initiated at USN. This was done in an effort for more consistent judging and to help eliminate the fatigue factor. There were 35-40 added classes at USN in 2019. They found that the 6 judge panel brought a better balance of hours each judge is officiating and helps eliminate fatigue. The 6-judge panel will expand to Youth, Canada and SHN.

Sweepstakes Committee:

·      Breeder payback is increasing from 10% to 15%. AWPA & AEPA have okay’ d this. 

·      399 horses were enrolled in the last chance buy in that ended 10/15/19.

·      $15,000 prize money for Performance Horse Halter classes in at USN in 2020. Regular entry fees are stated.

AHA Foundation in 2019:

Gave $30,000 in scholarships, $10,000 in grants and $10,000 in scholarships from achievements in classes ($1000 for championship and $500 reserve champ at youth nationals)

Right Horse Initiative-

1748 horses rehomed in 2018. They partner with non-profits to rescue, retrain and get eligible horses back out in society and good homes. This organization executed pilot programs with Nexus Equine Colorado University and Love This Horse Equine Rescue. Now that the pilot programs are proven, they have recently partnered with the ASPCA.

Denise attended the following committee meetings:  Sport Horse, Working Western, Western Dressage, Local Outreach, Education and Evaluation, Arabian Horse Foundation. We mostly went over resolutions and had discussion on them.

Connie attended the following committee meetings: AP&AH, Marketing & Development, Working Western, Amateur, Foundation, Education and Evaluation.

Denise Cummings, Delegate

Connie Arnold, Delegate

Notes from Alternate Delegate follow below

First Time Convention Attendee Seminar, where Charles Bass focused on 1.) The purpose of the convention and why we are attending; 2.) the use of Parliamentary Procedure/Robert's Rules of Order; 3.) Handbook/by-laws; 4.) He reminded us, our passion is what gets things done.

Session attended:  Region 5 Caucus Meeting; Plenary Session; Forum: Regional Task Force; Equitation & Showmanship Committee, (a judge’s score card for showmanship will be used once approved); Sport Horse Nationals Commission; Membership Committee; Awards Committee: Registration Commission; Amateur Committee.

The main focus of the convention, sessions, forums and meetings was the resolutions and the ESSENTIAL need to focus on the grassroots thought process of encouraging the growth of our Arabian Horse Breed.

Respectfully submitted,

Roxzene Bockstruck


Click below to see the actions upon the 2019 resolutions presented at the 2019 AHA convention . . .

Clicking on the number before each resolution will take you to the AHA website to view the resolution in its entirety .

1A   Amend Bylaws Article VIII, Section 2, Subparagraph a - DIRECTORS (Bylaws - 2/3rds vote) - Withdrawn

1B  Amend Bylaws Article VIII, Section 1. Qualifications (Bylaws - 2/3rds vote) - Withdrawn

2  Regional Director Election Process (Bylaws – 2/3rds vote) Approved

3  Remove Exception for Number of Dressage Rides (USEF/EC) - Withdrawn

4  Removing Age Restriction in Sport Horse In-Hand (USEF/EC)   Amendement 1 - Approved

5  Clarification to Sport Horse In-Hand (USEF/EC)   Amendement 2 - Approved

6  Additions to Sport Horse Appointments (USEF/EC) Approved

7  Appointing Another Rider in Owner Classes for Working Hunter (USEF/EC) Approved

8  Performance Halter Scoring Options (USEF/EC) - Withdrawn

9  Addition of Ranch Horse Cow Work (USEF/EC)  Amended on the Floor - Amendement 2 - Approved

10  Addition of Ranch Horse Trail (USEF/EC)  Amendement 1 - Approved

11  Addition of Ranch Horse Rail Pleasure (USEF/EC)  Amended on the Floor - Approved

12  Redefining Age Splits for Youth (USEF/EC)   Amended on the Floor - Amendement 1 - Approved

13  Showmanship Rules Modified (USEF/EC)   Amendement 2 - Approved

14  New Section for Walk/Trot/Jog Classes 11 & Over (USEF/EC)  Amendement 1 - Approved

15  Rescind Resolutions 20-03, 18-09 and 33-15 - Withdrawn

16  Allow Concurrent Specialty Classes to be Held at Regionals  Amended on the Floor - Approved

17  Combined Regional Championship Shows/Rides  Amended on the Floor - Approved

18  Allowing Board Modifications to Resolutions with Restrictions   Referred to the Bylaws Committee

19  Filing Fee on Judges and Stewards Complaints to be set by the AHA Board of Directors - Approved