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Summary of Board discussion and actions – part 1

From the ApHC Board of Directors meeting in Albuquerque, March 10-12, 2008.

Show Related

National/Youth Show Dates — We’ll be gathering information to determine if it would be helpful to switch the Youth World Show and have it after the open/non-pro National Show. There are some schedule conflicts with at least some states and their mandatory testing for high school students.

Class Line-Ups – On a TRIAL basis at this year’s National and World Shows (Open classes only – this will not apply to youth or non-pro classes) we will eliminate the line-ups under each judge and recognize (announce horse, exhibitor, and owner) the overall Top 16 exhibitors. Those placing 11th – 16th will receive finalist ribbons and the Top Ten will receive Top Ten ribbons.

Masters Cutting – The Appaloosa Cutting Horse Association will conduct the Masters Class rather than ApHC.

World Show Qualifying – In July, the board will consider a formula being developed to re-design the points system for qualifying for the ApHC World Show. The numbers would be adjusted annually based on the number of point earners, points earned, and other factors from the previous show year.

Non-Pro Age Divisions were discussed extensively. Directors and staff will be gathering information and comments from non-pro exhibitors to see if we need to re-align the age divisions for non-pro exhibitors. One suggestion is to have two divisions – 19-44 and 45-and-over, with no cross-entries.

Planning & Review Committee recommendations

ApHC will become part of the Unwanted Horse Coalition, to at least promote the concept of “responsible ownership.”

The board approved the development of guidelines to establish an ApHC Foundation. Contributions could be directed toward equine research, the existing AYA Foundation and the Museum Foundation, and money could support education programs, special awards and other activities within the scope of the tax code for charitable organizations.

Canadian Registration Window – will be open for a 12-month period, effective July 1, 2008. Horses with ApHCC (Canadian) registration are eligible for ApHC registration under this “window.”

Breed Standard – the board will review the present (but inactive) breed standard and make a recommendation for an updated version to be included in ApHC handbook and other literature.

Regional Club Workshop – will be planned for the 2009 National Show. This gathering would involve show managers, regional club leadership and others.

Endurance Ride – It was approved to move the ApHC National Championship Endurance Ride to a different region of the country each year.

Stay tuned for more updates from the board meeting.

13 Comments

  1. Diane E Said,

    March 14, 2008 @ 8:22 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks, and that your efforts to bring the meeting to those of us who couldn’t get there are much appreciated.

  2. Sue Said,

    March 16, 2008 @ 12:46 pm

    Has anyone considered that changing the non pro age groups will cut down on the number of entries and total entries at a show? Yes it may make a show shorter but the lack of being able to cross-enter in a couple of divisions (35 & over and masters, non-pro and 35 & over, etc) may also hurt revenues.

  3. Steve Said,

    March 17, 2008 @ 7:32 am

    Indeed, that is part of the discussion and why directors will continue to seek comments and feedback from exhibitors before making a decision.

  4. Judy Said,

    March 17, 2008 @ 9:51 am

    I really hate to hear that they are considering redoing the age groups for the non pros. One of our best selling points to newcomers is the fact that we give “more bang for the buck” and have classes for the 35+ crowd, which other breeds don’t offer. Being able to show in multiple classes makes it more worthwhile to take a horse to a show and brings in considerable income for both the national club and regional clubs. Cutting out an entire division and preventing crossentering will seriously damage the income potential for all clubs. Not a good thing in this time period when so many are struggling the way it is! Shows are not forced to have classes for all divisions and can hold the ones that work in their region, thereby eliminating the time factor.

  5. Sandra Ward Said,

    March 18, 2008 @ 2:33 pm

    We need to keep all the different non-pro divisions….these are the bread and butter classes of the App Shows. If I were limitied to only one division, there would be no need for me to even bring a second horse. I like the fact that I can bring a couple horses and have lots of classes to show in. Less classes, less money, less horses, less money…..why mess with something that works? We should be working on increasing revenue, not decreasing. The regional clubs are being hit hard enough and if people really aren’t going to get enough bang for their buck, they just aren’t going to show up at all, and belive me, the trickle down theory of economics will apply.

  6. Ardith Allcorn Said,

    March 21, 2008 @ 11:23 am

    I am personally disturbed by some of this issues brought up at the latest Board meeting, so here is my two cents worth!

    At this point, I am not sure who brought up a recommendation to change the Non-Pro divisions, obviously their thought process is extremely short-sided. The Master’s division is a place that caters to those riders who: 1) feel that they can ride with other riders who, for the most part, have the same strength as they do. There is a tremendous amount of difference between a rider who is 45 and a rider who is 65+. Forcing those older riders who feel they cannot compete with a 45 YO (especially at the Nationals or Worlds), won’t show there…. and 2) have the money to spend. So, to me, revenues will go down, especially at the Nationals and Worlds. If left alone, those older Non-Pros will cross-enter in more classes, which means more entries, which means more revenue. And has anyone noticed that the Master’s division keeps growing?

    I have been told that the reason that this change is being considered is to save money, well, if the club would have made smarter choices in the areas of Management and Marketing, this probably would not be an issue. We as exhibitors are now being told that the class fees at the National and World shows will be increased $25! So, instead of increasing $1 or $2 over the course of time, which NO ONE would have minded, it’s now crunch time for the club and it’s us to will have to pay for the clubs situation. I personally will be thinking about whether it is truely worth taking my youth to those shows, especially with gas prices increasing….. But I guess it is the typical attitude of some of the BOD, (just like the Jackson issue,) “If they want to show, they will come.”

    It’s always easier to do the “quick fix” instead of making choices that may have been harder at the time, but assured us a good, strong future. Instead, this club always seems to be playing catch-up and always one step behind, always trying to fix the mistakes made by hasty decisions….. And that rests squarely on the shoulders of the BOD and the people they have chosen to hire.

  7. Steve Said,

    March 21, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

    I’m willing to bet that this discussion item (and that’s all it really is at this point) came from the same place most requests and suggestions come from — a member or group of members who presented it to a director for consideration. I’m not sure who the change would save money for, but nothing has been decided. In fact, all the comments received here will be provided to the committee and the board for review in July.

  8. Sue Said,

    March 22, 2008 @ 10:09 am

    Question about the comment on the National/Youth World section above – Is this under consideration for this year? Some of us have to request our vacation dates months in advance. If you change the order of this year’s show a month or two from now, it may mean some of us can’t go due to last minute changed dates.

  9. Steve Said,

    March 24, 2008 @ 8:28 am

    No, it would not affect the show in 2008. It may turn out that a change would create a conflict for even more folks, and that’s what we want to find out from other states. I think we’re in the process of asking regional club contacts and others to help us with information about mandatory testing in other states.

  10. Lynn Bliss Said,

    March 24, 2008 @ 3:18 pm

    I hope we DO NOT eliminate the Master’s Non Pro Division! This division is growing. At last year’s world show I had such a wonderful time showing in Masters. Everyone in those classes was so friendly and helpful – we were all so happy to be there showing horses! Heck, most of us were thrilled to be able to get up out of bed that morning! We had the best time out back chatting and enjoying ourselves. I also showed in the other divisions, but the Masters’ group was the most friendly and seemed to me to have the most fun of any division. It’s a great group!

  11. Lisa Blake Said,

    March 31, 2008 @ 12:07 am

    Ok, here is my 2 cents worth. Why oh why would we eliminate the master’s division? In AQHA it has grown so large that they have shows only for Masters classes (including a World show). This is a division that is growing because our population in general is getting older. This is the age group that has more disposable income and time to go to shows and to support the regional clubs by volunteering, etc. In addition, when oh when are we going to adjust the point system for novice classification? (By the way-AQHA also has regional shows just for novice classes) Such as the skill set system set out in AQHA? I am not saying do it exactly like AQHA, but, they have a system that seems to work. Why are we still using the 50 life time points? I personally quit showing ApHC last year because I am not ready to point out of novice and I am not old enough for the masters division and NOT ready to move up out of novice into the non-pro classes. Although, I have cross entered the non-pro classes at regional shows before, I have only done so because there have been blanket fees for that show and it just has given me that much more experience. Just because I have accumulated novice points in HUS doesn’t mean I am not a novice western rider,etc. Making a change such as this would cost little and would draw more people back into the regional club showing. As it stands now, I am showing open show circuits with entry fees at $5 per class in order to gain experience instead of hauling to ApHC shows to gain that same experience and risk pointing out of novice for the rest of my life. I want to learn new skills and I want to support regional clubs, but, when I can do the same thing on an open level at an extremely lower price, the decision is pretty clear. I know this has been discussed in the past, but, not much done about it. I know that there are many people that automatically say “no way” when the utterance of another breed association comes up, but, when national publications such as Horse and Rider print the growth rates of the different breed associations and the ApHC ranks as the one with the MOST decline (44%) in registrations and (55%) in transfers between 1997 and 2007 that we shouldn’t take notice as to who is at the the top? What is it that they are doing better than us? Do you think that the rest of the horse owning population isn’t noticing those statistics as well? I am a member of AQHA and other breed associations as well and I have stayed with ApHC because I love these horses. What can we do to make other people feel the same way? Why is it so wrong to study the competition and figure out what they are doing right and make some changes in our practices? It’s only good business sense. Like I said. My 2 cents worth.

  12. Lynn Bliss Said,

    April 5, 2008 @ 4:48 am

    I, too, wish the Novice designation would be adjusted for skill sets. I have pointed out in western. I gained knowledge, skills and confidence showing Novice that now allows me to do well in regular Non Pro western events. Now I am getting ready to show Hunt Seat; however, I am definitely a novice in that! It will take longer to get that ring experience, perfect those skills, gain in order to be competitive. Also, as a “older person”, I have to deal with the ailments of being older — I’m not as flexible and strong as I was years ago. A good ride in the ring – whether I place or not – is a great personal triumph. If not for the miracles of modern medicine, I’d be sitting in a rocking chair instead of sitting on my horse. Keep the Masters Division!!!!! Set up the Novice designation by skill set!!!!

  13. Carla Peacock Said,

    April 6, 2008 @ 12:25 pm

    I have shown for too many years and endured the changes (or growing pains) of the ApHC. I understand the “point fee” and it’s necessity and still find it necessary to explain it to newcomers to our shows. It is a pass through and a necessary evil for exhibitors. Granted, if you don’t win that coveted first place for the end of the year, you only receive a 25 cent piece of paper (for the same expense of chasing the points!) but the first place award medallions or buckles are very nice.

    The statement that certain classes are not required at regional shows is correct…but is also doesn’t cost a regional club a dime to offer a class. And there is no time consumption if there are no entries. It is much easier to offer classes (to draw more exhibitors) and have no entries than to have someone request a class after they are at a show and it can’t be added.

    Masters entrants are the fastest growing demographic group and they also have the largest amount of disposable income. I think the ApHC should leave the non pro divisions alone…”if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” It is difficult for many of us older non pros, many who have taken time out from showing to pay for our kids to show, to compete aginst the just out of youth non pros. It is nice to be able to enter 35& over and compete against other competitors in my same ability level. It is also a selling point to many new Appaloosa owners to get them to show (where 85% of the ApHC revenue is generated) because they find the age breaks welcoming and within their ability level. With so many shows going to blanket fees, the only cost factor per class is the $4 point fee. You can still show at an open show for experience, but you won’t find the friendly Appaloosa people there and you won’t be earning points for you and your horse to achieve those special awards! And you can venture into open classes (for only $8) and might even find yourself qualified for the Worlds!

    On the time schedule for the Nationals…those of us that have lived on the east coast have been trying for YEARS to have the Nationals/Youth Worlds moved farther into the summer. It was always tough competing against the kids that were out of school in May and had a month with their trainer in addition to only having 24 hours after graduation to get to OKC. It is going to be hot, humid and miserable whether the show is held the end of June or the end of July. Why doesn’t the ApHC consider moving the dates at the end of July? That would allow all of the kids to be out of school and be finished with the mandatory state testing now required by so many schools. The regional clubs will adjust their schedules to reflect any change that the APHC makes on the Nationals. And flipping the Youth Worlds/Nationals is not the answer. The trainers and non-pros still have to be there that first week and I doubt many parents will leave their kids unattended at home to show for themselves at the Nationals. I think that would result in lower entries on the non-pro end…

    This is just my opinion. I hope that the APHC and directors will at least listen to the members about this and other show issues. The showing membership may only account for about 25% of the membership but they are personally responsible for 85% of the revenue. Where the shows are concerned, if the ApHC wants to reap the maximum benefit from it’s showing members, it needs to listen to those members that contribute the money!

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