ApHC National Point Fees: Where does the money go?

There has been plenty of discussion about ApHC “national point fees” including questions about why they are considered necessary or if they can be adjusted downward or even eliminated.

Many of you seem to remember being told that the fees were designated for the purchase of computers and to establish a record-keeping system, then somehow the fees would become unnecessary and might go away. Frankly, that’s not how it works.

In many respects, point fees can and probably should be classified as “user fees.” There are permanent costs associated with recording, maintaining, tracking and reporting the points earned by horses at ApHC-approved events.

Some of the expense items for the Club include staff time, wages, benefits, equipment, etc. There are always costs related to computer programming, upgrades, periodic replacement and service. Normal operating expenses, sometimes generically referred to as “overhead,” also come into play. Part of the money is used to provide testing and continuing education for judges.

Another huge expense that’s covered by the point fee is the full range of year-end awards for open, youth and non-pro exhibitors who place in the Top 10. Those awards include buckles, medallions, plaques, production plaques, non-pro medals, certificates and mailing costs for awards sent to folks who don’t attend the banquets. Awards represent nearly one- fourth of the Performance Department’s budget!

In general terms, the fees pay for the infrastructure that supports all aspects of ApHC competition. We would love to provide ApHC services without charging anyone anything, but that’s not possible. In fact, the point fees are practically the only revenue stream that directly supports the ApHC Performance Department. In the past, other income was realized from fees charged for various reports that are now available from the ApHC Web site at no cost to members.

Some people tell us they don’t care about the points and shouldn’t be required to pay a fee. That doesn’t relieve the ApHC of a responsibility to document the performance of horses registered with us, and it probably wouldn’t be convincing for someone who might be the next owner of a particular horse.

Yes, it’s an “added” cost for members who show their horses, but it’s also a fee-for-service that is not unique. The ability to maintain performance records on registered horses is important to the Appaloosa community, both today and in the future.

We’ve also been told that point fees are budget busters for regional clubs. And, we’re told that exhibitors are being pinched by the fees and are responding by showing in fewer classes, fewer shows, or not at all. Let’s be sure we’re talking about the same thing. Point fees shouldn’t be viewed as lost revenue for regional clubs. The fees are pass-through payments from exhibitors to ApHC.

Exhibitors pay the fees and they may need help understanding how the money is used and why the fees are necessary for the integrity of their records and ours. That might be an important opportunity for regional clubs to talk about all the costs associated with putting on a horse show. We’ve seen more and more examples of regional groups working together, experimenting with new formats, reaching out to non-traditional audiences and addressing specific needs in their part of the country. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.


  1. Susan Thibodeaux Said,

    March 20, 2008 @ 6:21 pm

    I understand the reason for point fees, but the fact is they are considerably higher than other associations. For example the APHA’s point fee is $2.00 per judge per horse per show for up to 2 judge shows and 3 or 4 judged shows are $3 per judge per show. So showing under 4 judges all day would be a max of $12 at their shows. At our shows it costs $8 per open class and $4 per non-pro/youth class if there are four judges.

    You can see that showing in multiple classes quickly runs the bill up at an app show. Yes – it does have a negative effect on entries – and in some cases new exhibitors, when hit with the additional costs that they had not expected, never come back to our shows. I know it has kept me out of some open classes that I probably would have gone in if there weren’t additional point fees everytime I walked into the ring.

    I couldn’t any references to point fees in the AQHA rule book or on their site.

    So I disagree with your blithe assertion that we all misunderstand point fees and that its only our ignorance that causes us to complain. We understand they are a major source of revenue to the ApHC – what we are complaining about is that they drive up the costs of our shows which reduces participation. If other associations can have revenue streams to support their performance departments that don’t include egregious point fees then why can’t our association do likewise?

  2. Sara Said,

    March 24, 2008 @ 12:16 am

    I agree with Susan. Why are ApHC point fees so high in comparison to other associations? A lot of shows have package fees that are great, but you’re still paying $4-8/class (based on a 4-judge show).

  3. Amy Said,

    March 24, 2008 @ 8:21 am

    I agree with Susan. Most of us do understand that the performance end of the association has alot of cost involved and that there must be revenue to cover those expenses. It just seems that with the way the fee structure is set up you are hurting class participation at the regional level more then if it was a flat National ApHC fee to show. I have not, and know of several exhibitors that have not shown in an open class due to the extra $8 I have to pay the national club. How is this helping in anyway? Had I paid a $12 ApHC fee up front I would have entered every class at the show that I wanted to. Instead I picked out the ones that I thought would be most beneficial for me to enter. It just seems we need the ApHC to look at the pocket book of their exhibitors instead of just the pocket book of the ApHC and find a happy medium that will help out both.

    Has a true financial study been done that shows exactly how many horses are out there showing in a year. and if the fee structure was changed around, what drop or increase in revenue might be generated? It seems to me all the info is there in front of you. If you have x number of horses that were shown in 2007 to x number of judges, if the fee was $2 or $3 per horse/ per judge. What revenue would have been generated? what is the difference between this and the amount brought in by the National point fee in 2007? Could this lesser amount be offset by the possiblity of picking up more horses due to the fact they are now paying less to come to the shows? Or is the amount so great that if numbers don’t increase the club would suffer? Show us some figures we are educated people and would understand if you can prove to us that there is just NO way to alter the stucture as it stands now.

  4. Susan Thibodeaux Said,

    March 24, 2008 @ 8:51 am

    Further research – the Arabian club has a $3.00 per horse per judge per show fee so once again – 4 judges would equal $12 for the show.

    I paid $72.00 in point fees showing my two horses this past Saturday at our local ApHC show.

  5. Sheree Black Said,

    March 24, 2008 @ 10:16 am

    I have found that the National Point Fees are the smallest part of a show budget for me. By the time I pay a trainer 650-700 per month, vet bills, farrier bills, and upkeep on a pickup/trailer rig, that getting to a show and paying entry fee/national point fees are an extremely small portion of my outlay.
    I prefer to think of the National Points fees, registration fees, & membership fees as all part of the cost of maintaining (and keeping the doors open) at the ApHC office.
    And I am not a rich person and there will be some months that we will have a small amount of money left over to buy groceries and things for us, but that’s what I will do to make it to the ApHC shows.
    I for one am happy that we can now go look up our horses pedigrees and full well knew that was income the ApHC was losing, plus more cost to keep that program up and running.
    Perhaps we “need” to change our train of thought from what can we get the club to do for us to what can we do for the club.

  6. Penny Whitehead Said,

    March 24, 2008 @ 10:48 am

    O.K., I am wondering here if some more specific details can be shared and if so where? Also specifially, how does the ApHC stack up against some of the other associations with similiar programs of shows with paybacks. Are there some issues or figures that are confidential as in wages but can those be shared as a general expense without divulging specifics or breaking the rules of access by the membership?
    Is this information all available to the entire membership and if so where can it be found or can our directors furnish it for those who want the exact to the penny type of info? And personally thank you for addressing this subject openly as from past experience, some of the issues of the running of the registry has been less open with information sharing.

  7. Ann Jentz Said,

    March 24, 2008 @ 2:04 pm

    I have to agree with everyone else who commented on the national point fee. Ours are MUCH higher than BOTH the Paint and Quarter horse associations. AQHA is $5 per horse per judge per weekend, APHA is $2-$3 per horse per weekend. No wonder a large number of our members have recently gone to the Paints!

    This fee discourages a person from showing in a class they may be marginal in which in turn drives our entries down! I don’t show in a lot of classes I would show in simply because it isn’t worth it to see if I MIGHT pick up a point or two here and there. This certainly doesn’t do the people who do well in those classes any good because they don’t pick up the number of points they used to be able to get.

    In my opinion it is past time to lower these fees. Who is going to even consider showing Appaloosa if they are paying more money in fees and getting fewer points? We have to give people a REASON to make our horse their breed of choice.

  8. Sara Said,

    March 25, 2008 @ 5:55 am

    The AQHA does have point fees, they are just added in to the class fee per judge instead of listed seperately. This is probably because AQHA shows do not offer blanket fees. The AQHA also charges every horse a drug testing fee per judge which the ApHC does not. I show quarter horses for many years before coming to the Apps and the Apps are much cheaper.

  9. Carrie Giannandrea Said,

    March 25, 2008 @ 7:38 am

    The NPF keeps our shows from growing……it discourages people on a tight budget to even attempt to show…………it keeps current show folks from entering more classes.

    In this day and age of $4.50/gal diesel………… many folks are even going to consider traveling to our shows, let alone pay the high class fees and a higher than normal NPF fee.

    We are all intelligent enough to understand numbers. Show us WHERE the money goes, then the membership can decide if they want to keep spending it that way.

    Carrie Giannandrea
    Dances with Horses
    Formula One Farms

  10. Amy Said,

    March 25, 2008 @ 8:17 am

    AQHA shows in our state offer blanket fees.

  11. Sue Said,

    March 25, 2008 @ 11:09 am

    What many of you do not realize is that there are limited ways in which the Appaloosa horse club recieves revenue. The national point fee is one method of revenue. Registrations, transfers and world and national shows are others. However the world and national shows have large expenses, just as regional shows do. The people at the national office do not work for free, and should not be expected to work for free. The club also has to pay for utilities, probably property taxes, office supplies, phones and repairs. Let’s face it, they don’t get enough out of the two shows, registrations, transfers and pedigree requests to cover this. True, since everything has gone up, we may have to adjust the number of classes we go in. The regional clubs in TX offer reasonable blanket fees to help the exhibitor. If you don’t use the blanket fee, the individual class fee is priced to cover the points fees and related expenses. As with the national club, the regional clubs have to cover the show expenses.

  12. Susan Thibodeaux Said,

    March 25, 2008 @ 4:36 pm

    RE: What many of you do not realize is that there are limited ways in which the Appaloosa horse club recieves revenue.

    We know that – however the other registries operate under the same contraints – laber costs, facilities, marketing, utilities, general and administrative – all businesses have those. What revenue enables the other associations to operate without the high point fees the ApHC relies on? How do they balance their revenue vs expenses?

    I don’t have a problem with the blanket fees the regional clubs charge – they are pretty much in line with the other breed association shows around here. Its the point fees breaking the bank for app exhibitors when compared to the other breed shows. So how do they do it? Its time to really analyze the costs and think outside the box – like a business trying to survive would do.

  13. Dave Said,

    March 26, 2008 @ 3:00 pm

    Wow! Is it really all that hard ? I know I keep hearing its all about fun for the members. Well my time involved with my horses and a few members over the last four years has been fun for the most part. My involvement with the organization and leadership has been less. I had longed for 32 years to own another Appaloosa. I now have to many. And love them all. This is a business like it or not. We need to run it like a business. Good sound business practices would dictate that we review all our management practices from top to bottom. Its starts with our Mission Statement, Building a good Business plan and following it. We need to stop putting bandaids on things. We need to stop changing things just to be changing them. We need sound business leadership. I listen in the stalls and that is what everyone is saying and they don’t even know it. Nobody wants to rock the boat. WELL I think some one needs to. I am sure that we have business people within that know how to achieve the results we all want. I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT POINT FEES ARE A PROBLEM. IT IS REVENUE THATS A PROBLEM ! ITS POOR MANAGEMENT THATS A PROBLEM ! BEFORE THE REPUTATION OF THE ApHC GETS ANY WORSE LETS GET IT FIXED. Our dues are low, for what we all pay into this Club we get a big bang for our buck. If we want more or need more then we need to improve. We need to be more of a business and less of a Club. We owe it to these wounderful horses called Appaloosa.

  14. Stephanie Thelen Said,

    March 28, 2008 @ 1:01 pm

    I can tell you that I’ve not been to a breed show in years. I love competing at the breed shows, but when the total entries for 4 classes add up to over $400 and I can go to a open barrel race for $55 and win money, I can’t afford the breed show. I would probably make the breed show happen if there were more than 1-3 horses in the class, but no one else will compete for the same reasons.

    I was so dissapointed to watch a ApHC show this weekend where the largest class had 6 horses and the average class had 2.

    I love this breed, but the AVERAGE working man can not afford to compete within it. Sure, there are a few who have the money and think this is small beans. The majority of the membership is average people though.

  15. Dave Said,

    March 31, 2008 @ 5:33 am

    It would be interesting to know the income of our members. I wounder how it compares to the AQHA and APHA? To start with anyone that is an ApHC member is so because of an extreame love of the breed. Thats not to say people don’t love other breeds. Our mission as hard as it may be, is to attract new people that will not only grow our numbers in members but attract more professionals that have the resources advance the breed. Right now we should be doing the things simplify our rules, keeps showing fun an affordable and attracts new people. When you have the top breeders with so little market to work with that you are unable to sell good young horses for what it costs to put them on the ground, you have a real problem! To bury our collective heads in the sand and not address this is sad. It is just like any other business, when things are not selling it is not time to raise prices or cut the quality. It is time to improve the product and cut your costs by managing better.

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