March Board of Directors Meeting Notes

aphc-logo.jpgSome of these items may have already been mentioned in earlier posts, but we wanted to take one more stab at providing an overview of board action. We’re working on unofficial minutes and will post them on the website as soon as possible.

Among the agenda items considered but NOT approved:

The Board did not approve a proposal for Novice Youth to accrue points whether they own the horse or not and to become ineligible for novice after accumulating 50 points.

The Board did not approve a proposal to add foster family as part of the extended definition of youth horse ownership.

The Board did not approve a proposal to prohibit leased horses from being shown in youth classes (they do not currently qualify for points, but can be shown).

The Board did not approve a proposal to eliminate the minimum height requirement for mature Appaloosas.

The Board did not approve a proposal to allow running the right rein through the left ring in a legal snaffle bit in English Showmanship.

The Board did not approve a proposal to require open exhibitors at the ApHC World Show to have qualified by earning one point in any open class.

Among agenda items that were approved:

On a trial basis at the 2008 National and World Shows, the top 16 horses/exhibitors will be recognized. Placings 11-16 will receive finalist ribbons and be announced. Top ten will receive place ribbons and be announced. This trial does not affect youth or non-pro classes.

Masters Cutting Class will be managed by the Appaloosa Cutting Horse Association and not ApHC.

ApHC will affiliate with the Unwanted Horse Coalition.

A draft of articles of incorporation for an Appaloosa Horse Club Foundation will be considered at the July Board meeting.

The Board will review the existing (but inactive) breed standard and make appropriate adjustments for publication.

World qualifying points will be calculated and adjusted annually to reflect the level of participation in each class, the percentage of qualifiers, number of points earned by the top twenty from the previous year and other factors.

Correction to earlier post:
HYPP – a proposed added rule will read: All foals born from AQHA stallions or mares registered as descendants of Impressive, born after January 1, 2007 (this date refers to the AQHA stallions or mares), that have HYPP status of N/H or H/H will be required to be tested for HYPP at the time they are parentage verified and have their HYPP status marked on their registration papers. Future descendants of N/H or H/H horses will also be required to be HYPP/parentage verified and have that status designated on their papers.

The Museum Committee was “dissolved.”

Categories: Board


  1. Jodie LaRosh Said,

    March 20, 2008 @ 9:31 am

    In regards to revisiting the breed standard, what “appropriate adjustments” are the Board considering?

  2. Steve Said,

    March 20, 2008 @ 11:17 am

    No particular objective that I know of. The main reason the standards were brought up is because they are not currently included in the Handbook or other publications. Changes or updates in language may or may not be made. The concern is that we haven’t publicized the breed standards for a while.

  3. Christine Ruby Said,

    March 24, 2008 @ 3:31 pm

    On the HYPP requirements… When an AQHA mare or stallion is listed with the ApHC and it is marked on their papers their HYPP status, is this status recorded with the ApHC? I notice that this is going to be dated back to 1-1-2007, are we going to have to re-DNA the horses that were already DNA’d to determine the HYPP status of that foal? If the AQHA mare or stallion is N/N, but the appaloosa mare or stallion is N/H, how will this work? How will the ApHC know if that individual is N/N, N/H, or H/H. Will the ApHC accept tests that have already been done through any of the Genetic testing places or will DNA have to be redone on ALL appaloosas that trace back to Impressive?

  4. Bill Cookshaw Said,

    March 27, 2008 @ 9:34 am

    I am surprised at the Board’s decision not to pass the proposal to delete the “minimum height rule” for a mature Appaloosa. The existence of this rule may have certainly been necessary in the distant past when the ApHC felt it necessary to define the characteristics of the breed, although, it is somewhat puzzling why a maximum height rule was not also included in that definition.

    The AQHA is an approved breed that we are allowed to outcross to, it no longer has a minimum height rule. For those of us who are somewhat familiar with the AQHA cutting bloodlines, we know it is not that unusual for one of these horses to be less than 14 hands. This fact has not turned the AQHA into a “pony-like” breed and it never will.

    If the ApHC continues to allow the outcrossing to the Quarter Horse breed then it must be prepared to accept the results!

    Furthermore, one must question the following: An ApHC registered offspring of two ApHC registered parents, at the age of 5 years does not reach the height of 14hh. Does the ApHC feel it would be obliged morally and legally to pull the registration papers, which it previously issued, from that registered Appaloosa who is from two ApHC registered parents?

  5. Lisa Blake Said,

    March 31, 2008 @ 12:47 am

    In regards to the minimum height rule….Horses that do not reach the minimum height of 14 hands would qualify for POA papers, assuming all other registration requirements are met for POA. POA’s can not be larger than 14 hands AND they do measure. I don’t see how outcrossing has anything to do with the breed standard of height. Breeding is at best an educated guess and you hope and pray you get what you are breeding for. In POA’s, the pony is issued temporary papers and at the age of 5 can be measured with the permanent height marked on their papers to upgrade the papers to permanent. There are lots of POA’s out there that are over height that can not be shown, but, might be eligible for Appaloosa papers. I own several POA’s that are close to 14 hands and they look like very small horses…ie not “ponish looking”, but, yet they are ponies. Spotted ponies, the best kind. 😉

  6. Bill Cookshaw Said,

    March 31, 2008 @ 1:22 pm

    The Appaloosa has been a recognized breed for about 70 years. After 70 years we still, thru our “hardship” registry, allow horses of unknown parentage to become registered Appaloosas simply because they have the required characteristics, yet on the other hand it would seem that we could withdraw the registration papers of a registered Appaloosa who is the result of an Appaloosa to Appaloosa breeding simply because of the minimum height rule.

    If this horse at 5 years of age, is part of a breeding program and has registered offspring, do we also withdraw the offsprings papers because it’s sire or dam are no longer registered?

    I agree there certainly is guesswork in breeding. However, it is reasonable to assume that when you breed an Appaloosa to an Appaloosa the offspring is an Appaloosa for the rest of it’s life, regardless of whether it has a coat pattern, regardless of its bone structure, regardless of it’s mass, regardless of whether it is 16hh or 13hh.

  7. Lisa Blake Said,

    April 1, 2008 @ 4:57 am

    Bill, there has to be standards. A 13 hand horse is simply a pony. If a person is trying to breed Appaloosas, then a 13 hand horse should not be used for breeding unless you are trying to breed for a POA or you run the risk of raising smaller than standard animals. If the ApHC changes the minimum height rule then every POA spotted gelding out there would be eligible to be an Appaloosa through the hardship rule. I am just saying that every breed registry has standards and in the case of ApHC we have a minimum height standard. POA’s have maximum height standards. They are extremely picky about it. They actually have maximum height standards for every age of horse from weanling through 5 years old. They measure too. It’s that important to them for a reason. It should be important to the ApHC also.

  8. Bill Cookshaw Said,

    April 1, 2008 @ 8:41 pm

    Lisa, thank you for taking the time to debate this issue and put forward your thoughts, we need others to join us with their views on this matter.

    I dont know much about the POA’s but if they are still an “evolving breed” where height and coat pattern are what defines a POA I can understand the need for a height standard. Obviously the ApHC is not a pony breed, and as I stated previously, and I can’t emphasize this enough, the Appaloosa has been a recognized breed for 70 years. Our period of an evolving breed should come to an end, we should accept Appaloosa to Appaloosa bred horses as Appaloosas, period. We should do away with our minimum height rule as have the AQHA. The AQHA stopped “evolving” decades ago. It is my understanding that neither the Arabs nor Thoroughbreds have a minimum height rule. The facts simply are this: there are Appaloosas who do not meet the minimum height rule, they do exist, and unfortunately for the ApHC some of these horses are very, very well bred working horses who compete solely & successfully against some of the finest AQHA cutting, cow horse & reining bloodlines in existence today. They are true ambassadors for the breed because they compete exclusively outside the breed, they are busy showing the rest of the performance horse industry that Appaloosas can be competitively bred. I personally know a couple of these horses and I can tell you they are doing their “small” part to help promote the ApHC’s new slogan “Breed of Choice”. If we truly want our new slogan to be meaningful we must do what ever we can to promote our breed to the rest of the “working horse” world and some of those “little guys” are doing just that.

    The minimum height rule is not something of concern to but a very few Appaloosa owners and breeders. Both ApHC and AQHA established working horse bloodlines do occasionally produce smaller statured horses. For those who have chosen to stick with our breed for competing with, or breeding, ApHC working horses the height rule can be an issue. For those who gain an interest in working horses and decide to opt out of our breed to the more popular Quarter Horse, the height rule obviously is not an issue.

    Why should we be concerned about those few breeders who have chosen to breed, train & compete with ApHC working horses in cutting, cow horse or reining, you ask? The ApHC is concerned about a decline in registrations over the past few years, it is actively looking at ways to increase the popularity of our breed, it is involved in a series of “town hall” meetings across North America looking for member input and of course we have come up with a brand new slogan, “Breed of Choice”. As a breed we can produce a million halter horses and FPD horses and market them back and forth between one another for the foreseeable future and we will do little to increase the popularity of our breed. On the otherhand our “working horses” for the most part are bred specifically to compete with the best AQHA and APHA bloodlines in cutting, reining or cow horse, they have often evolved from costly breedings and expensive training programs, they must compete for earnings, not just ribbons or points. These are the horses along with their breeders who represent our breed to the equine world beyond the boundaries of our breed association and community, and yes, a small number of these horses may not mature to a full 14hh, but their contribution to the promotion of our breed will likely far out weigh that of their 1500 lb. halter horse cousin or any foundation pedigree designated horse within our breed.

    Wondering if I have a vested interest in this issue Lisa? You bet I do. Over the past 10 years we have probably invested a couple of hundred thousand dollars in our breeding program for our “breed of choice”, we are not backyard breeders, but we certainly are not big time and we do not have deep pockets, we have 5 performance-bred broodmares and one stallion. At the top of our home page we say “committed to breeding program to produce the best Appaloosa reining horses in the World”. Our stallion Ima Docs High Sign, has NRHA earnings in excess of $18,000 and total lifetime earnings of over $36,000. We have not been able to find any records of any other Appaloosa reining horse in the history of the breed nor the NRHA who has higher NRHA earnings than Ima Docs High Sign. With the exception of about $3000 which he won as a 3 year old as ApHC Freestyle Reining World Champion in 2004, all earnings where won competing in NRHA calibre reining against some of the top AQHA & APHA reining bloodlines in the World. Ima Docs High Sign is small of stature and it is quite reasonable to assume that he too will one day produce offspring that are smaller than him and not meet the minimum height rule.

    Removing the minimum height rule should not be that big of a deal, it simply aligns us with our allowable out-cross breeds and it’s disappearance will change nothing with respect to the breed except allow some of these well-bred small working horses to be an active part of our breed so they may compete in the occasional regional show, and perhaps even the National & World shows when they are not busy being ambassadors and competing in open cutting, cow horse and reining competitions.

  9. Lisa Blake Said,

    April 3, 2008 @ 3:07 am

    Bill, I am also a small Appaloosa breeder that has invested quite a bit of money into this breed over the past 12 years. I also happen to own 4 POA geldings. I suppose I would have 4 more Appaloosas to register if the miniumum height rule were banished? I could hardship them easily. That still does not change the fact that they are 13.2 hand ponies. I suppose that is one way to increase the number of registrations. I suggest you contact Gene Carr, one of our Board Members, and also heavily involved in the POA program. I imagine he could provide some insight into this issue.

  10. Lisa Blake Said,

    April 3, 2008 @ 3:15 am

    Bill you ought to check out the prices of some POA reiners. You might want to consider registering your horses as POA’s. You might be surprised in their value as POA’s. I know, not what you wanted to hear, but, I have been amazed at the prices these ponies bring.

  11. Heather McLevin Said,

    April 3, 2008 @ 11:02 am

    I agree with Mr. Cookshaw although I do not believe this is the appropriate forum for debate. That being said, I was very disappointed that the BOD did not vote to remove the minimum height. I personally would like to see the BOD move to follow the ApHC’s mission statement. The idea of removing a horse’s papers that has been bred fully within the bloodline requirements of the ApHC does not follow the mission statement. And further to this end, neither does the allowing of hardship horses. There was a time, before generations of pedigreed history & DNA tests, that it may have been necessary to have a height minimum to eliminate the possibility of pony breeding entering the registry. That time is long past. In contrast there seems never to have been any number value (i.e. canon bone measurement) to eliminate draft bloodlines. Remember, this rule was put in when breeding animals were allowed into the registry based on colour & a few visual means to try to keep out paint/pinto, draft & pony lines. Certainly, we have the means now to ensure these ‘unaccepted” bloodlines do not enter the ApHC’s breeding pool without this abitrary 14hh minimum number.
    What the POA’s do or don’t do has no relevance to this discussion or this motion. In regard to Ms Blake’s statement or question about her POA geldings being eligible for ApHC Hardship registration if the 14hh minimum was removed, I do not believe they would be based on rule 205 B. No horse shall be registered with the ApHC that has draft, pony, Pinto or Paint breeding. I think it might be hard to argue that an animal registered with the Pony Of the Americas Club did not have pony breeding. If they are a hardshipped ApHC horse into the POA registry they would already have ApHC papers & without the min. height restriction would not have to forfeit them.
    14hh is not a magical number that defines what a pony is. Each pony registry has its own standards. USEF, CEF, etc use 14.2 for their pony classes. Further some view ponies as having a specific conformation, i.e.: proportionally shorter legs; wider barrel; thicker manes, tails & coats, heavier bone & short wide heads, etc.
    The ApHC can impliment a breed standard that includes a range of heights. Something to the effect of,The average Appaloosa range in height from 14.2 – 16hh with individuals outside of this range. Heck, even if the ApHC wanted to go as far as put horses standing less than 14hh at 5 yrs old (Jan. 1) into the undesirable traits section that would in my mind much more palatable than in the horses not eligible for registration section. We are a breed defined by ApHC bloodline requirements and “preferred” characteristics, these shorter individuals meet this criteria/definition.
    Heather McLevin

  12. Lisa Blake Said,

    April 5, 2008 @ 2:27 am

    My point only was that there are and were reasons for the height requirement. While removing the height requirement might help a handful of breeders out there, it would most definately not help the breed overall. There is probably more to the thought process than we our considering. This is why I suggested talking to Mr. Carr or one of the directors. The POAC advertises in the Appaloosa Journal every month for longer than I remember. Many POA’s are Appaloosas…have the same bloodlines. Most do not look have pony characteristics. Learn more about the POA’s at It’s amazing to me that there is a club out there that is so similar to ApHC that most of us know nothing about. And it is successful. Maybe we should find out what makes them that way?

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