I’m sure many of you have been on the edge of your virtual seat waiting for the 2014 Official Handbook. Printing is later than we’d like, but the Handbook in its digital form is up on the appaloosa.com site. We’ll be posting a summary of additions and changes … soon.
The Color Breed Council’s “International Equine Judges Seminar” wrapped up last week in Tulsa. All ApHC-carded judges are required to attend the seminar once every three years. A new feature this year was the Judging Academy, sort of a preview for applicants and folks who are thinking about getting judging credentials. The program also has portions that should appeal to exhibitors who want to know more about how various classes are evaluated. And, for everyone who needs to get a better handle on how classes are scored, there is quite a bit of information and practice on scoring and scribing. Plans are already being made for next year’s academy, so stay tuned for updates.
We ended 2013 with 12,876 ApHC members. If you haven’t renewed your membership, today would be a good time. The online process is pretty simple. Be sure to get yourself and/or your horses enrolled in specific programs such as Saddle Log, Non-Pro, etc. And, we’ll take this opportunity to encourage you to recruit ONE NEW MEMBER. Appaloosa Horse Club activities aren’t much fun if we don’t have other members to share them.
Industry trends have us wondering about what the future holds for registrations and equine activities. As with most other breed associations, the ApHC numbers are more than a bit sobering. In 2013, we registered 2,654 Appaloosas. That’s almost a 30% decline over the past 10 years. Lots of theories about why and lots of legitimate concern about what role breed registries will have in the world of equine sports and recreational riding as we move ahead. For the record, we recorded 3,541 transfers and issued 250 performance permits last year. And, for those who always ask, it was almost an even split between Appaloosa X Appaloosa and Appaloosa X Outcross permits.