Competition Advisory Committee for AHA

August 4th, 2019

I have just returned from a busy 3 days in Aurora, Colorada attending the Competition Advisory Committee, the Board of Directors meeting and then the Regional Caucus meeting.  All of these were very positive and I hope the gain some insight to the business that AHA has been pursuing and continues to do on behalf of the Arabian horse and the members of this organization.

The Competition Advisory Committee (CAC) meets the day before the Board meeting to review and pursue activities that we believe can improve competitions within the Arabian Breed and owners.  Many of the discussion points are forwarded to us from convention, committees and individual members.  At this meeting we explored:

  • Performance halter

  • Changes in life time qualifications for national champions

  • Leveling points

  • SafeSport

  • Allowing specialty cards in ODS and Value Shows for dressage/Sport horse and Western Dressage

  • Increasing qualification points

  • Value Shows

  • Presentations of sweepstake ribbons

  • Date changes for Youth Nationals

  • Discussions of changes in class procedure for Reining at Youth Nationals, and

  • Handbook Changes


From these discussions we sometime identify projects to pursue or recommendations back to the Board or to Convention.

Levelling:  The CAC used data from the last few years on levelling points to understand where adjustments needed to be made. The overall goal was to make leveling more equitable for the mid and higher levels.  Recommendations were put forward to the BoD.  There were also recommendations made for Reining and Trail

Life Time Qualification:  with the number of national classes now offered there are potentially over 250 National Champions each year which are no longer required to qualify to compete at the national level.  Again, data garnered from the national show entries does identify that this is used often.  A recommendation was put forward to the Board of Directors that there should be a grandfathered clause for those who have already earned their Life Time Qualification but that the go forward position would be changed.

Reining at Youth Nationals:  many youth reining exhibits desired to have the Jt and JO reining classes at Youth nationals held as 1 go round and they also wanted to have these classes run as three separate classes, not concurrently.  The CAC couldn’t see that this change would change the number of goes that we currently have in the two go concurrent classes (three classes run at the same time) procedure so we recommended to the BoD that the JT/JO and Reining seat equitation may be run as one or two go round classes at the discretion of the national show commission.

Qualification points:  Again, from committees and convention the CAC received requests that they would like to see increases in qualification points for Regional’s and Nationals.  The Aha Class Qualification Chart was reviewed and suggested changes were forwarded to the BoD.

The CAC at the request of the Board has developed guidelines for Value/One Day shows.  I will be posting them and hope that you will review them and give us feedback.

The CAC received the report of the National Show commission Ad Hoc committee.  The report and recommendations were reviewed and forwarded for the BoD meeting.  Some of the highlights of this report are:

  • That an operations manager should be hired for national shows (some already do this) and a barn manager should also be hired as well.

  • There should be term limits for commissioners – (3) 3year terms to begin in 2020 (and this is not retroactive). The Term limits will be determined by when the commissioner is up for re election beginning in 2020 to allow for staggered terms.

  • That a mentoring program for new leaders be developed for future show commissioners and personnel by working with people currently in these position.  This program may be funded by the Arabian Horse Foundation

  • Commission members may not hold paid positions

  • Policies and general rules for National Shows should be consistent and adhered to.

  • National show commission members may be allowed to serve on multiple commissions.  It has been done and has been deemed to be beneficial.  It has been taking place by exception to a rule and needed to be formally allowed.

Safesport has been legislated in the US and I hear on the horizon for Canada.  There has been great concern over the approach that has been taken – that one is considered guilty until proven innocent, but by that time it has caused irreparable damage to the trainer/coach to the point of one professional equestrian committing suicide.  Safesport is necessary – that it is the unfortunate reality abuse and taking advantage of people happens on a daily basis.  It is the job of our governing body (USEF or EC) to take a stand in making sure our sport is safe for those who participate in it. It is believed that in the rush to unroll the Safesport program that not all of the loose ends that guaranteed the protection of the accused until found guilty were covered off.  As EC unrolls a similar program in Canada we need to be aware of the pitfalls that our American colleagues have discovered and make sure that we explore those thoroughly, learning lessons from their hardships.

There has also been a committee struck to review the Handbook.  The CAC had reviewed it in its entirety at our last meeting and made suggestions on format, wording changes, clarification, deletions etc.  The first draft looked excellent and we look forward to the final copy at the next board meeting and for your review at Convention.  I know you will find it much better organized and easier to use.

That's all for now. I'm looking forward to connecting with you through the remainder of the year!


About Us

Region 17 is a member affiliate of the Arabian Horse Association (AHA), the North American governing organization dedicated to promoting and preserving the Arabian horse. Geographically, Region 17 is the largest of the 18 AHA Regions, covering all of Western Canada and comprised of four provinces - Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba & Saskatchewan, and three northern territories - Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon.


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