November 12 2019 :  Competition Advisory Committee Report

For the last two years i have been a member of the Competitions Advisory Committee of the AHA.  This has been one of the most interesting committees that i have participated on.  We have several Directors, staff members, trainers, competitors, breeders, owners all represented amongst our group.  We examine and discuss diverse topics and look for solutions to problems that are presented to us for consideration. 

One of the projects we have been working on this last year is the review and redesign of the AHA Handbook.  The President had struck an ad hoc committee to work on this project, and each member of the CAC was assigned several chapters to review, update and amend to make the handbook up today and easier to use.  This feedback was all forwarded to the ad hoc committee.  The final draft is now with the Committee and i will post when the new handbook is available for your use.  I hope you will find it helpful – and if you find areas that are confusing, redundant or wrong, please let me know so those can be captured and reviewed by our committee for next years’ edition. 

The show statistics for all AHA shows were reviewed and I will be posting this chart for the Region 17 shows.  Overall what it does show is that for all of the shows in our region we are down 21% in entries and 14% in horses.

At the August meeting of the CAC we had adopted a 16 point plan formulated by the National Show Commission Ad Hoc Committee.  At this meeting we had the opportunity to review the feedback received and has put implementation time lines for the phase in of these 16 points over the next 2 years.  The Board of Directors has adopted this plan and our committee will continue to work with the show commissioners at the implementation and listening to the feedback we have received from all parties to move this plan forward.

As has been mentioned many times the President had struck an AD Hoc committee on the possibility of regional restructuring AHA.  However Canadian regions cannot be influenced by this action.  You will possibly see many comments on the report presented at convention on the regional restructure – shows draft plan.  Again, i reiterate this will not affect Canadian shows at all.  The full copy of this report will be found under convention highlights on our webpage (

AHA Board of Directors Meeting :  November 12, 2019

The AHA Board of Directors meet 3 times a year (March, August and November ((at convention)).

The meetings a open to any observer and we have rich and full discussions from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.!

Some of the highlights of this last meeting:

  • AHA continues to work in cooperation with sister breed associations as well as the American Horse Council.  AHA has been invited to join the Joint Leadership Council consisting of several USEF affiliate breeds as well as the UPHA

  • Litigation appears to have reached an end and AHA is tightening its belt in order to rebuild cash reserves

  • Kelsey Berglund, the National Events Coordinator is also serving as the interim Director of Marketing

  • Current focus is AHA security and phone system upgrade.  This past year the security of AHA has been compromised by external crime.  Security cameras are being installed at the front and back entrances.

  • The ongoing upgrade to the AHA IT services continues.  This year AHA has been able to migrate off two old legacy database platforms.

  • The plans for future IT projects/updates are:

    • Judges/stewards directory

    • National event entry back office

    • Convention back office

    • Website – show results

    • Frequent rider program

    • Qualification reports

  • AHA membership presently stands at 16,507 members, down 6% from last years 17,632

  • 9851 (59%) have competition cards

  • There are 214 clubs through the US and Canada

  • People often ask me as the director “what do i get from my AHA membership?”

    • 6 bimonthly issues of Arabian Horse Life

    • Aha handbook and Directory

    • $1,000,000 excess personal equine liability insurance for horse-related accidents for competition membership

    • Horse and rider competition records

    • Preferred rates on horse registrations, transfers of ownership and all othe registration related activities

    • Promotional literature

  • The purebred Arabian registry contains over 679,000 purebred Arabian horses; 353,000 half Arabians and 9.900 Anglo Arabians

  • Check the AHA website for the following award programs:

    • Arabian Breeders sweepstakes

    • Horse achievement awards

    • Amateur Achievement Awards

    • Halter Futuries

    • Performance Futurity/Maturity/Derbies

    • Incentive riding programs

    • Distance Horse Award

    • Dressage Rider Awards

    • Honor awards for Arabian Horses

  • AHA has 154 National/Regional Judges; 110 Accredited Judges and 125 Stewards, including Endurance and CTR.


Youth Nationals

2277 entries

665 horses

Canadian Nationals

2334 entries

772 horses

Sport Horse Nationals

2187 entries

485 horses

US Nationals

3548 entries



Finally, EVP Glenn Petty will not be renewing his contract when it completes in June 2020.There will be a Leadership Search Committee established to begin the work of advertising for, shortlisting and interviewing candidates for this important position.

AHA Convention Report

The 2019 Arabian Horse Association (AHA) Convention was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma focusing on the theme “Honor, Treasure, Shape”. For those who have attended convention, you know it is a full week.

Tuesday was the Board of Directors meeting and if any of you have a chance to attend convention, i’d ask you to please come and sit in on the meeting to see how the Board of Directors discuss and contemplate the business of AHA and give direction through both votes and discussion. The rest of the week is filled with various committee meetings, guest speakers and convention business. Again, for those of you who have not attended in the past, these are just a few of the committee meetings that are held at the convention:

  • Working western committee

  • National Distance Commission

  • Dressage/western Dressage

  • Arabian Professional & Amateur Horseman Association

  • USEF Arabian Division Rules Committee

  • Judges and Stewards Steering Committee

  • Marketing Development and Promotion committee

  • Futurity Commission

  • Sport Horse Committee

  • Youth Nationals Commission

  • Resolution 5/90 Committee

  • Arabian Racing

  • AHA Youth Committee

  • Eventing & Driving

  • Distance Riding Commission

  • Nominating Committee

  • Convention Planning Committee

  • Breeding & In hand Committee

  • Hunter & Jumper

  • Budget & Finance

  • Bylaws Committee

  • Internal Audit Committee

  • Canadian Nationals Commission

  • Membership Committee

  • Ethical Practice Review Board

  • US national commission

  • Education & Evaluation Commission

  • Arabian Horse foundation

  • Arabian Breeders Sweepstakes

  • Equitation and Showmanship Committee

  • Registration Committee

  • National Events operational Procedures committee

  • Amateur Committee

And if none of these interest you, then there is all of the networking with the 250+ people that are all there to celebrate the Arabian horse!


One of the main purposes of convention is to present resolutions to help direct the Board of Directors in the work of the Association and the promotion of the Arabian Horse. a

This year there were 19 resolutions brought forward to the convention floor. Those that passed were:

  • That the Regional board of Delegates may elect their Regional Director and Regional Vice-chair by mail, email or any other electronic means if provided for and in accordance with the Region’s Bylaws.

  • Removing Age Restriction in Sport Horse in hand: Sport Horse IN Hand Championships shall be based upon highest scoring horses in qualifying classes. This will allow yearlings to be included in this Championship

  • There was clarification to using a chain as part of the lead for Sport Horse in Hand and to the clarification in the use of appointments (crops, whips, bats, earplugs)

  • The addition of Ranch Riding division to include cow work, trail and rail pleasure

  • Age splits for Youth were also redefined

  • Showmanship rules were modified

  • A new section for walk/trot/job classes 11 & over

  • Allowing concurrent specialty classes to be held at regional’s

  • Combining regional championships shows/rides

Another part of Convention work is to elect members to participate in the various committees that serve AHA. Region 17 has always had a strong participation in these committees and this year was no exception. Those elected to serve on committees are:

  • Terry Johnson : Commissioner’s Review panel

  • Rob Calnan: Ethical Practice Review board and the Internal Audit Committee

  • Karen Caughell: Nominating Committee

  • Gerald McDonald : Canadian Show Commission


I was delighted that Kade Brassington the Region 17 Youth Director was able to attend and participate in the convention activities and the Youth Board meetings. 


I hope we can have a large delegation to the 2020 Convention in Reno Nevada! Start saving your pennies for next 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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