What is AQHA’s stance on Animal Welfare?

Animal Welfare is a paramount concern of AQHA by creating policies and rules that protect the American Quarter Horse and ensuring they are treated with dignity and respect.

The American Quarter Horse Association takes a firm stance on animal welfare by enforcing policies and issuing appropriate disciplinary action when necessary to protect the American Quarter Horse. Per AQHA's mission statement, every American Quarter Horse shall, at all times, be treated humanely and with dignity, respect and compassion.

To assist in addressing animal welfare concerns, the AQHA Executive Committee created the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission in 2012. The Animal Welfare Commission serves as AQHA’s primary body for rules, policies and procedures related to all areas of animal welfare. In addition, the commission oversees the educational processes associated with AQHA officials responsible for animal welfare. Learn more about the Animal Welfare Commission. AQHA's prohibition against inhumane treatment applies to AQHA members and nonmembers.

Additionally, AQHA formed the Animal Welfare Grievance Committee, tasked to review judge’s disqualification decisions based on abuse or the issuance of a steward warning card. The committee is made up of industry professionals who include AQHA judges, AQHA Professional Horsemen, university professors, veterinarians and association professionals.

View a full list of animal welfare initiatives.

Read a full report of what the Animal Welfare Commission has accomplished since its inception in 2021.