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ApHC Opens Doors to POAC With Small Horse Program

Filed under: Breaking News,Club & Show News,Club and Show News |     

MOSCOW, IDAHO — In a historic move, the ApHC Board of Directors voted today to open its doors to members of the Pony of Americas Club (POAC) to compete at the Appaloosa World and National Championship Shows beginning in 2021. The Board is also encouraging all of its Regional Clubs to offer classes, as well, as part of its newly-adopted Small Horse Program.

The approved classes for 2021, which will be for small horses only, include: Halter (all ages, all sexes); Most Colorful at Halter (all ages, all sexes); Yearling Longe Line (all ages, all sexes); Ranch Riding (open); Trail (open); Hunter Under Saddle (open); Walk-Trot Western Pleasure (open); Western Pleasure, Youth 18 & Under; Showmanship, Youth 18 & Under; Western Horsemanship, Youth 18 & Under; Western Pleasure, Non Pro 19 & Over; Showmanship, Non Pro 19 & Over; Western Horsemanship, Non Pro 19 & Over.

In order to compete at its shows, small horse owners must be an ApHC member and have approved POAC papers. Director Karen Sartain made the motion to approve the Small Horse Program, and it was seconded by Director Paula Gatewood. The proposal then passed the Board overwhelmingly.

“This truly is a memorable day in our 82-year history,” said ApHC President Ken Johnson. “For the first time, big Appaloosas and small ones will be competing at the same horse shows. We have redefined what it means to be family.”

Johnson went on to stress that this is not a merger of the two organizations.

“As in the past, our operations will remain separate and distinct, as will our breeding registries. But POAC members will now be able to take part in our show and trail programs, providing them with expanded opportunities to compete. We’re very excited about what the future holds.”

The ApHC’s new Small Horse Program is the result of nearly five months of discussions and research by a task force. Rules adopted for the program can be found on

In other action, the Board also approved a plan to provide waivers for some of its youth members who have been adversely impacted this year by COVID-19. For 18-year-olds who are pursuing lifetime Superior Championships, any points earned in 2021 as a Non-Pro will count toward their Youth Superior title. The deadline for applying for a waiver is December 1. Additionally, the Board suspended for one year the reporting requirements of Regional Clubs (Rule D, parts 4-6) because of the ongoing pandemic.

In what should come as good news to both breeders and owners, the Board also agreed to change Rule 211, which limits the names of horses to 20 letters and spaces. Beginning in 2021, the limit will be 24 spaces, providing new naming options for members.

And finally, the Board approved a membership promotion offered by Finance Committee Chairman Kevin Griner, which is designed to encourage past ApHC members to rejoin the club. Details will be announced soon.

“Once again, I want to thank our entire Board for its tireless dedication to the ApHC and its members,” Johnson added. “Because of COVID-19, we have been meeting non-stop. One of our ongoing discussions involves the upcoming World Show. We are in the process of finalizing security and COVID-19 protocols, and I’m happy to report that all systems are go. We’re going to have a great show.”

The Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) was established in 1938 with a mission of preserving, promoting and enhancing the Appaloosa breed. The ApHC has since registered more than 700,000 Appaloosas, which are known for their distinctive color, intelligence and even temperament. True to their reputation as an extremely versatile breed, Appaloosas can be found in nearly every discipline including racing, endurance riding and serving as reliable family horses. The international breed registry is headquartered in Moscow, Idaho, the heart of the Palouse region—the Appaloosa breed’s namesake and point of origin.

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