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    New AQHA halter class rules in effect Aug. 1

    From the Newstrader - August 4th, 2011 - Newstrader

    AQHA exhibitors are reminded that several halter class rule modifications passed by the Show Committee at the 2011 AQHA Convention and approved by the AQHA Executive Committee are effective August 1.

    “These modifications were made after long discussions and several years’ review by the Show Committee,” says Charlie Hemphill, AQHA senior director of shows and new events. “The changes were made effective as of that date to allow them to be in place for the 2011 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.”

    The pertinent halter class modifications include:

    Lip Chains
    Modifications to Rule 448(d) include the definition of “allowed” lip chains in size, dimension, length and type, along with an explanation of the correct placement of the lip chain in a horse’s mouth.

    The rule also stipulates that stallions 1 year of age and older may be shown with an allowed lip chain in open and amateur divisions; mares and geldings that are 1 year of age and older may be shown with an allowed lip chain in amateur and youth divisions.

    The rule states that the following horses may not be shown with an allowed lip chain: weanlings, any horse shown in a performance halter class, and any horse shown in a versatility ranch horse conformation class.

    Conduct and Manners
    Rule 448(d) also includes this phrase: “Applying excessive pressure on or excessive jerking of a halter lead shank or an allowed lip chain is prohibited.” In addition, the following phrase was added to the list of prohibited conduct in Rule 441(c): “excessive pressure on or excessive jerking of a halter lead shank or an allowed lip chain (see Rule 448(d)).”

    Modifications to Rule 448(e) include a description of a “well-mannered horse,” as being under the exhibitor’s control while tracking and standing, and that stands still and flat-footed. The new modifications also include a description of “disruptive behavior” in a horse that should be cause for disqualification by the judge.

    “AQHA rules are designed to encourage owners to enjoy their horses in a variety of arenas, while also ensuring that horses are treated humanely and with respect,” says Tom Persechino, AQHA executive director of competition and breed integrity. “Any rule change the Show Committee ultimately recommends goes through a stringent review process with those goals in mind.”

    To find the complete language for the above rule modifications, exhibitors can go to bit.ly/AQHArulechanges.

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