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A Letter to AQHA Professional Horsemen


AQHA and the AQHA Professional Horsemen’s Council are dedicated to ensuring the safety and welfare of horses and all participants, as shows and events resume, pending local, state, and federal coronavirus mandates.

Dear AQHA Professional Horsemen,

I hope this letter finds you all well. I know we are all more than ready to get back into the swing of shows, races, and other equine events as soon as possible.

As much as we look forward to hitting the road, doing so in a responsible manner will be imperative. AQHA and the AQHA Professional Horsemen’s Council are dedicated to ensuring the safety and welfare of horses and all participants, as shows and events resume, pending local, state, and federal coronavirus mandates.

AQHA, along with representatives from the Professional Horsemen’s Council, Show Council, alliance partners, and AQHA-approved show managers and secretaries, have been meeting to discuss what the “return to competition” will look like.

One of the key pieces, as we begin the task of navigating the “new normal,” will be for each and every one of you to understand and abide by all guidelines put in place by local, state, and federal authorities. The Professional Horsemen’s Council asks every AQHA Professional Horseman in attendance to help event coordinators and managers ensure all participants are following these guidelines. As industry leaders, we must be part of the solution. Affiliates and show managers and secretaries will need our help. If guidelines are not followed, future equine events and even other types of sporting activities will be in jeopardy.

Additional recommendations and advice will be provided by AQHA, our affiliates, and other organizations. While it might seem we are inundated by new protocols and procedures, it is crucial these guidelines be respected, even when they are not specifically mandated by a governmental agency. AQHA and show management are going to need our help making sure everyone understands and abides by these precautionary measures.

As you may already be aware, the AQHA Executive Committee has approved modifications to frequently touched surfaces. This includes waiving the requirement that the gate obstacle in trail and Versatility Ranch Horse trail and the obstacle drag in open, cowboy, and amateur VRH trail be mandatory. This is in effect until further notice, to protect the safety of exhibitors due to the coronavirus pandemic. We will keep you updated as we receive more information.

On behalf of the Professional Horsemen’s Council, I want to thank each of you for working together to find solutions and create positive outcomes as we return to competition.

Gene Spagnola

AQHA Professional Horsemen’s Council Chairman

CLICK HERE for more information from AQHA.

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