US appaloosa nationals eliminates two-year-old ridden classes

Photo Credit Cathy Childs Equine Photography

The Appaloosa Horse Club has taken an “important step forward” in equine welfare by removing two-year-old riding classes from its National Show in Texas later this year.

ApHC president Ken Johnson said: “Many of us, including myself, are very passionate about this issue. We’re convinced that giving our young horses some additional time to mature will benefit them immensely and pay dividends for the Appaloosa industry down the road.”

The club has also removed weanling halter classes from the show, which is planned to run between June 29 and July 3 in Fort Worth. Last year, the show drew participants from 40 states, in addition to Canada, Mexico, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. It is one of the longest-running horse shows in the US.

“I congratulate the Board of Directors for taking an important step forward when it comes to better safeguarding the health, safety and well-being of our young horses,” Johnson said.

He said there were also several new classes being added to the show. “Most importantly, though, we’ve been able to condense the schedule, eliminating one entire day and saving the ApHC nearly $40,000 in expenses. This also represents a big saving for many of our members when it comes to travel expenses. That’s a win-win for everyone.”

In light of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the ApHC’s board of directors has also waived qualifying for the 2020 Appaloosa World Championship Show to be held October 30 through November 7, also in Fort Worth, Texas.

We came at this decision the right way,” Johnson said. “We analyzed trends, gathered information, listened to our members, debated it among ourselves, and resisted overtures to move too quickly. While this action will benefit our show exhibitors tremendously, it was imperative that we help our regional clubs as well, during these tough economic times.”

In an effort to help trail and endurance riders, the ApHC took the further step of approving a motion to waive mileage requirements for the 2020 ANCER and ANCCTR.

“Despite the serious challenges we are facing, these decisions are a win-win for all of our members,” Johnson added. “I want to commend our entire Board for their hard work and input in putting these necessary measures into place. They have worked tirelessly on behalf of the ApHC and its membership.”