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 US Nationals & AHA

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tricklecreekranch
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PostSubject: US Nationals & AHA   Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:49 pm

Hi everyone!

I'm newer here, but since this is a large group of ammies, I really need your input on this. If any of you are FB members, you may have seen some things around here recently about the fees for US Nationals and how AHA is handling everything. The general consensus that we are hearing from ammies is that they are tired of paying elevated fees for their stalls, classes, etc…especially knowing things like we pay $300 for a stall for 9 days for around 2000 horses and the Palomino Association’s fee for those same stalls on those same grounds for 900 horses over a period of 15 days, is only $165! You can enter 1 horse in 1 class at the AQHA World Show for around $170. Comparing apples to apples, you can enter 1 Arab in 1 class at US Nationals for around $500. Why is AHA counting on their shows to fund everything? Where are our corporate sponsors like Ford, Rolex & other biggies?!?

There are trainers out there that are seriously fearful for their lively hood…and they should be!!! If ammies can’t afford the shows and/or the time off from work, why would they have horses in training? If ammies don’t have horses in training, what then happens to the trainers? They’re out of work…and what office job is going to hire them after being out of an office for years & years…especially with the job market as tough as it already is?!?

Back to what we’re hearing on FB…it seems that ammies (and trainers alike) would like to see more prize money offered. Again, sponsors would help with this. There have been some folks that were on show committees that have said that the reason some things are so pricey is because of the trainers/exhibitors requests, like better footing or more room for decorations. Personally, I can do with a few less decorations so that I can afford to go. I probably won’t remember the stallion that was promoted on the wall of some arena the year that I went top ten at Nationals, but I’ll remember that I got a top ten! Also, where the footing is concerned, from what I’ve heard on FB, we’re getting the same dang footing that AQHA gets, but just paying more for it…why??? Is our marketing department within AHA just completely incompetent? They can’t negotiate good pricing and they can get corporate sponsors…what ARE they doing?!?

I’ve heard from several on FB that AHA listens to their ammies and what the majority wants, they get. So I guess I’m trying to raise awareness here, on a predominately ammy forum, that there are many of us out there that are sick of the high fees. We’d like to see AHA run more efficiently like AQHA so that we can attract more AHA members and more people into our breed. We’d like to make our shows fun again! If you’re with us or have something to add to this post, please respond and let us know your thoughts. Thanks for listening!
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:44 pm

Hmmm-
I don't really know if the majority always has all that much sway with AHA. The people that set policy are the delegates that go to convention every year. Many of the delegates that go are the ones that can afford to - many of them are trainers. The accusation has been made by a very many ammies that the trainers control the show scene and that that is why many ammies have fled the MR for other activities. Granted, there was a huge outcry about the abuses of MR halter and the majority did strike a victory there (not all trainers show halter) with the implementation of the scorecard. It's opponents haven't taken the card sitting down though, there have been a series of resolutions presented to remove or dilute it's effectiveness.

Prize money is nice, sponsors are nice.....AHA does not have an effective marketing/outreach department....PAT is also guilty here. It may very well be that excess monies coming in have been directed to other projects like buildings and computer systems instead of the show ring.

AHA tends to be a reactive rather than a proactive organization. The sporthorse division was set up only after it appeared that members were going to set up a series of Arabian sport horse shows (with appropriate recordkeeping) on their own. The same (more or less) with the working western crowd - they got no attention until they threatened to abdicate.

Sorry that this answer may be a little vague - How do you fit into this whole picture? Do you show regularly? Do you help at any shows? If you show, what divisions do you participate in? You have addressed a huge topic - what specifics are you seeking? Basketball
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:22 pm

Well, I brought this whole thing up because a trainer that I am friends with on FB is really taking the bull by the horns for their ammies. This person (only remaining nameless because I don't have their persmission as of yet to mention them on other forums) has brought to the table the issues of how much we're being charged and the fact that it may hurt this person's business because they're losing clients who can no longer afford to show (whether it be financially or due to asking for too much time off from work).

As for me, it's always been my dream to have a National Champion, but that dream isn't ever going to become a reality unless AHA comes down in price, I win the lottery or I switch to AQHA (and I don't see the latter 2 as being options). This is a subject I've been hot about for some time, but I always felt as the "little guy", that I couldn't make a difference. Having a well-respected trainer on board changes things for me a bit. That's a voice that may be heard. As you stated, many times the "voice" that AHA is hearing is more the trainers, well...if a trainer is now actually speaking up for what ammies are needing/wanting, I'm all for it! I don't think the "true" voice of the average, every-day AHA member has been heard in a LONG time! And it's true what you say...AHA is reactive, not proactive. The same blood has been in that office for too long (meaning the marketing team, mostly). They can't get with it and go out & really market our breed & get them the recognition we need to bring in new members. Well, AHA has been full of the "I can'ts" for years!

To answer more about me (good question, by the way) I am a breeder on a very small scale. We breed Half Arab palominos & buckskins...mostly for the working western disciplines, but many are going to be successful in sport horse as well (you can find us at tricklecreekranch.com). I wish I could say that we showed more regularly. Since the economy took a dump, we've mostly shown at open breed shows and/or at ranch sortings where I have won a decent about of money. My biggest belly ache is that some sports aren't offered at AHA shows and that when they are offered, the fees are rediculous and I can't afford them. Why is it that I can afford to show with almost any other organization but my own breed's organization? It just stinks! They aren't marketing properly and they aren't offering the proper incentives to people to make them WANT to come show and their shows! Why spend $1k to show a Nationals for a blanket of roses and a trophy when you can spend $300 at AQHA World or Congress, win a trophy and take home a jackpot that will repay you for MORE than the cost of your trip?!? I realize not everyone can win, but the prize money in AQHA classes through 10th place is usually pretty generous.

Well, I hope that explains better what my involvement is. I just want to see some changes in the way AHA is handling things and I think there's lots of us out there who feel/think the same way, but many of us don't always speak up. I'm basically asking people to speak up. We can't be heard if we don't speak up about the issues. No, I'm not trying to start some kind of revolt against AHA...just a group of like-minded individuals that want to see some changes made.
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:02 pm

Congratulations for having the drive to take your horses out to compete in your chosen diciplines. Arabs make great working western horses, though the "idea" of what a working western horse should be has been hi-jacked a bit by the AQHA show ring folks. I applaud you and say "Keep on Keeping On." Perhaps one day, AHA will finally react to the OEIP folks and give them the co-operation that they are due.

On the trainer front - I did my time as a trainer and do not envy the problems that they currently face to make a living. I dropped out because I chose not to go to the extremes that were becoming required to win in the show ring. Recently I hauled my tack shop trailer to a hunter show and talked to several trainer/instructor friends there. Several of them had school horses for sale!! Good competent SAFE horses, because they no longer had the student base to warrent keeping as many horses. This was a local hunter circuit and my impressions of the people that are competing this year was that there were fewer beginners and more high end competitors....who had dropped down from the next higher, more expensive step up in competition. I am afraid that this is happening across the board - all breed - all discipline. The shows that are succeeding currently are the smaller local competitions and the really big, party shows. People who have to pick a couple of shows are saving their pennies and doing it up at Congress, The Buckeye, The Morgan Gold Cup, etc. One big party with their friends. The class A level shows in the middle are being starved for competitors. Several from different breeds or disciplines, in our area alone were cancelled this year.
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:58 pm

The new program for one day AHA non-USEF shows is interesting. It is my understanding that the shows will count towards regionals and nationals. If it is what it appears to be on it's face - it should be a step in the right direction.
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:02 pm

I agree, but if such shows are not USEF shows then it will open the gates for NEW shows all over the country. Which is also a good thing. How will the AHA be able to justify not sanctioning a show of this type?

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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:57 pm

Not sure how AHA will do that.

And you're right...I do believe that these one-day class A shows will be a great step in the right direction, however, there will be lots of classes left out. If they're having a 1-day event, chances are it'll be mostly pleasure horses, so us reiners (and obviously cattle folks) are still SOL...

The other thing is, I do see any local clubs putting any of these on in my area. It's just the same old clubs putting on the same old shows that they've always done. Who's going to step up? AHAA puts on the Scottsdale show each year and the November show, but nothing else. I wish they'd do 2-3 of these 1-day events as well! Also, VSAHA usually puts on the December show and several open-breed shows, but no other class A shows. I've contacted them to ask whether or not either of them in considering it, but no answers as of yet....
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:02 pm

An AHA show can (currently) be held without being affiliated with any particular arabian club....there are several shows, usually of a combination of breeds that are AHA and/or USEF recognized. One that comes to mind in Texas is/was the great Pin Oak Charity show. Morgan shows also frequently offer recognized Arabian classes. Are there any "non-traditional" groups around you that might be convinced to give Arabs a try?
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:05 pm

It would be a really cool thing to see someone do a one day working western show....
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:00 pm

audie wrote:
An AHA show can (currently) be held without being affiliated with any particular arabian club....there are several shows, usually of a combination of breeds that are AHA and/or USEF recognized. One that comes to mind in Texas is/was the great Pin Oak Charity show. Morgan shows also frequently offer recognized Arabian classes. Are there any "non-traditional" groups around you that might be convinced to give Arabs a try?
The absolute BEST show for exhibitors ammy and pro alike in R9, was the Arab show at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. They canned us 2 years ago. LOTS of politics there. I gather to say it was because everyone wants to be on a committee but doing the leg work to raise funds, doesnt appeal so much to some of them.

Classes paid out no matter how many in them. We were moved in and out by the staff. We were given free food. The two years I got to show, I made back my costs for the day.

Being a part of Pin Oak would be GREAT. I have been there many times.
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tricklecreekranch
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:34 pm

I guess I didn't realize that just anybody could put on a show. I knew that the 1-day events were still Regional qualifiers. I'd love to have a show be a Regional qualifier and have a 1-day show 3xs/yr for regular classes & a 1-day show 3xs/yr for working western horses! Something where you could offer great prizes and/or cash back to your exhibitors as well as a chance to qualify for certain regions! That would be kick bootay!

I guess I'm going to have to start checking into this more with AHA & see what the requirements would be to hold shows like this. If I could get some started here (or see if I could get different organizations to hold one or two of the events) then it would be great! I'm not sure how big of a facility we'd need, but we have a public arena directly across the street from where we live (litterally...I can tral ride to it in about 5 minutes). I also know the guy that has the cattle for the sortings that I go to and he lives about 10-15 minutes away from me, so that would be helpful, too. I guess I need to get on the phone & start making some calls.....
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:00 pm

I was really introduced to Arabs at the Pin Oak show eons ago. Tom McNair and Sakr - wow !! Lot's of other greats showed there too. I was still in my hunter/jumper phase then--the Pin Oak was at Bear Creek Park --does that sound right? (Shows how long ago that was). The Houston Livestock Show used to draw a bunch of Arabs....the year that my (PB yearling) filly was entered there were (1983-ish ?) , I don't know, somewhere between 12 and 20 fillies in that one class. There were a bunch of big barns that pulled in for that.

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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:02 pm


Sorry got distracted---


There were reining and cutting classes offered at the Livestock show that Arabs were permitted to enter - again this was in the 1980's. As I recall, Don Ulmer had some Arabs entered.
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:02 pm

Yes, Don Ulmer's been a big name for a long time with the Arabs. He has some of the best horses that I've seen...they have great technique.

Well, I've got the ball rolling for AZ! I've contacted a cattle guy, an arena, a photographer and some local big name trainers. They all seem to be on board, so I'm hoping to hold my first one in January! It'll give them someplace to practice prior to Scottsdale! I dont' know exactly what I'm getting into, but it all sounds fun! Hope I get to actually compete at some of them, too! ;-)
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:14 pm

WOW - SUPER - GOOD FOR YOU !!!!

Are you planning on an unrecognized warm up show? Or is this an AHA affiliated show? If are planning on AHA recognition, you should probably contact them ASAP regarding your intentions, as they have a thing about being a little slow.

Keep us all informed please.
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:31 pm

It'll be an AHA recognized event & they already know because this was their idea. Also, I have a list of of the fees they'll be charging me. The hard part for me will be finding the time to get sponsors. I'm good at talking people into it, but finding the time to go talk to all of them is the issue! I'll get it done, but I know there's a lot of follow up work since the first time out, you NEVER get to talk to the person "in charge" of sponsorships! Grrrrr!
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:02 am

Tricklecreekranch good luck. I hope that you can find the help you need.
I got my 1st arab last year but I worked around and loved them since the 1970's. I too loved to watch Tom McNair and Sakr from behind the gates and in the stands. I worked for Jim Long for a while so I was at several of the major shows in TX & LA as a groom.

I have started voicing my feeling on the cost to show at our local club's #1 arena. I have owned quarter horses and paints for 40 years. I attend 1 and 2 day open and breed shows where we live. They have both cattle (cutting & working cow) classes and preformance (western, trail, reining, & hunter) classes going on at the same time. They use the warm up and the main ring with separate judges to get all the classes done. This includes all the halter and speed (barrel, poles, & stake) events in 1 day. Cost to show per class (at some) are as low as $10.00 each or $50.00 all day for each horse. Cattle classes cost more due to cattle fees but they are making money and have full classes (10-20+ head) across the board.
To increase the points that can be earned they sometime double or triple the judges. They just double or triple the class fees without any other charges being increased. Check out your local quarter horses clubs shows flyers to see what I talking about. You can also get an idea of the companies that might be willing to sponsor the event in your area.

I believe the AHA needs to do some major changes in how they are handling horse shows from all levels. We just need to keep doing our best to voice our feeling on the matter.
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:38 pm

TrickleCreekRanch - I would really be interested in how you got started for your one day show. I'd love to get one going in NC or at least be part of a group of people getting a one day show going here.

Please let me know how you got it all started and, of course, keep us informed on how it goes.

Thank you,
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:18 pm

I'll keep this going as far as the progress. As I said, it's all just conceptual right now as AHA won't have all of the details ironed out until convention in Nov and then won't probably have the details out until Thanksgiving time (ish). If you send me a quick email to tricklecreekranch@yahoo.com, I can respond to you with the word doc that AHA sent to me so you can see all of the ground rules yourself.

Thus far, we've checked into having 4 different 1-day working western shows. One in January (preceeding the Scottsdale show), one in March (preceeding Region 7), one in June (preceeding Youth Nationals) and one in Sept (preceeding Nationals). I also intend to hold these at 4 different arenas...one in the north central valley, one in the south west, one in the north east & one in the south east, again, to give everyone a chance to participate all over the valley. I've already checked into arena pricing and there are lots of different pricing strategies going on! Some have one fee for the arenas, understanding that you'll need a warm up & a show ring. Others have seperate pricing for everything. Some charge for use of a tractor & water truck. Some charge hourly for lights. There's a lot involved with this! I need to make a spreadsheet for comparisons!

There are a lot of fees involved with the judge and I do believe that will be the most expensive part of the show. AHA charges $50 for an r judge and $100 for an R judge. The judge charges to be there as well. An r judge could charge you anywhere from $100 - $250 for the day and an R judge could be anywhere from $200 - $400 for the day. Then, do you have a well-respected r or R judge in your state? If not, you've got to fly one in and put them up in a hotel for the night! These things add up and for this reason, you need sponsors for your show! I've already talked to Jessica Bein, Crystal McNutt, Thiago Sobral, Keith Tracy & Tony Boit who are all on board with this, so I have a good base behind me (tried Jeff Wilms, but couldn't reach him...I was assured from the others that he'd be on board). Many of these said they'd have no issues with paying a sponsorship, too!

After all of this, there's still quite a bit more to do. Although I'm not required to have a photographer, I still would like to have one, so I've contacted a couple and I'm mostly looking at a $50 - $100 fee to have one there for the day. I really wish I had all of AHA's rules on this now as I'm just dieing to get into this and pull one off! I think along with the headaches will come new experiences, a wealth of knowledge, new friendships/connections as well as lots of fun! I'm in for a wild ride!
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:19 pm

Tricklecreek, great job!! I think this is exactly what these one day shows are for. And I think that working western is a discipline that can see great growth in the future.

A suggestion or two, if you don't mind. Explanations of what the judge is looking for prior to a class might be helpful. And, if you do get a photographer, you might want to make sure that you can use the photos taken in order to advertise future shows.

Great job!!
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:21 pm

Hey...thanks for the suggestion on the photographer thing! I hadn't thought of getting some "freebie" photos out of the photographer to promote the future shows...GREAT idea!

And yes...even though the majority of my "base" people will know what to do in these classes, the additional objective here is to attract "new blood". These new people have to feel welcome and not like they're in over their heads! Therefore, explanations from the judge is an excellent idea!

Can I ask some of you guys for a favor? Can I have some of you check into your local AQHA shows (shows that would be qualifying shows for World, Select or Congress) and pass on to me their website, club name or where I can find a current premium? I'm in the process of doing a spreadsheet that will be a cost comparison between my new show & existing shows. I want to be competitive with the Quarter Horse shows. The complaint in the first place has always been that AQHA can get it done cheaper & offer more paybacks than AHA; therefore, I want to meet or beat their pricing if at all possible, but I need some shows to go off of! Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!


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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:47 pm

You might want to keep shopping for photographers - If you are going to pay them to be there, they should definitely cough up some freebie photos...most photographers work for what they make from the show. Or, if paying photographers is the norm in your part of the country, write a contract that guarantees them at least $100 worth of business (for which you will make up the difference if they don't make that much), if they make more than $100 at the show - you owe them nothing. I know that the club that I have belonged to for a long time has never paid to have a photographer there, and they generally use the $100 contract to keep a farrier there for the day.
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:54 pm

Just a random thought....do you have a local college that has an art or photography school? You could maybe get them to make up posters for you (with their photos of other events) to advertise your shows in exchange for inviting the students to do "practice" sketches or photos for the day for an art project. Or do you have an agricultural college nearby that would maybe swap labor opening and closing gates etc, in order to place their posters and enrollment information, or ads for graduate help available at your show....might be a good source of free help....
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:10 pm

I like your ideas & we do have colleges nearby, so it's worth looking into! Thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:00 pm

I can't help you on the AQHA clubs in your area. But if the arenas you have contacted also have websites with their event calendars, you should be able to get info on the clubs that way. That is how I found my local AQHA clubs.
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:00 pm

AHa could learn a lot about fundrasing for the Scottsdale show group! They have tons of corporate sponsorships, and do an execellent job on that end!
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:31 pm

They could also learn from the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. They paid out $192,000.00 in Youth scholarships to 12 local FFA kids from all the fundraisers associated with the 2010 event.
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McShaneArabians
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:48 am


WOW...I'm really impressed with your enthusiasm and dedication to moving forward! I'm looking forward to hearing your success story!! Great thread...hopefully it may motivate others to follow in your footsteps for their areas! Cheers! Rebecca
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:00 pm

I have yet to figure out how the new one day shows are any better than a community show, which I went to a few in Region 14, but they were dropped because the people running the clubs would rather have a big shows with trainers and all the bells and whistles. We had one a year for 3 years.

I enjoyed the community show and met lots of back yard arabian owners who were so excited,,
how will one day shows be any different?
Lori
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PostSubject: Re: US Nationals & AHA   Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:53 pm

First of all, the 1-day show I'm talking about would be TOTALLY different than a 3 or 4-day weekend show! The show I'm talking about is specifically for the working western disciplines. There would be trail, reining, working cow, cutting & even team penning. I have the support of the local big-name trainers like Crystal McNutt, Tony Boit & Jessica Bein, so I would have big names involved. It wouldn't be just back-yard people. These trainers have also agreed to purchase sponsorships for the show and some have agreed to have their amateurs help with the show. Not to mention, there are no stall fees and all of the other expenses involved with keeping a horse at the grounds for 3-4 days. That in itself is a huge savings for the competitors!

I believe that the bonus for any of the single day events would be the difference in cost. Sure, you may have to put up with some things being run a little differently than you'd like to see them, but it's still an opportunity to qualify for Regionals and Nationals at a discount.

I personally don't see how it wouldn't be better than a 3-day show. I think people need to get creative with them, as I have done. Make them 1-day events for a particular discipline! Have a whole day full of english classes...everything from hunt to english pleasure to driving to hack with a bunch of different divisions (novice horses, JTR, ATR, etc). I think if done in this manner, these could really catch on & be helpful to those of us that can't afford to play all of the "big boy" games, but have horses that are worthy of being seen on a Regional & National level!
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