AQHA Releases Statement of Position on "Embryo Transfer Lawsuit Settlement"

"AQHA is pleased there is a favorable solution in the Floyd et al vs AQHA lawsuit. While AQHA maintains its position to defend its right to draft, adopt and administer the rules that have been democratically passed by its members, just as importantly, AQHA understands it has an additional responsibility," stated AQHA President Jim Shoemake. "That is one to continually review current rules as to their effect on its members, the American Quarter Horse breed, and how they may be interpreted by courts of law in regard to any current and/or pending overriding statues."

In the settlement AQHA's Executive Committee unanimously decided to amend rule 212 by removing the restriction of allowing only one genetic foal per mare per year. Ultimately, they believe in preserving the right of AQHA members to decide for themselves whether or not to use the technique. Aiding their decision was extensive review by legal counsel, who stressed the uncertainty of major litigation, and input from AQHA's insurance carrier.

At the recent AQHA Convention, the AQHA Board of Directors, by unanimous vote, delegated authority to the AQHA Executive Committee to amend AQHA's Rule 212, exercisable with the advice and consent of a subcommittee of the Stud Book and Registration Committee. The ten individuals from Stud Book included AQHA Past Presidents Marten Clark, Ginger Hyland, Jerry Windham, J. D. Blondin, Rob Brown and Dick Bingham; Stud Book Committee Chair Dr. Glenn Blodgett and Vice-Chair Gus Barakis and committee members/ AQHA Directors Frank Merrill and John Shaw. AQHA Executive Committee members are Jim Shoemake, president; Steve Stevens, first vice president; Scoop Vessels, second vice president; and Frank Howell and Walt Fletcher, members.

The amendment of Rule 212 is effective immediately, meaning any foals produced by embryo transfer technique, since the reproductive technique was approved in 1980, are eligible for AQHA registration, as long as all other registration rules are satisfied.

"I know many of our members have been very concerned about this lawsuit and the impact it could have on their organization. On behalf of the Executive Committee, I am pleased with this change and feel the modification to the rule is in the best interest of all AQHA members," said Shoemake.

This has been a long and difficult process for many of AQHA's volunteer leaders and members. As AQHA puts this behind us, it looks forward to resuming its focus on the many great programs and services it offers and to providing the excellent customer service for which it has become known to the 336,000 members who make AQHA the world's largest equine breed association.

Owners who have additional horses now eligible for registration can contact AQHA at (806) 376-4811 and ask for Registration Services or they can visit AQHA's Web site (, where information will be made available on the process to register these horses.

The new verbiage for Rule 212(a) will be available by Friday, June 14 and will be posted on AQHA's Web site.

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