Horse Showing

AQHA Memberships

December 30, 2009

Do you know which membership is right for you?

MembershipBy Kayla Randall

AQHA offers three types of memberships: general, amateur and youth. What type of membership is right for you?

When applying for your AQHA membership, keep a couple things in mind: Your age and whether or not you are going to show in AQHA events. Another nice little policy I’m going to share with you is that you have 60 days from the date AQHA receives your membership to change it or change your mind, unless horse-related work was completed within that 60-day time frame. So, don’t sweat it if you think you want to change. Just call AQHA Customer Service.

General Membership

A general membership is for members whose only interaction with the Association is for AQHA-related horse work (registrations, transfers, DNA testing, etc.) or exhibitors who are going to show in the AQHA open division. If you are going to place your membership in a joint, farm, ranch, family or business name, the general membership is the way to go. If you place your membership in a farm, ranch, family or business name, be sure to fill out an AQHA authorization form. The authorization form lets AQHA know who can sign important paperwork, such as transfers and breeders certificates. It also helps AQHA verify who can maintain addresses and phone numbers.

There are many benefits that come with being a member of the American Quarter Horse Association. Learn how you can get discounts with AQHA corporate partners, show at official AQHA events,  enroll in horseback riding programs and receive the America’s Horse magazine by becoming an AQHA member.

A general membership is $40 for one year or $80 for three years. You can buy a life membership for $500.

After the 60-day timeframe, or if horse-related work has been completed under your membership, AQHA cannot add, change, remove, transfer or cancel a membership.

Amateur Membership

An AQHA amateur membership is specifically for exhibitors 19 years of age or older who have not shown, judged, trained or assisted in training a horse for remuneration. An amateur membership card must be purchased solely in the name of the exhibitor. This rule is not limited to Quarter Horses, so if you have been paid for showing, judging or training any other breed, or even grade horses, you do not qualify to compete in the AQHA amateur division.

The other main stipulation for amateur exhibitors is that the horse exhibited by an amateur must be owned by the amateur exhibitor or someone directly related to the amateur, as specified in Rule 403(a) in the AQHA Handbook of Rules and Regulations.

AQHA does not recognize common-law marriages for amateur exhibition purposes, as a common-law marriage is different in each of the 50 states and in other countries.

An AQHA amateur membership is $45 for one year and $90 for three years. Because an amateur member must sign a statement verifying that he or she still qualifies to be an amateur at least every three years, AQHA does not offer a life amateur membership. If you would like to have a life membership, but want to exhibit in the amateur division, you may obtain a general life membership and upgrade it to amateur status either every one or three years. Amateur upgrades are $5 for one year or $10 for three years. If you have purchased a general membership but need an amateur card, an upgrade will work for you as well. An upgrade can be submitted at a show (an extra $5 charge is applied to the upgrade cost) or can be mailed or faxed to AQHA. The amateur application, completed and signed, is required with the fee.

Youth Membership

A youth membership is designed for members under age 19. Like the amateur membership, a youth membership cannot be purchased in a joint, family, farm, ranch or business name. AQHA youth members are eligible for all AQHA corporate partner discounts, except Members Plus offers. Youth memberships are not eligible for auto renewal.

Whether you’re renewing your membership or joining for the first time, being an AQHA member come with plenty of perks. You can get corporate partner discounts, receive America’s Horse magazine, show at official shows and join the horseback riding program!

A common misconception for many of my customers is that a youth member cannot have a horse transferred into his or her name. This is not true. AQHA does not have any stipulations for horse ownership that limit a member because of age. If the youth is too young to sign his name, parents and guardians can submit a statement to AQHA listing the youth’s name, birth date and information stating that they need to be able to sign for AQHA paperwork submitted under the youth’s name. AQHA does not charge a fee to list authorized persons.

A youth membership is $15 for one year, $35 for three years or $50 for a life youth membership. The life youth membership ends December 31 the year of or after the member turns 19. He or she can then graduate to an amateur or general membership. A $50 discount is given to life youth members who graduate to a general life membership.

Youth members who exhibit in the youth division also have ownership stipulations. The horse exhibited by a youth must be in the ownership of the exhibitor or someone directly related, as specified in Rule 404(a) in the AQHA Handbook of Rules and Regulations.

Now that you have a detailed description of all the memberships AQHA offers, pick the one that fits your needs, and join today!