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☛ AQHA Continues to hemorrhage $ 12-23-14

AQHA CONTINUES TO HEMORRHAGE MONEY!

 

CLOSE TO $17.5 MILLION IN REVENUE LOST IN PAST FIVE YEARS;

NET ASSETS DROP CLOSE TO $9.6 MILLION

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Dec. 23, 2014

I always look forward to this time of the year for several reasons: 1) The year is coming to a close and I’m excited about the coming New Year while reflecting on past events of the present year, 2) The futurities are over and I look forward to their results, especially the horses and the exhibitors as well as the sales and 3) the nonprofit horse organizations’ IRS 990’s for the preceding year are posted on http://www.Guidestar.org, that give me the opportunity to analyze the results of a particular nonprofit’s tax return.

 

One 990 IRS filing I found of particular interest this year is the 2013 IRS 990 tax filing for the American Quarter Horse Association, a Texas 501(c) 5 nonprofit headquartered in Amarillo, Texas, that encompasses the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2012 and ending Sept. 30, 2013. This article will compare the current return with the previous year and compare the last five years’ income and expense totals.

 

For the record, AQHA is the largest nonprofit breed organization in the world; however, they are also hemorrhaging membership and registration numbers as those categories have lost $864,797 since the previous IRS 990.

 

REVENUES VS EXPENSES:

While reviewing their 990 IRS tax filing, the most glaring revelation is the organization’s posting of another significant loss of $692,687 for the year ending Sept. 30, 2013, as opposed to a $3,445,679 loss for the year ending Sept. 30, 2012.  When this loss is added to the previous four years of losses, they total close to $17.5 million, or specifically $17,484,806 in lost revenue. That’s an average loss of close to $3.5 million per year. The largest loss of over $7 million took place in the 2008 tax return.

 

I have several questions on the Revenue chart. I ran it by a couple of auditors and tax accountants and one of their first questions was: “What’s the chances of revenue from two separate IRS 990s, being within $22,000 of each other?”

 

In that same line of questioning, there is a revenue account called “Pension Plan Actuarial” in the amount of $3,710,732 for the most recent 990. One accountant told me that he felt the only way that could be included as a revenue item was if the pension plan was over funded to begin with. Or was it just put there to increase revenue? It’s interesting this is the first time that particular revenue item has been listed on the AQHA tax return, which incidentally was prepared for the first time by a new tax firm, Pamela Alexanderson of Ross Adams LLP, Albuquerque, N.M.

 

Also, why is “Other Revenue*” not explained and yet it is the largest amount on the return for both years – close to $16.6 million in the most recent return and $14.9 million for the year before? Also Other Expenses is a large amount in the Expenses chart: over $5.4 million ($5,477,348) in the most recent 990. Perhaps the Board of Directors should ask for a forensic audit in order to get into the chart of accounts, as that is the only way for them to see the real picture.

 

ASSETS VS LIABILITIES:

The tax return ending Sept. 30, 2013, reports total assets for the beginning of the year of $56,223,930 and $50,276,281 at the end of the year or a major loss of close to $6 million in assets just this past year alone.  In the past five years, assets have dropped from $66,850,420 listed in the 2008 tax return, which ended on Sept. 30, 2009, down to $50,276,281 at Sept. 30, 2013. That’s a drop of close to $16.6 million, or $16,574,139 in five years.

 

Total liabilities at the beginning of the year were close to $41 million ($40,977,642) and at Sept. 30, 2013, were $35.1 million ($35,166,755), a difference of or $5.8 million ($5,810,887). At the beginning of the year Net Assets or Fund Balances were $15.2 million ($15,246,288), while at Sept. 30, 2013, the IRS 990 tax filing reported $15.1 million ($15,109,526) in net assets, a drop of $136,762 net assets. In the past five years, Net assets have dropped from over $24.7 million ($24,708,064), down to $15.1 million ($15,109,526), a huge drop of close to $9.6 million ($9,598,538) – very close to $10 million in five years!

Click for Revenues, Expenses>>

 

SALARIES AND PAYCHECKS:

Another interesting set of numerical values is represented in the salaries being paid to the upper management of AQHA whose posting this type of unprecedented loss on their watch:

 

1) Executive Vice President Don Treadway’s salary totals $371,639, which is actually $230 less than the year before;

 

2) Treasurer Trent Taylor’s total salary is $239,744, $18,456 less than the year before (however the takeaway came from the loss of a bonus and benefits, as his base salary was increased $14,370);

 

3) Tom Pereschino, Executive Director of Competition and Breed Integrity, was receiving a salary of $181,187, which includes a $7,873 bonus, and is a $25,440 increase from the prior year.

 

However, the biggest increase in salary went to 4) William “Alex” Ross, Director of Judges, who was receiving a $246,285 salary, which included a $9,308 bonus, and is a whopping $55,201 increase from the prior year, and

 

5) Attorney Chad Pierce’s salary is $239,849 down from $244,578 in the prior year, due to the loss of a bonus.

 

Total upper management salaries totaled close to $1.3 million ($1,278,704), down $113,839 from the prior year. However, the increase in current salaries ate up most of the $171,065 that was paid to Billie Smith in the prior year, rather than saving the money. Smith was not replaced and is currently the Executive Director of the American Paint Horse Association.

 

Total salaries paid out in the Sept. 30 IRS 990 were close to $15.6 million ($15,587,041), down $1.5 million from the previous year’s $17.5 million ($17,546,036). In the 2012 IRS 990, salaries were 34 percent of total functional expenses, while in 2013, salaries were 32 percent of functional expenses.

 

Eight (8) AQHA employees are being paid over $100,000 a year and also include Karen Latta, Executive Director of Marketing, $134,069; Patricia Carter, Executive Director of Shows, $121,561 and Richard Buck, Executive Director of Racing, $120,561, for a total of $1,654,895, averaging $206,862 for each of the eight employees.

 

Click for highest-compensated employees>>

 

The reader should bear in mind the above salary designations are only representative of the dispersing of cash to the individuals on an annual basis as per individual salary agreements and included on the IRS 990 filing. However, this financial information doesn’t reflect the total “other related costs,” per employee that the AQHA is sustaining which are factored into the total employee expense category such as health insurance or life insurance paid for by the AQHA, pension or 401k expenses paid for by the AQHA, car expenses, if they are using a company car, etc.

 

Also in Schedule L of the 990, you will see a loan to Don Treadway in the amount of $159,680 for a split dollar Life Insurance agreement, with a $47,904 balance due. This type of insurance is a way to help an employee purchase life insurance, split the cost between the employee and the company, and also have a tax advantage for the employee. At the death of the employee, the employer will receive all the premiums they have paid. However, the IRS recently announced changes in the taxation of split-dollar plans and according to tax articles, these changes cast doubt on the future utility of some of these arrangements and create a risk of potentially disastrous tax consequences for participants in certain existing arrangements.

 

Click for link to split-dollar life insurance>>

Click for additional article>>

 

Total compensation of all other employees for the current 990, was close to $15.6 million ($15,587,041), over $1.5 million less than the year before ($17,516,393). Yet they added 10 more employees, for a total of 379 from 369 the year before. By reading the above listing of the “highest-compensated” employees, you can easily see they didn’t take the money away at that level.

 

 

Also, the current AQHA IRS 990 shows independent contractor payments of $148,588 for cleaning services, $121,765 in addition legal fees above the salary of Chad Pierce and $104,630 in audit and tax services, totaling $374,983.

 

Also getting paychecks, but the money is not included in the compensation part of the IRS 990, were a number of directors, including the new President Johnny Trotter, who received $29,432 for the use of cattle for the AQHA World Show. A total of 35 directors received $243,120, averaging $6,946.29 each.

 

Other directors have children, or even themselves, who are receiving scholarships, grants and internships. And 10 directors have family or business relationships with others on the board, and in one case, both. (See link to IRS 990s on the end of this article.)

 

However, in my opinion the most interesting of the payouts listed on the 2012 IRS 990 tax filing for the AQHA is the money paid to AQHA former Executive Director Bill Brewer of $90,000. He also received $45,000 in the prior year. It looks like he got a raise too?

 

Excuse me for this relevance but I thought Bill Brewer retired long ago, so why is the AQHA still paying him? Trotter on the other hand is a self-professed millionaire who owns a large feed lot for cattle, a million-dollar Quarter Horse racing business and is listed on the Internet as being on the board of directors for several Texas banks.

 

Certainly, there must be a plausible answer for Trotter, the current President of the AQHA and future Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame inductee being paid for renting cattle to the AQHA for the World Show for the three past consecutive years and posted on AQHA IRS 990 filings. I wonder exactly what the reason is? Are there no other cattle producers to get bids from in the state of Texas or aren’t they asking for bids?

 

Since AQHA is allegedly under an immediate reconstruction period and is soliciting member suggestions for improvement in the organization, perhaps there should be a ban on paying Executive Committee members occupying a non-paying position. Enumeration for services rendered should be high on the priority change list and this type of service should be put out for bids.  This is a viable suggestion, if for no other reason than to create an atmosphere of non-corruption, preferential treatment and favoritism among the “good ole boys,” discrimination of others in the industry as well as members or outsiders who would appreciate this infusion of cash in a down economy.

 

In the corporate world it’s important to create a business atmosphere free of impressions or inferences of this type. There are a lot of reasons to limit the time an individual may serve in a position of authority with an equine nonprofit but incidents of this type should certainly rate high on the list. An individual serving in the capacity of an Executive Committee Member for as long as some have at the AQHA is purely ridiculous.

 

AQHA says they have term limits; however, when their terms are up, the same directors and Executive Committee members are “voted” back in. Those same individuals coming back year after year brings dissension to the rank and file and is counter productive to good management and the intended goal of making a better organization that should have changes at all levels.

 

The incredulous anomaly of this tax return is that the same individuals causing this enormous revenue loss in the first place are still running the organization! Individuals, who have retired and announced their retirement, are incredibly still being paid by the organization! Individuals’ salaries that normally are reduced during a down period in an organization are not only making more money but are receiving bonuses to boot. Unless I’m mistaken this sounds like the 6 o’clock news and Wall Street, where the business executives were rewarded with bonuses for losing millions of dollars and nearly bringing our economy to a collapse.

 

Still another interesting loss is recorded in the organization’s investment section of publicly traded securities and other securities. A $40.6 million ($40,668,850) investment at the beginning of the year was reduced to $38.7 million ($38,773,111) at the end of the year – losing close to $1.9 million ($1,895,739).  Or how about a “Partnership Investment having a $173,298 loss in the IRS990 for Sept. 30, 2012 and a $358,294 loss for Sept. 30, 2013 for a total loss of over a half of a million dollars ($531,592) in a single year? What kind of investment is this when they are using members’ money?

 

This tax return also showed a close to $6 million loss in total association assets this year, beginning the year with assets of $56.2 million ($56,223,930) and ending with $50.2 million ($50,276,281). They also reduced their liabilities, but not enough to cover the loss in assets: close to $41 million ($40,977,642) at the beginning of the year and $35.1 million ($35,166,755) at the end of the year, a reduction of over $5.8 million ($5,810,887).

 

I thought that the object of investing money was to make a “positive” revenue return and to invest soundly and safely, not in risky investments like partnerships or the stock market (public securities)! I would hope Mr. Trotter’s banks aren’t losing this amount of cash while he’s on their board of directors!

 

Click for 5-year chart>>

 

ECONOMICS 101

Economics 101 teaches us this is the branch of knowledge concerned with the production, consumption and transfer of wealth. These are simply the basic principles of business and it doesn’t take an individual boasting a college diploma to figure it out. Business economics is comprised of two simple mathematical principles: cash in and cash out. The cash in is called revenue and the cash out is called expenses. If your cash out, or the negative side, is greater than your cash in, or positive side, you adjust accordingly until your negative side is returned to a positive side.

 

In the real business world, this is referred to as an adjustment in revenue or simply cash versus expenses. Revenue adjustments are made by a reduction of salaries or the elimination of bonuses for upper management, reduction in overhead expenses or expenditures, or a reduction in the workforce. The IRS 990 for the AQHA shows none of these adjustments happening.

 

By the same token revenue adjustments can also be seen as a positive, especially with an increase in cash revenue such as an increase in show revenue, sound investments, membership dues, etc. Whatever the case, running a multi-million dollar operation is simply, in most cases, the application of common sense and balancing real cash and expenses.  The object of the game is not in how much revenue you make, but in how much you keep!

 

Trimming the fat out of a business organization and maintaining stability by using sound business principles and common sense as the compass to guide the ship to prosperity is more conducive to effective management than losing millions of dollars annually to mismanagement of the organization by the powers-that-be which can, if left unchecked, lead to gloom and doom.  One fact of reality is the present powers-that-be aren’t cutting the mustard as business managers!

 

I would suggest, a sound business principle is to run your business on established revenue availability or influx of cash instead of hypothetical projections based on risky or unsound business adventures that lead to the unsound business principle of spending your money before you get it – or on the accrual accounting method, such as the AQHA uses.

 

Basically, the accrual method is defined as accumulating or receiving (payments or benefits) prior to when the actual amount is received by the organization. Simply stated, it’s a hypothetical projection of “counting your chickens before they hatch.” In other words, if you’re expecting 10 chickens, and you borrow money or an intended sale value plus interest as operating capital and you only hatch five chickens, then the chickens not hatched become a loss. Perhaps the better of the two accounting principles, or the cash basis, should be used. That would provide a truer picture of the revenue operating, stability and cash loss of the AQHA.

 

Another interesting benefit of my research involves a piece in the recent AQHA publication Americas Horse titled “AQHA’s Strategy,” written by retiring AQHA Executive Vice President, Don Treadway. The first paragraph is the one that really caught my eye with Mr. Treadway’s article beginning with, “When you head out on a trip, chances are you use a map – or GPS system these days – to tell you how to get you where your going. Without that guidance, you have a pretty good chance of getting lost or not taking the most direct route to your destination.

 

“In business, if you don’t have a good map – a strategic business plan – to guide your decisions, your business may not grow and you won’t be able to serve your customers. We’ve had a strategic operating plan in place for many years”.

 

Click for AQHA Strategy article>>

 

I certainly agree with this stated business philosophy but has the AQHA lost its GPS guidance system or is their present business strategy in need of a good tweaking to bring the nonprofit back into a profitability status including a change in the present regime? I would like the AQHA powers-that-be explain the relevance and practical application of their existing business philosophy, as its being applied, which has recorded an annual loss in the millions of dollars over the past years including their latest IRS 990 tax filing contributing a loss of $692,687 to this already staggering figure.

 

Perhaps a better business approach would be to develop a legitimate business matrix conducive to sound money-making and money-keeping business principles instead of their established money-making and money-losing business philosophy and history. After all, the object of a sound business matrix is one that adheres to its business motto or “Mission Statement”, provides goods and services at a fair price, caters to its clients or in this case its members, makes a lot of money in the process, keeps a lot of money in the end and provides a financially stable organization for the present as well as future generations instead of “hemorrhaging money with each IRS 990 tax filing” until the cash cow is depleted.

 

My most important question is when an organization posts a revenue generation capability of $48.5 million and spends $49.2 million during the year, which creates a sustained loss of $692,687, exactly where did all this money go and who benefits the most from an enormous dispensary of cash?

 

 

My next question is: are the navigators of this ship, who have been at the helm for decades, really qualified to steer the ship or has their incompetence been overshadowed by an influx of more money than they can mismanage?

 

My final questions are: how long can the AQHA operate in this manner and when is real change on the horizon?

 

Click for AQHA 990 – Sept, 2012>>

Click for AQHA 990 Sept 2013

 

FROM THE EDITOR:

EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO LEAVE A COMMENT, GOOD OR BAD FOLLOWING ARTICLES. HOWEVER, YOU MUST LEAVE YOUR NAME AND A WORKING E-MAIL ADDRESS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU MAKE PERSONAL ATTACKS ON INDIVIDUALS,  OR YOUR COMMENT WILL BE REMOVED.

 

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40 Comments

  1. I CAN`T WAIT FOR YOU TO LOOK AT NCHA. THEY ALSO SAY THEY ARE LOSING MONEY. PLEASE POST WHAT YOU FIND. THANKS,

  2. great article. I have had concerns about the financial condition of AQHA. Il just hope they hire qualified people to run the association and eliminate the good ole boys who have been there forever.
    It looks like it may be run by politicians.

  3. Saying the executive is overpaid is an under statement, we are generously rewarding mediocrity and incompetence.These positions should be voted on online by the membership as a whole and term of office must be limited. The survival of the Quarter Horse Industry may depend on it.

  4. The finances went south after the end of horse slaughter. Breeding went way down, registratioms went way down, showing went down. This us yet another unintended consequence of closing horse processing in the US.

    • Yeah right! THATS’ the reason the association is in the toilet-NOT!

    • You could not be more wrong. NO fewer horses have been slaughtered since the closing of US plants- which proves the opposite point- that horse slaughter does NOT help the horse industry by providing a dumpster for the unwanted ones. As long as slaughter- in country, or out- is possible, the bottom to the horse market will be based on cost per pound. That’s terrible for the industry. Reduce breeding until supply and demand find a balance, and then values will go up. Common sense economics. Drinking the pro-slaughter Kool-Aid will just help keep the value of your own horses at rock bottom prices.

    • Kim, you are right on. The reason is supply and demand. Before the slaughter houses closed there was a demand for the old horses to be used again in a useful way and to keep the industry moving. I have been a life time member of both AQHA and NCHA for many years and have seen the change coming over a long period of time. The profit as in any business has to be there to continue. It hasn’t in years. Maybe the above reason is not the total picture , but is part of it.

      • Wayne,
        I know you believe you that the decline in the horse industry is linked to slaughter, but you have bought into several myths. First of course, the slaughter of US horses did not diminish after US slaughter plants closed and shifted to Canada and Mexico. Secondly, the great majority of slaughter horses are not old. They are largely sport horses coming off very short careers and between 3 to 5 years of age. These myths have been promoted by the AQHA and the AVMA for years to cover for the reality. We over-breed because we breed for the demands of sports that only use the horses for a few years, not for the demand of the recreational and other long term owners. As long as we believe the slaughter model is necessary, we will not make the changes needed for a humane horse industry.

        • Amen,John.

        • You are accurate about that. They are so self agenda oriented. Its already disclosed and documented about incoming funds. The problem is where and who it’s going to and the amounts of loss thur unclear channels.

    • The slaughter of US horses did not decline after the US plants closed, it simply went over the borders to Canada and Mexico. I know you bought into this nonsense, but it is just that as Dee says.

      All breeds went into decline in around 2005 (two years before the domestic plants closed). The AQHA registrations are actually down over 50% but that is less than many other breeds like walking horses.

      The EU has just announced that they will not take Mexican horse meat after January 15th. That may in fact have an impact on slaughter numbers and low end horse prices.

      And as to the princely sums AQHA continues to lavish on Brewer, consider the following astute prediction he made.
      In 2008, Brewer’s convention speech included this sage suggestion, “But perhaps there are things the Association can do to encourage people to breed enough good horses to meet today’s demands.” What foresight!

    • If you want data on registrations of all breeds go to:

      http://www.equinewelfarealliance.org/uploads/Annual_Equine_Welfare_Report_2014.pdf

    • Sounds like you run or operate a Horse slaughter facility. How on earth with this have anything to do with the mishandling and inflated salaries of AQHA?

  5. Glory, you go girl!!!

  6. Many thanks for your wisdom and dedication in sharing so much information. We should all be as grateful to you as I am. It also amazes me how your discoveries coincides with the severe suffering our horses are continually being allowed to endure. Thanks Again.
    Carol

  7. I had an IRS audit this past year for years 2011-12-13 all over the 1099’s not going out from the ACHA (American Cutting Horse Association) out of Brenham and Belton. The IRS agent asked why all these expenses but no nonie coming in and asked for the 1099s from all my earnings. My accountant was with the IRS for six hours going over all our records on the horse business which is an LLC AND HAD A HARD TIME EXPLAINING WHY THE acHA affiliates didn’t send me my earnings report or 1099s. So when I did bring it up to the associations, they said it was all sent but to find out, it wasn’t.

    How can i report this to IRS for these non-profit groups to play by the law and help us from these audits happening again. How can I report them to the IRS – both affiliates. They said they were going to get them for me but I never heard from them all all. I need your help.
    Roland

    • You should receive 1099’s for services provided that are more then $600.00, per year. If your company is am INC. they are not required. You state yours is an LLC so they would be required. Your income should have represented all money paid to your company whether you received a 1099 or not. The auditor should have done something about the businesses that did not provide you with the required 1099’s. They can be penalized for each 1099 they did not issue. Keep track of payments made to your company by vendor. Request the 1099’s from them after the calendar year end. They will need your EIN as well as the exact name of your business and address. if you have not received by the 1st week of March, call and request as they are suppose to be postmarked to IRS by February 28th of the year after.

  8. This article about the AQHA is a masterpiece of well-organized, factual information. Really enjoyed it!
    John

  9. Good for you Glory Ann it’s about time someone exposed this absurd amount of money being paid to these do nothing for the industry headless nail bureaucrats.i always thought it was unfair that we the unfavored and seemingly unimportant rank and file membership did not have an editorial page at our disposal in any of the AQHA’s official publications.If we had one someone probably would have questioned this before now.

  10. I am having a hard time understand how we ever let these individuals get to the level of Salaries that they are making!! Absolutely insane, and these people just keep raising the cost of everything associated with owning a horse, no wonder the membership is down, registrations are down! Sounds like the Membership needs to have a meeting and make some major changes!!

  11. I have questioned AQHA for several years about the “behind closed door” antics that have taken place and never once have I received any type of response.

    Membership had got to get a stronger voice in the association or it will cease to be in the near future. Just like the Incentive Fund is headed as we speak…………

  12. While they are loosing all this money, they are Charing so many fees and changing so many regulations that they are discouraging the average horse owner from showing, breeding and owning registered horses.

  13. As I started to read this article I stopped and re started it and read it to my husband. We were both shocked to see that these people were making that much money….why? whats so hard about working for AQHA that warrants that amount of salary? I’m sick of being charged more for entrys. drug testing fees, and no testing being done, and all the other net-picking of charges they seem to charge us. One time they sent me a bill for a stinking postage stamp. Most of the time i just shrug my shoulders and continue to show, but my husbands hates the AQHA and has no kind words to say about them. And doesn’t care if he ever shows again. Maybe I’ll move to Texas and go to work for AQHA. I sure as hell can do a better job than the people running this business. I’m sure all of us would like to make that much money every year. I’m disliking AQHA more and more every year. AQHA is like the federal goverment….a bunch of idiots. So sad its gotten this bad, and I see no improvement any time soon to fix this mess.

  14. This article should be “REQUIRED READING” for all AQHA members!

    The membership definitely needs a more active role in election of officers, rule changes, fees, salaries, and executive decisions.

  15. Thank you for posting this, although it is very disturbing. Bloated upper management salaries have scuttled many profitable businesses, and I hope AQHA focuses on how to manage the organization with fewer big-salary positions, of which there are far too many. At the very least, AQHA should provide the membership with clear job descriptions for these individuals and why these salaries are justified. What, exactly, do these individuals do that merit such inflated salaries? Typically this type of salary is reserved for 1) the CEO and CFO and 2) whoever is leading fundraising/revenue generation efforts. These individuals set the tone for the organization and its financial success and are rewarded. Everyone else is typically middle management. Which begs the question: does AQHA have a middle-management tier, or is it an organization in which the big boys are paid very generously and everyone else has low salaries.

  16. The “Peter Principle” at it’s best(worst?).
    Nice Job of exposing what happens when it’s easy for so long then one day you wake up and you have to justify your existence and don’t know how. And worse, you probably never did.

  17. On Guidestar.org (thanks for the link in this article), you can easily look up any nonprofit in the US. Under the preview tab, you can see the basic facts AND download the most recent tax return, which lists key employee salaries. I took a moment and looked up NRHA, NCHA, APHA, USEF, and USET. The AQHA salaries are WAY out of alignment with the industry norms. It’s very distressing, particularly in light of the extreme losses detailed in this article. What can the AQHA membership do to ensure that the organization works for the benefit of the members?

  18. I am not surprised, just another let down. I am sinking in my small quarter horse business here, and all I can see is that anything where the AQHA is involved, is very pricey, and continues to go up…..Now you can see some of the reasons why…. I cannot believe the salaries that these guys are making–///WOW’

  19. I hope Treadway got a nice belt buckle from Smith for
    that little one year tidbit !!!
    This article is a real morale booster for all of the
    long time A.Q.H.A. members and the hard working staff !!!
    Obviously none of the directors has any backbone.
    just a bunch of yes men/women !!!

    • Your comment makes no sense. Smith worked at AQHA the year prior to those examined in this article. He left in 2012 (or 2011?) to work for APHA. Instead of appropriating Smith’s old salary (because they didn’t replace him) ‘to other areas of the association, the remaining higher-ups at AQHA took nice, fat pay increases. So why would Smith owe Treadway a buckle?

      Considering how well (budget-wise) APHA is doing, looks like AQHA lost the only person in admin with any brains.

  20. I have been a member of AQHA for almost 40 years and like most members I have been satisfied to go with the status quo.I don’t see how a member of any organization, that calls himself a member,can suddenly wake one day and and realize that things are not on the up and up.Avrice and greed are a big part of human nature but for the most part it is inch by inch instead of leaps and bounds.What I’m trying to say is, if you don’ the keep your eyes open and tend to business you wind up lacking.The membrrs of AQHA put the people there and have no one to blame but themselves. The only answer is take back control.If you don’t like the way it is run and don’t agree with the policymakers, CHANG Them , you have a vote and a voice make them seen and heard

  21. Note: look at link to AQHA revenues and expenses under Other Expenses..not required to be itemized by IRS on the 990 IRS filing from 1.8 million in 2012 to 5.4 million in 2013 IN ONE YEAR as a member I would like to know what those expenses were actually for?
    Who approved the salary increases for certain high level AQHA employees? Treadway? The Executive Committee at that time? As a member I would like to know. It does not look like we could afford to do that.
    Where are the competitive bids for supplying cattle to the World Show? Would it not be in our best interest to have competitive bids?
    The answer to the mess at AQHA is transparency. When you have nothing to hide, you hide nothing!
    What are the current threats to the financial bleeding at AQHA? Do we have pending litigation or any other issues that can threaten our Association future? Get it all on the table. Shine a bright light in all the cracks and crevices in Amarillo. We can’t fix what we don’t first acknowledge.
    Thank to Ms Kurtz for being diligent and tenacious in digging up the facts and asking the questions. Again, if there is nothing to hide, then you hide nothing.

    Fellow members..your thoughts?

  22. These thoughts are from a newbie to the horse world and Aqha. Maybe new people like myself, go to some Aqha shows, and see trainer after trainer abusing horses, and everyone turning a blind eye. People with years of Aqha experience telling me, if you ever really want to do well, you have to pay for the top trainers in Aqha to ride your horses. Each show that I went to, that is what I saw and heard and was disgusted. Also, Why would I spend all kinds of money to show, And have to show against people who have shown for 25 years. I have 2 years experience, they could have 25 yrs experience. How well do you think that will work out for me?
    I saw people injecting alcohol into horses tails, so they don’t move, for a “better picture”. Really? I’ve heard from people I barn with who sent their horses to top trainers, so they could be competitive, yet the trainer did nothing for the horse, didn’t do half of what they said, charged the poor girl, and she was afraid not to pay because he was an Aqha judge, and the girl was afraid if she refused to pay for the services, (even knowing they didn’t do what they said,) she’d never have half a chance at an Aqha show because the trainer would blacklist them. So, maybe besides money problems, maybe newbies like myself, would rather go where horses are treated humanely, not be extorted to have to pay top Aqha trainers to be competitive, and maybe if Aqha started policing their members better and not turn a blind eye to abuse, more people like myself would not want to run away, kicking and screaming. Just being honest!

    • Love it!!!! You’ve hit the nail right on the head. The whole system is corrupt, and certainly bleeds into trainers/judges that’s another place where the corruption starts. They do favours for each other all the time. It’s horrendous with the youth and if your well known because you show a lot or are connected to a judge / trainer somehow ( a child or great client of) you win!!!!! The kids that deserve it just simply don’t reap the glory. Ya gotta love it when you hear those excuses pour out of your trainer/judge mouth, as to why your child who you support 150% and pay their high end trainer hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years. So not only are the big wigs thieves, it all trickles down to those judges/trainers who are fixing the placings , charging their clients astronomical fees , to never win because their not politically connected. The poor consumer being us are the people forking out the big bucks, all we ask for is fair judging to put that smile on our kids faces and we can’t even get that. So I ask myself over and over why are we here, doing this over and over again !!!!!! Because we have hope but that again will run out eventually and when every little person like me realizes that , there won’t be an industry to compete in because it won’t exist any longer !

  23. It has been some time since this article was published. Has there been no response from the AQHA?

  24. Fees! Fees! Fees!!! I’m having to pay for a 5 panel test on a stallion that’s already been tested for one of the panels. Shouldn’t there be a break? and why is UC Davis the ONLY lab WE ARE ALLOWED TO USE? I can get the same results from competing labs at a cheaper cost. Why can’t those labs results be acceptable.
    Why can we not vote (one per membership) for all executive offices?Why are term limits enforced?
    I would venture that 99% of members are not millionaires, so why are we ignored?

  25. Cathy – January 6th – THIS was posted on MyAQHA Ideas and they pulled it down. The idea posted was, “Better communication”. This certainly explains why it is so costly to show QH. And for all those other slaughter comments, supply and demand drives the price. Common sense business 101. Please share this all over social media so that AQHA will have NO choice but to become transparent.

  26. Excellent article. We need more persons who will dig in and do this kind of research and back it up with the links. “non-profits” need to be held accountable not a factory for enriching the officers of the non-profit. RE: horse industry comments/slaughter. Income–pure as that. It is an industry based on expendable income of individuals. If money runs out horses end up at auction. Don’t be anti-slaughter unless you are yourself financially supporting the un-wanted horse population.

  27. Glory Ann Kurtz. Wow. Thanks for all your input on this. It sure raises allot of concerns. It sure looks like allot of the have gotten pretty cozy and have simply forgotten who’s house and money it is. There is a spelled out struction of running this company. It should not be tweeted by management bending things to fit their best interest. There should be a staff of Non-horse interested people watching over all money interest of The Business. It all looks like a huge mess, and looks like a bunch of hurt feelings and letting go of many. The ONLY WAY to turn it around, clean house and get an out side Audit is Mandatory. Your report was hard to read and scary to say the least. The general membership needs to vote to over rule management, for control. A BIG HOT MESS.

  28. Fantastic read, I changed template on my site and then the search rankings took an enormous drop
    p.s Stay away from the Warrior Forums 🙂

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