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☛ AQHA Genetic Pool shrinks 1-10–15

AMERICAN QUARTER HORSE GENETIC POOL SHRINKS

WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT?

 

By Rick Dennis
Jan. 10, 2015

 

Recent articles in the American Quarter Horse Journal entitled “The Changing Landscape of Quarter Horse Genetics, Part 1 and Part 2,” really caught my eye because of two reasons: 1) I’m an American Quarter Horse breeder specializing in multiple-event reined cow horses and 2) I’m a Life Member of AQHA.

 

Part 1’s first paragraph essentially sets the stage for the present state of the breed in that it’s becoming more and more inbred, stating, “Talk to an equine geneticist long enough and you are bound to hear two assertions made about the American Quarter Horse breed that sound like opposites: First, it is one of the most genetically diverse equine breeds in the world and second, it’s becoming increasingly inbred.”

 

The second and third paragraphs of Part 1 outline the history of the breed and a factor causing this shrinking of genetics, stating: “Beginning in colonial America, the breed began from a diverse genetic base of largely Thoroughbred and Spanish blood that was added to and developed for roughly 200 years, focusing on producing quickness and durability. But fast-forward to the modern era of specialized American Quarter Horse performers, especially at the highest levels, and you find specialization in the horse-breeding herd too: specific groups of individuals used to produce those top performers.

 

That suggests there are narrowed gene pools in those subgroups and now a genetic study clearly shows it. A research team from the University of Minnesota has published its findings in an issue of the Journal of Heredity, “The American Quarter Horse: Population structure and relationship to the Thoroughbred.” The 2012-2013 study was partially funded by the American Quarter Horse Foundation.

 

The Sample


The team analyzed six Quarter Horse performance subgroups identified as halter, western pleasure, reining, working cow horse, cutting and racing. The team pulled the top 200 performers for each group in 2009 and 2010, selecting by money-earned for the reining, working cow, cutting and racing groups, and by AQHA points earned for western pleasure and halter.

 

The team then eliminated half and full siblings, making the sample as diverse as possible. From the remaining horses, the team ran genetic and pedigree analyses on 24 random individuals in each subgroup.

 

“We genotyped them for about 65,000 genetic markers … and we pulled their five-generation pedigrees so we could compare what both sets of information told us about the relationships between the individuals,” said Dr. Molly McCue

 

What They Found

“The groups clustered into three genetic groups,” said Dr. McCue. “The racing Quarter Horses stood out on their own genetically, the pleasure and halter horses clustered together and the working cow, cutting and reining horses formed the third group. We were able to prove quite clearly that horses were in a specific genetic cluster depending on what performance group they came from.

 

“In the pedigree analysis, some groups shared no common sires, such as halter and racing, but other groups did, such as reining and working cow horse. Although popular sires within one group were rarely shared with another group, all the pedigrees reflected the common roots of the Quarter Horse.

 

“Additionally, pedigree analysis showed that the most common 15 sires across the groups were all direct tail-male descendants of Three Bars (TB), with several of those stallions showing more than one cross to the Thoroughbred in the first four generations.

 

“Inbreeding” refers to the mating of relatives and results in an “inbred” individual. The amount an individual is “inbred” can be estimated from its pedigree or genetic data.  In a pedigree analysis, determining an individual’s “co-ancestry coefficient” gives an idea of how closely related individuals are on a pedigree page. Two individuals can be highly related without either of them being inbred, but if you breed two individuals with a high co-ancestry coefficient, their offspring will be inbred.

 

“Diversity quantifies the amount of genetic variation there is in a population. Typically, a highly inbred population has low genetic diversity.

 

“Using both pedigree and genetic analysis gives a more complete picture of a population’s relatedness, inbreeding and diversity. For example, the average Thoroughbred could very well exhibit a much lower genetic diversity in its genome than the average Quarter Horse, even though the Thoroughbred might show no repeated individuals in its five-generation pedigree.

 

As a point of reference, and to fully illustrate the long term adverse effects of inbreeding please refer to the following CBS article: “Amish Inbreeding Causes Genetic Mutation and Mental Retardation.”

 

Click for article on Amish inbreeding>>

 

“(In this study) the lowest genetic diversity within a sub-population was in the cutting and racing groups. The highest average inbreeding was found in cutting.

 

“When inbreeding was calculated from the pedigree analysis, the reining group had the lowest average inbreeding when it was calculated with genotype; the pleasure group was the lowest.

 

“Halter horses, on average, were about 3 percent inbred, although some individuals were as high as almost 27 percent inbred.”

 

“What’s more, the study found that, due to the contribution of popular sires, relatedness within the groups is on the rise. This increase in relatedness, or co-ancestry, is likely to lead to an increase in the number and extent of inbred individuals,” continued Dr. McCue.

 

Click to read Part 1>>

 

Analyzing the Quarter Horse Breeding Rules:

From this study, it’s clear that the present American Quarter Horse breeding rules require scrutiny to determine: 1) their contribution to this shrinking genetic pool and 2) the adverse affect each adopted breeding rule may or may not have on the breed itself.  I wonder if the executives paid six figures at the AQHA and the Executive Committee members, especially the Stud Book and Registration Committee, had any forethought in the ramifications their expansive breeding rule adoptions would have on the Quarter Horse breed and industry over time?

 

As a private sector Risk Analyst, I’m commonly faced with the task of analyzing practices and concepts to determine either the detriment or usefulness an existing concept or practice has on an organization. In order to shed light on the topic, I examined two specific breeding rules adopted by AQHA: Multiple Embryo Transfer and Frozen Semen. I also examined the impact each adopted breeding rule may have on the breeding populous as well as a correlation of each one’s compliance with AQHA’s Mission Statement.

 

AQHA Mission Statement

 

Your Association adheres to the highest standards.

 

AQHA Mission Statement:

 

  • To record and preserve the pedigree of the American Quarter Horse while maintaining the integrity of the breed and welfare of its horses.
  • To provide beneficial services for its members which enhance and encourage American Quarter Horse ownership and participation.
  • To develop diverse educational programs, material and curriculum that will position AQHA as the leading resource organization in the equine industry.
  • To generate growth of AQHA membership via the marketing, promotion, advertising and publicity of the American Quarter Horse.
  • To ensure the American Quarter Horse is treated humanely, with dignity, respect and compassion at all times.

 

Multiple Embryo Transfer

The first analysis and breeding rule comparison involved the Multiple Embryo Rule adoption.  On one hand, the first statement of the AQHA Mission Statement asserts “maintaining the integrity of the breed and the welfare of its horses” but on the other hand, this AQHA breeding rule adoption and Dr. Mc Cue’s study raises challenges to the credibility of this profound statement concerning the integrity of the breed and welfare of its horses under their present approved breeding methods.

 

Past court testimony of Dr. Glenn Blodgett an AQHA Executive Committee member and in-line future AQHA President brings a challenge to this assertion. Dr. Blodgett’s sworn oath expert witness testimony, during the Kay Floyd V AQHA trial, fully illustrates and verifies this contradiction as well as the dangers and hardships the breeding mares were subjected to during an egg and embryo flush. The hypocrisy is fully realized when Dr. Blodgett, who at the time was the Chairman of the Stud Book & Registration Committee, the group who consider the proposed rules of registration and answer to no other committee, fully exposed these dangers and hardships on a horse while voicing his opposition under sworn oath testimony. However, Dr. Blodgett has been one of the most prolific users of multiple embryo transfer technology since 1985, long before the Kay Floyd v AQHA lawsuit.

 

Click for Dr. Glenn Blodgett Testimony>>

 

As a breeder, I have always been opposed to many of the breeding rule adoptions of AQHA, (i.e.) Multiple Embryo Transfer that allows a mare to produce multiple same genetic-type foals in a single breeding season instead of adhering to the “one-mare, one-foal” breeding theory, essentially limiting or maintaining the narrowing of the genetic pool by eliminating or controlling mass production of a single genetic type. By Dr. Blodgett’s testimony, this breeding rule also contradicts AQHA’s own mission statement, “To ensure the American Quarter Horse is treated humanely, with dignity, respect and compassion at all times.”

 

The magnitude of the mass expansion of a specific genetic line of horses by multiple embryo transfer is realized in past computations resulting from the analysis of seven (7) separate Quarter Horse Racing mares that produced 174 foals during a specified time, averaging 24.85 babies each. Such an expansion of a specific genetic line also has an adverse effect on the breed in that it further narrows the genetic pool, which under normal circumstances reduces the odds of inbreeding. In addition, this breeding technology also contributes to an over population of Quarter Horses.

 

In Part 2, of the article, Dr. Molly McCue specifically addresses the effect Multiple Embryo Transfer is having on the industry.

 

Click for Horse Genetics Part 2>>

 

What It Means

“We are changing the genetic landscape in the Quarter Horse within the top-level performance groups,” stated Dr. McCue. “This study clearly demonstrates that we’re concentrating the genetics within certain lines of Quarter Horses and we’re increasing inbreeding within particular performance groups.

 

“A horse’s conformation affects his ability to perform certain tasks. Read more about this interesting concept in AQHA’s Form to Function report.

 

Click for “Form To Function” Report>>

 

“Longstanding breeding practices likely contribute to that. Habits such as “popular sire syndrome,” which is the tendency for many breeders to breed to a top-performing stallion, or the use of assisted reproductive techniques such as frozen semen and embryo transfers can greatly amplify one individual’s genetic impact. Even the practice of always breeding the ‘best to the best’ can contribute to increased inbreeding in a subpopulation.

 

“Any time we take a single individual and increase its ability to generate offspring, that is going to decrease the genetic pool that is reproducing.

 

“Additionally, when you increase inbreeding and reduce diversity, you increase the incidence of undesirable genes making an appearance.

 

“A good example is the incidence of HERDA (hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia) in cutting horses. It’s very frequent within this subpopulation, which might be the result of decreasing diversity and/or the ‘popular-sire’ effect. A previous study revealed that 28.3 percent of cutting-bred individuals carried the recessive gene for HERDA.”

 

 

Frozen Semen

A textbook example of the advantages of the “Frozen Semen” breeding rule, as it relates to a specific classification of horse, can be illustrated by examining the history of an AQHA Quarter Horse Racing member Frank “Scoop” Vessels and his history-making stallion First Down Dash. Mr. Vessels, an avid Quarter Horse Racing breeder, died in a plane crash on Aug. 11, 2010. On Nov. 28, 2010, a press release from the AQHA announced that First Down Dash died on Thanksgiving Day at the Vessels Breeding Farm in California.

 

Under the old rule, frozen semen could only be available until the end of the year the stallion died in. However, thereafter, the AQHA quietly changed the frozen semen breeding rule to extend a stallion’s frozen semen indefinitely. This extension makes a dead or sterile horse immortal, so-to-speak. Even though he died in 2010, according to the AQHA records, in 2012 he sired 68 foals.

 

Breeding dead horses from the grave and sterile horses that should be culled, (i.e.) removed from the genetic pool at death or sterility, are still introducing their genetic lines in today’s breeding market. The normal course of a breeding sire is that he is born, lives, reproduces and dies. Afterwards, his progeny carries on the genetic line from generation to generation. By allowing the reintroduction of a dead or sterile horse’s genetics over the years simply means he could be breeding with horses that already carry his line of genetics, further shrinking the genetic pool and possibly causing a concern of inbreeding and disease among the industry.

 

A more prudent option would be to seek a genetic out-cross instead of an in-cross. A plausible question for the AQHA powers-that-be emanating from the frozen semen breeding rule is: “Why are stallion owners with live horses having to compete for a fair market breeding share against deceased or sterile horses that should have been removed from the breeding roster at death or sterility?” At this stage of the breeding game, wouldn’t it be more responsible for AQHA to design a genetic breeding profile similar to the “Magic Cross” that breeders have used for years to breed performance horses, to minimize or eliminate the in-breeding concept identified by Dr. Molly McCue’s study.

 

Dissecting the Recent Select Yearling Sale:

For a look at today’s diversity, or lack thereof, in the cutting horse, the 50 horses auctioned off during the NCHA Select Yearling Sale, held Dec. 9 during the NCHA Futurity, were put in a data base. The yearlings were the highest of the six sales, averaging $71,655, carrying a $53,000 median (halfway between the highest- and lowest-selling horse), and the high seller brought a whopping $255,000. This sale was chosen as it represented the best-of-the best of today’s upcoming cutting horses.

 

Twelve stallions were represented, with every stallion having Three Bars represented on both the top and bottom sides of their pedigrees, mostly through Doc Bar. Of the 47 dams represented, only four didn’t have Three Bars on both sides of their pedigrees. The results were amazing.

 

Tracking included how many times the sires of the horses selling went back to Three Bars, along with the dams of the horses selling – then those figures were added together to get a total and that total was ranked by the median, which is half-way between the highest and lowest total, with the highest total representing the most Three Bars in the pedigree and the least diversity.

 

The highest median (meaning the least diversity) went to yearlings sired by Spots Hot, with four going under the gavel (included were horses that sold and horses that didn’t, using their last bid). The median for those four head was 12.5, meaning that the yearlings went back to Three Bars, both on the top and bottom side, 12.5 times. The highest was 13 and the lowest 10. As an individual Spots Hot goes back to Three Bars three times on the sires’s side and three times on his dam’s side, for a total of six.

 

His sire Chula Dual went back to Three Bars through his sire Dual Pep, out of Miss Dual Doc by Doc’s Remedy by Doc Bar by Lightning Bar by Three Bars. Chula Dual’s dam, Smart Fancy Lena, is sired by Smart Little Lena by Doc O’Lena by Doc Bar. Smart Fancy Lena’s dam, Docs Fancy Peppy, is out of Docs Fancy Pants by Doc Bar.

 

Spots Hot’s dam, Sweet Shorty Lena went back to Three Bars three times, with her sire Shorty Lena being sired by Doc O’Lena by Doc Bar and her dam, Quixotes R Sugar by Son O Sugar by Sugar Bars by Three Bars and dam Zan Ote by Doc Quixote by Doc Bar.

 

Next was Metallic Cat, whose offspring went back to Three Bars a median of 11 times with the highest being 11 (4 of them) and the lowest 8.

 

The individual sale horse with the highest individual score, a 16, was Miss Stylish Katz, selling for $152,000. She was sired by High Brow Cat out of Miss Stylish Pepto by Peptoboonsmal. She went back to Three Bars three times through her sire High Brow Cat and 13 times through her dam. Miss Stylish Pepto went back to Three Bars nine times through her sire One Stylish Pepto and four times through her dam Miss Silver Poppy who was sired by Dualin Gun out of Docs Poppy King.

 

The highest-selling yearling, Tappin A Cold Brew, bringing $255,000, was sired by Smooth As A Cat out of Tapt Twice by Dual Pep. Smooth As A Cat went back to Three Bars four times through Doc Bar and Tapt Twice also went back to Three Bars four times through Doc Bar for a total of 8. Smooth As A Cat had a median of 8.

 

Click for Yearling Sale chart>>

 

 

With all of this information in mind, wouldn’t it be beneficial for the AQHA and the Quarter Horse Industry to take a step back and rethink and reexamine the impact these two breeding methodologies are having on the American Quarter Horse and its members and adjust accordingly instead of providing breeding rules that may be harmful to the breed and cater to the rich and affluent members of the association? Coincidentally, the rich and affluent are the only ones who can afford such extravagant breeding methods anyway.

 

In conclusion, I would recommend to AQHA, pursuant to my Risk Analysis of the multiple embryo transfer and frozen semen rules, that these two rules in their present form and use is in direct conflict with AQHA’s Mission Statement and is a direct contributor to the shrinking of American Quarter Horse genetics as stated in Dr. Molly McCue’s study.

 

Also, who was the officer in charge of Breed Integrity during these rule changes? I believe it was Tom Pereschino, Executive Director of Competition and Breed Integrity, who in the last IRS 990 was shown as receiving a salary of $181,187, which included a $7,873 bonus and is a $25,440 increase from the prior year.

 

Until Next Time, Keep ‘ Em Between The Bridles!

 

Copyright 2015, Rick Dennis, all rights reserved. ©

 

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48 Comments

  1. Rick, OMG! what an amazing article. I had no idea this was happening. Thanks for sharing on FaceBook.
    Lisa

  2. WOW! WOW! WOW! Great article. A complete lesson in Risk Analysis.
    John

  3. Really like this article. Supurb job!
    Kellie

  4. Rick,
    Thanks for taking up for the horse, the industry and the small breeder. Well written and well stated.
    Martin

  5. I always enjoy reading your articles. This one really hits home to what’s really going on in the industry. Thank you for writing it and Glory for the courage to share it.
    Kimberly

  6. I found this article very interesting although not surprising. The problem is such information proves two things: First, over time a lack of genetic diversity and inbreeding is harmful and that it works to create champions. Second, while multiple embryo and frozen semen procedures are cost prohibited to the every-day individual, it has lowered the cost to purchase a higher-quality horse in many cases by increasing supply.

    It is these conflicts that make this issue so dynamic. Throw in the human tendency toward immediate gratification and ambition and you got yourself quite a problem brewing. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” so the solution will likely not emerge and be accepted until long after we need it.
    Glen

  7. Rick,
    This article is over the top and exposes one of my concerns for many years, an over population of horses and the causes. If more breeders would become responsible breeders, perhaps we could close the slaughter houses.
    Diana

  8. Rick,
    Somehow you have the insight of saying the things most of us would like to say but don’t have the courage to stand up and say. Me included. Thank you so much for being our spokesman!
    Michelle

  9. Great article but I told people a decade ago that reiners were the least of the issue with inbreeding. It is what has saved them to date from bearing the brunt of the genetic issues This is an important article to read. It needs to be on the radar screen of all breeders.
    Nina

  10. It does not take a scientist to figure that the pool has shrunk. Just look at the QHJ ads and compare them to the 70s and 80s. A lot less variety of blood.
    Art

  11. Great research and writing. Very informative. One would think that there would be a stronger market for outcrosses.
    Brad

  12. If you are part of the industry, you know this but that’s about it. A lot of my clients are not even aware that in their own country, horses are successfully cloned nowadays – so perfect that they can even reproduce … Herda? I am glad I won’t be around to see what might happen 50 years from now. Very dangerous subjects that nobody wants to talk about. Thank you Glory Ann Kurtz for the articles.
    Stefania

  13. Two things happened yesterday that made me happy. My Patriots won their playoff game and I read your article, hitting a home run and knocking AQHA out of the game. For years it’s been their way or the highway. I commend you on a well-orchestrated delivery of a dose of the truth. Thank you.
    Donna

  14. If the present AQHA administrators cared more about the industry and the Quarter Horse than they do designing schemes to bolster their pocket books, we just might have the association back we loved so much.

    Interesting and much needed article. Thanks.
    Marilyn

  15. Rick,
    When I see your name on an article on Glory Ann’s site, I’ve come to know it’s going to be an educated expression of experience, facts, common sense and truth. It’s hard for me to say which one I like the most. However, this one’s ranked right at the top.
    Evelyn

  16. What a great article. Good job. Now let’s see what the boys in Amarillo are going to do with this latest exposure!!!
    Gary

  17. Hi Glory
    I could see the inbreeding coming and i was far sighted enough to have frozen semen stored on BILL THE CUTTER. the last breeding son of CUTTER BILL and also basically a total outcross on modern cutting horses. The only close common ancestor he has is his maternal grandsire Grey Badger lll, also the maternal grand sire of Peppy San Badger. His five panel test is all negative and also his son Cutter Cutter is all negative. Am hoping that someday breeders will see the value of these old bloodlines and go back to them with some of their great mares. Take a look at BTC ‘s old old bloodlines and you will see there is still some outcross blood to be had.
    Chris Bukowski http://www.canyonrimranch.netI could see the inbreeding coming and I was

    • Cutter bill looks pretty inbred, besides all quarter horses go back to old sorrel right?

  18. We all knew that, but I am glad someone did the study to put facts behind the knowledge. (follow the money)
     
    Rhonda

  19. Rick,
    I’ve been a member of AQHA for most of my life. It saddens me to see the way this association is deteriorating. This article is a real eye opener! Thanks for your expertise. Hard for them to disagree with their own facts.
    Randy

  20. Perhaps what should happen is the members should get together and file a class action lawsuit and take the association back! It’s obviously headed in the wrong direction with the wrong leadership!
    john

    • Please share which segment of the industry has sued AQHA to allow embryo transfers and clones? I’m not sure the legal system is leaving any room for AQHA to make decision for the benefit of the breed.

  21. Loved your article. The most amazing lesson I’ve learned about nonprofits is their disillusioned idea of doing anything they wish without without consequences. Their team is self destructing.
    Jay

  22. Rick,
    Another amazing article. Your mastery of the obvious is uncanny!
    Chris

  23. And along the way has shrunk muscling holding together hocks, stifles, various joints, etc. And oooh, we’ve now got those cute little footsies, deafness with baldness, HERDA with the most popular pedigrees in the biz and those annoying OCDs … those damn X-rays!!!!
    Brian

  24. Rick
    I believe your indepth article really exposes the harmful direction AQHA has been headed in for some time now. As a member, I’m very concerned about the future of my beloved Quarter Horse and my association. How can a member be AQHA proud with all of this mismanagement and loss of revenue going on?
    Karen

  25. Rick,
    Your articles are the voice of reason in the nonprofit wilderness of corruption, mismanagement and insanity. Thanks for your article.
    Catherine

  26. Great article!
    Susan

  27. Mr. Rick,
    Fabulous article on the reproduction debacle. I’ve noticed for some time now the conformation changes in the Quarter Horse. Small size, small bone, slim chest, narrow chest and hips, parrot mouth, overshot, under shot jaws, etc., essentially reestablishing a breed standard of bad traits. I’ve also seen this evolution in puppy mills with certain breeds of dogs. The results of over breeding and bd breeding My question, are the current AQHa managers capable of leading this association in the direction it needs to be going in?
    Marley

  28. Rick,
    Thanks for the conversation today. After reading the article I just wanted to visit with you and air my frustration about AQHA and the damage they’ve done to the association and the Quarter Horse breed, Hopefully, some one will figure out how to get them out of there before it totally collapses. Great article and conversation. Thanks.
    Paula

  29. Rick,
    I read your resume. You’re an impressive man with credentials a mile long. I appreciate your honesty and frankness in the genetic article. I enjoyed it very much.
    Julie

  30. Rick, you ALWAYS write such great articles! YOU are SO knowledgable about the horse business and have great insight! I’ll bet you make the “good ol boys” shudder in their boots! Please keep posting your insightful musings on allaboutcutting, and please give us more informative and amazing videos of you working horses on your website! Thank you for your valuable knowledge!
    Best wishes-
    Sam

  31. Mr. Dennis,
    You are definitely a “pragmatic master of the obvious.” Your genetics article clearly defines not only the mismanagement of AQHA by its present leadership but also the harmful cosnequences to the Quarter Horse in the name of GREED. Thanks for your insight.
    Kyle

  32. Hey Rick,
    Talk about diversity in the Quarter Horse breed. Just go to a show and see the diversity the good ole’ boys have created. English horses are 16 to 17 hands high and look like Thoroughbreds and cutting horses are looking like midgets. I wish AQHA would stop using the photographs of what the Quarter Horse use to look like and start using photographs of today’s models to show the changes in the breed from yesterday to today. The rich folks should be proud of what they destroyed!! Pathetic!
    Wendy

  33. Hello Rick, a friend of mine on LinkedIn sent me your article. After reading it I would suggest every equine magazine should run a copy to inform all AQHA members in the harmful direction our present administrators has taken this association and the diseases they caused. Now they want every horse owner to pay them for a 5 panel test which costs each member over $100 dollars to check for diseases they created with these breeding rules. Thanks for exposing the hypocrites.

    Gary

  34. Your masterful approach to exposing injustice is incredible! Thanks for taking the time to keep us informed.
    Lena

  35. What I like the most about allaboutcutting.com is the commitment to calling a spade a spade instead of the white washed articles these other magazines produce. Again, you’ve let loose another great one. thanks!
    Mike

  36. Rick,
    You are one gutsy guy to release this article. The truth is the truth. Loved the article!
    Shanna

  37. I wonder how many more ways AQHA staff can think up to fleece the members so they can give themselves bonuses and raises. An amateur Western Pleasure class now costs each exhibitor on the average $175.00. The costs are for multiple judges, multiple drug tests and multiple grounds fees. When is this insanity going to end???????? Now on top of that we have this genetics screw up!!!

    Eva

  38. To set the record straight, I did not sue AQHA under the multiple embryo transfer or frozen semen rule. I sued AQHA because I wanted to swap registration papers from one horse to another. AQHA had already registered two embryo transfer horses out of MISS SILVER PISTOL.

    Also at the 2000 convention Charles Graham came out of the Stud Book & Registration meeting, found me walking down the hall and told me, “Don’t worry about Playboys frozen semen, we just voted to extend it for use indefinitely”. Thiese rule changes had nothing to do with my law suit.

    Kay Floyd

  39. Rick, I’ve been a Quarter Horse breeder since the 80’s. I whole heartedly agree with your article. The changes in breeding rules have only been enacted for the rich friends of Brewer, Treadaway and the other Executive Committee members . Not for the member body or the horse. They should all be jailed.

    Jenn

    • Thank You Glory Ann, I have been a breeder since 1960s, I agree with This article We should be breeding to Improve and keep the Quarter Horse Versatile attributes ,not over breeding , I have employed use of AI myself for many years but do not Believe in multiple foals from a mare and would have been Happy with breeding Live cover or breeding AI on premises if stallion was crippled. I have been an AQHA Judge and NCHA Judge also over 35 years, I decided when NCHA started using so much inbred horses to stay with foundation breds and cross them up,In my opinion horses will stay in better health and form and stay sound. I never ever had to do hock injections to train my horses. AQHA fees have become outrageous for late fees and such and 5 panel tests are result of narrow mindedness among Rich Breeders and AQHA wanting big numbers all for money for association people and big breeders.We have to Keep the Small breeders involved they are the backbone of Industry but many gone and I don’t make it but Hoping for a better day. JERRY

  40. As I see it the association is being run by nitwits whose pure motivation is greed. Combine the two and we have what we have today, one screwed up association. Really good article on genetics. Enjoyed it!

    Mathew

  41. When I first read the title of your article I thought it was going to be over my head but after reading it I was grateful for your ability to deliver an article the average person can understand. Thanks for keeping the genetics article simple but stocked with powerful details!

    Sarah

  42. Rick, I can’t believe the drastic direction the horse industry is heading in. I wish you’d been writing these great articles 20 years ago. I believe things would be different. Your genetics article says it all. Your articles certainly paint a different picture from the propaganda put out by the good ole boys. Thanks for sharing your professional expertise!!

    Kevin

  43. Hey Rick, Michelle here. I’ve read your latest article and the comments, I would like to add my own. When the members of an association place their trust in the executive staff to govern right, run the association right and protect the Quarter Horse and the opposites are happening then they need to be replaced with compitent ones. I, for one, am extremely tired of the cloak and dagger attitude and tactics of AQHA. What’s more inportant, them and their greed or the association and the horse???

    Michelle

  44. Read your genetics article, liked it just fine. Now we just need to figure out how to get the bums out and get some new blood in there to get the association back on the right track. Thank You!!

    CARL

  45. I love your “AQHA Genetic Pool Shrinks” article. So true! After reading the article, I checked my own horse’s papers and she’s about 50% inbred.
    Sharon

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