You've heard the buzz about it...Now it's official.
The Stock Type Division is off and running!
This new division is now available for local shows to draw in even more participants to their shows and a select number of halter classes for this new division will also be offered at the 2016 AMHA World Show in September.
The Stock Type Division will engage and involve even more new exhibitors, allowing them to now compete with their Miniature horses in the AMHA.
Stock Type Division Background Information
By Chairman - Frank Lupton
The majority of equine registries have come through the recession in financially worse shape than they were in a few years ago. We see this demonstrated in various ways from higher fees to less expensive awards at shows. The simple fact is that to keep the doors open, cuts have been made. At some point, an organization runs out of fat to cut, and starts slicing off chunks of meat. At this point there are only two choices. An organization can cut until it no longer exists, or it can find new sources of revenue. Within the AMHA, we have chosen to be proactive in our efforts to position our organization for future growth and viability.
Not so many years ago, the members of our Performance Committee and our Board of Directors realized that, even with the single pleasure and country pleasure driving divisions, we were leaving out the biggest segment of members interested in driving.
As a result of the committee's efforts, effective January 1, 2010, Classic Pleasure Driving became a reality and instantly boosted participation at shows. If you look at pages 109 and 110 of the 2014 rule book, you will note that approximately one and one half pages are devoted to providing the necessary information so both participants and judges can understand the division requirements. Similar space is given to the country and single pleasure divisions. In each case there is a sketch of how the horse should look along with word descriptions of how it should move and where its weight should be borne. Classic pleasure driving has been a boon to local, regional and even the World Show in terms of participation and income generation. In short, it was a very good idea.
If we are lucky, and or smart, in life, we pay attention when something does well and try to learn from it. Realizing the AMHA was approaching a point where budget cuts were going to be ever more painful for the membership, a presentation was made to the Finance Committee about a new halter division for shows. Pretty much the same set of facts held true for halter as were in place for driving. We were leaving out a huge segment of our horses. A simple check of historical data showed that most of our performance horses did not show in halter. Well, that's not a surprise; they are bred and built to do something different than those horses solely bred for halter. If their only choice was to be judged against our standard of perfection, they would choose to pass up showing in halter. This is exactly the same situation that existed in driving before classic was introduced. If the classic type horses' only choice was to be judged against the single or country pleasure standards, they would not participate. Simply put, classic horses are a type of their own and until we as an association recognized that, we, and they, were missing out.
The idea of a Stock Type division as a proposal was passed by the Finance Committee and then it went to the Board of Directors. It was passed by the Board and went to the membership. It was passed by the membership and a committee was formed to supply the necessary information for shows, exhibitors and judges to use with a new division. Part of this information is a Standard of Conformation and Movement for the Stock Type Division. This is a simple document that tells exhibitors and judges what to look for in the class. It is not a standard of perfection for a breed. Do not confuse the two. The AMHA's standard of perfection is still the only standard of perfection in use by the organization and the Stock Type Division will not change that. When the Stock Type committee finished working on the written standard, the drawing, and the other parameters of the division, the material was again presented to the Board and again passed without dissent.
The Stock Type Division is a chance for the AMHA to take a significant leap forward in terms of the future. This division will help local shows draw more participants, just as it will help the shows AMHA puts on. By getting more people involved in showing, the market for Miniature horses will, over time, stabilize and become stronger.
Given the benefits of this opportunity, I urge all who are able to try showing some Stock Types this year and by all means bring them to 2016 World Show. This is a chance to be part of something new and exciting. Together, let's begin building this new avenue to promote and advance the AMHA.