Monday, April 5, 2010

Will the real Appaloosas please Stand Up!!?

I know, I know.....kind of a nasty attitude with that title for today's blog.

I am angry - frothy at the collar angry - with the 9 Board of Directors who voted to allow Cropouts full registration papers in the ApHC. I made my wishes known about this proposal, I sent off my emails to every BOD member and stated plainly that I did not agree to giving full show and breeding rights to horses with a coat pattern but no known Appaloosa pedigree. The ApHC has had a hardship registration program in place for a very long time and it is utilized by lots of people with horses that exhibit an Appaloosa coat pattern, but no verifiable/eligible Appaloosa lineage. Why must we rewrite the rules for a few Cropouts?

Ok, I see, you are wondering what is a Cropout?? OK, here is a little ApHC history lesson!

A long time ago, in a land not too far away, a registry was started to Preserve and Protect the Appaloosa horse by a man with a vision, based on a memory. Claude Thompson wanted to recreate the Appaloosas he remembered from his youth. At the beginning, most any horse with an Appaloosa patterned hide was able to get into the registry. Like most startup registries you needed to gather together all the specimens available! Back in 1938 very little was known about genetics, so every "visibly appaloosa" horse that an owner wanted papers on got into the ApHC registry, as long as it didn't show obvious draft, pinto or pony characteristics. Now there were (and still are) some horses that did not wear their Appaloosa-ness on the outside, they were carrying it around hidden within sperm and eggs, some of these horses didn't get put into the ApHC book, but may have found their way into the other new registry, the AQHA. As time marched on some Quarter Horse breeders were dismayed or delighted to have their papered Quarter Horses produce the occasional loud colored Appaloosa foal and this is what we call a Cropout. For a time, the ApHC welcomed these cropouts into the registry and why not, they surely had the coat pattern, so they must have the Appaloosa bloodline somewhere! Well, that was all fine and good...back then. A time came when the ApHC stopped letting in the cropouts and required their registered horses to have at least one registered Appaloosa parent. This was the beginning of defining their horses to a bloodline breed with a color preference. And that is how the ApHC registrations have worked for almost 40 years. One parent has to be an Appaloosa and the other parent can be either an Appaloosa, a Quarter Horse, a Thoroughbred or an Arab; And all of them must be registered within their respective registries.

Now I'm not saying there are no longer cropouts occurring. I am saying cropouts are no longer allowed or desired and certainly do not need to have full registration rights, rights that allow these horses to breed within our pool of horses and compete in our show system. Hardship registration is a good place for these horses, it gives them full show rights, but only geldings and spayed mares can be hardshipped.

That has all changed with the recent ruling by the BOD. Apparently, there are now a few individuals who don't think Hardship registration is good enough for their cropout, they want breeding rights too! They just aren't able to prove they have one Appaloosa in the pedigree.

So, from here on out, any 'QH x QH, TB x TB, Arab x Arab' or 'Arab x QH, Arab x TB or TB x QH' that produces a foal with at least two Appaloosa characteristics can get full show and breeding ApHC papers!

Basically, the ApHC is now just a color registry. The bloodlines mean nothing! And this has a lot of us HOT HOT HOT!!

So my question is not so nasty as it is just a plea. A plea to the owners of registered ApHC Appaloosa horses to please, please STAND UP, be angry and VOTE the folks who changed our registry's rules out of their seat on the BOD!!! If you care about the pedigree of your horse, the history and heritage of these wonderful animals, please STAND UP and be heard! Additionally, if you can attend the June BOD meetings in Jackson Mississippi, please do so and let the BOD know face to face how unhappy you are with this rule change.

I am doing my best to maintain my composure, this new ruling really bites! A well written and polite letter or email to the entire BOD would surely make an impact. We can rescind this and preserve the integrity of our breed.

For information regarding who on the BOD voted for and against this new ruling, contact me!! Or read all about it and many other discussions concerning this very controversial rule at: