Jury Says the American Quarter Horse Association Cannot Make Its Own Rules

Jul 31, 2013

Credit AQHA

A federal jury of seven men and five women decided that the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) violates state and federal antitrust laws by barring cloned horses from it’s registry according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

Canadian rancher, Jason Abraham and Amarillo veterinarian Gregg Veneklasen began the suit against the organization last year in an attempt to overturn the rule barring cloned horses.  Rule 227a has been in effect since 2004. 

Nancy Stone, attorney for Abraham and Veneklasen, says she is confident the verdict will result in, “the court ordering AQHA to register the horses owned by Jason Abraham, Gregg Veneklasen, DVM, and others."  Stone says registering these horses will further the mission of the AQHA and maintain the integrity of the breed.

Don Treadway, AQHA executive vice president is troubled by the decision.  He says, “We are deeply disappointed by the outcome of this trial. It continues to be our position that our rule prohibiting the registration of clones and their offspring is both reasonable and lawful.  When individuals with shared interests, goals and values come together to form a voluntary association to serve a common purpose, the members have a right to determine the rules for their association.  The wisdom of our membership — which is largely not in favor of the registration of clones and their offspring — has not been upheld by this verdict.” 

Treadway also said there are plans for a meeting to consider an appeal.