History of the Arabian Horse Association of America: The Arabian Horse Association of America (AHAA) was founded in 1908 to promote the Arabian horse breed.
The AHAA maintains the Arabian horse studbook and registry for the U.S. and Canada. To be eligible for registration, a horse must trace in all lines of its pedigree to Arabian horses bred by desert tribes of the Arabian Peninsula.
The AHAA verifies the lineage and parentage of all registered Arabians through DNA typing and maintains the records of over one million Arabian horses.
The AHAA sanctions over 2,500 Arabian horse shows and events annually where owners exhibit their Arabians in a variety of disciplines, including halter, English and Western pleasure riding, jumping, and endurance riding. The organization also oversees the U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show, the largest Arabian horse show in the world.
Breed Standards Set by the Arabian Horse Association
To be recognized as a purebred Arabian by the Arabian Horse Association (AHA), the breed must meet certain standards for registration.
The AHA has established strict breed standards based on physical characteristics and bloodline. Only horses that can be traced back at least five generations to other registered Arabian horses are eligible for registration as purebred Arabians.
To register a horse, owners must provide a properly completed registration application, photographs of the horse, and DNA testing. The registration application documents the horse’s lineage and ownership. DNA testing is used to verify parentage and bloodlines.
Arabian Horse Association Programs and Services
The Arabian Horse Association of America offers many valuable programs and services for owners, breeders, and enthusiasts of Arabian horses.
1. Competitions and Events
The AHAA sanctions over 2,500 Arabian horse shows and events across the U.S. each year. At these events, Arabian horses and their handlers can compete in a variety of divisions including halter, English pleasure, Western pleasure, reining, jumping, and dressage. The AHAA also oversees the U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show, the largest Arabian horse show in the world.
2. Youth Programs
The AHAA aims to educate youth and promote their involvement with Arabian horses. The Arabian Horse Youth Association offers programs for youth 18 years of age and under, including scholarships, awards, and competitions. The AHAA also hosts the annual Youth Nationals, a national competition for riders 18 and under.
3. Registration and Pedigree Tracking
The AHAA maintains the only official registry of purebred Arabian horses in the U.S. All purebred Arabian horses must be registered with the AHAA to verify their lineage and pedigree. The AHAA registry contains records of over 1 million Arabian horses and can be used by owners and breeders to research a horse’s family tree and background.
4. Education and Resources
The AHAA provides many educational resources for those interested in Arabian horses. This includes online video tutorials, breed guides, and a monthly magazine. The AHAA also hosts clinics, seminars, and an annual convention featuring expert speakers. For breeders and owners, the AHAA offers programs for herd management, nominations, and achieving breeding goals.
Arabian Horse Association Events and Competitions
The Arabian Horse Association of America hosts many events and competitions throughout the year to promote and celebrate the Arabian breed.
1. National Championships
The National Championship Horse Show is the largest Arabian horse show in the world. Held annually in October, the show features over 2,500 of the finest Arabian horses competing in a variety of classes, from halter and performance to equitation and reining. Exhibitors and owners travel from all over the globe to participate in this premier event.
2. Regional Championships
For those aiming to compete at a high level but not quite ready for Nationals, the AHA Regional Championship shows offer strong competition and the opportunity to earn points toward qualifying for Nationals. AHA divides the U.S. into 17 regions, each hosting its own championship show annually. Exhibitors compete to be named the Regional Champion in their particular division and class.
3. Local Shows
In addition to the National and Regional shows, AHA approves and sanctions over 900 local horse shows each year across the U.S. and Canada. From small schooling shows to large Class A competitions, local AHA shows allow owners to start earning points, gain experience, and work their way up to the championship levels. Shows are divided into categories based on their judging and prize money. Class A shows offer the top level of competition, judging, and cash awards.
Becoming a Member of the Arabian Horse Association
Becoming a member of the Arabian Horse Association of America provides many benefits for Arabian horse owners and enthusiasts. To join, you will need to fill out an application and pay an annual membership fee.
1. Membership Types
The AHA offers several membership categories to suit your needs. A Youth Membership is available for those under 18 and includes a subscription to Arabian Horse Life magazine. An Adult Membership includes voting privileges in the association and a subscription to the magazine.
A Family Membership covers two adults and all youths under 18 in the same household. For breeders and owners, a Business Membership provides advertising opportunities on the AHA website and in their publications.
2. Benefits of Membership
As an AHA member, you will receive exclusive access to resources for Arabian horse owners. This includes:
- A subscription to the award-winning Arabian Horse Life magazine. This bi-monthly publication features informative articles, news, and spotlights on outstanding Arabian horses and their breeders.
- Educational programs, events and activities for youth and adults. The AHA aims to promote learning and community in the Arabian horse industry.
- Comprehensive horse show and event schedules. The AHA sanctions over 800 Arabian horse shows and events across the U.S. and Canada each year.
- The online Arabian Horse Data Source with details on bloodlines, shows, sales and more. This extensive database is an invaluable research tool for breeders and buyers.
- Discounts on AHA sponsored events like Youth Nationals, Sport Horse Nationals, and the U.S. National Championship Horse Show.
- A voice in the association. As a member, you can vote for AHA leadership and propose and vote on rule changes.
Overall, becoming an AHA member is the best way to become fully immersed in the Arabian horse community.