Arabian Horse Times


november 23, 2021

The Arabian Horse Association (AHA) formed in 2003 to bring Arabian horse enthusiasts together to preserve and advance the Arabian breed. That goal remains the primary focus of AHA.

Thank you to all who have provided important input on the matters listed below and all who participated in the Convention, and in virtual Committee and Commission meetings. We are pleased so many members could attend and participate in shaping the future of our AHA. We are pleased to find mutual understanding so we can advance and celebrate the Arabian horse industry for the benefit of all. We understand our association is stronger when we are unified, and we are pleased to move forward into 2022.

Thank you for applying your energy, talent, and resources to our association. To learn more, please visit

The AHA Board of directors recently made decisions at the Nov. 17 meeting. In summary:

The Board ratified the selection of Mary Jane Brown for the position of Judges & Stewards Commissioner.

Upon recommendation from the U.S. National Show Commission, the Board voted to return the Commission to six members and to give one vote to an APAHA (Arabian Professional and Amateur Horsemen’s Association) representative.

Upon recommendation from the Distance Committee, the Board voted to approve changing “Junior” to “Youth” in the Endurance and Competitive Trail Ride sections of the AHA Handbook.

Upon recommendation from the Arabian Horse Foundation, the Board ratified the appointments of Jim Cada and Nancy Harvey to its Board for three-year terms.

The Board approved an enhanced composition of the Competition Advisory Committee.

In addition to the current parameters, the committee includes representation from the Amateur and Professional Horsemen’s Committees and, if possible, a representative of a National Show Commission, a representative of the Sport Horse Committee, and a representative of the Working Western Committee.

All members are to cover their own travel costs for in-person meetings.

Members of this committee will be limited to three consecutive two-year terms with no more than two members per AHA region.

 The committee shall consist of at least nine and no more than 11 members.
The Board postponed discussion of the New Show Category and the Championship Show at Youth Nationals/Mid-Summer show until the December Board meeting.

A member Town Hall will be held virtually on Monday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. (MT) to facilitate conversations.

The Board provided unanimous support to the Amateur Task Force proposals being presented to the USEF Board of Directors at their meeting Nov. 22. All four proposals were approved by the USEF Board and will go into effect 12/1/2021.

The Board approved additional funding for the AHA participation in the Rose Parade and Equifest 2022.

The following individuals were elected by the Board of Directors for the following Commissions and Committees:

AHA Futurity Commission

John Ryan (R 8)
Ryan Chambers (R 11

AHA Distance Commission
Alanna Frank (R 9)
Gerald Cummings (R 11)

Arabian Breeders Sweepstakes

Duane Esser (R 14)
Rob Calnan (R 17)

Arabian Breeders Sweepstakes Trustees

Jim Hitt (R 8)
Dean Meier (R 10)
Chuck Rickart (R10)
Russ Taylor (R 9)

Canadian National Show Commission

Allan Ehrlick (R 18)
Josh Schildroth (R 18)

Education/Evaluation Commission

Kathy Callahan-Smith (R 1)
Sheri Odom (R 1)
Chris Culbreth (R 7)
Michael Wilson (R 12)

Internal Audit Committee

Mary Smith (R 10)

Market Development Promotion Committee

Jennifer Tucker (R 14)

Registration Commission
Sherry Lane (R 7)

Sport Horse National Show Commission

Jill Barton (R 18)
Cricket Gates (R15)

U.S. National Show Commission

Lance Walters (R 16)

Youth National Show Commission

Mark Himmel (R 9)
Cynthia Richardson (R 8)

Additional Information – Nov. 2021

Convention 2021 Summary
Reports & Resolutions
The following reports were presented at the Convention:

State of the Association
United States Equestrian Federation
Treasurer’s Report
American Horse Council
Canadian National Show Report
Local Outreach Report
Virtual Show Program
Horsemen’s Distress Fund Presentation
Executive Director Report
Scoring Presentation
AHA Distance Nationals Report
Arabian Horse Youth Association Report
Discovery Farms
MDP Report
2022 Convention Invite Presentation
Arabian Horse Foundation
Judges & Stewards Commissioner Report

12 Resolutions were approved as part of the Convention Consent Agenda Resolution log
Three Resolutions were discussed by the Convention. Of those discussed there were the following actions:

1-21 approved.
2-21 referred to the Equine Stress/Research Education Committee to report back at 2022 Convention.
4-21 approved as amended.


The Annual Convention Planning Committee presented welcoming videos of Myrtle Beach as the location of the 2022 Convention.
The Convention delegates approved the 2023 Convention to be virtual.
The Convention delegates approved the 2024 Convention to be at the Silver Legacy in Reno, Nevada.

Celebrations, Honors & Awards
We celebrated two Earl E. Hurlbutt President’s Award winners: Sharon Richards and Leslie Lockard, and we celebrated and heard from the AHA Youth of the Year – Sofia Huffman.

The Convention also celebrated 12 National Volunteer Award winners

Kathy Callahan-Smith
Nancy Harvey
Cheryl Hansen
Dave Corning
Jim Hitt
Katie Harvey
Nancy Miller
Dave Daugherty
Rebecca Murphy
Jill Barton
Allan Ehrlick
Janet Henderson

We also have several Arabian horsemen and horsewomen who have earned USEF honors for 2021. They will be recognized at the USF Convention Jan. 13 at the Pegasus Awards.

Sofia Huffman – US Junior Exhibitor of the Year.
Peter Stachowski – Bill Robinson Trophy.
Jeff Schall – Norman K Dunn Trophy.
Martha Rattner – Vaughn Smith Trophy.

Peter Stachowski, Jeff Schall and Martha Rattner are then in the running for the USEF National Equestrian of the Year Award.  Watch closely for a USEF member vote in mid-December.

We also have two additional USEF awards: Vickey Bowman and Jodi Zeier both received the Richard E McDevitt Award of Merit. This award is awarded posthumously for meritorious service to equestrian sport.

Distance Horse of the Year 2021 went to Bantam Z, owned by Cynthia Mettes.

Club Excellence awards were recognized in the following areas:

Breed Promotion and Community Involvement – Gold Coast AHA, R3.
Club Projects – Diablo AHA, R3.
Membership Recruitment and Retention – Wine Country AHA, R3.
Club of the Year – Diablo Arabian Horse Association, R3.

Discovery Farm of the Year went to the Arabian Horse Riding Academy.

The following individuals were elected by the Convention in the following Committees, Commissions, or Panels:

Commissioner’s Review Panel
Amateur – Cathy Vecsey, R7
At Large – Ron Gekiere, R 13
Breeder – Jeff Caldwell, R 14
Judge – Donnie Bullock, R 15
Trainer – Kevin Price, R10

Ethical Practice Review Board
Kim Dickinson, R 15
Jacqueline Ferris Maclaren, R 14, Attorney
Cory Soltau, R3

Judges & Stewards Selection Committee
Ann Knoop, R 13
Carol Calicote, R 14
Judie Mitten, R7

Nominating Committee
Karen Caughell, R 17
Katie Russel, R 2
Peggy Weems, R 4

Probable Cause Panel
Tom Connelly, R 13 Attorney

Updates & Resources
Outgoing Board Directors include:

Cheryl Hansen, R 3
Pat Barton, R 9
Kim Dickinson, R 15
Rob Calnan, R 17

Incoming Board Directors include:

Gretchen McDaniel, R 3
Mark Himmel, R 9
Cricket Gates, R 15
Carla Jackson, R 17

Judges and Stewards for the 2022 National Horse Shows and can be found on the AHA website on the Convention page here.

You can also see all the Club and Special Recognition winners on the Convention page of the AHA website here.