AQHA Makes Changes to Incentive Fund

Lizzy SchultzBreeding, Equine

aqha-logo4slideshowThe American Quarter Horse Association(AQHA) will be making some changes to their AQHA Incentive Fund Program for 2016.

“In response to feedback from breeders, owners, and exhibitors, effective January 1, 2016, competition licenses will no longer be required to participate, and the point cap will change to one plus the average number of points earned during the year,” read a statement from the AQHA. The previous point cap was set at 200 points.

The AQHA Incentive Fund is a multimillion-dollar program that intends to promote responsible breeding by providing breeders and owners of young competition horses the opportunity to see a return on their breeding investments through stallion and foal nominations, with yearly paybacks to the stallion nominators, foal nominators and owners of the competing horses.

Every year that a horse competes in AQHA-approved horse shows, the owner of the Incentive Fund-nominated horse will receive a check for 70 percent of the horse’s earnings. The nominator of that horse will receive 15 percent of the horse’s earnings, and the individual who nominated that horse’s sire will also get 15 percent of the horse’s earnings. Since the program began in 1984, payout’s have totaled over $2.8 million each year, making it the most successful incentive fun of any equine breed association.

“Listening to feedback from owners, breeders and exhibitors, it’s evident that competition licenses were not the right fit for the Incentive Fund,” said Trent Taylor, AQHA chief operating officer and treasurer, in a statement from the AQHA, “Changing the point cap from 200 points to one plus the average will increase the money received by the majority of participants.”

Owners and exhibitors use their Incentive Fund checks to pay for everything from equine insurance and veterinary bills to barn maintenance and equipment.

“When a show ends, we think the winning stops. But with the Incentive Fund, it doesn’t,” said AQHA Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines. “The value of owning an Incentive Fund horse is immense.”

Incentive Fund stallion nominations are due November 30. To nominate a stallion, enroll a foal or learn more about the program, visit their website

Statement on 2016 Incentive Fund Changes