AQHA to Test Necks at AQHA World Show

Courtesy AQHA

In an effort to continue protecting the welfare of the American Quarter Horse, the American Quarter Horse Association is enhancing an industry-leading performance alteration testing program at the 2022 Farnam AQHA and Adequan® Select World Championship Show, slated for October 27 – November 19 at the OKC Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City. AQHA will be using thermographic imaging, palpation and neck flexion to determine if a horse’s neck has abnormal characteristic(s)/functionality.

All exhibitors qualified for finals in designated classes will be required to have thermographic images taken of both sides of their horses’ neck prior to competing in the finals. Finalists must be tested at least one hour before their finals class in order to qualify for the competition. Failure to test will result in the horse and exhibitor being disqualified from the finals. Following the finals, all horses sent for drug and tail testing will also have their necks palpated, flexed and thermographically imaged for the second time by a licensed veterinarian. A variety of classes will be tested throughout the show.

More information regarding testing will be shared onsite at the show and provided to the exhibitors qualifying for the finals of designated classes.

The health and well-being of the American Quarter Horse is AQHA’s utmost concern. In accordance with AQHA’s mission statement, the American Quarter Horse shall be treated humanely, with dignity, respect and compassion at all times. Implementing performance-alteration testing procedures is another step in protecting the American Quarter Horse.

About the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission

Recognizing that animal welfare is the single most important issue facing the equine industry today, the AQHA Executive Committee created the Animal Welfare Commission in 2012. The Animal Welfare Commission serves as AQHA’s primary body for rules, policies and procedures related to all areas of animal welfare. In addition, the commission oversees the educational processes associated with AQHA officials responsible for animal welfare. AQHA’s prohibition against inhumane treatment applies to AQHA members and non-members.

Learn more about AQHA Animal Welfare Commission initiatives.

AQHA news and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA and visit

19 thoughts on “AQHA to Test Necks at AQHA World Show

  • 13 October 2022 at 2:19 pm

    Now, make them lope correctly, a three beat gait, not a broken down four. It’s horrible to watch and I imagine worse to ride. It should be a pleasure to ride and watch. Western Pleasure!!!

    • 16 October 2022 at 9:28 am

      Amen. ?

      • 18 October 2022 at 3:55 pm

        They need to test everybody. I’ve seen things at big AQHA circuits you just can’t imagine. I didn’t say anything because these were friends and big trainers who also judge shows and I also show, so you know what would happen

    • 17 October 2022 at 2:30 pm

      I agree, peanut pushers is what they have made them. My lil mare had the best lil natural walking/trot you ever sat on and they cripple these horses doing this to them…

    • 17 October 2022 at 5:59 pm

      Yes yes yes I get sick watching that broken lope. That is why I stopped watching or taking part in western pleasure. Same has happened to USHJA hunters they lope around when they are supposed to be at a Hand Gallup with the horses on the fore hand so badly the jumps look tedious not effortlessly in stride.

    • 19 October 2022 at 9:48 am

      Absolutely agree!!

  • 13 October 2022 at 3:42 pm

    And if any defects are found, neck, tail, drugs, anyone immediately associated with that animal will have a lifetime ban against them from owning, showing, competing on any horse.
    Make it an end to there income and this will stop.

    • 14 October 2022 at 5:03 am

      ? I agree. They stopped them from the peanut pushing head carriage. Now they are injecting their neck. Not to mention the hip in lope that can’t be good for the spine

  • 13 October 2022 at 4:54 pm

    Better check the reining horses too along with NRHA

    • 17 October 2022 at 8:23 pm


  • 13 October 2022 at 7:38 pm

    Does that mean that you will also check to make sure they aren’t swinging their head/neck up and do just so they can lope? It’s horrible to see these horse move like th is. No true lope gate and heads swinging. Please encourage you judges to stop letting these horses win classes. It just co to use the cycle.

  • 14 October 2022 at 12:11 pm

    It hilarious to see this subjective testing in other breeds. They will soon find out what is like to be disqualified from showing or even fined on someone’s subjective opinion.

    • 17 October 2022 at 11:57 pm

      How is this subjective?

    • 19 October 2022 at 9:13 am

      Right??? Go ahead and start a snowball chance in hell decline. That’s always great for the horse industry

  • 14 October 2022 at 12:28 pm

    Horse abuse for profit has to end. Have watched this since the 1980’s . Thank you for putting action to words. Always wondered why Profesional judges awarded this.

  • 14 October 2022 at 4:33 pm

    Its about time!

  • 14 October 2022 at 5:00 pm

    Best news I saw today… let the peanut rolling end once and for all. And now if only the dressage ppl would do the same!

  • 16 October 2022 at 9:06 am

    There’s so much wrong with aqha and even open shows. First off the problem is the association it’s self. You allowed the peanut style to go on to long. Should never have become a thing. When you see these horses in the ring they are painful to watch. The angle of the horse cantering with hunches in to the point of they are making tracks in two separate lines along the rail. There’s no real to trot or canter left.

    Second it’s the judges that seem the slowest forward movement no matter who in comfortable it is too see let alone ride is wrong.

    Fine and remove judges from ever judging another class. Fine and participates forever competing again and within a few weeks these things would stop.

    Peanut pushing was supposed to have end but it’s still damn close. The reiners are no better as every time they stop they have to put their nose almost near the ground and can now give them .5 cc of tranquilizer before a class.

    This kind of things start when money and ribbons are more important then form or function.

  • 17 October 2022 at 2:09 pm

    Good luck with this. Their lawyers are lining up as we speak.

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