American Quarter Horse AssociationApril 19, 2013
For more information on the AQHA leveling program, visit www.aqha.com/leveling. (Journal photo)
When the new American Quarter Horse Association leveling program went into full effect January 1, 2013, its launch was synchronized with that of the Association’s database upgrade. As the database upgrade has been temporarily postponed, so has the availability of the new Intermediate and Progressive levels.
Novice-, Green- and Rookie-level classes will still be offered at AQHA shows. These segments of the leveling program were launched in or prior to 2012, and were already part of the previous database system.
The leveling program went into full effect January 1, 2013, and the program included changes made to those three existing levels, as well as the addition of brand-new levels, Intermediate and Progressive.
“The leveling program is designed to group riders and horses of similar skill and experience level,” explained AQHA President Johne Dobbs, who serves on the AQHA Blue-Ribbon Task Force, which studied and designed the leveling program and continues to do so.
“This spring, 25 shows offered Intermediate and Progressive classes, and they were very well received,” Dobbs said. “Knowing exhibitors and owners had already embraced these levels and were planning their show season accordingly, the AQHA Executive Committee weighed those circumstances and many more before approving the postponement of the Intermediate and Progressive levels.”
The ability to process results from the 25 fully leveled shows held this spring, and any future Intermediate/Progressive class results, hinged on the launch of the upgraded database. Results from the 25 shows will be processed, but no further Intermediate and Progressive classes will be held until the re-launch of the new computer operating system or another viable solution.
For Novice exhibitors, the new Novice point ranges that were developed for the leveling program continue to be in effect for 2013. Those point ranges are available at www.aqha.com/leveling.
Points earned in Intermediate and Progressive classes from January 1 - April 3 of this year, when the postponement of the levels became effective, will count toward qualification to the 2013 AQHA world shows, plus AQHA Incentive Fund payout for eligible horses.
The top-placing Intermediate- and Progressive-eligible riders and horses will be recognized at the 2013 AQHA world shows, which was initially announced January 11, 2013.
In the interim, the Blue-Ribbon Task Force is developing methods to improve the Intermediate and Progressive levels, as well as the Rookie, Novice and Green levels. These improvements will be based on testing and exhibitor feedback.
“I’ve seen first-hand the big impact these levels had on our industry, and in just a short time,” Dobbs said. “Given extra time to further improve the program, the Blue-Ribbon Task Force will make the postponed levels that much more exhibitor-friendly by the time of their re-launch.
“Designed by AQHA members, including amateurs, Professional Horsemen and show managers, as well as AQHA staff, the leveling program was built to improve our industry,” Dobbs added. “Adjustments will continue to be made until that goal is fully accomplished.”
For more information on the AQHA leveling program, visit www.aqha.com/leveling.
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