The APA is proud to stand up the Horse Welfare Committee! This was an ad hoc committee that started in 2021, but it quickly became evident that needed to be a permanent standing committee as our horses’ welfare is paramount to the sport. We are thankful to have Paul Repenning as our Chair.
The committee is please to present its first initiative: The Best Conditioned Horse Competition. We will be coordinating it at the Charlie Horse and Cowboy Classic Tournaments. Participation is voluntary and open to competitors of any level. Everyone is encouraged to participate! Even if you don’t think you will win, this is a great opportunity to gauge the condition and health of your horse under the stress of competition.
Any horse competing at a sanctioned tournament.
Sign up here
- Participants are required to do a jog on Saturday morning before play. During the jog, the horse will get two scores on a scale of 0-10 for soundness and body score, with 0 being the lowest possible score and 10 being the highest possible score. Body score guideline will follow the Henneke body condition scoring system.
- After the jog, your horse will have their resting TPR recorded (temperature, pulse and respiration).
- Immediately after your two games on Saturday, you will go to the “vet box” for evaluation. The vet box will be located near the field. The horse’s pulse and respiration rate will be taken every five minutes until the horse returns to their normal resting TPR, or 25 minutes, whichever occurs first. (During this time period you are responsible for cooling out via untacking, walking, and cooling by water buckets, etc). Temperature is only taken for any horse that appears in distress.
- The winner of the award would be based evaluated as follows:
- 20% Soundness score
- 20% Body Score
- 30% Recovery Rate-Pulse
- 30% Recovery Rate-Respiration
*This allows for all the horses to compete equally regardless of their playing grade. Please see a sample scoring example here
- The winner will be awarded on Saturday evening. The first place winner will receive an award. All participants will receive entry prizes.
- For multi-horse competitions: You may enter multiple horses, but you can only ride one horse per game to be eligible to win in the competition. If you have one horse for the whole competition, your game with highest recovery rate scores will apply. If you are entering multiple horses, for prize eligibility, you must play one horse per game. If you ride multiple horses per game, you are welcome to participate in the vet box, but you will not be eligible for prizes.
If your club is interested in offering this at your tournament, please reach out to Paul Repenning or Katelyn James