AQHA Executive and Judges committees call for more forward motion in western pleasure.

According to a letter sent to every AQHA judge in July, the AQHA Executive and Judges committees expect every carded judge to oversee the western pleasure class according to the rules ...According to a letter sent to every AQHA judge in July, the AQHA Executive and Judges committees expect every carded judge to oversee the western pleasure class according to the rules ...

Story originally posted by: Jim Bret Campbell, EditorThe American Quarter Horse Journal

According to a letter sent to every AQHA judge in July, the AQHA Executive and Judges committees expect every carded judge to oversee the western pleasure class according to the rules established in the 2003 AQHA Handbook of Rules and Regulations.

While a similar notification in late 2000 improved transitions and gait breaks in western pleasure, less improvement has been seen in the overall image of the class because of a lack of forward motion and showing for position on the rail. Now, the Executive Committee has placed the authority, and with it, the responsibility of improving the class in the hands of the judges.

In addition to the letter, each judge received a copy of a videotape illustrating horses shown at the 2001 AQHA World Championship Show. In the video, each horse is shown before a call for "slightly increased forward motion." The same horse is then shown after the judges called for the extension of gait. In the letter, the Executive Committee noted that the new standard for the lope in western pleasure will be with increased forward motion and that the previous lope has no place in an AQHA-approved class.

Judges will also be required to extend the jog in at least one direction in every open, amateur and youth western pleasure class. Extending the jog in novice classes, youth 11-and-under and youth 13-and-under will be at the judge’s discretion. To read the letter and for more details, see the August issue of the Journal.

To order your copy of the western pleasure videotape for $10, call (806) 376-4888 and ask for Shelly Spears in the Show Department at extension 412.