AQHA Incentive Fund Update
Find out more information about the Incentive Fund Competition License Fee for owners of Incentive Fund eligible American Quarter Horses.
When the Incentive Fund began back in the early 1980s, it was the most innovative show-based incentive program to hit the industry and immediately people started looking for Incentive Fund-nominated horses to buy so they could share in the pool that was once worth more than $4 million and paid as much as $46 per point. AQHA is proud of the Incentive Fund and the value it has brought to the industry and horses – and the rewards it has given for nearly 30 years.
Some changes needed to be made to reward exhibitors the more they show and to keep the program viable for another 30 years and beyond.
AQHA wants to make sure that all exhibitors understand the changes being made and give assurance these changes were made to work toward the goal of higher payouts.
1. Exhibitors will pay a competition license of $50 for the amateur division and $50 for the open division per horse in order to earn Incentive Fund payouts. That fee can be paid any time during the year and will become effective when it’s received by AQHA or by show management (yes, the Incentive Fund license fee can be paid at a show). Remember, points earned prior to paying the annual license fee will not be Incentive Fund eligible for the nominated horse.
2. One hundred percent of annual license fees go directly into the fund. As has been the case since inception, AQHA is not taking any of this money. It’s an investment exhibitors will make every year to boost the Incentive Fund’s value. The goal of the license fee is to raise the available pool of money in the Fund to reward a larger cross section of exhibitors. The hope is to move toward a $50 per point value in the years to come. With support it would mean it won’t take long to recoup your $50-$100 investment.
3. There is a point cap being implemented so more money can be distributed across program participants. Once a horse has earned more than 200 points, any points earned beyond that will be paid at 50 percent of the point value. That means more money will be distributed to a broader group of people, and not necessarily concentrated with those who earn the largest number of points each year. Our hope is to help you see bigger paychecks.
4. While the Incentive Fund wasn’t “going broke,” as some have stated, there is no doubt it was stressed because fewer stallions are being bred today (historically, stallion owners have been the group that make the Incentive Fund work from a monetary standpoint). Being a long-time supporter of AQHA and its programs, and these changes to the Incentive Fund were made to improve the health of what is still one of the most attractive rewards programs anywhere. Nominate horses and pay the annual enrollment fee, show and have confidence the Incentive Fund will be solvent, viable and a strong, beneficial part of the showing program.