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The Arabian Horse Association (AHA) is committed to supporting Arabian horse owners and enthusiasts. We believe this means providing you with transparency and insight into the actions we are taking to maintain, improve and prevent disruption to the Arabian horse registration systems we manage – one being the Purebred Arabian Horse Registry (AHR).  Below are some common questions we have received about the lawsuit, and answers from our leadership.

 

Why is the Purebred Arabian Trust (PAT) suing the AHA?

As you may know, the AHA has an exclusive license to operate and maintain the Arabian Horse Registry (AHR) for purebred Arabian horses in the United States. In early 2021, AHA’s information technology environment suffered network interruptions. AHA followed the advice of its cybersecurity experts and by May 6, AHA had restored operations on nearly all of its systems. Nevertheless, on May 14, the Purebred Arabian Trust (PAT) sent a letter to AHA claiming the purebred Arabian Horse registry was inoperable and demanding that AHA transition the purebred registry to PAT. On July 7, PAT sued AHA, claiming that AHA’s ongoing technical and software problems rendered our ability to manage purebred registration services inoperable for several weeks, in breach of the agreement between AHA and PAT stating that AHA would maintain the registry.   

 

What has AHA leadership done so far to resolve the legal issue?

To act in the best interests of all Arabian breed owners, breeders and members by resolving the issue as constructively and quickly as possible, AHA retained counsel through Spencer Fane. On Oct. 8, 2021, AHA successfully defeated the PAT’s call for a preliminary injunction, through which the group demanded the purebred registry be immediately transferred to PAT. This is a win for AHA, because it means the court agrees with AHA that PAT could not demonstrate that it was entitled to the immediate transfer of the purebred registry.  AHA leadership is committed to transparent, timely communication with its members.

 

What is the current status of the lawsuit?

As part of an ongoing effort to arrive at a resolution that best serves the Arabian Horse community, in April 2022 AHA entered into mediation with the PAT. Though a settlement agreement was not reached during mediation, there are possibilities for continued conversations to resolve the issues between the two organizations.

 

What is the long-term significance of the lawsuit? Why is it important for the AHA to prevail?

If the PAT is successful in their lawsuit then the management and operation of the purebred Arabian Horse registry will revert back to the PAT, similar to the environment experienced by the Arabian Horse community prior to AHR and IAHA merger in 2003.  

 

We do anticipate that managing Arabian Horses in the United States would be negatively impacted if the PAT manages to take back control of the purebred Arabian Horse Registry.

 

Does the lawsuit have any impact on the AHA, its everyday operations, or on new registrations of Arabian Horses?

Regardless of the lawsuit’s outcome, AHA would continue to operate the Half and Anglo Arabian registries in the United States and the three Canadian Arabian Registries for CAHR.  We would also continue to manage Arabian competitions in the United States, our National Events, our memberships, clubs, committees, Judge/Steward programs, leadership structure, sweepstakes, futurities and the various horse and member award programs.

 

Because we do not have visibility into how the PAT would operate this registry going forward, AHA cannot predict how purebred registration rules would change, or how purebred horse information would be available to AHA.  Details on how the transition would occur are unknown, given that we do not have information about what kind of management infrastructure they would create and have no sense for the knowledge and/ or expertise they have in running a registry.

 

What are the likely next steps in the lawsuit?

Since participating in mediation efforts this spring failed to yield a settlement, AHA and its attorneys will continue to attempt to resolve the issues between the two organizations. If this is not successful, a trial is scheduled for December 2022.

 

 

Members interested in more information can email feedback@arabianhorses.org, which is monitored closely by the executive leadership team. The Arabian Horse Association (AHA) formed in 2003 to bring Arabian horse enthusiasts together to preserve and advance the Arabian breed. That goal remains the primary focus of AHA. We are stronger when unified to advance and support our industry.

 

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