I am not sure about the AMHR rulebook, but in the AMHA rule book there is this section, under the GR-045 RING PROCEDURE:
"No farm, individual, or horse names or logo may be displayed on exhibitor, horse or vehicle, except multiple hitch, draft harness classes."
Although brands are not specifically mentioned, IF the brand is in the design of a Farm logo, that identifies a farm, then I believe that it would violate the intent of this rule.
I think that the brands that are merely symbols that denote registration information (like are seen on BLM Mustangs and some Arabians) would be OK, but they are a lot different that the 'logo' style brands.
Brands that are a farm logo are a form of advertising. They are always visible, a person doesn't have to look at a horse's papers to know which farm produced the horse, or possibly which farm now owns it. That is why it is done.
But, that is precisely WHY I feel that logo brands violate the intent of the AMHA rule. The whole idea behind the rule is that the horse, handler, and farm represented by that entry are 'annonymous', so that 'names' don't play a part in the judging. If a 3/4 inch concho on the side of a halter that has a farm logo on it would not be allowed, then I can't understand why it would be OK for the horse to have a 6 inch tall brand with the same logo.
Edited to add:
I am not opposed to freeze-brands, per se. I think they look pretty cool, in fact I was comtemplating freeze-branding my horses with my farm logo, but after reading the rule decided it would be a bad idea, as I did't feel I could show them with that rule in place.
I do like the intent of the rule though, so am not upset about it. I personally prefer the 'annonymous' approach in the show-ring.
There is a branded horse that has been shown successfully around here for years. I don't think I agree with it, because it makes him very distinctive, and while he is a great little horse, it makes him even more memorable to judges who have seen him before. In a ring full of good horses, any extra edge can help. JMO
I don't think it would be a problem show-wise if you have a branded horse as other scars are allowed. As for annonimity, it's probably not your brand anyway and the judges are fully aware of the identity of well-known horses and their handlers. So the logo thing is most likely an attempt to prevent increasingly creative advertising methods--a little concho allowed now will certainly lead to bigger and better ideas.
I wouldn't intentionally scarify any animal with a brand for ID purposes anymore than I would brand my dog
. For show purposes, the object is getting your horses to look their best, not disfigure them. Brands are pretty hideous looking and hardly a humane ID method anyway. I don't think I'd even consider purchasing a horse with someone else's mark on it either.
I asked the same question of AMHA a year or 2 ago. Brands are perfectly acceptable in the show ring.
Just because a horse carries a brand doesn't mean the horse belongs to the owner of that brand so I imagine judges don't pay much attention to them. The brand might not even be related to the breeder of the horse as is the case with a branded mare we own.
Personally, I feel there is no better form of theft prevention than a highly visible brand.
[SIZE=14pt]Why would you brand the horse in the first place? In the arabs their registration number in symbols was freeze branded under the mane for id purposes but going back to when branding was necessary on free range horses and cows to identify those of a particular farm isnt necessary anylonger since we all keep our horses at home. It isnt a fashion statement so why do it![/SIZE]
well one reason to do it is to identify your horse clearly and easily should such horse be stolen - and belive me horse theft is not a thing of the past and ruffian while i agree somewhat it is on diffeent then a person wearing a loud show jacket that stands out all the time.. but also the remembering is only good if your horse was great but could also remember a horse being a snot! LOL
I also see good reason to brand it is a permanent identification the other option is to tatoo however I find the tat's on thoroghbreds tend to fade with time so the lip isn't the best option....we tattoo our rabbits ears for identification...and jack russel terriers are frequently tattooed inside the hind leg...now personally freeze branding hurst far less than tatooing...I have considered seriously putting freeze marks under the manes of all my horses as if ever stolen and taken to auction brands are something that can be checked for easily.
Well Comeing from a ranching background, we brand all of our big horses. It is not to make a fashion statement or anything like that. It is simply to be able to identify them in case they are stolen. It doesn't hurt the horse but for one second if you use a regular hot iron, and the freeze brnading doesn't hurt them at all. It is a little extra bit of reassurance.
I am all for freeze-branding to IDENTIFY a horse, the kind that is done on BLM Mustangs, and that I saw done on Arabs years ago. With this kind of branding, each horse is unique, and it can be used to identify a particular animal if it is lost or stolen. The brand is put along the crest of the neck, usually under the mane, and it is not unsightly, and it does not 'advertise' or 'promote' any farm, horse, or individual.
Even though it is not as visible as a 'logo' brand, the identifying type brand is still a good form of deterent to keep the animal from being stolen. And, it is MUCH better than a logo brand for helping prove ownership. If a person has a whole herd of animals marked exactly the same (using the same logo brand) then it would be hard to prove individual identity. All solid black horses are still 'the same', and can not be distinguished from one another based on the brand alone. So, it is possible that an identifying brand would be even MORE effective as a deterrent to a thief, if they know that horse is uniquely marked and can easily be identified.
The days of the 'open range' where herds of horses and cattle from different farms mixed together and all the owners needed was a quick easy way to prove which animals belonged to them, are long gone. I personally think that today, branding a horse with a 'logo' brand is done primarily for 'advertising', to say to the world, this horse belongs to/was bred by 'my farm'. I say this, because I feel that if theft deterence and proof of ownership are the only reasons for the brands, then a unique identifying brand would be equally or more effective.
But, as I said before, I am not against 'logo' brands, but I recognize they are not the ideal brand for identifying stolen animals, and that they are not necessarily even the best brand for their deterrent effect. When I was considering using a logo brand on my horses, the thought was to identify them as 'mine', just like I have my farm prefix on their name. I wanted a logo brand on them for the bragging rights and for the world to see these horses were produced by me. And, I think if a person really thought about it, for people raising 'show' horses, that is really the only reason to use a 'logo' brand vs. an 'identifying' brand, as the 'identifying brand' has so much more to offer.
Because I view the 'logo' brands the same way I do a farm's 'prefix', I don't see why it would be OK to have a clearly visible from a distance 'logo' brand on the horse, but that is it NOT OK if the handler has a much smaller version of the same logo embroidered on their jacket. To me, they are the same. If one is against the rules, then they both should be, both accomplish the same purpose. Or, just do away with the rule completely, and allow the use of names and logos on everything. And, of those two options, I think NOT allowing 'advertising' in the show ring is the better choice.
At the very least, if brands really ARE allowed (does anyone actually have a letter from the AMHA show rules committee stating that, or was it just word of mouth?) then I think the rulebook needed to be ammended to specifically exempt brands from the 'logo' rules. Because, AS WRITTEN, the rule is specific about about not allowing logos, EXCEPT in certain classes (Heavy harness teams), and therefore, a logo is NOT allowed in any other classes.