This is a quote from R3 and the reason I posted this thread.. She makes some very valid points..
There are benefits to allowing 'oversize' horses to be kept in the gene pool. Maybe not with 'regular' AMHA papers, but at least with some documentation and the ability to have 'regular' AMHA offspring, if the foals stay within the AMHA 'Standard of Perfection'.
One of the benefits, is INCREASING the integrity of the organization as a whole. If a person could admit that their horse is over 34", and not lose it from the legal gene pool, then people would be more likely to tell people how tall the horse reallly is. That would be better for buyers than what happens when a horse is oversize, but the papers are not turned in, and they continue to breed it. The buyer of the foal does not know how tall the parent really are. At least if the oversize horse had some form of AMHA papers, buyers would KNOW how tall the parents are.
I do not advocate the showing of 'oversize' horses. The Standard of Perfection would be the same. I don't think that a 'breeding stock' or some other division necessarily means that AMHA is changing the Standard. They would just be acknowleding the pedigree of 'pure-bred' AMHA horses in this special division.
Maybe some people don't realize it, but with dogs, there are Standards for the height of each breed, and if a dog does not meet the Standard, it is disqualified for showing. BUT, it does not lose it registration, it is just not eligible to show. The 'breeding stock' (or whatever a person wanted to call it) Division, would be similar, but even more distinct than with dogs, as the horse would lose its 'regular' papers, but still allowed to produce registered foals. To be eligible for the special division, the horses would have to be the offspring of two registered parents, but if they didn't meet the Standard, could not show. With proper selection of a mate, these horses could still produce foals that met the Standard.
The other thing that needs to be considered, is that at some time, we are wanting the Miniature Horse to be more than just a 'height' registry. We are hoping to move toward it becoming a 'breed'. The first step is being taken as it has been voted on to do away with Hardshipping horses in the future. That means we will no longer be admitting horses with unknown pedigrees into the registry. But, unlike with dogs, once we establish ourselves as a 'breed', are we going to 'throw away' a 'purebred' animal? Or, will we be like the dog breeds that recognize all the offspring of two registered parents? I don't believe that height is a genetic 'flaw' that should disqualify an animal's birthright once the registry is closed and we become a breed.
The other benefit is monetary. But, I even hate to say that, as some people will get 'negative' because they think that making money, or even the consideration of a financial benefit is 'bad'. But, all organizations need to make money to cover their expenses so they can continue to offer their services to the members. Right now, when a horse goes over 34", the horse is 'lost' to AMHA. It will (should) never be brought permanent, so no more fees will be collected from that horse. It is denied the right to have any registered offspring, so there will never be any income generated from the registration of those foals. Therefore, having a separate Division for the over 34" horses would be a financial benefit to AMHA.
I just thought I add all of this to what Matt has been trying to say. I do understand where he is coming from.
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