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AHC Tax Bulletin-January 2018

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

AHC’s Tax Bulletin is Sponsored by

The American Horse Council keeps you up to date with important tax court cases and regulations with its bi-monthly Tax Bulletin. The Tax Bulletin is a member benefit, and thus is not intended for reproduction. For more information on federal legislation, equine health and regulatory issues, taxes, animal welfare, racing, recreation, and showing please visit our website at www.horsecouncil.org

Horse Industry Faces New Tax Landscape in 2018

Following President Trump’s signing of the new tax law on December 22, federal policy makers began immediately to discuss the likelihood of moving legislation in 2018 to address technical changes and clarifications to the 1100 page law.  While AHC takes a deeper dive into the tax law to address in more detail those provisions having a direct impact on the horse industry, please click to lin below to login and view the highlights that will impact your tax filing for Fiscal Year 2018.

Login to read the January Tax Bulletin

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Confused About the ELD Mandate? We Can Help.

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

Confused About the ELD Mandate? We Can Help.

On November 30th , the AHC sent out a Washington Update to our members on our efforts to address the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate. The AHC, in collaboration with the rest of the animal agriculture community, has requested that the Department of Transportation (DOT) grant a one-year enforcement delay followed by a waiver and limited exemptions from compliance with the December 18, 2017 implementation date for the Final Rule on Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) and Hours of Service (HOS). Additionally, we requested that the DOT address the significant problems with the mandate that will occur if the compliance deadline is not extended. The welfare, safety, and health of the animals in transit, together with the safety of other drivers on the road, are top priorities for the equine industry and its enthusiasts.

The introduction of the ELD mandate has also brought to light concerns about Commercial Driver’s license (CDL) requirements from the entire equine community. Drivers have been required to have a CDL in order to drive certain commercial motor vehicles (CMV’s) since April 1, 1992. That being said, a truck and trailer can be considered a commercial vehicle without the requirement that you obtain a CDL. The AHC would like to note that the requirements for a CDL or CMV classification have been in effect for quite some time, and are not new developments along with the ELD mandate.

In an effort to help provide some clarity for both our members and the general equine industry, the AHC has put together two brochures: “Electronic Logging Device Mandate: How Will It Affect You?” and “Commercial Driver’s License: How do I Know if I Need One?” Both are available as a .pdf on the AHC’s website here:http://www.horsecouncil.org/eld-mandate-cdl-requirements/

We encourage our members to share this information, and please contact the AHC if you have any additional questions.

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Senate Passes Tax Bill, Moves to “Conference” to Negotiate Final Package

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

Senate Passes Tax Bill, Moves to “Conference” to Negotiate Final Package

Senators scrambled Saturday, December 2, to muster the necessary 51 votes to pass its version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, effectively laying down a marker to jump start negotiations with the House of Representatives on a final package.  While details related to the senate bill continue to emerge, please see the below highlights of key provisions that will impact the equine industry.  Many of these provisions diverge from the House-passed version and could be subject to changes during the House and Senate conference, which congressional leadership will organize this week:

Business Provisions

  • Corporate Tax Rate: The senate bill delays reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% until 2019. By contrast, H.R. 1 provides an immediate corporate tax cut, effective in 2018.  Lawmakers will have to bridge this gap during the conference committee.
  • Small Business:  The senate vehicle establishes a 23% deduction for small business income of “pass-thru entities,” or small companies which opt to pay taxes under the individual rate.  Senators included this deduction to address concerns from lawmakers who claimed that previous versions of the bill did not create sufficient tax relief for small business.
  • Expensing: While the House bill and a previous version of the senate vehicle provided 100% bonus depreciation, the final senate bill appears to modify treatment of bonus depreciation to “phase down … the percentage from 100% by 20% per calendar year.”  AHC largely supports the House treatment of expensing, which according to Hill sources, includes a broad legislative definition to allow full expensing of horses.
  • Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) – According to Hill sources, the senate vehicle preserves a 20% corporate, alternative minimum tax.  The House bill repeals the unpopular provision altogether, laying the groundwork for a major discussion point during negotiations for a final package.
  • Name and Logo Royalties:  The senate bill strikes a provision from a previous version of the bill that treated “name and logo royalties” as unrelated business taxable income.
  • Wagering Losses:  A previous version of the senate bill states that it amends the existing tax code provision that addresses treatment of gambling winnings, without specifying how.   The current senate vehicle does not appear to clarify this provision, which AHC will continue to monitor.
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2017 Census of Agriculture Gets Underway

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

2017 Census of Agriculture Gets Underway

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service has started mailing the 2017 Census of Agriculture to America’s horse farms. Mailing in phases, all census questionnaires should be received by late December. If you do not receive a questionnaire this year, or have not received one ever, but wish to be included, you can sign up at https://www.agcounts.usda.gov/legacy0/cgi-bin/counts. Producers can respond online at www.agcensus.usda.gov or by mail. The American Horse Council encourages all qualified operations to participate and be counted. The deadline to respond is February 5, 2018.

Conducted once every five years, the census aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data are used by trade associations, researchers, policymakers, extension educators, agribusinesses, and many others. The data can play a vital role in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development, and more. This information may provide a critical snapshot of the equine industry that, when coupled with the AHC Economic Impact Study, will provided the evidence needed to affect important change here in Washington D.C.

For more information, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call (800) 727-9540.

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American Horse Council Efforts to Address ELD Mandate

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

American Horse Council Efforts to Address ELD Mandate

Over the past months the American Horse Council (AHC) has reached out to the equine community to determine the potential impact of the upcoming Electronic Logging Device mandate. Based on the information received, the AHC, in collaboration with the rest of the animal agriculture community, has requested that the Department of Transportation (DOT) grant a one-year enforcement delay followed by a waiver and limited exemptions from compliance with the December 18, 2017 implementation date for the Final Rule on Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) and Hours of Service (HOS). Additionally, we requested that the DOT address the significant problems with the mandate that will occur if the compliance deadline is not extended. The welfare, safety, and health of the animals in transit, together with the safety of other drivers on the road, are top priorities for the equine industry and its enthusiasts.

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Contact Congress TODAY

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

As Congress continues to negotiate a final spending package for FY2018, the horse industry and its allies have an opportunity to assure that lawmakers include H-2B guest worker visa relief in the final bill.   Federal lawmakers must address this issue prior to the expiration of the FY2017 appropriations measure, which occurs on December 8This creates a three week window to contact your elected officials in Washington and tell them you need common-sense, guest worker visa flexibility. 

Please contact your federal lawmakers today! By clicking on the TAKE ACTION button below, you can urge them to support any provision that will provide H-2B visa cap relief within the context of FY2018 appropriations bills.

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Senate Unveils Tax Reform Details

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

Senate Unveils Tax Reform Details, Doubles Estate Tax Exemption without Full Repeal

On the heels of the House of Representatives’ release of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) last week, the Senate Finance Committee began to roll out details related to its tax reform bill on Thursday afternoon, not releasing text and an official revenue “score” until Thursday night.  There are some major differences between the two bills that both chambers must reconcile prior to presenting legislation to the president’s desk for his signature.   Notably for the equine and broader agriculture sectors, the senate plan would double the exemption for the estate tax without eliminating it altogether, as provided in H.R. 1. The Senate Finance Committee will begin to mark-up the legislation on Monday, November 13.    Please see the below highlights, outlining some key provisions that will impact the equine industry:

Business Provisions

  • Corporate Tax Rate: The senate bill delays reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent until 2019. By contrast, H.R. 1 provides an immediate corporate tax cut, effective in 2018.
  • Expensing: The senate bill provides “100% bonus depreciation within five years,” which is similar to a provision in H.R. 1.
  • Business Interest: The plan states that small businesses will be able to deduct interest on loans intended to finance the growth of operations and inventory.
  • Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) – Like H.R. 1, the senate bill eliminates the unpopular AMT, which doubles the amount of time taxpayers must spend to calculate their business or individual tax liability within any given year.
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House Releases Tax Reform Details

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

House Releases Tax Reform Legislation, Moves Forward with Small Business, Estate Tax Relief

The House Ways and Means Committee has shared highlights and text on historic tax reform legislation, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  While highlights from the bill are outlined below, AHC is currently reviewing the fine print of the 429-page legislation, received from the tax committee shortly after 12:00 PM ET.  Today’s release initiates a long over-due effort to streamline the nation’s 70,000 page tax code.  In a move that is consistent with advocacy from the equine industry and its allies, the House bill will repeal the estate tax after six years, and reduce rates for small business, or so-called “pass through” entities.  Please see the below highlights, focusing on issues that have the most significant impact on the equine industry:

Business Provisions

  • Small Business: The bill sets a maximum tax rate of 25 percent on small business, or “pass through” entities.  Under current law, small businesses can pay federal taxes at rates as high as 39.6 percent.
  • Corporate Tax Rate: The bill lowers the corporate rate to 20 percent, down from the current 35 percent corporate tax rate.
  • Expensing: The plan will “allow business to immediately write off the full cost of new equipment.”
  • Business Interest: The plan also states that small business will be able to deduct interest on loans that allow job creators to “hire workers and increase paychecks.”
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National Equine Health Plan Published

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

National Equine Health Plan Published

Valuable resource will help curtail risk of disease spread

The American Horse Council (AHC), in conjunction with the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and state animal health officials, is pleased to announce that the National Equine Health Plan (NEHP) is now available at equinediseasecc.org/national-equine-health-plan.

The horse industry is unique because horses are transported with more frequency than other livestock. It’s been seen firsthand how disease outbreaks cost the industry millions of dollars for the care of sick horses, implementation of biosecurity, and lost revenue in the form of cancelled or restricted commercial equine activities such as horseshows. In 2013, the industry felt it was time to step up and address the issue of the handling of disease outbreaks and the dissemination of information surrounding the outbreaks. This gave way to the creation of the NEHP that will outline the issues surrounding the prevention, diagnosis and control of diseases and the responsibilities and roles of the federal and state authorities and the industry.

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Topic and Speakers Announced for AHC’s 4th Quarter Webinar

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

Topic and Speakers Announced for 4th Quarter Webinar

Tax Reform and its implications to be discussed

The AHC is pleased to announce the topics and speakers for its 4th Quarter webinar, which will take place Monday, November 13th at 3:00 pm ET.

“Will the grass be greener on the other side of Tax Reform?” will be the focus of the webinar, and will feature speakers Danielle Beck, Director of Government Affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA); Liz Minneman, Senior Legislative Assistant to Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY); and Alex Waldrop, President & CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA).

The equine industry and its partners in the agriculture and small business sectors continue to engage Congress and the Administration on key elements of the GOP’s ‘unified framework for tax reform’ that was released on September 27. The AHC feels it is important to provide the industry with some detailed background information as to how this plan will affect them or their business, as well as get insights from other segments of the agriculture industry and Capitol Hill itself.

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ACTION ALERT- H-2B Visa Cap Relief

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

Contact your senator, and get worker visa cap relief today!

This fall, the Senate continues to work on funding bills for FY2018 and put together a package which it must negotiate with the House of Representatives.  Current activity in the Senate has created a unique opportunity for AHC members to advocate for adoption of measures that will provide H-2B cap relief for America’s labor-strapped, seasonal businesses. 

Please contact your senators today and urge them to support any provision that will provide H-2B visa cap relief within the context of FY2018 appropriations bills. 

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Update on Economic Impact Study

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

Update on the Economic Impact Study

The American Horse Council Foundation (AHCF) would like to provide the industry with an update to its eagerly anticipated Economic Impact Study results.

The AHC would like to thank all of our study contributors for first and foremost their generosity to helping us complete this important project. As many will recall, the survey was disseminated in June 2017 with initial deadline of August 1, 2017. After several weeks of data collection, the deadline was extended to September 4, 2017. The decision to extend the delay has consequently shifted the overall delivery schedule of the final report.  To ensure as comprehensive and thorough study as possible, the team also collected tax returns, past economic studies and industry surveys, and other data sources.

The AHCF is anticipating an initial release of key points from the data around the end of November/beginning of December. A formal “unveiling” to announce the final results will be held on Capitol Hill with members of the Horse Caucus, which will most likely take place in January due to the holiday congressional break. Several other venues are being considered across the US to provide briefings.

Fourteen states received breakout reports- California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin- of which the reports for each respective state will be finalized by the end of January/beginning of February. Each will receive an advance preview and insights into the results for their state as well.

As with past studies, copies will be available for purchase on the AHC’s website in January 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact the AHC atinfo@horsecouncil.org or 202-296-4031.
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2018 Horse Industry Directory

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

AHC’s 2018 Horse Industry Directory in Production

The American Horse Council (AHC) is in the process of updating its annual Horse Industry Directory. Continuing in 2018, the AHC will be offering the Directory in an interactive online format, complete with active advertising, website and social media links, email addresses, and search ability.

The Horse Industry Directory contains over 1,200 listings that include breed registries, trail organizations, show and sport organizations, racing organizations, equine veterinary schools, equine research organizations, equine welfare organizations, equine publications, and state sources of information such as state department of agriculture, state trail organizations, and state veterinarians. No other publication provides this depth of resources and contact information for the equine industry!

Advertising opportunities are now available, and information can be found on the AHC website, or by contacting Ashley Furst at afurst@horsecouncil.org. Advertising in the annual Directory is a great way for your equine business or product to be seen in front of every segment of the industry; over 1,000 Individuals and 150 Organizations representing every segment of the industry receive this Directory.

Although the Directory will primarily be offered in an online format, we will be printing a VERY limited amount of hard copies. If you are interested in receiving a hard copy of the 2018 Directory, please fill out the order form here. All hard copy requests must be received no later than November 3, 2017.

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GOP, Equine Industry Canter Toward Tax Reform

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

GOP, Equine Industry Canter Toward Tax Reform

The equine industry and its partners in the agriculture and small business sectors continue to engage Congress and the Administration on key elements of the GOP’s “unified framework for tax reform,” released on September 27.  While the framework outlines broad themes for reform, AHC and its partners are focusing efforts on repeal of the estate tax, also known as the “death tax,” as a pillar for a 21st century tax code.  Below are summaries of tactics used to move the legislative process forward, and highlights from conversations with congressional and administration officials.

Congress Hears from Small Business, Agriculture
On September 12 – two weeks prior to release of the GOP framework – AHC joined nearly 150 small business groups in a coalition letter to congressional leadership urging full repeal of the estate tax.  When the government imposes estate taxes on an equine operation, surviving family partners may be forced to sell equipment and other assets to save the family business.  Signatories represent a cross-section of American business, including builders and contractors, grocers, truckers and cattlemen.  Advocates emphasized the fact that repeal of the estate tax would not only cost the treasury relatively little revenue in the short term, but ultimately increase tax revenues by $145 billion over a ten year period.  Underscoring minimal, short-term impacts on the federal budget is crucial to moving tax reform through the budget reconciliation process, which requires Congress to demonstrate that the new and improved tax code will ultimately achieve deficit reduction.

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Guest Worker Visa Reform Gains Momentum

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

Guest Worker Visa Reform Gains Momentum, Tell Congress to Finish the Job!

Status update:

On September 15, the House of Representatives passed a $1.2 trillion funding bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 that will serve as a benchmark for negotiations with the Senate on a final package.  Congress must negotiate a final bill by December 8, when the current continuing resolution (CR) to fund federal programs at FY2017 levels will expire.  While the equine industry and its allies have taken an important first step by inserting some H-2B visa reform measures within the text of the current House spending bill (such as wage-survey flexibility), the fight to insert broader visa cap relief in a final spending bill continues.

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GOP Leaders, Administration Unveil Tax Reform Plan, New IRS “Winnings” Rule

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

GOP Leaders, Administration Unveil Tax Reform Plan, New IRS “Winnings” Rule

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will officially unveil the GOP template today at 2:15 PM EST.  To view today’s event via livestream, please go to the following link:  speaker.gov/live

On September 27, 2017, GOP leaders released a “template” laying out key elements to characterize comprehensive tax reform legislation.  The nine-page document identifies significant tax breaks for individuals and corporations, and includes a special focus on tax relief for small business.   Below are highlights that will have the most significant impact on the equine sector, among other corporate and individual taxpayers:

Business Reform

  • Small Business :  The framework establishes a maximum tax rate of 25 percent on small businesses operating as “sole proprietorships, partnerships and S corporations.”  With an increasing number AHC members filing as sole proprietorships and partnerships, this can potentially provide significant tax relief. Under current law, small businesses (pass-through entities) can pay federal taxes at rates as high as 39.6 percent.
  • Corporate Tax Rate :  The plan proposes to lower the corporate rate to 20 percent, down from the current 35 percent corporate tax rate.
  • Expensing:  The GOP framework “allows businesses to immediately write off the cost of … depreciable assets” for five years or more.
  • Business Interest :  The plan imposes “partial limits” for deduction of business interest on C corporations.  The tax writing committees will review interest deductions for non-corporate taxpayers during the legislative process.
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Save the Date for the AHC’s 2018 Annual Meeting & National Issues Forum

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

Save the Date for the AHC’s 2018 Annual Meeting & National Issues Forum

The AHC is pleased to announce that its 2018 Annual Meeting and National Issues Forum will take place from June 10-13, 2018 at the Capital Hilton in the heart of Washington, DC.

The Capital Hilton is a new venue for the AHC’s Annual Meeting, as the past several years the meeting has been held at the Washington Court Hotel just a few blocks from Capitol Hill. In 2018, the AHC decided to give meeting attendees a glimpse of a different part of DC with a hotel that is just two blocks from the White House. Additonally, some changes have been made to the schedule to ensure attendees are able to attend the meetings that they would like to.

Historically, the AHC’s Annual Meeting, when all AHC Committees and the Unwanted Horse Coalition meet, has taken place on Monday. While the AHC’s five main committees will still meet on Monday, the Unwanted Horse Coalition meeting will now take place on Sunday.

With the growing industry and public interest in aftercare and retraining/rehoming, the UHC felt it was best to shift the 2018 meeting schedule around to allow more time for a robust discussion during the UHC’s meeting.

The National Issues Forum, sponsored by Luitpold Animal Health, will take place on Tuesday, June 12th. The agenda is still being finalized, but at this time topics include a Youth Panel, Tax Reform, Data Insights and Implications, Immigration, and Aftercare.

Please check the Events tab on the AHC website for information as it becomes available. If you have any questions about the Annual Meeting and National Issues Forum, please contact the AHC at 202-296-4031 or info@horsecouncil.org.
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Tell House Lawmakers to Push Bi-Partisan PAST Act

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

Since Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) re-introduced the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act of 2017 (H.R. 1847) in the spring, more than 250 Democrat and Republican lawmakers – or nearly 60 percent of the entire House of Representatives – have signed on to co-sponsor this important legislation.  Thanks to your continued advocacy, your representative has heard your voice and agreed to co-sponsor the PAST Act.  As Congress convenes for the fall session, please be sure to take advantage of the momentum you have created by contacting your House lawmaker to thank him for his support, and encourage final passage of H.R. 1847.   

As you know, H.R. 1847 will strengthen the Horse Protection Act and finally end the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses, and Racking Horses. The American Horse Council, along with most major national horse show organizations and state and local organizations, supports the PAST Act. To send a letter to your House lawmaker urging final passage of the bill, please click below.

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AHC News-Summer 2017

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

Congress Must Address Federal Funding Before Moving to Major Agenda Items

As Congress returns from their August recess, they will immediately consider a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government beyond September 30, which marks the end of the current fiscal year

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American Horse Council Makes Changes to Governance Structure

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The following is from the American Horse Council:

American Horse Council Makes Changes to Governance Structure

American Horse Council (AHC) President Julie Broadway and the AHC Board of Trustees are pleased to announce two governance changes to the AHC’s Board effective 2018.

The current 15-person Board of Trustees of the AHC is made up of individuals representing organizations that hold AHC Organizational Memberships at the “Strategic” level*. These organizations include The Jockey Club, American Association of Equine Practitioners, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, US Trotting Association, US Equestrian Federation, Thoroughbred Racing Association of North America, and the American Quarter Horse Association. Starting in January 2018, the AHC Board will add two “at large” seats.

The first “at large” seat will be filled by the current Chair of the Coalition of State Horse Councils.  The second “at large” seat will be determined by applications.

In January the AHC President will call for applicants for the second “at large” seat from current AHC member organizations to serve a maximum two year term on the AHC Board. Only member organizations paying dues at the level designated for their size organization are eligible. Applicant’s organization must be willing to commit to the time needed to serve on the board and cover expenses necessary to attend meetings, etc.

In March the Board will review all applicants and elect a trustee based upon:  1) the need for that sector of industry to have a voice not currently represented by sitting trustees, and 2) the individual’s background and knowledge of the equine industry.

As part of the AHC’s strategic plan, a task force was formed to review the organization’s overall governance structure and ensure relevancy and best practices. Based upon their research it was recommended that additional voices and perspectives would be beneficial. The AHC is looking forward to these additions to the board and would like to express its appreciation to the Governance Task Force and Membership Task Force for their research and input.

As the national organization representing the equine industry in Washington, DC, the AHC strives to be inclusive while ensuring the board is a manageable size and the trustees are strongly committed to AHC’s mission. The AHC feels these additions will serve us well as we look ahead at challenges facing the equine industry.

To learn more about the AHC’s governance and opportunities to participate on ad hoc committees, task forces and standing committees go towww.horsecouncil.org/goverance.

*to view the organizational membership levels available, click here
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