Today, a 10-person jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division ruled that AQHA Rule REG106.1, which prohibits the registration of cloned horses and their offspring in AQHA’s breed registry, violates federal and state anti-trust laws. The jury awarded no damages.
In a statement published today on AQHA’s website, AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway, Jr. said,
When individuals with shared interests, goals and values come together to form a voluntary association to serve a common purpose, the members have a right to determine the rules for their association. The wisdom of our membership –which is largely not in favor of the registration of clones and their offspring—has not been upheld by this verdict.
Whether nor not clones will be able to be registered with the AQHA in the foreseeable future is still up in the air. According to AQHA President Johne Dobbs,
We will meet with our legal counsel and executive committee regarding our appeal options in continuing to fight for our members’ rights and announce our decision in that regard in the near future.
The plainitffs in the case have requested injunctive relief, in which they have asked the court to order the AQHA to register their cloned horses. They have also requested that the court order the AQHA to pay at least a portion of their legal fees. A hearing on the injunctive relief and fees request has not yet been held. The jury’s verdict has not been reduced to a final judgment, nor has the court issued an opinion in the case at this time.
Case Information: Abraham & Veneklasen Joint Venture, et al v. American Quarter Horse Association; Cause No. 2:12-CV-00103-J in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (Amarillo Division)
Federal Lawsuit Alleges AQHA Cloned Horse Registration Policy Violates Antitrust Law