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A Brief History of the ATBHA

oaklawn-parkArkansas Thoroughbred Breeders’ & Horsemen’s Association (ATBHA) was founded in April 1961. ATBHA is the official breed registry for all Registered Arkansas-bred Thoroughbreds. The registrations of the Registered Arkansas-bred Thoroughbreds are made by the association’s members to the ATBHA office. The purpose of these registrations is to qualify Registered Arkansas-bred Thoroughbreds for eligibility to run in restricted Arkansas-bred races and to qualify the owners and breeders of Registered Arkansas-bred Thoroughbreds for participation in the Owner, Breeder and/or Stallion Owner Incentive Awards program.

ATBHA works with the Arkansas Racing Commission to maintain the Rules & Regulations of the association and the Arkansas-bred program, which includes distribution of the Purse and Awards Funds of the Arkansas-bred program to owners, stallion owners and breeders of properly registered Arkansas-bred Thoroughbreds. Owners awards are paid annually to the owner of each Arkansas-bred thoroughbred properly registered with ATBHA on earnings at the Oaklawn Park live meet the previous calendar year. Breeders Awards are paid annually to the breeder of each Arkansas-bred thoroughbred horse properly registered with ATBHA on earnings in North America the previous calendar year. Stallion awards are paid annually to the owner of each stallion properly registered with ATBHA on earnings in North America the previous calendar year. The purpose of this activity is to recognize, honor and award Owners, Breeders and Stallion Owners of Registered Arkansas-breds for their efforts and participation in the Arkansas-bred Thoroughbred program.

ATBHA publishes and distributes a newsletter “The ATBHA News” quarterly to each member. The purpose of this newsletter is to promote the Registered Arkansas-bred Thoroughbred Program and to keep our members informed of the association’s activities, sponsorships, deadlines, and other information related to the Arkansas-bred Thoroughbred program.

ATBHA sponsors five in-state races, the Rainbow Stakes, Rainbow Miss Stakes, Nodouble Breeders’ Stakes, Downthedustyroad Breeders’ Stakes, and Arkansas Breeders’ Stakes (open division), for Registered Arkansas-breds. These five races are run at Oaklawn Park each year. The Rainbow Stakes, run at a distance of 6 furlongs, is restricted to Registered Arkansas-bred three year old colts and geldings. The Rainbow Miss Stakes, run at a distance of 6 furlongs, is restricted to Registered Arkansas-bred three year old fillies. The Nodouble Breeders’ Stakes, run at a distance of 6 furlongs, is restricted to Registered Arkansas-breds three-year-olds and up. The Downthedustyroad Breeders’ Stakes, run at a distance of 6 furlongs, is restricted to Registered Arkansas-bred fillies three-year-olds and up. The, Arkansas Breeders’ Stakes is run at a distance of a mile and one-sixteenth, is restricted to Registered Arkansas-breds.  ATBHA pays $50,000 of the $100,000 guaranteed purse for each race. The funds paid by ATBHA for these stakes races come from nomination fees paid by the nominating horse owners, the entry and starting fees, and the Arkansas Racing Commission Purse and Awards Fund. The Purse and Awards Fund makes up the difference between the association’s obligated contribution and the nomination, entry & starting fees received. The purpose of this sponsorship is to promote the Registered Arkansas-bred Thoroughbred program.

ATBHA holds an annual Membership Meeting & Awards Banquet in late March or early April of each year announcing and honoring recipients of the Horse of the Year, Broodmare of the Year, Stallion of the Year, and Breeder of the Year awards. Additionally, all registered Arkansas-breds that won a major stakes race in North America the previous year are recognized.  The purpose of this function is to recognize achievements by members in promoting and encouraging continued participation in the Registered Arkansas-bred Thoroughbred program.

ATBHA holds an annual meeting of the general membership in conjunction with the annual Awards Banquet. Election of officers and directors is held every other year, in odd years. The purpose of this meeting is to achieve the organization’s continuity and structure.