Start an AjPHA Regional Club

Two AjPHA members participating in their Regional Club's outreach program, the Woot Woot Wagon. Paint Horse clubs bring the ideals of the American Paint Horse Association to horse enthusiasts at the local level. These equine booster clubs are as diverse as the Paint Horse breed itself, but they share common goals—to educate the public about the qualities of the American Paint Horse and APHA, to encourage Paint breeding for conformation and athletic ability, to give members the opportunity to show their Paints and to host alternative activities such as trail rides and social events for non-competitors. For your Paint enthusiasts who may live miles apart, but share a love of horses, clubs provide a common meeting place and a host of activities. Beginning a junior club can be a great benefit and growth stimulator for an existing adult club.

How to Start an AjPHA Regional Club

Step one is to locate an adult who is capable of working with youth groups and who is willing to oversee your junior club. This person will be referred to as the Youth Advisor. The Youth Advisor should contact the Director of Youth Activities at the American Paint Horse Association and let them know the club’s intent. The Director will then forward an application and other pertinent info to the Youth Advisor.

Each junior club must be affiliated with an Adult APHA Regional Club, referred to as the “parent club.”

The Youth Advisor should attend a meeting of the parent club and ask for approval to form a junior club. This approval must be confirmed by and included in the official minutes of the meeting.

At this meeting, the Youth Advisor should also discuss membership dues and funding of the junior club. Often, the parent club already offers a junior membership or a family membership that includes youth members. These funds may be appropriated to the junior club for activities, using a set budget, or a separate fund may need to be established.

Creating the Organizational Meeting

Once approval has been granted to organize the junior club, the Youth Advisor should help the youth determine a meeting place and time for the first organizational meeting. This meeting might take place at a horse show or in conjunction with an APHA Regional Club meeting. The meeting should be in a convenient and comfortable setting for all members.

Next, the Youth Advisor and interested youth should send out notices of the meeting to your proposed membership. The Director of Youth Activities may be able to provide a list of youth within the proposed boundaries of your club. A notice of the meeting should be placed in the APHA Regional Club’s newsletter or in any local or regional horse publications.

Conducting the Meeting

Prior to the meeting, a temporary chairperson and a temporary secretary should be appointed. The temporary chairperson should be capable of speaking to the group and keeping the meeting in order. The temporary secretary should take detailed minutes of the meeting.

At the appointed time and place, the temporary chairperson should call the meeting to order, express appreciation to those attending, and explain the reasons the club should be formed. The temporary chairperson should then call for a discussion from the floor (to get people involved immediately), asking for thoughts on the needs and goals of the club. It is important that whoever conducts the initial meeting maintain full control at all times. However, they should be responsive to the audience, getting them involved and listening carefully to all ideas.

Once an open discussion has been held and there is a general consensus that the club is needed, we suggest you call for a vote on the name of the organization. Try to hold the nominations for a name to no more than three choices. Most clubs use the format, “X” Junior Paint Horse Club or “X” Youth Paint Horse Club.

After a name has been decided, the club should vote on officers. First the club must agree to the positions that will be offered, and then the actual positions should be filled.

Suggested Offices:

  • President—This person should be a leader, not simply a figurehead. The president should be broad-minded have good communication skills, and have a knowledge of Parliamentary Procedure.
  • Vice President—This person should possess the same traits as the president. The vice president should be able to conduct meetings when the president is absent.
  • Secretary/Treasurer—This person must be willing to put a great deal of time and effort into the club. Often the success of the entire organization depends on the diligence of the secretary. The secretary should take detailed notes at the meetings and prepare the minutes. At the formation of the organization, it may be best if the secretary also serves as the treasurer. When the club grows to a larger scope with more fiscal responsibility, the positions may be split.
  • Reporter—This person should have journalistic or public relations experience. Capitalize on this individual’s abilities and utilize them. Promotion and publicity are vital to your club. This individual should work closely with the club secretary. Some of their duties could include:
    • Submitting news releases on your organizational meeting to appropriate horse-related publications
    • Planning an advertising campaign based on the clubs budget and resources
    • Preparing a monthly/quarterly newsletter for club members.

We suggest that the president ask for the authority to appoint an executive committee, consisting of the officers above and at least two other individuals. This should be a group that can meet often with the Youth Advisor to set policy and give direction to the club.

The executive committee should meet after the organizational meeting to draw up a proposed set of by-laws.

Dues should be voted on and set at the initial meeting. There are various ways that membership dues can be set.

For example, you may have charter membership dues that are higher than the regular club dues. This is advisable in order to provide the club initial funds from which to work.

In addition, the junior club may receive their membership dues directly from the parent club. The Youth Advisor should determine this before the meeting.

A minimum of 10 club members (who are also AjPHA members) are necessary to form a junior club. The age limit for the junior club is 18 years of age as of January 1 of the current calendar year. Each junior club must conform to the rules of the APHA and AjPHA. The club by-laws must also coincide with the APHA and AjPHA By-Laws (found in the APHA Rule Book).

After you have organized the club, obtained the required number of members, and held you organizational meeting, you may complete an application for affiliation.

The following information must be submitted with the application:

  1.  Club constitution and by-laws
  2.  Minutes of the club’s organizational meeting
  3.  Complete application for affiliation
  4.  APHA Regional Club/parent club president’s signature on application
  5.  A copy of the minutes from the parent club meeting reflecting your junior club approval
  6.  A map on which club boundaries are clearly indicated.

All information must be submitted to:
Director of Youth Activities
American Paint Horse Association
122 East Exchange Avenue, Suite 420
Fort Worth, TX 76164

Once this information has been received in the APHA Office, it will be presented to the APHA Regional Club Committee and the Board of Directors for approval. The APHA Regional Club Committee has quarterly calls and meets at the APHA Leadership Gathering in March.

QUESTIONS? Please contact APHA’s Director of Youth Activities at [email protected].