AQHA Files Request For Stay Of Clone Registrations

cloneoffspringThis yearling filly is out of Smart Look Classic, a clone of The Smart Look. Photo by Stacy PigottOn Oct. 14, the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) filed a stay request with the Northern District of Texas United States District Court in Amarillo, Texas. The stay request asks the court to delay enforcing an Aug. 22 court order requiring the association to begin registering clones until an ongoing appeal is completed.

The AQHA filed an appeal on Sept. 23 with the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, La. There is no set time frame regarding when the appellate court might consider or rule on the case. A ruling on the AQHA stay request could take place at any time, at the discretion of Northern District of Texas U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson.

In seeking the stay, the AQHA argues by requiring the association to immediately start registering clones of registered horses and their foals, the court would cause the association to spend “thousands or man hours, months of [computer] programming time, and substantial sums of money.” It argues those resources “will be entirely wasted” if the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reverses the Texas court’s order. The AQHA argues it could have to spend even more time and money reversing any new steps it implements allowing for the registration of the clones if it eventually wins its appeal.

Additionally, the AQHA argues a delay would cause “only minimal temporary harm” to plaintiffs Jason Abraham, of Canadian, Texas, and veterinarian Gregg Veneklasen, of Amarillo, Texas. The stay request states registration documents for five cloned horses and 12 offsprings of clones, severall of which are not eligible for registration under the mandated rules, have been submitted to the AQHA.

Nancy Stone, one of several attorneys representing Abraham and Veneklasen, believes it is likely the appellate court will uphold the Texas court judgment allowing clone registrations.

“I think the AQHA has made a statement that it has the right to set its own rules,” Stone said. “We don’t disagree with that, as long as their rules don’t violate the laws.”

Stone told Quarter Horse News they plan on filing a response to the AQHA’s motion prior to the filing deadline on Nov. 4 in which they will object to the request to stay the injunction pending the appeal.