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What did AHR have to raise rates in 2005?

A few AHR members have expressed concern over the recent unanimous BOD decision to raise some of the AHR fees starting in 2005. We want to address those concerns and we understand why, at a time when Haflinger prices have been dropping, this would be a controversial decision. Raising fees for registrations, transfers, stallion licenses and other services provided by the registry is not something the BOD has done without due consideration and discussion. It is necessary to keep our registry viable and moving forward with our stated mission of promoting and preserving the Haflinger in North America.

A primary reason for the 2005 increase is that the fees have not changed since the registry was founded in 1998. As in all things, the cost of doing business has continued to rise, without a commensurate increase in the fees to keep pace. Those higher costs, along with a drop in the number of registrations, has impacted the revenue brought in by the registry, at the same time that member demand has increased for more effective breed promotional efforts on a regional and national level. Alternatively, the registry could be forced to abandon promotional efforts and special projects/ programs and simply provide registration papers for Haflingers. That is an option we may have to consider if revenues to not meet or exceed expenses as we cannot continue to run in a deficit.

Please note that there is no increase in registration cost if a foal is registered before 6 months of age or gelded within the year of birth. The remainder of fees have been increased minimally, most by as little as $5, with the new fees matching or less than many of the other registry fees for other horse breeds in this country, including a comparison breed, the Norwegian Fjord. The new fee structure is well in line with what other horse breeders/sellers are paying for similar services.

We are not increasing AHR annual membership dues as we want to encourage new memberships among all Haflinger owners, as a way of spreading out the cost of supporting the breed among as many owners/breeders as possible. The majority of Haflinger owners never do need other registry services, because they don’t breed, they don’t sell horses, and they are owners for pleasure or show purposes only. Their primary connection to the registry is through the publications they receive and the registry activities they may participate in. We want to hold the line, as much as possible, for these members so they continue to rejoin year after year, helping to subsidize the efforts being made on behalf of all Haflinger owners.

All of us on the Board are also payers of these fees, and each of us understands that recovering the cost of breeding, putting a foal on the ground and selling it is more challenging in today’s market. We are committed to making sure that each registered Haflinger foal has the promotional resources of the American Haflinger Registry backing it, to ensure that foal has the best chance to find the best home at the best price. We appreciate the continued support of our membership in achieving that goal.