Brief Summary: As early as 1991, International Arabian Horse Association wanted a merger of itself with the Arabian Horse Registry for unlimited, free access to the data of AHR, not have to continue to duplicate such data for verification on the partbreds [not done today unless a money program is involved] while the AHR had concerns over data integrity and data accuracy with IAHA determined any database program would be compatible with their programs. This conflict is still the same today, 2021.
Record keeping for show programs is vastly different than those programs used for horse registration, thus AHR did not want this responsibility and the Bonanza program was discontinued. What follows is the detailed record of history on this battle over the database.
Cooperative Efforts Discussions 1988-2001
In 1988 and 1989, IAHA asked the Registry to participate in planning meetings for IAHA’s new computer system. Participants in these meetings were Bill Hamilton, EVP, Jim Case, Treasurer, Craig Minnow, MIS Manager, and Barbara Burck, Controller, from IAHA; Ralph Clark, Resident Officer, and Ron Ballantine, IS Director from AHRA; and Steve McCarthy, Independent Consultant.
The recommendations of the consultant included integration of data as follows: “Integration here also means that we should use the computer data of the Arabian Horse Registry directly, and not try to duplicate and maintain that data as well.” This integration never occurred mostly due to the fact that the technology did not exist at the time that would allow the two systems to interact and also due to the concern of the Registry over maintaining data integrity.
In November 1991, representatives from IAHA and the Registry met to discuss promotional ideas that would be used to create a renewed interest in breeding. It was announced at the November Board meeting that there would be a meeting in January, 1992, to discuss many ideas including better ways to serve the memberships and to save funds. These meetings brought about the Arabian Amateur Bonanza Program which started in 1993 and ended in 1997 when the Registry declined to fund any further.
In January, 1993, a joint meeting between IAHA and the Registry executive committees occurred to discuss the general issue of inter-organizational support or cross-contracting as described in a letter from Ralph Clark to June Smith on January 11, 1993. The letter goes on to say that “the initial focus of the meeting was to push forward with such an effort on the Bonanza program alone. After further discussion, it was agreed that the staff would explore the goal of inter-organizational cooperation and identify all areas where this might be possible”. A list of issues was provided for discussion purposes which included:
“…Control and Ownership – We should possibly put ourselves in the mood by remembering that the average Arabian enthusiast wants good service, swift service, reliable information and doesn’t really care whose computer, terminal or department gives it….
…Goal(s) – operational systems that will result in better service to Arabian horse owners at less cost with duplicity eliminated where possible…
…Database Schemes – do they currently support or hinder any cooperative effort? How can they be altered to make for more compatibility?…”
In February, 1993, members of the IAHA Executive Committee and staff met with members of the Registry’s Executive Board and staff in Scottsdale. It was decided that the Registry would take over all recordkeeping for the Bonanza program. Also decided was to create a task force “..to develop a recommendation for cooperative efforts on administrative tasks between IAHA and the Registry that will accomplish either or both of the following: (1) Increase service, and (2) Decrease Cost. Such task force was directed to deliver an interim report in 60 days (report due April 19, 1993). Individuals assigned to the task force are: Jim Case, M. June Smith, Barbara Burck and Charles Criss from IAHA and Ralph Clark, Jim Garrison and Ron Ballantine from the Registry.” In addition, it was discussed that the IAHA/AJC contract was up for renewal and the Registry asked that the IAHA membership requirement be dropped from the contract. IAHA dropped the requirement.
In March, 1993, members of the IAHA task force issued a study of joint efforts prepared by IAHA staff that provided an analysis of the Arabian horse organizations and areas of duplication. A preliminary recommendation was made that the most efficient and cost effective method of joint effort between the IAHA and the Registry would be a merger of the two organizations.
A different study written by IAHA staff entitled, Report on Computer and Information Systems Issues, reported the Registry’s concern for data integrity and that both organization’s IS Directors believed there should be only one set of data. IAHA’s IS Director recommended one database and one data center. IAHA maintained a purebred database that it had developed off of registration certificates provided by owners entering IAHA programs and events. The Registry provided a tape in 1992 to assist IAHA updating its purebred database. If one data center could not be established other options included establishing a real-time link to the Registry’s purebred database or establishing an automated procedure to keep data in the IAHA database current with the Registry’s database. At the time it was determined that there were no dynamic automated solutions provided by the vendors of either database to establish a real-time link. Over the next couple of years, the Registry provided one additional tape to IAHA to update IAHA’s purebred database. It should also be noted here that the issue of system incompatibility was identified in 1989 when IAHA was designing its new system on Oracle software. The Registry announced to IAHA in January, 1993, that it was converting from Prime to PI/Open (PICK) software which was still not compatible with IAHA’s system.
No reports or studies were presented to IAHA from the Registry on cooperative efforts. The Registry was not interested in discussing the recommendation of merger but there were continued efforts over the next couple of years to find software that would provide a link between the computer systems. None was ever identified.
Also, there is a memo in IAHA’s file from Charles Criss, IAHA IS Director to June Smith and Barbara Burck dated May 20, 1993 expressing frustration and providing information that was not included in the computer report:
“…Mr. Ballantine’s primary concern was that IAHA should be using the latest purebred data from the AHRA database. I told him that I agree. From a data integrity point of view, the best scenario is to have one set of data! Two of my highest concerns are that of data integrity and data accuracy. There are some issues that will need to be addressed, for example: some horse owners will update horse information with IAHA, but not AHRA. We need to analyze and resolve these kinds of issues. The best solution would be to have one data center. That, of course, would be a major step, and would require careful planning and analysis.
We discussed possible methods of IAHA accessing data on the AHRA computer system. Essentially the methods fell into three categories,
1) using “off the shelf” software from V-Mark,
2) IAHA writing a program to interface with AHRA, and
3) an automated procedure to reconcile the data kept on IAHA’s database, based on AHRA’s tracking changes which had been made.
We agreed that because of the concern for data integrity, and because of AHRA wishing to minimize the effort required on their part, the third category was not desirable….
At the March 25 meeting of the joint committee Mr. Ballantine had no written report. Regardless of my conversations with Mr. Ballantine, his verbal report was essentially that IAHA did not want to cooperate with AHRA to use their purebred data, and that IAHA was not concerned with data integrity. No action has been taken, pending the outcome of discussions between AHRA and IAHA”.
On May 7, 1993, only a little over a month after meetings to discuss co-operative efforts, Garvin Tankersley Jr., AHRA President sent a letter to James O’Neal, IAHA President in which he states:
“…Our board has agreed to offer database services to other Arabian registries through WAHO. Several registries have expressed interest in a trial period using the database information at this time. As these registries become customers, we have concluded that we want them to use the database but we will not sell or give away existing database information to be fair to all. This has some bearing on the traditional IAHA-Registry relationship since our prior practice has been to furnish copies of the purebred database without ever charging any fees.
Our board has an expectation that should we use any of IAHA’s services we should pay for that service. Further we don’t think it is too much to expect that this be reciprocated. The cooperative discussions could lead to some other arrangement, but if they do no, then we would expect IAHA to be a database customer as well….”
A license agreement charging IAHA $100/month for access to their horse inquiry system was subsequently negotiated and signed by IAHA in December, 1993,
In May, 1993, Barbara Burck met with Jim Garrison to start the transfer of Bonanza processing to the Registry. After the meeting, the Registry declined to take on the recordkeeping for the Bonanza program because of the functions involved in the processing. IAHA administered the Bonanza program during its entire existence.
In August, 1993, the IAHA Executive Committee issued their Recommendation for Five Year Plan which was primarily written by staff and approved by the Executive Committee. The first recommendation stated:
“Combine equine organizations associated with the Arabian breeds. The Arabian horse owner, depending on their level of participation, potentially deals with five Arabian organizations in addition to AHSA and/or CEF causing them to pay higher than average fees and membership dues to own and show their horses. The higher costs can be mostly attributed to paying for the overhead and duplication of effort of the numerous organizations. By combining the organizations, it is estimated that significant savings can be achieved which can be passed on directly to the Arabian community. Examples in cost savings include senior management payroll, audit and tax fees, insurance policy costs, equipment maintenance policies, newsletter/magazines, director’s expenses and the establishment of a centralized data center. In addition, other positive results include being able to offer more to potential corporate sponsors as well as providing focus to promote the Arabian breeds. Areas that would benefit from this focus would be combined promotional material, advertising and marketing, public relations and fund solicitation efforts….”
In November, 1994, the Executive Committee issued another Recommendation for Five Year Plan in which the same recommendation was included but with the added statement:
“…In 1993, it was recommended to examine a combination of the Arabian organizations. After further research, it has been determined that such a combination is not feasible at this time. IAHA will focus on the study to assume AHSA/CEF functions…”
In the first part of 1995, there was another joint meeting between the executive committees of IAHA and the Registry in Dallas, Texas. President James O’Neal reports that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss an umbrella organization for the two organizations. Also discussed was a study of combined computer operations. The meeting was productive until the second day when the two groups disagreed over the promotion of Half-Arabian horses which caused hard feelings with the IAHA participants.
On August 1, 1995, Garvin Tankersley, AHRA President, sent a letter to Jon Oostermeyer, IAHA President, in which he states:
“At our meeting in Dallas, Bart and I agreed with you that a study of combined computer operations should be undertaken. Our presumption, and I sensed you share a similar view, is that one system serving both entities could result in an operating efficiency and monetary savings…It is our suggestion that the Registry and IAHA jointly employ a consultant(s) to review current computer system operations and provide us with an answer, together with supportive documentation, to the following question: Can AHRA and IAHA combine computer operations to service the current and anticipated needs of the industry, improve service to Arabian owners and save monies that would otherwise be spent on computer-related operations over the next 10-15 year period?…”
On August 25, 1995, the Registry submitted three names as suggestions for consultants. IAHA agreed to the list of the consultants but there was never any follow-through on hiring them. There is a memo in IAHA’s files from Ralph Clark to June Smith somewhat chastising June for the fact that IAHA staff had discussed the computer consultant review with the Registry’s IS Director who apparently had not been told of the Registry’s recommendation for a consultant.
On August 25, 1995, IAHA announced that it had committed to purchase its new building and move at the Board of Directors meeting. IAHA moved on April 30, 1996.
On January 25, 1996, Garvin Tanskersley sent a letter to Jon Oostermeyer after they had talked at the 1996 AHSA convention. Mr Tankersley writes:
“… I would like to reiterate my comments at dinner that the Registry would be willing to perform out-source processing of information for things like the Sweepstakes, Half Arabian registry or even show records along the lines of our present race records database program. I have discussed our conversation with the Registry Board and told them of your initial positive reaction. Upon confirmation from you that this concept has merit and would be welcome, the Registry would like to offer a proposal…”
On February 7, 1996, Jon Oostermeyer sent a letter to Garvin Tankersley as a follow-up to Mr. Tankersley’s letter. He writes:
“…You voiced interest in bidding on show records, sweepstakes and the Half-Arabian Registry. This was looked at during James O’Neal’s tenure. It is my understanding that no one from your staff was interested in the Half-Arabian Registry because of the level of revenue it generates for the amount of work. James O’Neal asked Barbara Burck to give the Bonanza program as a test to Jim Garrison to administer and he declined, stating that it was not the kind of program they wanted to manage. At that point James indicated to the Executive Committee that he felt it pointless to go any further.
If this is true, it is important for you to understand that the sweepstakes program is monumentally more difficult than the Bonanza program. For that reason, I have asked Barbara Burck to put together the attached list of responsibilities that must be done for this program as well as the Half-Arabian Registry and one additional program [Halter Futurity program]. Hopefully that will assist you in your bidding process. You may want to send someone to discuss with Barbara the magnitude of the tasks as well. I am anxious to see if your organization can do it more efficiently and cheaply, as you have indicated….
Incidentally, two months ago Barbara Burck responded to your staff that IAHA was open to having any of the MIS consultants on the list provided to us. She merely asked for someone to provide a proposal and costs for approval by me. I am looking forward to your response….”
No proposal was ever submitted to IAHA from the Registry.
On April 9, 1997, there was a meeting between Bart Brown, Ralph Clark, Jim Garrison, Carol Alm and Barbara Burck. Topics discussed included data links and the concept of IAHA downloading the Sweepstakes in-utero breeding entries received at the end of each calendar year to the Registry as information for them to be used for future registrations. Once the foals are registered with the Registry, they would send a file back to IAHA with the assigned registration number. The swapping of data would eliminate the need for IAHA to manually update its files when the foal is registered. Also discussed was IAHA providing performance data for the Registry’s CD-ROM which IAHA provided for the 2000 and 2001 Data Source CD-ROM’s.
On July 23, 1997, Ralph Clark, AHRA Resident Officer writes to Mary Anne Grimmell, IAHA President:
“When we last talked, I agreed to talk with Bart Brown about the possibility of the Registry providing pedigree review and advice to IAHA. It is Bart’s feeling that this kind of outsourcing is just what he was referring to when he mentioned the idea of “out sourcing”. Some time ago we met with the IAHA staff leadership and Bart recalled discussions with past leadership that went nowhere. He is of the opinion that we should discuss or consider any possibility were one of us could provide a service to the other…. …Currently, both entities are making a commitment to a different communication arrangement between our computer systems via the Internet. Once established, we can the proceed to identify the opportunities where we can provide each other updates of information…”
On October 2, 1997, Bart Brown, AHRA President, writes to Mary Anne Grimmell:
“In August I proposed to your Board a comprehensive program of “out-sourcing” administrative functions in an attempt to lessen duplication of effort amongst IAHA and AHRA and to affect financial savings while better serving the membership of both organizations. I wanted to update you on where we stand with this project.
The Registry has just completed the installation of hardware, software and phone lines which allows direct communication between our computer systems using the Internet. Implementation has been accomplished so that any IAHA user can make inquiry of the AHRA database, whereas IAHA was limited to two users at a time under the old arrangement.
We suggest that we begin immediately to research the necessary steps to have the two databases start “talking” with each other – protocols to have the two systems, speaking different languages, communicating. Once this is accomplished, we can then move forward with a comprehensive review of things like the Futurities, Sweepstakes and alike to achieve the goals listed in the first paragraph….”
On January 20, 1998, members of IAHA and AHRA staff met to discuss various topics. One topic of discussion was about developing an interface with the Registry to provide owner validation for national event entries, Sweepstakes and futurity entries. IAHA was to include the development of this interface in its next Business Plan and budget.
On April 3, 1998, Ralph Clark writes to Carol Alm, IAHA EVP, to summarize the January 20th meeting:
“Cooperative Systems Effort”
“We concluded our discussion with speculative assumptions that is we could link our data systems together there would be no need to have repetitive or duplicate files. That is to say that if the Registry’s “Horse Master” file was open to access all IAHA transactions that needed data or to verify information, there would be no need for IAHA to maintain a “duplicate” purebred horse file on its system. Alternatively, if the Registry had access to the “To Be Born Foals” (Futurities, Sweepstakes, etc.) on the IAHA system, then our database could likely support those activities of IAHA during the period when the animals became registered and sold.
“It also seemed apparent that perhaps one of the first places to start such an effort would be to conceptualize an arrangement where the Registry database supported the IAHA horse show entry system for the three major shows managed directly by IAHA. Assuming we could show the respective Boards that this would produce benefits for both the owners and the organizations, it might be easier to expand to the Regionals and all other shows. This would eliminate unnecessary or redundant data entry by show secretaries.”
In 1998, IAHA was starting to prepare for the upcoming Y2K conversion. IS resources on Oracle programmers were at a premium and IAHA’s IS department was severely understaffed. At this time, there were very little resources IAHA could devote to this project at this time.
At the urging of newly elected President Tom Connelly and Carol Alm, members of the IAHA Executive Committee, AHRA Executive Board and staff decided to start cooperative discussions again. Meetings were held on the following dates:
December 13-14, 1998
January 27-28, 1999
May 16-17, 1999
September 10-11, 1999
December 10, 1999
Zane Akin, a facilitator used by the Registry in the past, facilitated all of the meetings except for the last one. At the request of IAHA, Steve Lynn, a facilitator used by AHOF [Arabian Horse Owners Foundation, at the time associated with Bazy Tankersley of Al-Marah Arabians] at their Think Tanks, facilitated the last meeting. The summaries of these meetings are attached as well as An Assessment of the Arabian Horse Industry Organizations prepared by Consultant Earl B. Peterson and Evaluation of Data Systems and Recommendations for Consolidation prepared by Rob Schrull and Murray Scholz.
Mr. Schrull was a business associate of Mr Akin, the facilitator. Of special note is Appendix I in Mr. Earl’s report which details the unique functions at IAHA that are not duplicated by AHRA and vice versa as well as the services or functions duplicated in whole or in part by both organizations. Of special note in Mr. Schrull and Sholtz’s report are the list of major transactions processed by IAHA per year on page 8 which gives inaccurate numbers and leaves off a significant amount of IAHA functions such as Sweepstakes, Futurities, Achievement Awards, national event entries, etc.; and the cost estimate for conversion to the Registry system on page 13.
After the meeting, Alan Sankpill, IAHA Treasurer discussed the computer consultant’s report with a former IAHA director who had extensive computer background. He concurred with the Executive Committee’s analysis of the situation that the consultants were off in their estimate on the amount of effort it would take to re-program all of IAHA’s programs and convert to the Registry’s system.
On December 21, 1999, Alan notified the Registry that IAHA needed a second opinion as well as fix the problems that IAHA was currently experiencing with the Y2K upgrade. At that time, consultants were booked well into 2000 because of Y2K which pushed back the timetable for a second opinion. IAHA hired consultants to evaluate its system problems in April, 2000 and completed its upgrade to fix the problems in November, 2000.
In August, 2000, the Registry proceeded with facilitated strategic planning meetings with members of its Executive Board and staff.
In February, 2001, IAHA learned that Ron Ballantine, AHRA IS Director had left the Registry. Soon after, Alan Sankpill, IAHA Treasurer, spoke with Willis Foley, AHRA Treasurer, to recommend that before the Registry hires a replacement, the groups should talk again about combining computer operations. No further discussion was held and the Registry hired a replacement in that spring.
On March 22, 2001, Bob Fauls, AHRA Vice President writes to Bill Pennington:
“We have been talking about the future of our Arabian community for almost three years. The input of IAHA, the Arabian Horse Trust, ABA, the Pyramid Society, AHOF, other sincere groups and individuals has resulted in the development of a function structure plan intended to move our community forward. This structure allows us all to contribute as well as benefit based on our interest and needs. It does not rely on governance structure, current political or legal considerations in order to make progress, just an interest in doing so. This plan or parts of it have been discussed by Howard, Bart, Jim, Willis, Ralph and me with you and other IAHA executives recently. We intend to introduce it soon to our community but until then have requested confidentiality.
If you will consider what objectives you would like to accomplish, we can work together with the appropriate functional unit to develop an acceptable program. The Registry is outsourcing needs to these functional units to improve our efficiencies and value to our customers…”
Mr. Fauls was invited to the May IAHA Board of Directors meeting to discuss their new plan.
The May, 2001 IAHA Board of Directors minutes state: AHRA STRATEGIC PLAN
AHRA 2001 Strategic Plan
Bill Pennington, IAHA President, introduced Bart Brown, AHRA President; Bob Fauls, AHRA Vice President; Jim Garrison, AHRA Deputy Resident Officer; and Marian Meely-Carlson, AHRA Communications Consultant.
Mr. Fauls presented the AHRA Strategic Plan to the IAHA Board of Directors. It was noted that IAHA and AHRA have been meeting on and off since 1993 to make a joint effort in increasing memberships and decreasing costs.
The vision statement of the AHRA is: “To incite a passion to own and enjoy the Arabian horse”.
The mission statement of the AHRA is: “To aid, foster and promote the preservation and improvement of the Arabian horse”.
The aspiration of the AHRA is: “To be a globally respected organization that values and accepts responsibility for keeping accurate and reliable records, is responsive to customer needs, and actively supports promotional activities and programs including grass root competitions and recreational activities on behalf of the Arabian horse.”
The AHRA goals are: “Market development, customer satisfaction, recordation through registration database, global relations, a structure that would serve these needs, and to provide for a funding vehicle other than just raising rates.”
Mr. Fauls stated that despite all efforts that have been made with the joint AHRA/IAHA meetings, there has been no agreed upon solutions to increase membership and decrease costs.
Mr. Fauls proposed the following: IAHA contribute $150,000 per year for five years to Arabian Horse America for market development;
and consolidation of registration process under one umbrella by IAHA assigning the Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian registrations to the AHRA on a fee basis in which IAHA would pay the AHRA an amount to be determined per each registration that is processed.
It was agreed that the AHRA would prepare a written overview of their Market Development and Strategic Plans for distribution to the IAHA Board of Directors with a request for review by August 1, 2001….
ARABIAN HORSE REGISTRY (AHRA)
A discussion was held on the AHRA proposal. It was generally agreed that the Board members favored having the AHRA come under the IAHA umbrella.
MOTION by Linda O’Neil, That the IAHA Board of Directors give the Executive Committee authority to continue the discussion with the AHRA and offer the AHRA to come under the umbrella of IAHA as a registry board much like the Half-Arabian & Anglo-Arabian Horse Registries Board.
Motion Passed Unanimously. (Motion #34-5/19/01-BOD)…”
On August 1, 2001, the Registry held a media briefing for invited guests to talk about their future plans and where they would like the Arabian horse community to go. Invited guests from IAHA were Barbara Burck, EVP, and Susan Bavaria, Manager of Communications.
In August, 2001, Alan Sankpill, IAHA Treasurer, and Willis Foley, AHRA Treasurer, agreed to meet to discuss merging of data functions. The meeting was later scheduled for September 28, 2001. It was IAHA’s understanding that Mr. Foley would have the authority to make a decision regarding a merger of the data processing function.
Around this time, Bill Pennington, IAHA President talked with Bob Fauls, AHRA Vice President, and told him that it was time to make a decision regarding the merger of IAHA and AHRA operations. Mr. Pennington told Mr. Fauls that something had to be agreed upon at the September 28 meeting or IAHA was moving on. Gary Dearth, IAHA 2nd VP, met with Bart Brown, AHRA President, on September 7, 2001 at his home. At that meeting Gary Dearth expressed the frustrations of IAHA after three years of negotiating. The IAHA Executive Committee felt that not anything of substance had been accomplished. Gary Dearth told Bart Brown at that meeting that IAHA and AHRA would either join forces or go their separate ways. Bart Brown agreed with Mr. Dearth and expressed that he felt after the September 28 meeting at the IAHA office something would occur.
On September 28, 2001, Willis Foley and Jim Garrison, AHRA Resident Officer, met with Alan Sankpill and Barbara Burck for a tour of IAHA’s operations. At the conclusion of the IAHA tour, the parties were to go the Registry’s office for a tour of their facility. However, because Mr. Foley had to leave to catch his flight, the meeting concluded at IAHA’s office. Mr. Sankpill proposed that IAHA take over the Registry’s data processing functions. Mr. Foley and Mr. Garrison requested a detailed proposal for them to review and then asked if IAHA would accept a proposal from them. Mr. Sankpill agreed but said that because of the scope of the two organization’s functions, it made more sense for the Registry to convert its one function then for IAHA to convert its many functions. Mr. Foley and Mr. Garrison said that the parties should schedule a meeting at some point in the future when the Registry could give the IAHA representatives a tour of their facility and then the meeting was over.
On October 2, 2001, the IAHA Executive Committee decided that it was time to move on in a direction that would be beneficial for its members and the Arabian horse community by forming its own purebred registry. They decided to poll the board for their support of this idea.
On October 3, 2001, IAHA learned of the Alliance of the Americas agreement that was signed on September 28, 2001.
On October 4, 2001, Bill Pennington sent out his first letter regarding the formation of the IAHA purebred registry.
Alliance of the Americas
By late 2001 the AHRA had succeeded in establishing a new Arabian horse breeding union. The registry completed negotiations with countries in the Americas – most of them also members of WAHO – to create an organization called the Alliance of the America. The alliance brought together Western Hemisphere breeders from Canada, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay Colombia, Chile, Belize, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, and Venezuela. The organization represented 75 percent of the world’s Arabians. The AHRA now belonged to a large Arabian horse alliance, strengthening its position Against WAHO. When it abandoned a policy of isolation, the AHRA also changed its earlier position on an issue that had precipitated the break with WAHO. The registry now granted pedigree status to certain South American horses previously designated as impure for recording purposes. “The Registry agreed, in forming this association, to provide registration documentation for certain bloodlines that it did not accept previously,” the AHRA announced on 6 October 2001.
Bred for Perfection by Margaret E Deery, page 153 and 154.
Read 30-Maria to understand more about why this created a problem within the relations of AHRA and IAHA.