Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Put a Leader on That Horse (Association)

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Put a Leader on That Horse (Association)

Article excerpt


The primary subject matter of this case involves the strategic direction of a not-for-profit equine breed association. Additional issues are organization structure, leadership, and financial stability. The case has a difficulty level of one, appropriate for freshman level courses. The case is designed for one class session and will require about two hours outside preparation.


The Arabian Horse Association is responsible for the breed registry, membership, marketing and promotion, and member programs for Arabian and Half-Arabian horses in the United States. The growth of the organization resulted in poor financial planning and no long term strategic plan to guide the organization.


There is a world-wide equine industry involving many breeds of horses. Horses serve primarily as show horses, hobby interest, breeding stock, and in some instances, working horses. In this global market, purebred horses generate a great deal of income and are responsible for a large part of the market's economy in some geographic areas. The various breed associations in each country control the pedigree and show records of these horses. The Arabian Horse Association in the United States has suffered setbacks in its attempts to create a competitive market place for these horses.


Horses have been a part of civilization for centuries as one of the primary sources of transportation and work animals. In the 1800s and 1900s during the industrial revolution, much of their purpose was transferred to machines. In the 21st century there are still horses working on ranches, serving as police mounts, and performing similar functions. The majority of horses today are used for sporting events, breed association shows, and as pets.

There is currently an emphasis on sport horses used in international horse show events such as racing, jumping, dressage, endurance, and reining. The business of breeding such horses can be lucrative and has many tax incentives. There is a global market for these types of horses having pedigrees and show records which often command high prices. There are Horse Councils at both national and state levels that lobby the government on behalf of the equine industry. These councils track economic data related to the equine industry. In some states, such as Kentucky, the equine industry has a major impact on the state's economy. The KEEP white paper reports, "The horse industry has an estimated $4 billion impact on the state's economy each year" and that "The 2010 World Games will be the largest sporting event in Kentucky history and the largest equine event ever held in the United States with an estimated economic impact of more than a $150 million and attendance estimated at over 400,000."

The United States Equestrian Federation has responsibility for overseeing horse shows and maintaining international standards at large competitions. They have been successful in the past five years in bringing major international competitions to the United States that generate millions of dollars in revenue for the locations that host these events. In 2010 for the first time, the United States will host the World Equestrian Championships in Kentucky.

The people in the equine industry look to their breed associations to assist them in this highly competitive industry. The Arabian horse is considered the oldest purebred horse of record in the world and many breeds trace part of their ancestry to these horses. The Arabian horse industry is a major player in this global market.


After the importation of Arabian horses to the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Arabian Horse Registry was formed to authenticate pedigrees and register purebred Arabian horses. A second organization, the International Arabian Horse Association, was formed later to register Half-Arabian horses and provide a marketing and member services organization. …

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