A group of Arabian Horse Association members are challenging the board's decision to support the re-opening of US slaughter plants.
The group of members and volunteers have formed an organisation called Arabian Horse Association Mission Supporters, or AHAMS.
Its sole purpose is to gather petition signatures that call on the board of the 37,000-member organisation to rescind the motion endorsing equine slaughter. The new group argues the association's position has divided membership, projects a conflicting public image and is a betrayal of the breed.
The 29-member board of the the AHA passed the motion at its May meeting.
"As a breed association, it is the Arabian Horse Association's directive to promote and preserve the Arabian horse," said AHAMS representative Kathleen Gregory.
"A slaughter endorsement by the board of directors is not in keeping with AHA's mission and is a betrayal of the very breed it is supposed to represent."
"It is questionable whether endorsing re-opening slaughterhouses in the US is truly in the best interest of horses.
"That is a personal issue for members to decide for themselves," she said.
AHA President Lance Walters
Gregory believes the board's resolution went beyond the organisation's mission statement to preserve and promote the Arabian horse.
"In what way does this action best serve the Arabian breed and the Association?" she asked.
"Their decision to take this position is an ill-considered action that does nothing to inspire support and ongoing commitment, nor does it motivate those who are connected to the organisation.
"Based on the directives of the mission statement, it is not appropriate for the Arabian Horse Association to take any official position on horse slaughter," she said.
"There is no benefit for the organisation, it divides the membership, and projects a conflicting public image of the association.
"The negative response to this motion by the equine community, along with significant unflattering press, is damaging to the organisation and does not serve to promote the Arabian horse."
AHAMS believes the board should rescind the resolution and instead adopt a "neutral" position on horse slaughter.