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Challenge FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I enroll my horse in the Bank of America Challenge?

Enrolling is easy. The earlier you enroll your horse in the challenge program the sooner you will reap the rewards. To enroll just mark the “Bank of America Challenge” box on your horse's preprinted registration form or complete and return this form. If you have questions or need further assistance, please call the Bank of America Challenge Hotline at (877) 222-7223.

NOTE: As of January 1, 2010, you must be an AQHA member to enroll a horse in the Bank of America Racing Challenge program or to compete in any Challenge race (including Bonus Challenge race and Maiden Challenge races). Click here to fill out your membership application or call (806) 376-4811 for membership information or to join by phone.

Enrollment Fees (as of January 1, 2008):

Weanling - $300
Yearling - $600
2-year-old - $8,000
3-year-old and up - $20,000

2. How long is my Bank of America Challenge enrollment valid?

Your Bank of America Challenge enrollment is good for the life of your horse. Even if you do not plan on racing your prospect in the Bank of America Challenge as a two-year-old, or an injury shortens your horse’s racing season, you may always return as a three-year-old or older. Once you have enrolled your horse in the program they are qualified to enter in any Bank of America Challenge race where they meet the conditions. Race nomination fees must be paid whenever you want to enter your horse in any challenge race similar to any other stakes race.

3. How do I nominate my horse to a race?

To participate in a regional Bank of America Challenge race, find the race with the conditions that best suit your horse’s age and ability, and locate a race in the area where you plan to compete. All payments are taken by the Bank of America Challenge office according to advertised payment schedules. All payments may be made via phone, fax, or mail. All nominating and sustaining payments must be received in AQHA offices by the published deadline date to be eligible. No refunds of race nomination fees are made once the published date for that payment deadline has passed.

Race Nomination Fees:
Nomination Fee - $200 ($100 for juvenile and claiming races)
Sustaining Fee - $600 ($400 for juvenile and claiming races)
Late payment - $2,500

If you miss the first payment, you will be required to pay the $2,500 late fee at the time the sustaining fee is due. This payment should be made directly to the Bank of America Challenge office. All horses must pass the entry box for trials and final, even if trials may not be required. Entry for the trials and final of each Bank of America Challenge race are made through the racing office at the host track for that particular race - just like any other race at the racetrack. It is always the trainer’s and/or owner’s responsibility to make sure their horse is entered in the trials.

Here are some points to remember when making an Bank of America Challenge entry:

  • All payments for Bank of America Challenge races will be made in U.S. Funds only. No exceptions will be granted.
  • When mailing all nomination and sustaining payments to AQHA, mail early to avoid missing a deadline because of slow mail delivery.
  • Use express mail delivery or certified mail. The extra cost ensures prompt delivery before approaching deadlines.
  • Canadian owners should especially consider using express delivery services, fax transmissions or telephone to ensure timely receipt.
  • All owners, trainers, jockeys and grooms must be licensed by the host racing commission before competing. 

4. How do I know where the qualifying races are held?

Racing Challenge schedule for all locations, payment deadlines and race dates.

5. Am I only allowed to run my horses in certain areas or at certain tracks?

No. You are allowed to run your Challenge-enrolled horse in any qualifying race at any track.

6. What happens to the money I pay for enrollment and entry fee?

Enrollment fees received by the Racing Challenge will be deposited in interest-bearing accounts and invested according to the currently approved investment policy of AQHA. AQHA administration and promotional costs may be deducted from the interest and investment earnings from the enrollment fees with the remainder of the earnings allocated for purses and awards. At AQHA's sole discretion, the fund enrollment fees will be allocated to yearly purse supplement funds of races designated by AQHA based on the year foaled of the enrolled horse as follows:

17% will be allocated for 2-year olds
36% will be allocated for 3-year olds
47% will be allocated for 4-year olds and older

Thus, eligible horses compete for supplement funds paid by other foal crops contributed according to this schedule. For example, a 5-year-old horse also is racing for purse money contributed by horses one and two year ago. 7% of each gross purse is held for distribution as nominator awards for every Bank of America Challenge race.

7. Where does the purse money come from?

All purses are comprised of a combination of funds from the current year Purse Supplement Fund, host track contributions, sponsorship money from AQHA Corporate Partners, and horsemen’s entry fees. NOTE: over 50% of all Challenge purse funds are provided by AQHA corporate partners and host tracks.

8. What are nominator awards?

Nominator awards are awarded to the nominators of the top five finishers in every Bank of America Challenge race. Nominator awards are 7% of the gross purse. They are distributed according to the standard Bank of America Challenge 5-horse payout purse distribution scale. All award monies will be recorded and combined for each nominator. Checks will be issued at the conclusion of the racing season, on or before December 1 of each year. 

9. What kinds of prizes does the Bank of America Challenge award horsemen and horses?

Bank of America Challenge Trials: Winning owners receive a Montana Silversmiths belt buckle.

Bank of America Challenge Regional Final: The winning owners receive a Lisa Perry bronze, and trophy blanket. The winning jockey and trainer each receive a Montana Silversmiths belt buckle.

Bank of America Challenge Championships: The winning owners receive a Lisa Perry bronze and trophy blanket. The jockey and trainer each receive a Montana Silversmiths belt buckle.

Horses that have participated in more than one Bank of America Challenge Championship receive the awards as follows:

2 Championship Races - To be determined

3 or more Championship Races - Tex-Tan Saddle (Gift Certificate)

Leading Customer Awards: The leading owner, trainer, breeder and jockey by points accumulated from the running of regional final races will each receive an award from an Bank of America Challenge corporate partner. Races won at the Bank of America Challenge Championships will not be considered. The leaders in these categories will be presented the award at the Bank of  America Challenge Championships.

Points are awarded thusly:

Regional Race Points                           Bonus Challenge Points

1st place - 15 points                                      1st place - 5 points
2nd place - 10 points                                      2nd place - 4 points
3rd place - 8 points                                        3rd place - 3 points
4th place - 7 points                                        4th place - 2 points
5th place - 6 points                                        5th place - 1 point
6th place - 5 points
7th place - 4 points
8th place - 3 points
9th place - 2 points
10th place - 1 point 

10. What are the Bank of America Challenge championships?

Each horse that wins a regional Bank of America Challenge final automatically receives a berth in their respective divisions at the Bank of America Challenge Championships. A horse may run in as many regional races in a season as the owner wishes. A horse can continue to run in regional races even after qualifying for the Challenge Championships. Horses who finished second in a regional final may be eligible for the final should the winner not be able to participate. In addition to the six Championship races, horses that do not qualify for a Championship race may have preference to run in an undercard stakes race on Bank of America Challenge Championship night. There is a list of preferences for the six undercard stakes races that are specifically for the horses that do not win a regional final.

11. What is Team Wrangler?

Team Wrangler is a year long competition featuring members of the American Quarter Horse Association of Professional Horsemen. Members of Team Wrangler hail from both racing and show disciplines within the American Quarter Horse industry. Teams consist of 36 members divided into three teams: Team Riata, Team Twenty X, and Team Cowboy Cut. The three teams will compete for points throughout a one-year period beginning in September 1 through August 31 of the following year. Racing members are chosen based on money earned. Any Team Wrangler member who wins a Bank of America Challenge Championship race earns a $250 bonus. Winning team members receive $1,000 each and Wrangler will award the AQH Foundation $20,000 for scholarships designated for AQHYA Members who are members of the All-Star Team.

In addition, Wrangler also sponsors the Wrangler Racing Professional (race) and Wrangler Exhibitor (show) of the year awards. Each winner receives $2,500 and a Montana Silversmiths belt buckle. The Wrangler Exhibitor of the Year and the Wrangler Professional of the Year are determined by money earned during the specified time period.

12. If my horse is a top finisher in a Bank of America Challenge regional or championship race, are there any other racing opportunities available.

Yes! The winner of the Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) will receive an automatic berth in the Champion of Champions (G1) at Los Alamitos Race Course in Los Alamitos, California and the Sunland Park Quarter Horse Championship at Sunland Park, New Mexico. In addition to a Bank of America Challenge Championship berth for each regional race winner, the winner of the Bank of America Central, New Mexico and Texas Challenge each receive a berth to the Championship (G1) at Sunland Park. More incentive to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the most prestigious racing program in the American Quarter Horse industry!