The AQHA office is closed Thursday, December 25, Friday, December 26, and Thursday, January 1.

Racing Champions Guideline

Official guidelines for selecting AQHA Racing Champions.

The AQHA Racing Champions and AQHA Racing World Champion will be awarded annually by written ballot of a geographically diverse Champions Selection Subcommittee. Geographically diverse will be defined as no more than four members may reside in the same state or province. Only two of those members can be elected by the Racing Committee and two appointed by the Racing Council.  

Committee Members:
1.    Eleven Racing Committee members elected by the Racing Committee.
2.    Ten AQHA Members (who may or may not be Racing Committee members) appointed by the Racing Council.
3.    The Champions Selection Committee will be comprised of  21 members:
a.    11 to be elected by the Racing Committee that are members of the AQHA Racing Committee
b.    10 to be elected by the Racing Council that are AQHA members at large.  
c.    The Champions Selection committee will be elected at the annual AQHA Convention the year they will serve on the committee.
d.    All terms are 1 year.  
e.    Voting and video review will take place at a location and date TBD each year.
4.    Members of the Champions Selection Committee will be required to sign a code of conduct policy.  

Prior to presenting the final ballot to the Champions Selection Subcommittee, the Racing Committee will be sent a list of horses that could potentially be on the final ballot. They may then nominate any horse they feel merits the recognition and is not automatically place on the ballot.

Once the response date given to the Racing Committee has passed, the Champions Selection ballot will include:
1.    The following categories by current year money earned
a.    Top 10 two-year-old colts
b.    Top 10 two-year-old fillies
c.    Top 10 two-year-old geldings
d.    Top 6 three-year-old colts
e.    Top 6 three-year-old fillies
f.    Top 6 three-year-old geldings
g.    Top 5 aged stallions
h.    Top 5 aged mares
i.    Top 5 aged geldings
j.    Top 5 distance horses (Based only on performances at distances of 550 yards or longer.)
2.    Horses earning a Grade 1 open stakes win.
3.    Any other horse or human nominated by a member of the Racing Committee
4.    Effective with the 2013 Champions should a champion receive a positive test resulting in a disqualification for use of a class I or class II or nontherapeutic approved medication, any award will be stripped and the category(s) affected will not be awarded for that particular year.

5.    The Canadian provincial racing Quarter Horse associations and the Mexican Quarter Horse Association have asked that the Racing Committee handle the selection criteria and voting process for determining the yearly Canadian and Mexican Champion. Therefore, the top 10 money earning Canada foaled and Mexico foaled racing American Quarter Horses that competed primarily in Canada or Mexico respectively will be placed on the ballot.

6.    Winner of the Bank of America South America race will be named the Champion South American horse until there are more AQHA approved races in South America.

7.    Owner, Breeder, Trainer and Jockey of the year will be awarded annually also by written ballot of the Champions Selection Subcommittee. The ten top ranked individuals with the best overall placing according to money earned, races won and graded stakes performance will be placed on the ballot. Money earned in partnerships should be divided equally amongst each named partner on AQHA papers in regards to Breeder and Owner champion awards as of time of ownership.

8.    The Champions Selection Committee has the ability to award a special recognition award to breeder, owner, trainer or jockey, if warranted. 

9.    Data provided be on one page per horse in an expanded past performance layout with graded stakes and corresponding fields.

Voters will be instructed to vote for only one horse or individual in each category. From their selection by age and sex, they will be asked to select divisional champions; those being champion two-year-old, champion three-year-old and champion aged horse.

They will also be instructed to select the overall World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse from their choices for the three age divisional champions. Only this horse will carry the title of World Champion. This title will be defined as the horse that would win a theoretical 440 yard race against other divisional champions.

If no one earns a majority of votes, run-off elections will be held until one horse receives a majority of votes cast.

The voting of each Champions Selection committee member will be made public after the announcement of the champions.  The voting will be published on AQHA’s Web site and in the press release announcing the champions.

The Racing Council can appoint a replacement for anyone who is unable to vote.

How the Voting meeting will happen:
1.    All 21 members will meet in the location chosen.
2.    Voting information will be sent prior to the meeting to allow as much time as possible to review the information.
3.    Members also will be encouraged to review all races thru the Q-Racing Video archives.
4.    If the number of abstentions results in an even number of voters then one name will be drawn to sit out so the number always voting is an odd number.  Example – if 1 of the 21 abstain, a second name will be drawn so there are 19 voters.
5.    Voting and discussion will take place in the following order:
a.    2-year-old colts – discussion and vote
b.    2-year-old geldings – discussion and vote
c.    2-year-old fillies – discussion and vote
d.    2-year-old champion – vote
e.    Tabulate votes and decide any ties/runoffs
f.    3-year-old colts – discussion and vote
g.    3-year-old geldings – discussion and vote
h.    3-year-old fillies – discussion and vote
i.    3-year-old champion – vote
j.    Tabulate votes and decide any ties/runoffs
k.    Aged stallions – discussion and vote
l.    Aged geldings – discussion and vote
m.    Aged mares – discussion and vote
n.    Aged Champion – vote
o.    Tabulate votes and decide any ties/runoffs
p.    World Champion - vote
q.    Jockey – discussion and vote
r.    Trainer – discussion and vote
s.    Owner – discussion and vote
t.    Breeder – discussion and vote
u.    Distance – discussion and vote
v.    Mexican – discussion and vote
w.    Canadian – discussion and vote

No results of any vote will be given to the committee.  In the event of ties/runoffs only the people who voted for a horse(s) not involved in the tie/runoff will be allowed to discuss and vote.