AQHA Show Management Guidelines
The success of a horse show can be measured in many ways and can be
attained by a variety of methods. No single formula guarantees success,
and in most matters there is no "right" or "wrong" approach. AQHA's Show
Management Guidelines are largely suggestions gathered from a number of
successful - and a few not so successful - shows over the many years.
No single show follows all these practices, and few show managers
would agree with all of them. The ideas are not "rules" of AQHA or any
other association unless so noted. There are obviously as many ways to
organize horse shows as there are managers and secretaries. Our goal is
to work toward better shows for we feel that serves the interest of all
of us – spectators, exhibitors, show sponsors and committees. While the
guides are pointed primarily at shows approved by AQHA, we think most
apply equally to open, 4-H and combined shows as well as those for most
For more than 69 years, the AQHA has demonstrated proven policies for
safeguarding the welfare of all American Quarter Horses. AQHA actively
protects the American Quarter Horse by establishing and strictly
enforcing rules which govern every AQHA approved event to reflect the
natural ability of the animal. As evidenced by the Association's Statement of Position on Animal Welfare and Event Guidelines.
AQHA wants to help make your next AQHA-approved show a great one. Access the tools you need for a successful show, and contact us if you need any help.
Show Management Forms
Come with AQHA as we move into greener pastures! Part of this movement is to give you, Show Management, the ability to print show forms as needed. No more having to contact AQHA for those simple forms they are now here for your convenience.
Show Approval Fees 2013 Event Totals 2014 Event Totals Show Approval Application
January 1, 2013 arrived with new show approval fees. AQHA has not had an increase in fees since 1997 and rather than a flat fee, which has been the protocol since the fee's inception, approval fees will now be based on the number of entries by event code. As AQHA moves into Leveling the need for new class codes was evident.
Please make yourself familiar with these new numbers.
2009 - 2014 Certified Show Management
Do you need to find a show manager or secretary that have attended an AQHA Show Management Workshop? Now you can use this handy listing for just that. AQHA will update the listing after each Workshop. Check to see if the next management workshop will be in your area.
Show Approval and Publication Chart
2012-2016 Priority Date Calendars and publication deadlines will help you and your management with show planning. With this at your fingertips you will be able to have your Show Application to AQHA with time to spare.
2013 Top 10 Circuits 2013-2014 Show Leases 2014-2016 Show Leases
Please keep in mind that the top 10 circuits, from the previous show year, are required to accept permits for Novice riders who are showing horses that are not owned by an immediate family member or on a showing lease. Novice eligibility requires that the exhibitor verify that in the previous 3 years they have not earned a reserve world, national or reserve national championship title (per class) with an equine organization or association with a membership of more than 7,500 members. Check here to see AQHA's recognized equine organizations or associations membership numbers.
Judges List Print Judge List Professional Horsemen
AQHA's Judges List includes the current rating for all AQHA judges. Any show with less than 350 exhibitors qualify for progressive judges. When you access the Judges List, be sure to indicate "progressive" in the Type drop box before searching.
Download these printer-friendly versions of AQHA patterns, including ranch horse pleasure, reining, working cow horse, western riding and working ranch horse.
Show Results Upload Guide
Show management have the option of using the AQHA show upload to process their show results. Please take a moment to review the guide and make using the upload a bit smoother. A plus to using the upload is your exhibitors are able to see your unofficial results as soon as you mark your show complete!
Show Promotion Kit
Download the mail-in order form and select specific brochures and posters that may be the most effective for your event. Remember that normal processing time is at least four weeks, or up to eight weeks internationally, so please submit this order form well in advance of your event.
Trophies, medallions, plaques, ribbons, gift boxes – You name it Awards Recognition Concepts (ARC) has it. ARC is the official awards provider of the American Quarter Horse Association. ARC creates a variety of trophies, plaques, notebooks, tack and other awards specially designed for winners of American Quarter Horse shows and events. They also create custom pieces by order. Download the catalog and order form here.
USEF/USDF and AQHA have come together to allow Quarter Horse's showing in Dressage the opportunity to earn AQHA points! Beginning in 2010, Dressage began being offered through USEF/USDF licensed competitions holding an AQHA class held within the existing class.
In 2012, AQHA began recognizing levels of dressage competition starting with Training Level, continuing through First Level, Second Level, Third Level, Fourth Level, FEI Prix St. George, FEI Intermediate I, FEI Intermediate II, and FEI Grand Prix. Freestyle is not recognized.
Here are some great resources: Fact Sheet, FAQ's, Exhibitor Facts, Show Management Facts, AQHA Dressage Approval Application, Dressage Competition License
AQHA Member Suspension List
Learn more about acceptable training equipment and practices at AQHA-approved shows, plus the policies, fines and penalties in place regarding these rules.
Multiple Horses Exhibited Rule
Read up on the rules regarding multiple horses exhibited in performance classes.
Q-Ribbon Newsletter Archives
Read AQHA's Show Management monthly newsletter releases.
Get the inside scoop with Straight Talk, a blog brought to you by AQHA Executive Director of Shows Patti Carter-Pratt.
See more AQHA Partner benefits
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American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104