Learn more about AQHA's non-pro showing division.

Smiling faces at the 2013 American Quarter Horse owners who do not join the professional ranks may enjoy a full spectrum of competition in the amateur division.

How It Works

Within the amateur division are levels: Rookie, Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3.

To learn more about these levels, determine your specific level and find out how the levels group riders with similar skill and experience levels for competition, visit www.aqha.com/leveling.


You may obtain an amateur membership if you have not shown, judged, trained or assisted in training a horse (whether or not a registered American Quarter Horse) for remuneration, monetary or otherwise, either directly or indirectly, nor received remuneration for instructing another person in riding, driving, training or showing a horse for five calendar years previous to application for amateur membership. 

Amateurs must exhibit a horse in their ownership or in the ownership of someone directly related to them, such as:

  • Spouse
  • Child
  • Stepchild
  • Parent
  • Stepparent
  • Sibling
  • Half-Sibling
  • Step Sibling
  • Sibling's Child
  • Spouse's Parent
  • Spouse's Stepparent
  • Sibling's Spouse
  • Half-Sibling's Spouse
  • Grandparents
  • Legal Ward
  • Legal Guardian

Separate legal entities, such as family corporations, trusts or partnerships are also authorized owners of the amateur exhibitor's horse so long as all legal and equitable owners and beneficiaries of the legal entity are individuals specifically authorized by this rule.

The relationship of the amateur to the owner of the participating horse must be evidenced by submitting legal documentation (i.e., copies of marriage and/or birth certificates) to AQHA's Show Department.  Every person competing in an Amateur class at any AQHA approved show must hold an amateur membership and be 19 years of age or older on or before January 1 of the current year.

Select Amateur
AQHA-approved shows may offer any amateur performance classes as all-ages and 50-and-over. The Select amateur classes, for amateur exhibitors 50 and over, are designed to provide an avenue of competition for our more mature amateur exhibitors and are becoming some of the most popular classes.

An amateur may begin competing in the Select classes on the day that they turn 50 years of age.

The Adequan Select World Championship Show is dedicated solely to exhibitors 50 years and over who have qualified for the event. Exhibitors 70 and over, known as Super-Selects, are recognized in event class at the Adequan Select World for their achievements.