November 3, 2012
By Christine HamiltonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
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Amateur reining prelims at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show (Journal photo)
The top answer to that question, hands down, was “Showing!” as the Journal informally polled random folks on the show grounds. Well, of course. The best American Quarter Horses in the world are gathering to head through that legendary Gateway of Champions.
But there are a lot of new things this year that are ramping excitement up a notch or two. Here were more top answers straight from the World Show barns:
“WCHA Get-of-Sires class for sure” – It’s a family feud! On November 16, the get of 14 stallions will battle it out for whose daddy is top conformation horse sire. Each stallion has a three-horse entry of any sex or age; three judges will preside, with a fourth judge – the World Show audience – getting to text in votes, too. It’s an “American Idol”-style revival of an old-time favorite AQHA class.
“Ranch pleasure” – AQHA’s newest class makes its World Show debut in preliminary goes November 6 and the finals November 8 (after the amateur tie-down and breakaway finals.) With 66 entries, the new class is making a big splash in its first out! Boxing also debuts this year – prelims are November 7 and the finals are November 9.
“That new hunter Derby!” – Specifically, the Huntfield AQHA Derby on November 10. With two goes – including a risky “handy” round – and high and low options to tempt riders to up the ante for bonus points, the popular class is a huge crowd-pleaser. The Journal has been following the series from show to show all year, and we can’t wait to see the finals, especially with a $25,000 purse at stake.
“Seeing people I know that I don’t see but once a year.” OK, so that’s not new to this World Show. But the amateur exhibitor party is November 5 in Barn 3, and it will be a great chance to see old horse-show friends. Of course, don’t forget the Farnam Superhorse Preview and exhibitor party November 11 in Barn 3 that kicks off FedEx Open Week. And who do you think the next Superhorse will be?
strong>“The Horsemanship Challenge.” November 15 is the finals for the first AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge (prelims are November 14). Eight top riders from both Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and National Collegiate Equestrian Association teams will ride off for the top spot, riding horsemanship patterns on borrowed horses. Wear your school colors and cheer on your favorite athletes!
“Freestyle reining is back!” Once a World Show mainstay, freestyle reining returns November 10, sponsored by the National Reining Horse Association. Watch your favorite reiners pull out all the creative stops to wow the crowd and judges, too.
But there’s so much more happening at this year’s World Show – the Cowboy Mounted Shooting demo and AQHA Professional Horseman shoot-out November 3; World Show Sale November 11; Pat Parelli’s performance November 9; charro Daniel Castro’s trick roping performance; Ride the Rail/Ride the Pattern free clinics and more.
Be there! Here’s how:
Better yet, in person – Oklahoma State Fair Park daily general admission is $9, or buy a six-pack (of tickets) for $30. Reminder, you will need an exhibitor badge and/or ticket for the Performance Arena in Barn 6.
Who wouldn’t want to see these magnificent animals in living, full color?