AQHYA World Championship Show 2014
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July 31-August 8, 2015, Oklahoma City

Journal at the World

August 4, 2012

Big Classes

Big classes fill the arena at the 2012 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.

By Larri Jo Starkey
The American Quarter Horse Journal

first split of performance halter geldings class August 3 at the 2012 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show

The first split of performance halter geldings fills up the Jim Norick Coliseum on August 3 at the 2012 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show. (Larri Jo Starkey photo)

The first few days at the 2012 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show have been filled with big classes.

Really big classes.

Performance halter geldings with 66 entries was divided into two splits August 3. The top 15 in each split returned for the finals, which was won by Rachel Kolb of Lebanon, Ohio, and Remarkable Can.

Rachel says the split – unusual for halter competition – didn’t bother her.

“It wasn’t that big of a deal,” she says of showing her horse in the second split and then returning for the finals. “Just walking out and walking back in, I didn’t have as much time to get nervous, so that was probably good for me.”

The horsemanship preliminaries August 4 had a whopping 188 entries. On August 5, the trail preliminaries are expected to have 159 entries, and the western pleasure preliminaries on August 6 will have 116 entries.

But the biggest class of the show is showmanship, with 196 expected to compete.

To adjust, a shootout is planned for trail, while showmanship and horsemanship will have semifinals. Western pleasure will be run in splits.

Shootouts are for scored classes with more than 80 entries. The top 15 plus ties will return to the finals. The next 15 horses, including ties, perform again immediately, and the top five horses of that group will return for the finals.

Semifinals are for classes where the exhibitor is judged, such as showmanship, horsemanship, equitation on the flat and equitation over fences, if the class has more than 100 entries. In that case, the class is split in half and the top 15 from each section return for a semifinal.

But Alex Ross, AQHA senior director of judges, told the crowd at the AQHA Town Hall Meeting on August 2 that no matter how big the class is, each exhibitor will get a good look from the judges.

"We want everyone to have a fair chance," he said.