angle-left Attention Prospective Judges

Attention Prospective Judges

AQHA is seeking ambitious horsemen and -women with judging knowledge and experience to test for their AQHA Level 1 judge’s card.

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Are you a former collegiate judge or someone who has always been interested in judging AQHA classes? The American Quarter Horse Association is seeking qualified applicants to test for their AQHA Level 1 judge’s card.

AQHA judges are held to the highest quality of standards and charged with improving the quality and welfare of horses in AQHA-approved competition. Applying for an AQHA Level 1 judge’s card begins the process to becoming an AQHA all-around judge and contributing to the American Quarter Horse industry.

Upon approval, applicants can expect to:

  • Receive certification to judge not only AQHA Level 1 shows, but also AQHA speed events and AQHA Equestrians With Disabilities classes.
  • Become a part of the judges continuing education program, granting access to educational materials to remain up to date on current rules and guidelines for judging AQHA events.
  • Create opportunities to judge Interscholastic Equestrian Association, Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, National Collegiate Equestrian Association, 4-H and open shows that require AQHA judges credentials.
  • Be a member of one of the world’s most prestigious judging programs.
  • Network with valuable contacts, such as other AQHA judges and members of the AQHA Judges’ Committee.

Interested candidates who are at least 21 years of age can apply by: 

  1. Submitting a Specialized Judge Application by May 15. 
  2. Taking the online test between June 1 and 14 at the AQHA Judges Education and Testing website,
  3. Participating in a Skype interview on June 6 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Central or June 7 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Central. Once you have submitted your application, you will be contacted to set up your interview time.

Enroll in AQHUniversity at the AQHA Judges Education and Testing website and study the following classes on which you will be tested: halter, showmanship, horsemanship, hunt seat equitation, reining, western riding, ranch riding, trail and working hunter.

The fee to enroll in AQHU is $250 and covers the testing fee for Level 1 judges in addition to the sites’ other resources for the remainder of 2019. This includes show management workshops, ring steward education, show steward education, certification information and additional testing.

For additional information, contact Shelly Spears at