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Leveling Program

The AQHA leveling program groups horses and riders with their peers of similar experience and points earned.

The aim of the AQHA leveling program is to level the playing field, with the overall goal being to get more new people involved in showing their American Quarter Horses and drive the showing market in a strong direction.

Levels are formulated from an objective handicapping system that assigns exhibitors and horses to competition levels. That handicapping system is based on real data from AQHA shows.

Level eligibility is based on both points and awards earned. Level point ranges are designed to group horses and riders with their peers of similar experience and points earned.

How Leveling Works
Classes are leveled based on exhibitor or horse records. Level eligibility is based on both points and awards earned.

  • Leveled by exhibitor record: youth, amateur, Select amateur, halter and cattle classes
  • Leveled by horse record: open division classes (excluding halter and cattle events)

Find Your Level for 2014
Use the online level verification system to find your level or your horse’s level for 2014.

Need Help Finding Your Level?
Follow this helpful how-to for help with finding your level.

How Level Eligibility is Determined
Find out what goes into determining level eligibility.

2014 Leveling Rules
See the rule changes that will go into effect January 1, 2014.

2013-2015 Level Point Ranges
View the 2013-2015 level point ranges. Per the 2014 rule changes, level point ranges will remain static for a three-year period, meaning the level point ranges will remain the same 2013 to 2014 to 2015.

Definition of Experience  2013 Level Names  2014 Level Names 
Most highly accomplished – exhibitor  Open  Level 3
Most highly accomplished – horse  Open  Level 3
Moderately accomplished – exhibitor  Intermediate  Level 2
Moderately accomplished – horse  Progressive  Level 2
Minimally accomplished – exhibitor  Novice  Level 1
Minimally accomplished – horse   Green  Level 1
Beginner to few accomplishments – exhibitor  Rookie  Rookie
Beginner to few accomplishments – horse Rookie Rookie