10 Random Facts You Didn't Know About AQHA

10 Random Facts You Didn't Know About AQHA

Learn a few facts about the American Quarter Horse Association, the world's largest equine-breed association.

hall of fame inductees

text size

The American Quarter Horse Journal logo

The American Quarter Horse Association is a very large and complex association. Showing, riding, racing, ranching and breeding are just a few of the segments of the horse industry we tackle on a daily basis. With all of that responsibility and notoriety comes some pretty cool moments in history. Here are some random things that you might not know about AQHA.

1. The Mixer Horse

There are many myths about who the horse on the AQHA logo really is. This legendary painting has been what all horse owners want their American Quarter Horses to look like, but the truth is, it’s not a real horse.

Orren Mixer was commissioned by AQHA to paint the ideal American Quarter Horse. The result is what we commonly refer to as "The Mixer Horse." The truth is that Orren did not use a real horse for the model. With the iconic Mixer Horse painting, he created the “ideal” American Quarter Horse. 

the ideal Quarter Horse, as painted by Orren Mixer

2. Wimpy

Most of us know that Wimpy P-1 received Registration No. 1 but not many know why. The founders of AQHA reserved Registration No. 1 for the stallion who won the Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show (now known as the Fort Worth Livestock Show). That horse was Wimpy, who was bred by the King Ranch. The P-1 stands for Permanent registry.

3. The American Quarter Horse Journal

The Journal is the official AQHA member magazine and every issue is sent to AQHA members. Every issue celebrates the Quarter Horse lifestyle. The Journal has been in publication since September 1948.

4. Quarter Horses in the White House

U.S. presidents have a reputation of having menageries during their time in the White House. In 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower was gifted two Quarter Horses. Doodle De Do and Sporty Miss were the lucky horses who got to live at Pennsylvania Avenue.

5. All American Quarter Horse Congress

The world’s largest single-breed American Quarter Horse show in the world started small. In 1967, the Ohio Quarter Horse Association held its first All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio. The rest is history!


Although it is now known as the American Quarter Horse Youth Association, the American Junior Quarter Horse Association had its first meeting in 1970. With an initial membership of 3,000, it’s safe to say this Association has grown just a tad. Today, more than 17,000 youth worldwide are AQHYA members.

7. AQHA World Championship Show

The AQHA World Show in Oklahoma City is something the Quarter Horse industry looks forward to every year. However, in 1974 when the first AQHA World Show was held, it was quite a bit different from what we’re used to today. For one thing, the first World Show was held in Louisville, Kentucky. It wasn’t moved to Oklahoma City until 1976. There were 692 horses shown in Louisville, representing 40 states and five Canadian provinces. Oh, how it’s grown!

8. All-Time Leading Sires

From 1996 to 2014 (that’s 18 years, people), Zippo Pine Bar held the title of all-time leading sire based on points earned. Invitation Only took that title away from Zippo Pine Bar on October 14, 2014, when Invitation Only passed the 77,061.5-point mark by two and a half points.

9. First AQHA Convention

Seventy-five people met at the Fort Worth Club on March 15, 1940, for the very first AQHA convention, where Bob Denhardt presented a charter that was modeled after the National Horse and Mule Association. Everything has to start somewhere, right?

10. More American Quarter Horses live in Texas than anywhere else in the  world.

Currently, there are more than 413,000 American Quarter Horses that live in Texas. To put that into perspective, the combined total of internationally owned American Quarter Horses is about 415,000 – including the 242,000 horses that are in Canada.