angle-left Before You Show

Before You Show

Make sure you have the right documents in hand when you head to a horse show.

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By Larri Jo Starkey for the Journal

At last! You’re prepared for the big show. You know all there is to know about showing American Quarter Horses. You and your horse have practiced all of the maneuvers. You’ve cleaned his tack and starched your jeans. All that’s left to do is load and go. Right? Not so fast. 

Exhibitors can really streamline their time in a show office if they have these items with them.

Your horse’s documents. As you’re loading your horse into the trailer, remember that he’ll need health papers, a recent Coggins test and any other documents required by the states you’ll be traveling through. Requirements vary from state to state. The horse show facility should have a current list. And don’t forget your horse’s AQHA registration certificate. If you plan to show your horse in performance halter, take along a copy of his Register of Merit certificate. 

Your own papers. You’ll need your membership card to compete at a horse show. If you’re an amateur, make sure you bring along the card that shows your amateur status. Exhibitors are responsible for knowing their own eligibility, so if you’re Level 1- or 2-eligible, print out your report from and take a copy to the show office. And you’re going to need a checkbook or credit card to pay in full when you check out of the show. 

Other papers. Many shows have room for you to show up without a stall reservation – but others can only accommodate those horses with stall reservations. Bring a copy of your reservations if you made those in advance. Many shows are offering more resources online: Exhibitors can submit entries, reserve stalls and request shavings, plus look up patterns.