Excitement Builds for #QHCongress2014

Here's what exhibitors and spectators are saying about the start of the 2014 All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Amy Engelskirger snapped this smartphone pic Thursday morning and said, "7:30 a.m. longe pen to ourselves. This will never happen again." (Credit: @glamorousthreads on Instagram) Scroll down to see more photos, plus videos from #QHCongress2014.

Right now, the eyes of the American Quarter Horse show industry are trained on Columbus, Ohio, through October 26. It's All American Quarter Horse Congress time.

For youth competitors, this is their last big hurrah for the year, either a chance at redemption or the capping off of success seen at the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show and AQHA Level 1 (Novice) Championships.

On the amateur and open side of the horse-show equation, exhibitors are testing their mettle before the end-all be-all AQHA World Championship Show, which runs November 7-22 in Oklahoma City.

Managed and produced by the Ohio Quarter Horse Association, the Congress is known as the world’s largest single-breed horse show, boasting more than 17,000 entries annually and housing nearly 6,000 registered American Quarter Horses during its three-week duration.

Clearly, exhibitors and spectators have a lot to be excited for when it comes to Congress. As Carol Lease put it on Twitter, "The Congress is here! Not those slackers in D.C. The All American Quarter Horse Congress." And Leah Maguire dubbed the show #OctoberfestForHorsePeople. 

Here's a look at how AQHA exhibitors and spectators have been celebrating the start of #QHCongress2014.