Arizona Fall Championship Results and Candids

Not even a monsoon could dampen the excitement of more than 6,500 AQHA entries at the September 24-28 show in Scottsdale.

Arizona Fall Championship / The American Quarter Horse Journal

(Credit: Shane Rux photo courtesy of AzQHA) Scroll down to see more photos from the Arizona Fall Championship shared by AQHA exhibitors.

The second Arizona Fall Championship ushered in five days of high-level AQHA and National Snaffle Bit Association competition at the WestWorld equestrian complex September 24-28 in Scottsdale. 

With its all-inclusive $375 fee, exhibitors took advantage of entering as many classes as they wanted. More than 6,500 AQHA entries were tallied, and another 680 entries in NSBA. AQHA Leveling saw wide interest, with Level 2 and 3 classes well attended. Despite the numbers, the schedule worked out great, with only one evening going until 9 p.m. Otherwise, people were able to show, be done and enjoy the company of friends. Huge numbers showed in trail, but two ourses were laid out in the arena so that different divisions could run simultaneously. Show management planned for an early wrap-up on Sunday, allowing exhibitors to be on the road by mid-afternoon. 

Arizona in September can be a little warm, so the air conditioning in WestWorld’s indoor Equidome was a welcome place to not only show, but to hang out and shop the vendor booths. Outdoors, covered arenas provided plenty of shade for both exhibiting and warming up. Folks not accustomed to Arizona’s occasionally wacky monsoon weather got an eye full (and a bucket full) when a news-making thunderstorm drifted over. Rain and wind caused some excitement, but there was no damage done, and the show continued dry, under cover. 

This is a championship show, so presentations were made center-ring with a good deal of fanfare for most all the classes. However, since western riding and trail ran in blocks, those awards were announced at the end of the day. Show producer Doug Huls said that they are already working on systems to alleviate that for next year. All the champions were presented with an embroidered leather jacket, while outerwear embossed with the Arizona Fall Championship logo was given to all those who placed second through fifth. Vendor Bucks were distributed through sixth place for exhibitors to indulge themselves on items from the show’s vendors. The all-around winners took home full quill ostrich boots from Rod Patrick and Woods Western, a 20X Atwood hat from Barbara’s Custom Hats, a Cinch/Cruel Girl shirt, and Cinch/Cruel Girl jeans from Cinch. All totaled, $20,000 in cash was also distributed, requiring no additional entry fees or deadlines. 

One didn’t have to place well in the ring to be a winner. Chris Jeter stepped out of his usual judge’s chair to serve as the show’s give-away coordinator. He had great fun roaming the arenas initiating fun games, trivia contests and even challenged the Select amateur pleasure riders to a dance competition for a pair of Woods Western chaps. Lucky winners took home prizes such as gift certificates from Kim’s Show Apparel, Western Styles and Show Me Again, along with some Cave Creek Cowboy Jeans and a pair of Boulet boots. 

Comments heard ‘round the rings and posted on social media praised the show for being well run. If you are looking for a fun show that offers great prizes in an ideal setting, then the Arizona Fall Championship is probably one you should put on your calendar for next year. A complete list of placings and championship winners can be found at www.azfallchampionship.com/results.

Do you have news about your weekend show or circuit event? Contact AQHA Internet Editor Tara Matsler at tmatsler@aqha.org to have your show highlighted on AQHA.com's Showing page.