How to Qualify for the 2017 AQHA Level 1 Championships

Exhibitors have several options when it comes to qualifying for the 2017 AQHA Level 1 Championships.

The American Quarter Horse Association

To compete at one of three 2017 American Quarter Horse Association Level 1 Championships, exhibitors have four ways to earn an invitation. Qualifying is already underway, as the qualifying period kicked off January 1, 2016, and continues through December 31.

1. MAINTAIN ELIGIBILITY, THEN ENTER

  • Enter cattle classes before the entry deadline. (No qualification method is necessary for cattle classes.) 

o   Cattle classes will be offered for exhibitors and horses that are eligible for Level 1 as of January 1, 2017. (Note: Cattle classes will only be offered at the AQHA Central Level 1 Championships in Oklahoma City.)

o   Call AQHA Customer Service at 806-376-4811 or visit services3.aqha.com/leveling to verify your eligibility.

  • Enter Rookie classes before the entry deadline. (No qualification method is necessary for Rookie classes.) 

o   Rookie classes will be offered for exhibitors and horses that are eligible for the Rookie level as of January 1, 2017.

o   The horse you intend to bring for the class must also be Rookie eligible.

o   Call AQHA Customer Service at 806-376-4811 or visit services3.aqha.com/leveling to verify your and your horses' Rookie eligibility.

2. QUALIFY NATIONALLY: Show at 20 AQHA-approved shows.

  • Shows will be counted by show numbers on a one-horse, one-rider basis in any class; meaning, the exhibitor can compete in any class level (Rookie, Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3) for qualifying purposes, provided he or she is Level 1-eligible. For questions about how many show numbers a show will count for, competitors should ask the presiding show manager or secretary.   

3. QUALIFY NATIONALLY: Place in the top 10 in any Merial AQHA Regional Championships class.

  • A top-10 placing qualifies the rider on that horse only.
  • If your region does not host a Merial Regional Championships, you can participate in a region that is offering one. For information on participating in another region, visit www.aqha.com/regionalchampionships for the list of 2016 Merial Regionals. Call AQHA Customer Service at 806-376-4811 or log in to AQHA's member services area and order a performance record on the horse you placed with to verify your top-10 placing.
  • Participation in a pointed show held in conjunction with a Merial Regional Championships will count for one of the 20 shows, but will not count for the “regional championships qualifying.”         

4. QUALIFY THROUGH STATE OR PROVINCIAL AFFILIATE

If not nationally qualified, an exhibitor can qualify as an AQHA state/provincial affiliate qualifier.

  • If the exhibitor’s affiliate has a qualifying method, the exhibitor must qualify through their resident state/provincial affiliate.
  • If the exhibitor’s affiliate does not have a qualifying method, the exhibitor must nationally qualify or qualify through another affiliate.

o   To qualify through another affiliate, the exhibitor must be a member in good standing with that affiliate (other than the state/province affiliate you reside in) and be selected by that affiliate as a qualifier. Check with your affiliate on its qualifying method and ask where you stand on their list of qualifiers.

Determining Eligibility

Before you can qualify, first you must determine if you are eligible to compete at the Level 1 Championships. Eligibility is determined on a class-by-class basis. Look up your eligibility or visit www.aqha.com/leveling for more information regarding AQHA leveling.

According to AQHA Rule SHW245.3, if an exhibitor wins a class at a Level 1 Championships, that exhibitor is no longer eligible to compete in that class at any future Level 1 Championships; however, if an exhibitor is Level 1-eligible, the exhibitor can continue to show in that class in any other Level 1 competition. 

Dates and Locations

Exact dates are still being solidified, but it’s certain the 2017 AQHA Level 1 Championships will return in the spring to the following locations:

  • AQHA West Level 1 Championships at the South Point Equestrian & Events Center in Las Vegas
  • Farnam Central Level 1 Championships at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City
  • Nutrena East AQHA Level 1 Championships at the Gov. James B. Hunt Horse Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina

For more information on the Level 1 Championships, visit www.aqha.com/level1championships. 

About the Sponsors

As a proud sponsor of the Farnam Central AQHA Level 1 Championships, Farnam is your partner in horse care, serving both the pleasure-horse and performance-horse markets. Farnam official products include fly control, deworming, leather care, wound care, topical hoof care, and grooming and conditioning products.

As a proud sponsor of the Nutrena East AQHA Level 1 Championships, Nutrena delivers optimum nutrition, exceptional health and world-class performance for your animals. Whether you keep animals around for fun, competition or work, you can trust Nutrena to provide the right nutritional solutions.

Other corporate partner and event sponsors include Adequan® (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan), B&W Trailer Hitches, John Deere, Justin Boots, Merial, Montana Silversmiths, Nutrena, Noble Outfitters, Professional’s Choice, SmartPak and Wrangler.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHAnews on Twitter and visit www.aqha.com/news.