AQHA Show Department Furthers its Education

AQHA shows and customer service personnel received hands-on training July 27-30 during an AQHA-approved circuit show in Amarillo.

The American Quarter Horse Association

AQHA is proud to provide its team with onsite training and educational opportunities. (Journal photo)

To provide better service to its members, the American Quarter Horse Association Show Department and Customer Service staff spent a weekend at the Panhandle Golden Spread Boom Circuit Quarter Horse Show in Amarillo participating in training and receiving onsite show education. Trainees were able to observe various aspects of the show while receiving educational material from AQHA Manager of Shows Justin Billings, Manager of Professional Horsemen and Team Wrangler Karen McCuistion, Senior Director of Judges Patti Carter and Director of Shows and New Events Charlie Hemphill.

“This training includes the opportunity to share the behind-the-scenes aspect of what their work in the office is contributing to first-hand,” said Pete Kyle, AQHA chief show officer. “It is important for all of our employees to fully understand and visualize the show industry, whether they have a showing background or not. AQHA has more than 250 employees and a good portion of those individuals only have minimal experience with horses. Therefore, we want to provide our employees with knowledge to fulfill the needs of our members.”

AQHA employees were able to take part in the following onsite training opportunities:

  • Walking the barns and warm-up areas to see what preparations are made prior to a class
  • Listening to the show’s office staff explain the check-in process: how to enter classes, produce working orders, process results and close out.
  • Observing classes while staff explained the class: what was happening, what the judge is looking for and what the exhibitor should be doing
  • Meeting with Orin Barnes, AQHA show steward, about what responsibilities stewards have at shows.

“Participants were truly interested in learning more about the show side of our industry and better understanding our members’ needs,” said McCuistion. “They asked insightful questions, and we had some good discussions about equipment rules, judging procedures and the requirements of various classes.”

AQHA is proud to provide its team with onsite training and educational opportunities to better bridge the gap between personnel at AQHA Headquarters and its members competing in the equine industry. The Association will also train employees at the AQHA Select World Championship Show, presented by Adequan® (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan), August  25 - September 2 at the Tri-State Fairgrounds in Amarillo.

For more information on AQHA shows, visit

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