AQHA and the OKC Fairgrounds Extend Long-term Partnership

AQHA and the OKC Fairgrounds Extend Long-term Partnership

AQHA and the OKC Fairgrounds announce an extended partnership to host premier world championship events for the equine industry.

A rider walks into an entryway with a light up sign saying gateway of champions.

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The American Quarter Horse Association and the OKC Fairgrounds have agreed to a 10-year contract covering 2022-2031 to host the AQHYA World Championship Show, presented by Ford; Farnam AQHA World Championship Show; and AQHA Select World Championship Show, presented by Adequan® (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan).  

Oklahoma City has hosted the AQHA World Championship Show since 1976, AQHYA World Championship Show since 2008 and AQHA Select World Championship Show since 2020. The OKC Fairgrounds has also showcased AQHA’s Battle In the Saddle and AQHA Central Level 1 Championships over the years. 

“We are excited to continue our partnership with the OKC Fairgrounds,” said Chad Pierce, AQHA interim executive vice president. “Our partnership spans more than 40 years, and during that time, we have built a strong relationship with Oklahoma City officials and the OKC Fairgrounds staff. Oklahoma State Fair Inc. President & CEO Timothy O’Toole; Vice President, OKC Fairgrounds Events & Operation Bill Allen; and their staff understand the importance of providing an exceptional facility to host our prestigious events each year. Their team works hard to accommodate the needs of our members and their American Quarter Horses. Exhibitors take great pride in entering the Gateway of Champions to compete for top honors and a coveted AQHA gold globe.”

Over the next few years, the OKC Fairgrounds is implementing several facility improvements, including a new coliseum, which will enhance the experience AQHA provides to its members during these world-class events. Since 2005, more than $120 million has been invested in the equine facilities at the OKC Fairgrounds, and they continue to look at ways to enhance the horse show experience for both exhibitors and spectators, alike. 

View the proposed new OKC Fairgrounds Coliseum: The Big House.

“The partnership we have enjoyed with AQHA over the past 40+ years has been extremely beneficial for all concerned,” said O’Toole. “Their Association has been actively involved with the planning and development process for the equine renovations at the OKC Fairgrounds. The City of Oklahoma City, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, and our organization deeply value our long-term partnership with AQHA.”

About AQHA
Founded in 1940, the American Quarter Horse Association is the largest equine breed registry in the world. With headquarters in Amarillo, Texas, AQHA has a membership of more than 226,000 people worldwide and has registered more than 6 million horses. To learn more about AQHA or to become a member, visit

About the OKC Fairgrounds
The OKC Fairgrounds is a 435-acre “21st Century Tourism Destination” that is owned by the City of Oklahoma City and managed through a long-term management agreement by Oklahoma State Fair Inc. The OKC Fairgrounds is home to the annual Oklahoma State Fair, held each September. Learn more at

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