Fall Championship Season Awards Millions to American Quarter Horse Owners

American Quarter Horses have the opportunity to earn part of a $29 million payout in some of the industry’s largest and most prestigious competitions this fall.

The American Quarter Horse Association

Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games, AQHA World Championship Show and NRHA Futurity, the fall championship season is a lucrative time for reining horses and their owners. (Credit: Journal)

Many people know how much fun it is to show an American Quarter Horse but what you might not know is that each fall is championship season for owners whose passion is showing, racing and rodeo competition. In addition to seeing the world’s best American Quarter Horses in action, the fall championship season also awards some $29 million to owners, making this time of the year a lucrative one for the breed.

Championship season typically kicks off each August with the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show. There, hundreds of the world’s toughest AQHYA members from 9 countries compete not for money but the chance to earn one of 35 coveted world championship titles.

Following the Ford Youth World, AQHA’s top riders over 50 years old converged on Amarillo for AQHA’s Adequan Select World Championship Show and the opportunity grab a share of the more than $535,000 in cash and prizes and 44 world championship titles.

For racing owners and fans, Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico is the place to be for Labor Day Weekend, where the All American Futurity and the All American Derby brought the opportunity for a $2.6 million and $2 million payout, respectively.
The European Championship of American Quarter Horses is also an annual stop during championship season, giving European owners the chance to grab a continental title at the event held in Kreuth, Germany, just outside Munich.

This year, the eyes of the equine world focused sharply on Normandy, France, for the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games. The event, held every four years, brings the finest horses from 60 nations together to compete for world titles in eight disciplines. American Quarter Horses are featured predominantly on this world stage, taking home top honors in both team and individual reining competition. The 2018 World Equestrian Games will be held in the United States’ neighboring country when Bromont/Montreal, Canada, hosts the next renewal.

The next big-money championship events are:  

  • All American Quarter Horse Congress, October 2-26 in Columbus, Ohio - $570,000
  • United States Team Penning Association National Finals, October 6-12 in Fort Worth, Texas - $130,000
  • Cowboy Mounted Shooting World Championships, October 15-18 in Amarillo - $77,000
  • Bank of America Challenge Championships, October 17-18 at Prairie Meadows in Iowa - $1 million
  • United States Team Roping Championships National Finals of Team Roping, October 25-November 2 in Oklahoma City - $6 million 
  • Los Alamitos Super Derby, November 1 in Los Alamitos, California - $1 million
  • Golden State Million Futurity, November 2, in Los Alamitos, California - $1 million
  • World Championship Ranch Rodeo, November 6-9 in Amarillo – estimated over $100,000
  • AQHA World Championship Show, November 7-22 in Oklahoma City - $2.4 million
  • Texas Classic Derby, November 15 in Grand Prairie, Texas - $400,000
  • Texas Classic Futurity, November 15 in Grand Prairie, Texas - $1 million
  • National Reining Horse Association Futurity, November 28- December 6 in Oklahoma City - $2.3 million 
  • National Cutting Horse Association World Championship Futurity, November 20-December 13 in Fort Worth, Texas - $4 million
  • Barrel Futurities of America World Championships, December 8-13 in Oklahoma City – estimated $1 million
  • Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, December 4-13 in Las Vegas – over $5 million
  • Champion of Champions, December 13 in Los Alamitos, California - $600,000
  • Los Alamitos $2 Million Futurity, December 14 in Los Alamitos, California - $2 million
  • Championship at Sunland, December 29 in Sunland Park, New Mexico - $350,000

The All American Quarter Horse Congress, the world’s largest gathering of American Quarter Horses, will award more than $570,000 in cash prizes to the top exhibitors who compete in Masters, National Reining Horse and National Snaffle Bit association classes alone.

The Bank of America Challenge Championships offers owners of racing American Quarter Horse racehorses the chance to win more than $1 million. The Bank of America Racing Challenge annually awards more than $5.5 million, including the championship night, to owners of racing American Quarter Horses in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and South America.

There’s no question the preferred breed of team ropers is an American Quarter Horse and each year American Quarter Horses pilot ropers in the United States Team Roping Championships National Finals of Team Roping to their chance to earn a share of the $1 million guaranteed purse.

Of course, the dream of many who own American Quarter Horses is the chance to earn an AQHA world championship title. The 2014 AQHA World Championship Show will crown 98 new world champions, plus offer more than $2.4 million in cash and prizes. Other disciplines may have a world event, but there is only one world championship show for American Quarter Horses – the AQHA World Championship Show.  

The National Reining Horse Association and National Cutting Horse Association futurities bring the opportunity for horses and riders in specialized events to take home top honors as well as prize money in November and December. The NRHA Futurity is November 28- December 6 in Oklahoma City and will offer up more than $2.3 million. The NCHA World Championship Futurity is slated for November 20- December 13 in Fort Worth, Texas, and will bring the opportunity to win more than $4 million.  
The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is the season-ending championship event for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. American Quarter Horses carry cowboys and cowgirls to championship titles in steer wrestling, team roping (headers and heelers), tie-down roping and barrel racing. The event also features bull riding, saddle bronc riding and bareback riding. The event is expected to offer more than $6 million in prize money.
Los Alamitos Race Course is the place to be the weekend of December 13-14 when the Southern California oval brings together the finest racing American Quarter Horses for the annual Champion of Champions with its $600,000 purse and the Los Alamitos $2 Million Futurity.

Stay up to date with the news and results from these championship events at www.aqha.com/showing and follow @AQHAJournal on Twitter for updates as the shows progress throughout the remainder of the year.    

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