AQHA Moving Level 1 Championships to April, May 2016

AQHA reveals new dates, locations and qualifying information for the 2016 AQHA Level 1 Championships.

American Quarter Horse Association

The American Quarter Horse Association is pleased to announce three locations for the 2016 AQHA Level 1 Championships, all set for the spring of 2016.

The 2016 SmartPak AQHA West Level 1 Championships will return to the South Point Equestrian & Events Center in Las Vegas, April 20-24. The 2016 Nutrena AQHA East Level 1 Championships is slated for May 4-8 at the Governor James B. Hunt Horse Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina, with the newly added 2016 AQHA Central Level 1 Championships April 13-17 at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.

The SmartPak West, AQHA Central and Nutrena East will all offer AQHA’s core and over-fences classes; the AQHA Central will be the only show to offer cattle classes. View the show-by-show class list for 2016.

“AQHA is excited about this announcement, as adding a third location and moving these shows to the spring will provide more convenience for exhibitors, with less travel involved,” said Patti Carter, AQHA director of shows and Professional Horsemen.

For 2016 only, AQHA has also changed the qualifying rules. To be eligible to enter the 2016 Level 1 Championship, an exhibitor must:

  • Be Level 1 eligible in the class they wish to enter as of January 1, 2015.
  • Be an AQHA member at the time of entry and at the time of the 2016 Level 1 Championships.
  • If a competitor graduated out of Level 1 in the 2015 show season, he or she is still invited to enter the event.
  • If you win a Level 1 championship in 2015, you cannot show in that same class at future Level 1 Championships, including the 2016 Level 1 Championships. However, you can still show in that class at AQHA shows (excluding the Level 1 Championships) until you meet the point level. You can still show at the Level 1 Championships in any other class(es) for which you are still Level 1-eligible. Learn more about AQHA Rule SHW245.3 in the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations.

Level 1 eligibility is determined on a class-by-class basis. Exhibitors are encouraged to use the online level verification system at to determine if they are Level 1-eligible in a particular class.

Qualifying for the 2017 AQHA Level 1 Championships will be announced soon. Stay tuned to for more information.

As a proud sponsor of the Nutrena AQHA East 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.

A proud sponsor of the SmartPak West AQHA Level 1 Championships, SmartPak is the official supplement feeding system and joint supplement supplier of AQHA. When you pack for the trail, show or race, make sure you include the patented SmartPak supplement feeding system. AQHA members can save 5 percent on all purchases at SmartPak. Learn more about SmartPak’s products and how to save today!

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