National Day of the Cowboy

Save the date for Amarillo’s celebration of National Day of the Cowboy on July 23 at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum.

American Quarter Horse Association

Join AQHA July 23 for the National Day of the Cowboy. (Journal photo)

The National Day of the Cowboy is an event that is celebrated around the country, including right here in Amarillo. Local groups have joined forces to teach, entertain and celebrate the 6th annual National Day of the Cowboy with the public. The celebration takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 23 at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum. This free event will provide entertainment for the whole family.

A highlight of the event will be the chance to ride an American Quarter Horse. This event has given over 1000 children in the last 5 years the opportunity to experience their first ride on an American Quarter Horse. This year’s test rides are part of a national Time to Ride marketing initiative by the American Horse Council called the 100-Day Horse Challenge. The goal of the Challenge is to increase awareness of the benefits of horse activities across the United States by aiming to engage at least 100,000 new people with an introductory horse experience.

In addition to the Hall of Fame, local partners include the Amarillo Public Library, country music station 97.9 KGNC FM, Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, Center City, Southwest Cowboy Poet Society and the Amarillo Convention & Visitors Council. These partners are excited to participate by leading activity amidst the fun planned by the Hall of Fame. Visitors can look forward to these activities and events during the celebration:

  • Barrel racing on the lawn from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Ride an American Quarter Horse between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sign-up starts at 10 a.m.
  • Listen as employees of the Amarillo Public Library read children stories about cowboys at the Museum, with readings at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • Make your own stick pony or cowboy trail mix
  • Listen to cowgirl and cowboy poetry with the Southwest Cowboy Poet Society at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.
  • Employees from the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum will show young visitors how to create their own brand from noon to 2 p.m. Panhandle Plains Historical Museum Director Curator of Art and Western Heritage, Michael Grauer is also a historic interpreter and he will become a 1890’s cowboy and teach visitors about the real west.
  •  Meet the horses and actors from the TEXAS outdoor musical
  • Take a tour of the Hall of Fame & Museum
  • Explore the Bold & Beautiful: Trailblazing Women of the American Quarter Horse exhibit
  • Make your mark on a Center City stallion statue

Everyone is welcome to come learn more about American cowboys and their trusty mounts, American Quarter Horses. Thanks in part to our underwriters, Plastilite and Ford, there is no admission fee, and free food and drinks will be provided as long as supplies last.

The National Day of the Cowboy campaign was founded in 2004 to preserve, protect and promote the cowboy and our Western heritage. The campaign lobbies for the passage of the national resolution designating the fourth Saturday of every July a permanent celebration on the national calendar. The campaign believes in honoring cowboys and cowgirls for their enduring contribution and their courageous, pioneering American spirit. For more information on the scope of this day as a national event, go to

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