Qualifying

Find out how to qualify for the AQHA Level 1 Championships.

Before you can qualify, first you must determine if you are eligible to compete at the Level 1 Championships.

  • Eligibility is determined on the class-by-class basis (i.e. you may be eligible for some classes but not others).
  • Visit services3.aqha.com/leveling to look up your eligibility, or www.aqha.com/leveling for more information regarding AQHA’s leveling program.

NOTE: "If an exhibitor wins a class at a Level 1 Championship, he/she is no longer eligible to compete in that class at any future Level 1 Championship; however, if an exhibitor is Level 1-eligible, he/she may continue to show in that class in any other Level 1 competition." (AQHA Rule SHW245.3)

How to Qualify (2018)

To compete at one of three 2018 American Quarter Horse Association Level 1 Championships, exhibitors have four ways to earn an invitation. Qualifying is January 1 through December 31, 2017. 

1. MAINTAIN ELIGIBILITY, THEN ENTER

  • Enter cattle and yearling halter classes before the entry deadline. (No qualification method is necessary for cattle classes.) 

o   Cattle classes will be offered for exhibitors and horses that are eligible for Level 1 as of January 1, 2018. (Note: Cattle classes will only be offered at the AQHA Central Level 1 Championships in Oklahoma City.)

o   Call AQHA Customer Service at 806-376-4811 or visit services3.aqha.com/leveling to verify your eligibility.

  • Enter Rookie classes before the entry deadline. (No qualification method is necessary for Rookie classes.) 

o   Rookie classes will be offered for exhibitors and horses that are eligible for the Rookie level as of January 1, 2018, for the AQHA West, Farnam Central or Nutrena East Level 1 Championships.

o   The horse you intend to bring for the class must also be Rookie eligible.

o   Call AQHA Customer Service at 806-376-4811 or visit services3.aqha.com/leveling to verify your and your horses' Rookie eligibility.

2. QUALIFY NATIONALLY: Show at 20 AQHA-approved shows.

  • Shows will be counted by show numbers on a one-horse, one-rider basis in any class; meaning, the exhibitor can compete in any class level (Rookie, Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3) for qualifying purposes, provided he or she is Level 1-eligible. For questions about how many show numbers a show will count for, competitors should ask the presiding show manager or secretary.    

3. QUALIFY NATIONALLY: Place in the top 10 in any Merial AQHA Regional Championships class.

  • A top-10 placing qualifies the rider on that horse only.
  • If your region does not host a Merial Regional Championships, you can participate in a region that is offering one. For information on participating in another region, visit www.aqha.com/regionalchampionships for the list of 2017 Merial Regionals. After you compete at a Merial Regional Championships, call AQHA Customer Service at 806-376-4811 or log in to AQHA's member services area and order a performance record on the horse you placed with to verify your top-10 placing.
  • Participation in a pointed show held in conjunction with a Merial Regional Championships will count for one of the 20 shows, but will not count for the “regional championships qualifying.”         

4. QUALIFY THROUGH STATE OR PROVINCIAL AFFILIATE 

If not nationally qualified, an exhibitor can qualify as an AQHA state/provincial affiliate qualifier.

  • If the exhibitor’s affiliate has a qualifying method, the exhibitor must qualify through their resident state/provincial affiliate.
    • Check with your affiliate on its qualifying method and ask where you stand on the state’s list of qualifiers.
  • If the exhibitor’s affiliate does not have a qualifying method, the exhibitor must nationally qualify or qualify through another affiliate.
    • To qualify through another affiliate, the exhibitor must be a member in good standing with that affiliate (other than the state/province affiliate you reside in) and be selected by that affiliate as a qualifier.

View additional 2018 Championship Rules.