AQHA Introduces Halter Nomination Pilot Program

AQHA Executive Committee introduces a third option to compete in halter classes at the 2018 AQHA Select, amateur and open world championship shows.

The American Quarter Horse Association

As one qualifying alternative, the halter nomination pilot program allows owners to nominate their horses to specific 2018 AQHA world championship shows. (Journal photo)

The AQHA Executive Committee recently approved a third option to compete in Level 3 halter classes at the 2018 AQHA Select World Championship Show, presented by Adequan® (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) and 2018 Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show. The three qualifying methods now include:

  1. Qualify by earning the required number of points,
  2. Compete at a designated number of shows during the respective qualifying period (10 for Select and amateur or 20 for open) or
  3. Participate in the new nomination pilot program for halter horses.

As one qualifying alternative, the halter nomination pilot program allows owners to nominate their horses to specific 2018 AQHA world championship shows. The pilot program does not include performance halter or halter classes at the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.

AQHA Executive Committee member Norm Luba, AQHA President Ralph Seekins and AQHA Chief Show Officer Pete Kyle presented the pilot program for discussion during the 2017 Ford Youth World. Halter qualifiers from the 2016 Select, amateur and open world shows were then surveyed from August 24 to September 10, and the data was presented to various committees to review. The halter subcommittee, world show subcommittee, world show task force and the Executive Committee approved the pilot program, which will be reviewed after the completion of the 2018 Adequan® Select and Lucas Oil world championship shows to determine the success of the concept.

“Halter is the basis for establishing the standard of the breed,” said Luba. “We want to determine whether a nomination program, in addition to the current qualifying methods, will contribute to the stabilization of halter entries at the world shows and increase the purses for these classes.”

The program is patterned off of a futurity payment structure, and the cost of nominating depends on the respective division. The total nomination payment for open classes, if all payments are received by the deadlines, is $7,500. The amateur and Select amateur nomination fees are $5,000 per class, if all the payments are made on time. The nomination payment schedule and nomination payment form are available under Competitor Resources at  

All Adequan® Select and Lucas Oil world show entries, regardless of method used to qualify, are eligible for the total purse.

“This type of program isn’t for everyone,” Luba acknowledged. “We estimated the amount of money someone would spend hauling to shows to get a horse qualified for a world show – hotel, food, fuel, entry fees, etc. – and then with input by the various committees and those attending the Halter Town Hall meeting at the Ford Youth World, we developed an initial fee schedule for the pilot program.”

“Our goal with offering the nomination program is for people to contribute to the overall purse of the classes at the world shows instead of the cost of qualifying,” Luba explained.

“After talking this through with numerous amateurs and professionals, we think this will actually help AQHA-approved shows. With some horses and owners choosing to go the nomination route, others might be inspired to get out and show. As a result, we may see increased entries and overall growth for the halter industry.”

For more information on the Adequan® Select or Lucas Oil world shows, visit

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