History of the Ford Youth World

The AQHYA World Championship Show got its start in 1972.

The American Quarter Horse Youth Association (formerly American Junior Quarter Horse Association) World Championship Show debuted in 1972 in Amarillo, Texas, making it the first world show hosted by the American Quarter Horse Association. By comparison, it wasn’t until 1974 that AQHA hosted the inaugural AQHA World Championship Show for open and amateur exhibitors.

The AJQHA World Show later moved from Amarillo to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where it remained for decades before moving to Fort Worth, Texas. In 2008, the AQHYA World Show made the move to its eventual home, State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.

As AQHA has added classes over the years – such as performance halter and ranch riding – so, too, has the AQHYA World Show added classes and the recognition of more world champions.

In 2017, AQHA added the Level 2 Youth Championships, sponsored by Adequan® (Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan), hosted concurrently with the AQHYA World Show. And in 2018, AQHA crowned for the first time seven 13-&-Under world champions in the association’s core events: western pleasure, hunter under saddle, horsemanship, hunt seat equitation, showmanship, ranch riding and trail.

Today, the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show is the world’s largest, single-breed world championship horse show open exclusively to youth exhibitors age 18 and under. The events honors 42 world champions and 33 Adequan® Level 2 champions.