WPC Background and Concept


At the 2019 AQHA World Championship Show, a small working group of individuals assembled to discuss future opportunities for western pleasure horses at the AQHA World Show. This group came together to discuss promoting an event to be held during the Farnam AQHA World and Adequan® Select World focusing on the western pleasure discipline. 

Participants included:

Million Dollar Rider:

Gil Galyean

Quarter Million Rider:

Aaron Moses

Quarter Million Rider:

Jay Starnes


Blair Roberts


Jim Searles


Gene Spagnola

Professional Horseman:

Robin Frid

Administrative Oversight:

Norm Luba

Mission Statement

To promote American Quarter Horses and the discipline of western pleasure at all AQHA events.

Current Status

AQHA has six open western pleasure classes offered at the Farnam AQHA World:

  1. Level 2 2-year-old western pleasure

  2. Level 3 2-year-old western pleasure

  3. Level 2 junior western pleasure

  4. Level 3 junior western pleasure

  5. Level 2 senior western pleasure

  6. Level 3 senior western pleasure

There is no AQHA-recognized class for 3-year-old western pleasure horses, and this proposal does NOT call for consideration of approving such a class. However, the 3-year-old western pleasure horse is of importance because, while it may not have the experience to be competitive in November each year with 4- and 5-year-olds, promoting 3-year-olds to ready themselves for future competition could prove of interest to owners, exhibitors and future buyers.

The Concept

  1. Offer an open 3-year-old western pleasure stakes class at the Farnam AQHA World and Adequan® Select World with a minimum $5,000 added purse; the 3-year-old western pleasure stakes, hereafter called the 3-year-old stakes.

  2. Create the Western Pleasure Challenge (WPC). The WPC would consist of a minimum of two, but allow up to three, classes entered, inclusive of the MANDATORY 3-year-old stakes class.

  3. The year 2 goal is to have 10 or more show in the Level 2 and 10 or more show in the Level 3.

  4. WPC entries are DECLARED as either Level 2 or Level 3 (L2 or L3) based upon EXHIBITOR eligibility. The corresponding Farnam AQHA World western pleasure classes, L2 or L3 where offered, must be entered. L2 exhibitors can enter up to L3, if eligible. THE DECLARED LEVEL COUNTS TOWARD THE WPC.

  5. To be considered eligible for the WPC, the same exhibitor must show each horse. 

  6. An entry in the 2-year-old western pleasure class L2 or L3 is optional

  7. An entry in the junior western pleasure L2 or L3 class is optional;

  8. An entry in the the senior western pleasure L2 or L3 class is optional;

  9. The composite placing scores of the mandatory 3-year-old western pleasure stakes plus one, or up to two, of the above optional classes will determine a WPC L2 Champion and a WPC L3 Champion.

  10. All rules are based upon the most recent AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations.