Become a Judge

Make your mark on the industry as an AQHA-approved judge.

American Quarter Horse judges are held to the highest quality of standards. Apply to be an AQHA-approved judge and help improve the quality and welfare of registered horses in AQHA-approved competition.

The following criteria must be met before becoming an AQHA approved judge:

  1. Have individual, current-year AQHA membership and be a member in
    good standing.
  2. Be at least 25 years of age, mandatory retirement 75.
  3. Each applicant's name must appear in at least one issue of The American Quarter
    Horse Journal
    prior to review by the Judges Committee.
  4. Reviewed by AQHA Judges State Selection Committee.
  5. Receive approval from AQHA Judges Committee.
  6. Receive approval from AQHA Executive Committee.
  7. If favorable approval is received, notification from AQHA that applicant
    may attend the next Judges Qualifying Exam.
  8. Final review and approval by Judges Committee and Executive Committee.
  9. Required to attend Seminars the first year placed on approved judges list.

A complete list of mandatory criteria is included in the judges application form.

Anyone interested in becoming an AQHA judge is encouraged to attend an upcoming Judges Educational Seminar.

Types of AQHA Judges

AQHA has two unique types of judging positions. Click to download the application:

  • AQHA All-Around Judge -- These judges are approved to judge any AQHA-approved event.
  • AQHA International All-Around Judge -- These judges are from outside the US and are approved to judge the classes approved for their country or region.
  • AQHA Specialized Judge -- These judges specialize in specific areas, including: cutting, reining, roping, over fence, team penning, speed events, dressage, halter, cowboy mounted shooting and Level 1.

All-Around Judge Applicants
Clint Ainsworth – Lithonia, GA
John Wayne Andersen – Broomfield, CO
Don Beard – Cheyenne, WY
Tammy Braham – Grove City, PA
Jimmy Daurio – Pueblo, CO
Jamie Dowdy - Marshfield, MO 
Rusty Green - Pilot Point, TX
Kevin Hood - Bonner Springs, KS
Eric Hubbard - Fresno, CA
Valerie Kearns - Grayslake, IL
Casey Orr - Calico Rock, AR
Adam Wainscott - Sanger, TX
Kathleen Zelnio - Moline, IL

Specialized Judge Applicants

Russell McCord - Ft Worth, TX

Timothy Jackson - Sardina, OH
Ann Jones - Flowery Branch, GA
J. T. Mitchell - Aubrey, TX
Ross Roark - Andrews, TX

Over Fence
Michael McCormick - Allen, TX
Mark Tompkins - Clare, MI

Ranch Riding
Ben Balow - Skill Valley, AZ
Jaime Beamer - Weatherford, TX
Jeremy Cox - Pleasant Plains, AR
Kristen Gonsoir - Groton, SD
Stacy Hanson - Simi Valley, CA
Linda Hitt - Elizabeth, CO
Kevin Jewell - Conyers, GA
Matthew Livengood - Nampa, ID
Allison Oseid - Caledonia, IL
Doreen Schwartzenberger - Longmont, CO
Terry Wegener - American Falls, ID

Tanya Jenkins - Purcell, OK
Careena Laney - Purcell, OK
Wendy Nelson - Cochrane, AB

Jeremy Cox - Pleasant Plains, AR
Ned Kiehne - Magdalena, NM
Smoky Pritchett - Red Bluff, CA
Rodrigo Pulici - Brazil

Team Penning/Ranch Sorting
Lenny Wheatley - Washington, GA

Versatility Ranch Horse
Ben Balow - Skill Valley, AZ
Dave Belson - Cavecreek, AZ
Jeremy Cox - Pleasant Plains, AR
Bob Grant - Camp Verde, AZ
Rebecca Grant - Camp Verde, AZ
Stacy Hanson - Simi Valley, CA
Linda Hitt - Elizabeth, CO
Kevin Jewell - Conyers, GA
Matthew Livengood - Nampa, ID
Rodrigo Pulici - Brazil
Terry Wegener - American Falls, ID

Working Cow Horse
Stacy Hanson - Simi Valley, CA
Linda Hitt - Elizabeth, CO
Cayley Wilson - Abbotsford, BC