Get Started Showing AQHA

Use these valuable resources to learn more about showing American Quarter Horses.

Showing American Quarter Horses is fun for the entire family, and we want to help you get the most out of your showing experience. Showing is about much more than prizes and the thrill of competition. Whether it’s your profession or your pastime, showing is also very rewarding – the best rewards you’ll carry in your heart for a lifetime. You’ll make lifelong friends who share your passion, and you’ll feel the satisfaction of a job well done. Most importantly, you’ll do it all with the most loyal, responsive, hardworking and willing teammate you’ll ever have – the American Quarter Horse.

Step 1: Determine which division you will be competing in. Will you compete in youth, amateur or open classes? 

Step 2: Purchase an AQHA membership. Membership types are specific to the division you show in. For instance, if you want to compete in amateur classes, you will need an amateur membership.

Step 3: Find a show near you. When you're ready to go to a show, contact your affiliate for a list of AQHA-approved shows in your state. 

Step 4: Check your level eligibility. You'll want to print a copy of your level eligibility and take it with you to the show office. The print-out will be proof to the show secretary that you're eligible for beginner classes, like Rookie and Level 1.

Step 5: Go show ... and have fun! 

More Resources

Shows Near You: Contact Your Affiliate
When you're ready to go to a show, contact your affiliate for a list of AQHA-approved shows in your state. Click the link above to find contact information for your state, provincial or international affiliate. 

Show News and Updates
When it comes to staying abreast of rule changes, breaking news related to shows and weekly tips to help you compete better, always refer back to's Showing page, with news and updates brought to you by The American Quarter Horse Journal.

Showing Glossary
Learn the meaning of words and phrases commonly heard at an AQHA show.

Here's a description of all the English, western and halter classes approved by AQHA.  

Show Formats
Here's all the different types of AQHA-approved shows that you can enter.

Find the division that's most comfortable for you to show.

Any form required by AQHA to make your showing experience better can be found here.

Learn about all the year-end and lifetime awards you can earn showing your American Quarter Horse.  

AQHA Handbook
Here you can download or request your copy of the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations.  

AQHA Incentive Fund
Here you can learn how to earn money per point at AQHA shows!

Therapeutic Medications
Learn about AQHA's rules about using therapeutic medications during an approved show.  

Championship Shows
Learn about qualifying and entering AQHA's family of world championship and championship shows, including opportunities for Rookies, Level 1s and more.

Helpful Articles and eBooks

Guide to Showing American Quarter Horses 
Get the most out of showing your American Quarter Horse with this handy guide.

Preparing for the Show
We've compiled some great resources to help get you and your horse ready for the show before you leave home!

Accounting for the Arena (pdf)
We've compiled some of your greatest hints and tips to saving money while you show! Download the brochure (pdf) or track your own expenses (xls) with our Excel worksheet!

Borrow a Trainer
This ebook gives you the basics you need to know for improving your chances at success in the show ring.