Most will agree that we need to find a way to expand the number of people and horses showing at AQHA shows in order to improve the equine market. Currently less than 2% of AQHA members are participating in the current show system because only the very best horses and riders can achieve success and feel competitive. The following suggestion would bridge the gap for riders and horses. There is a place for every horse
Most will agree that we need to find a way to expand the number of people and horses showing at AQHA shows in order to improve the equine market. Currently less than 2% of AQHA members are participating in the current show system because only the very best horses and riders can achieve success and feel competitive. The following suggestion would bridge the gap for riders and horses. There is a place for every horse and every rider to attend a show in this system regardless of the ability of the horse or rider, as they climb the ladder of difficulty and add titles to their horse’s record. The best part is this system requires very few rules and virtually no policing on the part of the association and it is actually the combination of several systems that are working.
AQHA Training Show
4 levels based on Difficulty: Non-rider, Junior, Intermediate and Advanced.
Classes are scored according to a preset point system similar to reining, even conformation, with 70 being the standard. There is no need in this system to haul around the country or pick shows and judges because the standard is the same everywhere.
All awards are based on versatility, so horses must compete in a minimum of 4 events including conformation to be eligible for an award. The awards are: Gold (70 & above), Silver (60-69), and Bronze (50-59). Example: a person shows in Junior Division; Trail, Pleasure, Reining and Cow Horse, their lowest score is a 61, so they would earn a Junior Silver Award. A horse has to be Gold under 3 judges to be certified Gold at that level. A horse which earns Advanced Gold would be similar to an AQHA Champion. There will be no awards for individual events to help control the extremism we see in the current show system.
Awards and scores would become part of the horse’s record with AQHA and would add to the horse’s value. These awards or levels would be valuable to a new buyer also because they would know exactly what level and score a horse had achieved at a certain date in their life.
This system would also include a clinic the morning or day before the show. An enrollment fee is also part of the program to finance a state coordinator and training clinics on off weeks, which would help everyone improve and reach their goals. By going at this as a group the whole process would be more affordable for everyone and profitable for trainers and judges.
A great part is that people would not have to compete against each other for an award, but a preset standard that would be the same regardless of what part of the country the show was held or how large the show. There would not be a limit on the number of awards earned at a show, so there would be no need for bickering or complaining. A professional trainer, an amateur with a $100K finished horse and a “Do it Yourself Shower” could all show in Intermediate together. Each person would have their own goals for themselves and horse. A person could enter as many times as they like with the same horse or different people could show the same horse at the same show.
The Non-rider division is intended for yearlings and early two year olds, but any horse could be shown in it. This section is the heart of the youth program to compete against the current “Livestock Showing System.” This section would include: conformation, lounge line, trail in hand and an interview section to encourage academics and horsemanship. This division will be great for evaluating a young horse’s suitability for performance before a lot of time and effort are invested in the riding phase.
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