The AQHA Youth World Championship is right around the corner! Taking place at the Oklahoma State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, it’s time to watch the best of the best compete for the World Championship title. The Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show is the world’s largest, single-breed world championship horse show open exclusively to youth exhibitors 18 years and younger.
This event isn’t just for those here in the US, competitors will be coming from all around the world to compete in this show. Most years, in order to qualify for the event, exhibitors had to earn a predetermined number of points in order to secure a spot in each of the different disciplines. The other way that competitors could qualify was to participate in events taking place in their state or provincial area. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the cancellation of spring shows, qualifying requirements were waived.
There are several classes and levels that will be recognized and awarded this year but the core classes that champions will be crowned in are western pleasure, hunter under saddle, horsemanship, hunt seat equitation, showmanship, ranch riding, and trail. In addition to the Ford Youth World Show, the following events will also be taking place:
- Adequan® AQHA Level 2 Youth Championships, which are open only to Level 2-eligible youth who qualify nationally or through their affiliate
- AQHA youth high-point presentation
- Team spirit contest
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 honor 42 world champions and 33 Adequan® Level 2 champions.
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