AQHA show statistics depict an increase in participation
American Quarter Horse show statistics for 2012 depict an industry-wide increase in participation. These figures, from Jan. 1 to April 30, represent increases across the board, and particularly large increases in Novice amateur and Novice youth entries.
The total number of shows and special events is up 5.34 percent, with 842 shows. Open entries are up 9.87 percent, with 99,142 entries; amateur entries are up 13 percent, with 81,849 entries; and youth are up 8.89 percent, with 48,451 entries.
"These are some very encouraging statistics that we are seeing in AQHA shows," said Tom Persechino, AQHA executive director of competition and breed integrity. "I hope people are eager to get out and show their horses at an AQHA event.
"We have really been working hard on improving shows and bringing more programs and enhancements to our various shows," Persechino added. "With the changes to the AQHA Incentive Fund this year, owners of enrolled horses have the chance to win more money per point this year. AQHA has also been testing the AQHA leveling program, which will go into effect Jan. 1, 2013, and we had great participation at this spring's two program pilot shows."
The largest increases in show statistics were in Novice amateur entries, up 29.21 percent with 27,600 entries, and Novice youth entries, up 22.11 percent with 26,195 entries.
"The AQHA Novice championships have played a huge role in increasing both our Novice, amateur and youth entries," Persechino continued. "To nationally qualify for the 2012 show, the exhibitor could either show at 20 shows, or the exhibitor could place in the top 10 at an AQHA regional championship show in a Novice class. And competitors are also hitting the road to vie for affiliate qualifying spots for this year's inaugural Novice championships."
To learn more about the AQHA Novice championship shows, visit www.aqha.com/novicechampionships.
Rookie, the entry level of the leveling program, was tested in 2011 and went into effect Jan. 1, 2012. From the beginning of the year until September, data shows that 261 shows have or will offer Rookie classes. Of the 2,630 total Rookie class entries that were calculated from Jan. 1 to April 30, the most heavily attended Rookie classes have been western pleasure, with 545 entries, and showmanship with 519.
To compete in a Rookie-level class, the horse and rider much each have earned fewer than 10 points in that particular class. To learn more about the new leveling program, visit www.aqha.com/leveling.