Novice Championships – AQHA announces classes to be held at the inaugural Novice championships and state qualifying methods for the event.

The American Quarter Horse Journal, January 10, 2012 – AQHA recently announced the classes that will be offered at the inaugural  AQHA national Novice championship shows, which will be held October 5-7 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Las Vegas. Also, state qualifying methods for the Novice championships have been determined.

Novice amateur and Novice youth competitors may qualify for the Novice championships in the following classes:

* Halter: yearling, 2-year-old, 3-year-old, aged and performance halter geldings and mares * Showmanship * Horsemanship * Hunt seat equitation * Western pleasure * Hunter under saddle * Trail * Western riding * Reining * Barrel racing * Pole bending * Stake race

Several opportunities exist for Novice competitors to qualify for the Novice Championship Show Weekend.

AQHA initially announced two national invitation opportunities exist for competitors. Those include a top-10 placing at an AQHA regional championship show in one of the above-listed Novice classes or to show at 20 AQHA shows throughout the year throughout the national qualifying period of May 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012.

In addition, a competitor may qualify through his or her state/province for the Novice championships.

The AQHA Affiliate Council has helped to coordinate with the state and provincial affiliates to determine the method of  state/provincial qualifying. Methods of state/provincial qualifying will vary by affiliate – if a competitor is interested in state/provincial qualifying for a 2012 Novice championship show, he or she should refer to their affiliate’s qualification rules, listed on

The AQHA Show Council announced there will be no restriction on which Novice championship show an exhibitor may attend. If a competitor residing in the East wishes to attend the AQHA Western Novice Championship Show, he or she may do so. The same goes for competitors residing in the West who would like to compete at the Eastern Novice championship. However, a competitor may only compete at one Novice championship show per year.

For more information on the Novice championships, visit

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Founded in 1940, the American Quarter Horse Association is the largest equine breed organization in the world. With headquarters in Amarillo, Texas, AQHA has a membership of more than 300,000 people in 86 countries and has registered more than 5 million horses in 95 countries.