AQHA Racehorse Awards

Racing American Quarter Horses vie for annual high-point awards, lifetime achievements and Challenge honors.

Quarter Horse Racing High Point Champions

Eighty awards are given to race horses that compete at racetracks in 11 regions:

  1. California
  2. Canada
  3. Central (Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota and North Dakota)
  4. East (Louisiana, Florida)
  5. Mexico
  6. New Mexico
  7. Northwest (Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington)
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Texas
  10. West/Southwest (Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming)
  11. International

Each region has eight categories: 3-year-old colt, filly and gelding; aged stallion, mare and gelding; distance horse; and claiming horse. In addition, high-point breeders, owners, jockeys and trainers are recognized.

The current scale awards points based on type of race, purses, and order of finish. AQHA recognizes 11 regions, the same 11 regions used in the Challenge. Technical aspects of the program are detailed in the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations: RAC309 – racing points; and RAC310.4 - regional high-point champions.

Owners can race their horses in any region, and points are noted on each horse's record. Owners also can race in more than one region, but point totals count in each region separately. To receive the high-point award, a plaque with leather and silver conchos, the owner must be an AQHA Member and be the owner of the horse as recorded on December 31 of the competition year. AQHA will award an engraved silver belt buckle to the jockey, trainer, owner and breeder earning the most points in each region.

Lifetime Achievements for Quarter Horse Racehorses

Superior Racehorse

When a horse accumulates a total of 200 points in its career, regardless of the regional point total, he is named a superior racehorse. Owners and breeders of superior racehorses receive an engraved plaque from AQHA recognizing the accomplishment.

Supreme Champion

The AQHA Supreme Champion honor will be awarded to any American Quarter Horse which meets specific requirements including earning two official Speed Index Ratings of 90 or higher in races and earning points and honors in specific halter and performance events.

Supreme Racehorse

This award recognizes any racing American Quarter Horse which during its career earns $500,000 or more, wins two or more open Grade 1 stakes races and at least 10 races.

Dam of Distinction

The newest of AQHA Racing awards is the Dam of Distinction accomplishment. Dams must meet one or more of the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Dams that produced two or more individual AQHA Racing Champions;
  • Dams that produced at least three individual Grade 1 stakes winners;
  • Dams that produced at least two foals ranked in the top ten money earners of any particular year, as of December 31 of that year; and two G1 stakes winners;
  • Dams that produced at least three foals that were in the top ten money earners of any particular year, as of December 31 of that year

This criteria pertains only to retroactive awards given initially to older mares. It will not be a consideration in the future:  Dams that have produced at least three individual stakes winners prior to 1983 and those wins were the equivalent of a G1 quality race.

Other Quarter Horse Racing Awards

  • World Record
  • Track Record
  • Graded Stakes Participant
  • Graded Stakes Black Type
  • High Money Earning Horse
  • Leading Breeder (Money Earned, Races Won and Points Earned)
  • Leading Owner (Money Earned, Races Won and Points Earned)
  • Leading Jockey (Money Earned, Races Won and Points Earned)
  • Leading Trainer (Money Earned, Races Won and Points Earned)
  • Leading Sire (Money Earned, Races Won, Graded Stakes Winners, Stakes Wins and Racing Points)
  • Leading Freshman Sire (Money Earned, Races Won, Graded Stakes Winners, Stakes Wins and Racing Points)

Bank of America Racing Challenge

  • Challenge Champion (Trainer, Owner, Breeder and Jockey)
  • Challenge Regional Winners (Futurity, Derby, Distaff, Distance, Claiming and Championship)
  • Challenge Championships Winners (Futurity, Derby, Distaff, Distance, Claiming and Championship)

Chariot Racing

  • Chariot Racing World Champion
  • Chariot Racing 3-Year-Old Colt, Filly and Gelding; and Aged Stallion, Mare and Gelding
  • Chariot Racing Register of Merit
  • Superior Chariot Racing Horse