AQHA first hosted the AQHA Level 1 Championships in 2012. Back then, the events were known as the AQHA Novice Championships, then a few years later, the event name changed to AQHA Level 1 Championships. The initial Level 1 Championships hosted by AQHA were the West and East.
When AQHA first hosted the Central Level 1 Championships, it was in 2014 as the AQHA Level 1 Cattle Championships in Oklahoma City. It was also in 2014 that AQHA began crowning Rookie champions at the Level 1 Championships.
In 2016, AQHA added the full line up of AQHA classes to the AQHA Level 1 Cattle Championships, morphing the event into the AQHA Central Level 1 Championships.
Then in 2018, with the AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships' move to Guthrie, Oklahoma, in June, the AQHA Level 1 Cattle classes were moved from Oklahoma City to Guthrie. The same year also saw the addition of five walk-trot classes to the Level 1 Championships.
Since the inaugural events in 2012, AQHA Corporate Partner Nutrena has been the title sponsor of the Nutrena AQHA East Level 1 Championships. In 2020, Nutrena became the title sponsor of all three regional Level 1 Championships: West, Central and East.
Unfortunately, the 2020 event – which was slated for April 8-11 in Oklahoma City – was cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As a result, Nutrena Level 1 classes will be added to the 2020 AQHA world shows.