About the Ford Youth World

AQHA's Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show is for youth exhibitors 18 and under as of January 1 of that year.

2018 AQHA youth working hunter world champions Mackenzie Njoo and A One Nite Stand (Credit: Journal)

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. 

The Ford Youth World is hosted at Oklahoma State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.

This is the pinnacle event for youth competitors around the world. In most years, youth exhibitors must qualify for the event by earning a predetermined number of points to secure a spot in each of the classes, representing English, western and halter disciplines. The other road to qualifying is for competitors to participate and compete through their state or provincial affiliate. In 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the cancellation of spring shows, qualifying requirements were waived.

The Ford Youth World crowns 18-&-under world champions in a large slate of classes, but in 14-18 and 13-&-under, world champions are crowned in the following core classes: western pleasure, hunter under saddle, horsemanship, hunt seat equitation, showmanship, ranch riding and trail.

Events held in conjunction with the Ford Youth World include:

  • 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. 

Free Ride the Pattern clinics are also taught by AQHA Professional Horsemen during the year’s Ford Youth World. These clinics are sponsored by Nutrena.