Competitive horse judging teams are offered through senior and junior colleges, as well as through 4-H, FFA and AQHA state affiliate youth associations. Participants evaluate a variety of four-horse halter and performance classes and give four to six sets of memorized oral reasons depicting their placings. At contests, professional judges determine an official placing for each class. Participants' scores are calculated based on how close their placings are to the officials' placings. Each class and set of reasons is worth 50 points. The competitor who drops the fewest points wins the contest.
Horse Judging Resources
- Download the AQHA Handbook for up-to-date contest rules.
- Score sheets can be found on Forms page under "Judges."
- Download and view AQHA patterns.
- Request printed materials such as the colors and markings page or anatomy chart.
AQHA Horse Judging Manual
The AQHA Horse Judging Manual is a guide for developing a successful horse judging team. This manual includes the following chapters:
- Coaching the Team
- Developing a Set of Reasons
- Western Pleasure, Hunter Under Saddle
- Western Riding
- Hunter Hack
- Horsemanship, Equitation
- Connective Terms
AQHA Horse Judging Contests
- Find information on the Youth World Show Judging Contest here.
- The 2021 AQHA World Championship Show Collegiate Horse Judging Contest will be held in November 2021 in Oklahoma City.
- Click here to view the AQHA World Championship Show Collegiate Horse Judging Contest Registration Form.
- Click here to learn more about the AQHA World Championship Show.