Western Pleasure Challenge

AQHA introduces the Western Pleasure Challenge at the 2020 AQHA World Championship Show in November at the OKC Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City.

2020 Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show Junior Western Pleasure World Champion

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At the 2019 Oil World Championship Show, a small working group of AQHA members, owners, trainers and leaders assembled to discuss future opportunities for western pleasure horses at the Lucas Oil World. This group developed the idea for an event to be held during the AQHA World Show, focusing on the western pleasure discipline. 

Participants included:

Million Dollar Rider: Gil Galyean
Quarter Million Rider: Aaron Moses
Quarter Million Rider: Jay Starnes
Owner: Blair Roberts
All-Around: Jim Searles
All-Around: Gene Spagnola
Professional Horseman: Robin Frid
Administrative Oversight:

Norm Luba

Mission Statement

To promote American Quarter Horses and western pleasure at all AQHA events.

Current Status

AQHA has five (5) open western pleasure classes offered at the AQHA World Show:

  1. 2-year-old western pleasure

  2. Level 2 junior western pleasure

  3. Level 3 junior western pleasure

  4. Level 2 senior western pleasure

  5. Level 3 senior western pleasure

There is no AQHA-recognized class for 3-year-old western pleasure horses, and this proposal does NOT call for consideration of approving such a class. However, the 3-year-old western pleasure horse is of importance because, while it may not have the experience to be competitive in November each year with 4- and 5-year-olds, promoting 3-year-olds to ready themselves for future competition could prove of interest to owners, exhibitors and future buyers.

The Concept

  1. Offer an open 3-year-old western pleasure stakes class at the AQHA World Show with a minimum $5,000 added purse; the Zimeta 3-year-old western pleasure stakes, hereafter called the 3-year-old stakes.

  2. Create The Western Pleasure Challenge (WPC). The WPC would consist of a minimum of two, but allow up to three, classes entered, inclusive of the MANDATORY Zimeta 3-year-old stakes class.

  3. The Year 1 goal is to have 10-15 exhibitors eligible for the WPC composite score.

  4. WPC entries are DECLARED as either Level 2 or Level 3 (L2 or L3) based upon EXHIBITOR eligibility.  The corresponding AQHA World Show western pleasure classes, L2 or L3 where offered, must be entered. L2 exhibitors can enter up to L3, if eligible. THE DECLARED LEVEL COUNTS TOWARD THE WPC.

  5. To be considered eligible for the WPC, only one (1) exhibitor is allowed to show each horse.

  6. An entry in the 2-year-old western pleasure class is optional; for the purposes of the WPC, L2 and L3 exhibitors will receive their point scores based on their placings.

  7. An entry in the junior western pleasure L2 or L3 class is optional;

  8. An entry in the the senior western pleasure L2 or L3 class is optional;

  9. The composite placing scores of the mandatory Zimeta 3-year-old western pleasure stakes plus one, or up to two, of the above optional classes will determine a WPC L2 Champion and a WPC L3 Champion.

All rules are based upon the most recent AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations.