Youth Racing Experiences allow AQHYA members the opportunity to participate in the fast-paced world of American Quarter Horse racing from behind the starting gate to the finish line.
AQHYA Regional Racing Experiences
America's fastest athletes are featured in weekend events at racetracks around the country during Regional Racing Experiences for AQHYA Youth Affiliate members.
The AQHYA Regional Racing Experience is typically a one- to two-day event structured to introduce participants to the sport of American Quarter Horse racing. Participants get a behind-the-scenes look into the racing industry and meet the people who help the show go on everyday. AQHA state and provincial racing affiliates host these experiences so youth don't have to venture too far from home. Contact your AQHA Racing Affiliate to inquire about their next event.
Get involved in a racing experience in your area to learn more about
test barn • jock's room • tote • mutuels • money room • track vet • chartwriters
clerk of scales • announcer • trainers • exercise riders • racing equipment
rules of racing • starting gate • photo finish • video production • paddock judge
identifier • stewards • track photographer • owners • outriders • training techniques
"It was really cool being able to work so closely with the trainers and the horses, who are really incredible athletes, during the Youth Racing Experience. The whole experience has been really great, and everybody has been so willing to teach you and help you out. They really want to see you succeed."
– Annise Montplaisir, South Dakota AQHYA member
AQHYA National Racing Experience
The AQHYA National Racing Experience is held in conjunction with the AQHA Bank of America Challenge Championship each year. The 2022 AQHYA Racing Experience will be held at Horseshoe Indianapolis Racing & Casino in Shelbyville, Indiana. This national event allows participants to build on the knowledge gained during a regional racing experience by working one-on-one with an experienced trainer at the three-day Challenge Championship event.
Applicants who are accepted for the national racing event are automatically entered into a competition with fellow participants for the chance to win $6,000 in award money - $3,000 is awarded to first place; $2,000 is awarded to second place; and $1,000 is awarded to third place. The winners are determined by each participant's cumulative scores including their application, Racing Skillathon Contest results, interview scores, and overall performance throughout the educational experience.
Youth must be 16 years old at the time of the national event to apply. Racing affiliates may recommend one youth from their regional racing experience by submitting the participant's name and application to AQHA. Youth may also apply directly by submitting their application to AQHA by the deadline. Applicants must also complete the online Racing Skillathon Contest, and their results will count toward their cumulative total in the program. Five participants will be chosen to receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Bank of America Challenge Championships. All applicants must be members of AQHYA. For details, see the application below.
Regional Racing Experience
To support the role racing affiliates hold with regional racing experiences, AQHA provides support to each regional experience in the form of educational materials, sample itineraries, scoring rubrics, and additional resources as needed or requested.
- American Quarter Horse Racing History
- AQHA Racing Skillathon Study Resources
- How to Read a Race Sale Catalog
- Race Sale Catalogs Glossary
- Sample Application and Interview Rubrics
- Sample Racing Experience Itinerary
- Yearling Markup Example
Racing enthusiasts are challenged to learn about Quarter Horse Racing and test their knowledge in the online Racing Skillathon Contest. The contest is free and open to anyone in the world to take online; AQHA membership is not required and there are no age restrictions. Participants will study the resources listed below and then will take an online test that will be open for a limited time each year. Questions are multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, matching and short essay. Contest awards will be provided.
Youth applying for the National Racing Experience are required to complete the Racing Skillathon Contest, and their results will count toward their selection and cumulative total in the program.
For more information please contact Youth Department at 806-378-4330.