The American Quarter Horse Association is the world’s largest single-breed equine registry and membership organization, with more than 5 million American Quarter Horses registered worldwide and AQHA membership numbering more than 300,000. AQHA’s mission is to record and preserve the pedigrees of the American Quarter Horse while maintaining the integrity of the breed and to provide beneficial services for its members which enhance and encourage American Quarter Horse ownership and participation.
The Association was founded in March 1940 in Fort Worth, Texas, by a group of horsemen and ranchers from the southwestern United States dedicated to preserving the pedigrees of their ranch horses. These horses were referred to as Quarter Horses because of their speed in quarter-mile races and their cow sense on the open range.
In 1946, the Association moved to its current home of Amarillo, Texas. AQHA’s international headquarters in Amarillo maintains the pedigrees and registration records of all American Quarter Horses and oversees various programs and incentives that promote America’s oldest distinct breed of horse. With more than 250 employees, the staff at AQHA is committed to the American Quarter Horse and the Association’s members.
AQHA has many programs and activities available to members. From showing to racing to trail riding, AQHA has it all for the horse enthusiast. AQHA tailors to youth and adults, beginners and professional riders, and simply American Quarter Horse fans. There is something for everyone!
AQHA and WRCA have partnered on several projects to help protect the ranch horse and the western lifestyle. Each year the Pfizer / AQHA Best Remuda Award is presented at the WRCA World Championship Ranch Rodeo as a way to honor the contributions of the ranch horse and to the recognize ranches for raising outstanding ranch horses.
To extend that relationship, the AQHA would like to be in involved in each WRCA sanctioned ranch rodeo for the 2013 competition year. Recognizing the American Quarter Horse’s legacy on the ranches of the American West and as the chosen mount for generations of cowboys, the AQHA Top Horse Award will recognize the top registered American Quarter Horse.
Apache Adams, the Big Bend Ranch Rodeo’s Top Horse judge will choose the best horse in the rodeo and if that horse is a AQHA registered horse then the owner will receive a AQHA bronze trophy and the rider will receive $250 in addition to the prizes provided by the BBRR.