The 2024 AQHA East Level 1 Championships is April 22-28 at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio; and the 2024 AQHA West Level 1 Championships is May 14-18, immediately following Arizona Quarter Horse Association’s Pinnacle Circuit, May 11-14, at the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center in Las Vegas.
AQHA East Level 1 Championships
Entries opened February 1 and the entry deadline for the AQHA East Level 1 Championships is 5 p.m. Central on March 15. Late entry options are available until 5 p.m. Central on April 1. Unentered horses will not be able to enter after the late entry deadline. Exhibitors who choose to show at both AQHA Level 1 Championship shows cannot compete in the same classes at each event.
AQHA West Level 1 Championships
Entries opened February 1 and the entry deadline for the AQHA West Level 1 Championships is 5 p.m. Central on April 1. Late entry options are available through 5 p.m. Central on April 15. Exhibitors who choose to show at both AQHA Level 1 Championship shows cannot compete in the same classes at each event. Unentered horses will not be able to enter after the late entry deadline.
AQHA has released the tentative schedules for the 2024 AQHA East and West Level 1 Championships.
The judges selected for the 2024 AQHA Level 1 Championships are:
Gigi Bailey of Maribel, Wisconsin
Leonard Berryhill of Talala, Oklahoma
Rick Christy of Reddick, Florida
Shawn Hays of Tupelo, Mississippi
Lyle Jackson of Cochrane, Alberta
Larry Little of Mebane, North Carolina
Gretchen Mathes of Harwinton, Connecticut
Bennie Sargent of Paris, Kentucky
Melissa Sexton of Okanogan, Washington
Kerry Allen of Rockville, Virginia
Jamie Dowdy of Marshfield, Missouri
Buddy Fisher of Abilene, Texas
Jennifer Kunkle of Cross, South Carolina
Jonathan Meilleur of Hamburg, Pennsylvania
Daren Wright of Chillicothe, Ohio
To be eligible to enter the 2024 Level 1 Championships, an exhibitor must:
- Be Rookie- and/or Level 1-eligible in the class they wish to enter as of the prior year January 1, 2023
- Be an AQHA member at the time of entry and at the time of the 2024 Level 1 Championships.
- If a competitor graduated out of Level 1 and/or Rookie after the 2023 show season, he or she is still invited to enter, as eligibility is based on the 2023 competition year.
- If you have won a Level 1 class at a Level 1 Championships, you cannot show in that same class at future Level 1 Championships, including the 2024 Level 1 Championships. However, you can still show in that class at other AQHA-sanctioned shows (excluding the Level 1 Championships) until you meet the level-up requirements found in SHW245. You can still show at the Level 1 Championships in any other class(es) for which you are Level 1 eligible.
- If you have not earned a Superior award within the past 10 years in a particular class in any equine organization or association with a membership of more than 7,500 members, including AQHA.
- In addition cannot have placed in the top three at any AQHA world championship show in a particular class.
- Cannot have won a world, reserve world, national or reserve national championship title in a particular class, excluding Level 1 classes, in any equine organization or association with a membership of more than 7,500 members.
- Cannot have won a total of $5,000 or more in cash with any equine organization or association by class including earnings reported by QData, Equistat and other verifiable resources.
- Cannot have competed on an NCEA equestrian team on a scholarship or ride as a starting exhibitor in a particular discipline within the past 10 years.
- Cannot have been an accredited horse show judge or have trained professionally.
Learn more about AQHA Rule SHW245 in the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations.
Level eligibility is determined on a class-by-class basis. Exhibitors are encouraged to use the online level verification system at www.aqha.com/leveling to determine if they are Level 1- or Rookie-eligible in a particular class. Walk-trot classes do require exhibitors to be Level 1-eligible in their particular class.
The AQHA Cattle Level 1 Championships, presented by the Four Sixes Ranch, will be held with the 2024 AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships, June 16-22 at the Tri-State Fairgrounds in Amarillo, Texas. The schedule and online entries for the Cattle Level 1 classes will be posted at a later date at www.aqha.com/versatility.
About the AQHA Level 1 Championships
The AQHA Level 1 Championships feature walk-trot, Rookie and Level 1 classes. The shows offer a variety of events and activities for competitors, friends, family and spectators to take part in throughout the show, including free Ride the Pattern clinics taught by AQHA Professional Horsemen. The Level 1 Championships are intended for exhibitors to learn and grow in the show arena while sharpening their horsemanship skills. The shows provide a welcoming environment for AQHA members to be showcased in a championship arena and to compete to earn top prizes for their dedication.
For more information, visit www.aqha.com/level1championships.
Autor Delores Kuhlwein