Since it's very first year, the All American Quarter Horse Congress has encouraged participation by the future generation of the Quarter Horse industry through a variety of youth activities. Aside from competing on a horse, there are many skills professional horsemen and women must possess. These youth activities help prepare young participants for a bright future, whether it is in or out of the equine industry.
For more information about these contests click HERE or contact:
Dr. Kimberly Cole
Ohio State University
Each year, students from across the country compete in the All American Quarter Horse Congress Collegiate and Youth Judging Contests. College, 4-H, FFA and Quarter Horse affiliate associations form judging teams that converge on the Congress to find out who has the best eye for horseflesh. Teams range from three to four members for youth or four to five members for intercollegiate. Teams in both divisions place four Halter classes and eight performance classes. Classes can incorporate mares, stallion or geldings and any number of performance classes, including Western Pleasure, Hunter Under Saddle, Reining, Western Riding, Hunter Hack, Pleasure Driving, Trail, Horsemanship or Equitation. Specific classes will be announced as ‘oral reasons’ classes. Oral reasons are a chance for the contestant to explain their placings.
Both divisions award individual and team high-point awards in Halter, performance and oral reasons categories, as well as overall awards. Scores are determined based on the accuracy of contestants’ placings as compared to the placings of a panel of approved judges.
In Horse Bowl, contestants are asked to answer equine-related questions in a competitive atmosphere, reminiscent of a game show. Questions are asked in two manners: regular, one on one and toss-up bonus questions. Questions involve everything from the evolution of the horse to current equine management practices and equine disease.
Hippology covers many of the same topics as Horse Bowl, but asks students to apply their knowledge. Points are awarded in three separate segments. The first is examination, which can include a written test, as well as slides that must be identified. The second segment requires team members to travel to different stations where they must correctly identify different equine-related items, such as types of grass or bones in the horse. The final segment requires contestants to judge four horse show classes, much like the judging contest. Once all three segments are completed, each team is given a single question to answer, which may require an impromptu answer or preparation and explanation.
The Congress Communications Contests were created to help develop public speaking skills and self-confidence in youth. Theses contests require contestants to craft a speech that illustrates a step-by-step procedure and explains why each step is essential to the overall product. Demonstrations go along with the speech, and include visual aids that enhance the topic discussed. Contestants’ speeches are judged on their organization, content, accuracy, stage presence, delivery and desire to communicate.