Approximately 600 exhibitors, 50-year-old or older, are competing this week in the ADEQUAN Select AQHA World Championship Show.
??Exhibitors that come here they work all year long. I mean it??s a goal of theirs to come attend this world championship show and as you know, this is select exhibitors that are over the age of 50,?? said professional horsewoman, Leslie Lang.
Talking about this particular group of competitors, Lang said their age group sets them apart. Some of the riders have been competing in these shows their entire lives, while others are completely new to the industry, having only decided to partake in the twilight of their careers. However, to be accepted to participate in the world championship, all had to qualify and all put in the extra time, work, and money to make it to the Panhandle.
??Obviously they are very competitive and love to do it but they love it for the fun aspect. The camaraderie,?? said Lang.
There are 44 different events or competitions, including Western Pleasure, jumping, and barrel racing. Each event will have one winner, taking home the coveted title of ??World Champion?? in that particular category. Only one will take home the prize of ??All-Around?? winner, and be rewarded with a $10,000 prize.
The American Quarter Horse Association said that it requires all year to plan each event and hundreds of volunteers and employees. However, in the 12th year of it being hosted, the various components mesh together well to create a successful event.
??There is all kinds of moving parts and it just, the stars have to line up, and it just, it does, because we have such a great relationship with everyone,?? said Patti Carter, Executive director of shows for the AQHA.
The event is being held at the Tri-State fairgrounds and various rooms are being utilized in new ways to allow for the event. One of those rooms is the well-hidden award room, housing the coveted awards that were made here in Amarillo. Each trophy takes about half of a day to create.
The event is free so anyone may go and check out the world-class amateur riders competing in the events. Attendees may also learn tips of horseriding from AQHA Professional Horsemen at a Ride the Rail/Ride the Pattern Clinic. The schedule of those clinics can be found here.