American Quarter Horse Association Welcomes Dressage

Dressage is now an official American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) class, which can be used to contribute towards points and incentives.

The AQHA will officially recognize Dressage as a class from now on, meaning that competing in Dressage can be used to earn AQHA points, qualify for AQHA Incentive Fund earnings and compete for year-end awards. Beginning at Training Level 4, AQHA dressage classes will be held within existing classes at competitions licensed by the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) or United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

AGHA Dressage classes will be presided over by the same USDF-USEF judges, but they must also be AQHA members. Exhibitors must also be current members of AQHA, and the horse must be a registered American Quarter Horse. A competition license fee of $85, good for the lifetime of the horse, is also required. The shows must be approved by AQHA at least 60 days in advance.

Horses competing in dressage are given scores, expressed in percentages. The Quarter Horse show industry has always been a point-driven system so AQHA has created a conversion table to change dressage scores into AQHA points. The conversion table is available on the AQHA’s website. In addition to awarding points, AQHA is recognizing the three high-point American Quarter Horses at each of the nine USEF-USDF Regional Championship shows in 2010 and has also created a high-point recognition program for the open, amateur and youth divisions in each level of dressage competition. Amateur and youth eligibility is based on criteria found in the AQHA Handbook of Rules and Regulations.

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