The American Quarter Horse is the most popular horse breed in the
world, and the All-American Quarter Horse Congress, which takes place
throughout the month of October, is the breed’s ultimate celebration. The
Congress has the distinction of being the world’s largest single-breed horse
show, with more than 8,500 Quarter Horses and 650,000 Quarter Horse enthusiasts
trekking to Columbus, Ohio for the event.
1967, hosted by the Ohio Quarter Horse Association. The original organizers
were wary of the expense, but in its first year the Congress proved profitable,
and has been a highlight of the Quarter Horse show calendar ever since.
This year’s show kicked off on Oct. 7 and will run through
Oct. 30. Quarter Horses of all types are featured throughout the three weeks,
beginning with reining, cutting and roping. Hunters and jumpers begin on Oct.
14 and western pleasure will start on Oct. 18. Barrel racing and pole bending
kick off on Oct. 26. See the full schedule here.
The Congress hosts the National Youth Activity Team
Tournament (NYATT), where teams of riders from local Quarter Horse Associations
face off in barrel racing, horsemanship, hunter under saddle, reining,
showmanship and western pleasure. NYATT competition takes place on Oct. 23 with
the awards given that evening. Other youth competitions include a judging
contest, horse bowl, hippology competition and a communications contest.
Each year, a Congress Queen is crowned. Contestants
represent their state, province or regional Quarter Horse Association and
demonstrate horsemanship skill, complete a written test and an oral
presentation and participate in a style show. The 2011 Congress Queen will be
crowned at the NYATT awards celebration on Oct. 23.
Outside of the competition arena, there are educational opportunities throughout the week, including
a series of lectures and demonstrations presented by top trainers,
veterinarians and other experts. See the full schedule here.
The Congress Super Sale has been a part of the show since
its inception. Hundreds of Quarter Horses are sold at the auction each year.
This year’s Super Sale will be held on Oct. 22 with a preview on the 21st.
See more on the Super Sale here.
The Congress is a staple on many equestrians’ bucket lists
for the sheer size of the show, variety of classes and expansive equine
shopping opportunities. However, for those who are unable to travel to
Columbus, live streaming from two arenas is available at envisionfilmvideo.com/live.html