By Tara MatslerThe American Quarter Horse JournalNovember 7, 2013
AQHA Professional Horseman Bill Ellis rode Naturally Broke to win the first of the 2013 Huntfield AQHA Derby series – at the Fox Lea Farm Circuit in Venice, Florida. (Margaret Roth photo)
Back in 2012, the Huntfield AQHA Derby series ushered in a new look to the American Quarter Horse hunter circuit. The series paved the way for handy-hunter courses, showcasing the versatility and good-mindedness of the breed.
After two years, the successful hunter series is bringing yet another revolutionary change to the American Quarter Horse industry. The Huntfield AQHA Derby Series has been absorbed into what is now known as the National Quarter Horse League.
The Huntfield Derby series began as the brainchild of AQHA Professional Horsemen Lainie DeBoer of Forest Lake, Minnesota, and David Warner of Frankfort, Kentucky.
“Part of our mission statement was to make this not only competitive but fun, and to help our industry and our horses get better and grow,” Lainie told the Journal.
NQHL is on a path to continue that mission. To start, the show series has quadrupled its breadth of classes. For 2014, NQHL will feature the following classes:
All National Quarter Horse League classes will feature end-of-the-year awards for the top-10 overall finishers. The top 10 for each class will be presented at a finals, but the location for the finals has yet to be announced. Although, the group has their eye on a finals location that is centrally located in the United States. The overall national standings will determine the order of go at the National Quarter Horse League finals.
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The national points and standings will be made available at www.nqhl.com, and the point-system chart is also available on the website. Medals and freestyle horsemanship class points will follow the rider. The rider can ride multiple horses throughout the season, but only one entry is allowed per class. However, derbies and freestyle reining class points will follow the horse, and multiple riders can show the horse throughout the season.
To count for national points, all classes must have a minimum of three entries, and the entry fee cannot exceed 10 percent of the prize money offered, including the per horse entry fee, which is $15.
What makes the program quite attractive is there are no membership fees. Once a horse or rider has entered a NQHL class, that individual will be added into the group’s database as a member.
Any AQHA-approved event can apply to NQHL to hold their classes, as well. United States Equestrian Federation events can also host NQHL classes.
To learn more about the National Quarter Horse League, be sure to visit www.nqhl.com.
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