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Become a Judge

Make your mark on the industry as an AQHA-approved judge.

American Quarter Horse judges are held to the highest quality of standards. Apply to be an AQHA-approved judge and help improve the quality and welfare of registered horses in AQHA-approved competition.

The following criteria must be met before becoming an AQHA approved judge:

  1. Have individual, current-year AQHA membership and be a member in
    good standing.
  2. Be at least 25 years of age, mandatory retirement 75.
  3. Each applicant's name must appear in at least one issue of The American Quarter
    Horse Journal
    prior to review by the Judges Committee.
  4. Reviewed by AQHA Judges State Selection Committee.
  5. Receive approval from AQHA Judges Committee.
  6. Receive approval from AQHA Executive Committee.
  7. If favorable approval is received, notification from AQHA that applicant
    may attend the next Judges Qualifying Exam.
  8. Final review and approval by Judges Committee and Executive
    Committee.
  9. Required to attend AQHA Judges Workshop the first year placed on
    approved judges list.

A complete list of mandatory criteria is included in the judges application form.

Anyone interested in becoming an AQHA judge is encouraged to attend an upcoming Judges Educational Seminar.

Types of AQHA Judges

AQHA has two unique types of judging positions. Click to download the application:

  • AQHA All-Around Judge -- These judges are approved to judge any AQHA-approved event.
  • AQHA Specialized Judge -- These judges specialize in specific areas, including: cutting, reining, roping, over fence, team penning, speed events, dressage, halter, cowboy mounted shooting and novice.