by Bobbie Coalter
The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) is the world’s largest breed registry with over 5 million horses registered; so it’s fitting the All American Quarter Horse Congress (AAQHC) is the largest single breed horse show in the world. The event is hosted by the Ohio Quarter Horse Association (OQHA) and held at the Ohio Expo Center, (the Ohio State Fairgrounds) in Columbus, Ohio. This year the AAQHC takes place October 4-27.
In 2012, AAQHC drew a record 19,861 entries for the 24 days of non-stop events. This was a 10.4 percent increase over the number of entries the previous year; good news for both the breed and the horse industry in general. Quarter Horses from 48 states and three foreign countries were showcased with over 400 champions crowned.
For 2013, this amazingly popular show is expected to bring in over 650,000 people to see and compete with the best the breed has to offer. The Trade Show, one of the largest of its kind, will take place from October 8-27. The city and state recognize the importance of Congress, as this one show now brings in over 180 million dollars to central Ohio. Even non-horse people have to sit up and take notice about what this versatile breed means to the local economy every year come October.
In 1966, holding a Quarter Horse Congress was an idea of the late Blair Folck, a past OQHA President. He had recently attended the highly successful Charolais Cattle Congress in St. Louis, Mo. Folck felt the same type of show could be done for Quarter Horses in Ohio and should be planned and hosted by the OQHA. Upon returning from St. Louis he presented his recommendation to the board.
The first annual All American Quarter Horse Congress took place the following year, November 3-5, 1967, at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus, Ohio. More than 5,000 horse people came to that first Congress and it was considered a huge success. As they say, the rest is history folks!
This year brings us the 47th Congress and it has grown into the one of the largest and most prestigious horse shows in the world, lasting a full three weeks. Just like past years people from all over the United States will compete and attend, with some even coming from outside the states. Admission is $25 per car per day, or $70 for a pass that covers entry for a car the entire event. So load up your vehicle with family and friends and head out to Columbus for some exciting competition and lots of shopping. Joe and I will be there with members of the Corral staff hoping to say “Hi” to our many Corral friends!