By Kristen Spinning
Arizona Quarter Horse Association strives to give exhibitors what they want at all the shows they produce. Delivering towards that goal has been a big component of the upward trajectory of entries at the Arizona Fall Championship. The 2018 show, held September 19-23 in Scottsdale, Arizona, saw 7,603 AQHA class entries, which represents a 17% growth over the previous year. Exhibitors from across the country flocked to WestWorld for the event that has established a reputation as the “Show For Everyone” with its quality competition and awesome awards. “We saw an increase in class entries across the board,” says Doug Huls, Show Director and CEO of the Arizona Quarter Horse Association, “I think a big draw for us is that we have great awards in all the levels.”
Circuit Champions in Levels 1, 2, and 3 received bronze trophies that were personalized for each discipline. The second and third place finishers in the circuit standings received embroidered denim jackets. Additionally, five Scottsdale Performance High Point trophy saddles were awarded. Best of Show Awards meant that even more exhibitors went home with great prizes, and a variety of fun giveaways meant that anyone could be a winner.
The show offered leveled classes across a full schedule of Trail, Halter, Showmanship, Ranch Horse, Reining, Cattle, and Roping classes. While Scottsdale can be a little toasty in September, exhibitors enjoyed the cool comfort of three indoor, air-conditioned arenas and warm-up areas. A few of the Ranch Horse classes were held outside in a covered arena. Leveling has always been a hallmark of this show. The ability to compete against peers is a big incentive for everyone, as seasoned veterans can match skills in L3, yet those relatively new to showing are confident that they have a fair shot in their own classes. Huls notes that the Level 1 Select Amateur classes saw significant increases this year. This highly inclusive show really reaches out beyond the standard rail and performance classes. This year, a Versatility Ranch Horse competition was offered, and AzQHA hosted a Trail Challenge, using the natural desert area of the expansive WestWorld grounds.
Despite the explosive growth, classes were completed in a timely fashion each day. Schedules that allow for early completion times and professional staff are important to AzQHA when planning a show. The biggest addition this year was the use of a new computer system that increased efficiency. Class scribes used Wi-Fi enabled tablets to record judges’ scoring. At the end of each class, the placings were instantly transmitted to the announcer. The system cuts countless hours of hand scoring from each day, which allows classes to move fluidly. Tablets also facilitated check-in at each arena so the next class was always ready to go.Click here to read the complete article