2024 National Championships

Change in Format Expands Participation To All

The National Championships will once again be held at Sun Circuit March 2-10 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The tournament style competition opens eligibility to all exhibitors entered in the AQHA Amateur, Select and Youth 14-18  Showmanship, Horsemanship and Equitation at the 2024 Sun Circuit. The summer and end of the year national exhibitor rankings will no longer be compiled, allowing all exhibitors in those classes to advance toward Final Four and National Championship title honors based solely on their performance at Sun Circuit.

Tournament Round Advancement

Tournament rounds run concurrent with the regularly scheduled AQHA classes. There is no additional entry fee to participate in the Tournament. After the first go, the composite placing of all judges will determine the high scoring 16 exhibitors in the Amateur and Select Amateur divisions. Those individuals will be recognized as having achieved the Sensational 16. In the second round of competition, the 16 will be reduced to the Elite 8. In the 3rd round of competition, The Four will be determined.  After the first round of competition in the Youth pen, the Elite 8 will be named. The second round of competition will see those eight reduced to The Four.

All eyes will be on the National Championship rounds where The Four in each class and division will compete in a head to head format in the semi finals round, with the highest ranked remaining exhibitor competing against the lowest ranked remaining exhibitor and the second highest ranked remaining exhibitor against the third highest ranked remaining exhibitor. The winner of those two battles will come back to compete against each other to be named National Champion.

As in the past, The Four exhibitors in each division and discipline will be awarded leather jackets and the National Champion will receive the title and National Champion buckle.