OQHA Fall News

Posted: August 29th, 2017

Congress is coming...

Entry deadlines have passed and each September day inches closer to the first day of the All American Quarter Horse Congress. Entries are being processed and the Ohio Expo Center is preparing to welcome more than 650,000 people from around the world as they watch exhibitors compete for the title of All American Quarter Horse Congress Champion.

It may be hard to top last year’s Golden Anniversary celebration, but the Ohio Quarter Horse Association will surely try as they introduce new classes and events this year including the addition of two days to the beginning of the show.

For 51 years OQHA has made it a priority to combine the world’s top tier single-breed horse show with educational and social opportunities for exhibitors and spectators. The dedication and forward thinking on OQHA’s part has developed the Congress into a revolutionary force within the horse industry. The event strives to stay relevant and cutting edge within the industry by promoting new classes, larger vendors, and one-of-a-kind special events each year.

Heroes On Horses is one of those special events. Designed to honor United States veterans who are enrolled in a P.A.T.H. Therapeutic Riding Center, the Heroes on Horses event will return to the 51st Quarter Horse Congress on Friday, October 13. The 2017 Congress Queen will be crowned the following evening during the usually sold out Freestyle Reining presented by dac.

Special event tickets for the All American Quarter Horse Congress are still available to purchase for the bull riding, cutting, freestyle reining and masters events. While the majority of classes at the AAQHC do not require separate admission for spectators during the month-long event, the following special events will require individual tickets:

• The National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Mercuria World Series of Cutting and Bridleless Cutting will be Sunday, October 8 at 6 p.m.
• PBR Professional Bull Riding Touring Pro Division will be Friday, October 13 at 7 p.m.
• NRHA Freestyle Reining presented by dac will be Saturday, October 14 at 7 p.m.
• The Congress Masters Western Pleasure and Hunter Under Saddle event presented by The Equine Chronicle will be Saturday, October 28 at 7 p.m.

For more information, to download the full schedule, and to purchase tickets, please visit www.quarterhorsecongress.com.


Ohio Quarter Horse Foundation

Save the Date! The Ohio Quarter Horse Foundation Gala will be October 22, 2017

The theme this year will leave you breathless! Congress Derby….A Night at the Races!

Keep an eye on your inbox as an online invitation will be coming your way soon.
The Gala was a huge success last year, so reserve your seats first to make sure you do not get closed out of a fabulous evening.

All proceeds go to support the mission of the Foundation.


Southern Ohio Quarter Horse Association

The Southern Ohio Quarter Horse Association hosted the SOQHA Futurity at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington. Three judges awarded points in more than 100 classes during the
August 26-27 show.

Congratulations to the 2017 SOQHA NYATT Team competing during the upcoming Quarter Horse Congress.

Horsemanship- Tori Kendle, Alexia Tordoff
Showmanship- Claire Hickman, Kori Kile
Western Pleasure- Kylee Wiseman, Ally Schuster
Hunter Under Saddle- Alexa Thorpe, Karissa Shank
Equitation- Alexa Black, Isabella D’Onofrio
Reining- Colton McClure, Luke Turner
Barrel Racing- Reagan Priest, Bailey Haas

SOQHA has also announced the dates for The Challenge and The Madness shows will be May 11-13 and May 17-22, 2018.

2017 Ohio Queen: Kelsey dorka

Attending horse shows and events throughout the state as the OQHA Queen has been an incredible opportunity and huge blessing. I’ve met numerous industry professionals and created invaluable friendships. This year will not be one I will easily forget.

The Buckeye Classic has always been a personal favorite of mine. Assisting the Ohio Amateurs and show staff in creating a better experience for exhibitors was extremely gratifying. As OQHA queen I’ve continually enjoyed greeting and visiting with attendees at multiple events. My first time traveling to Oklahoma City this past August was an unforgettable venture. I witnessed the top youth exhibitors come together as friends and contenders in celebration of the sport we love so much. Networking with so many AQHA Officers and Directors, as well as the AQHA President himself, Ralph Seekins, was wonderful.

Fall is quickly approaching and the “Congress Countdown” has started for many of us. In these final days of preparation, I have so much hope and anticipation for the Congress Queen Contest. This year the queen coronation will occur during the intermission of the Freestyle Reining on October 14th; I hope to see many friends and familiar faces in the stands!

Ohio Amateur Quarter Horse Association 

In July, the Ohio Amateur Quarter Horse Association (OAQHA) and Buckeye Western Horse Association(BWHA) wrapped up the 2017 Annual Buckeye Classic with nearly 15,000 entries and hundreds of points earned by exhibitors at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington.

Charlene Carter, Clint Fullerton, Lori Gordon, Clay MacLeod, Rob Meneely, Scott Neuman, John Tuckey, Kendra Weis, and Daren Wright judged exhibitors throughout a hot six days July 18-23 while awarding nine sets of AQHA points and three sets of NSBA points.

More than $100,000 in free entries and prizes were awarded to exhibitors of all ages throughout the week.

While the Buckeye Classic offered free amateur entries once again courtesy of show sponsors, the exhibitors may have been outshined by what seemed to be the highlight of the show; the donkey races on Wednesday night where riders and attendees together raised just over $30,000 for military veterans.

OAQHA and BWHA are pleased with the results of yet another exhibitor friendly show!

Team Tournament Results

Bailey Mierzejewski & Cruize
Jillian Stopperich & Cowboys Are Hot
Alexa Black & Big Country Cruizer

Adeline Gabor & Consider Him Shiek
Addison Nalle-Icenhour & Lovin the Potential
Kendel Bachey & Makem Hot

Kim Best & Check This Machine
Isabella D’Onofrio & Nearly Chocolate
Mia Wunderlich & Stop My Heart
Angela Wade & The Perfect Kryme
Shelby Bollinger & Guccis Got Gold
Tori Kendle & Quita Machine

Sara Oler & KM Taylor Made Best
Faith Dilillo & Willy Quite Precious
Natalie Hilty & Rock On Mr Cool

Youth spotlight: Alexa Thorpe

Membership in the Ohio Quarter Horse Association (OQHA) is more than just showing horses, it’s about protecting and promoting the Quarter Horse and the interests of owners, breeders, exhibitors and enthusiasts while also engaging these equine enthusiasts and the next generation of industry leaders.

At 17 years old, Alexa Thorpe has interpreted what her involvement in the association means. “Taking part in OQHA has already taught me how to be humble, how to handle disappointment, how to create a good work ethic, and that hard work pays off; win or lose,” she said.

She has also had the opportunity to make many new friends from all over the state.

Thorpe moved to a farm at the age of five and decided to learn how to ride a horse at seven. Nine years later, she joined OQHA to take her showing to the next level. That decision helped the West Jefferson native place in the Top 10 in Level 2 Hunter Under Saddle at her first Youth World Show. She said it was a huge accomplishment and a definite highlight of her career.

“However, the biggest highlight of my life is the opportunity to show and to own two amazing creatures,” she said.

During the first week of the OQHA show season, Thorpe thought her season and maybe even her showing career would be over; and that she might lose her best friend in the world. Thorpe’s first horse, Shaq, became very ill and underwent colic surgery. Shaq came through the surgery successfully but with 10 feet of his small intestine missing. As Shaq battled his health, Thorpe’s trainer connected with another Ohio trainer to find her current show horse Reuben.

“Shaq is looking to make a comeback in the next show season and Reuben is excited to get to be with his first pasture buddy,” said Thorpe. “My two boys will always be my number one highlight.”

Thorpe says she has high hopes of placing at the Quarter Horse Congress and hope to “never forget that showing is an amazing opportunity and to never take it for granted.”

Those are very tangible goals for a person who has her mom behind her 100 percent.

“My mom is always there for me,” Thorpe said. “She knows how to put up with me at my worst and keeps me humble at my best.”

Thorpe said her mother has driven her to hundreds of horse shows, track meets, practices, clubs, and meetings.

“She supports me in everything I do and pushes me to be the best that I can be, as a person and as a competitor,” said Thorpe. “I will forever be grateful for all of the time she spends, the sacrifices she makes, and hardships she goes through to help me do everything I aspire to do.”

Outside of horse showing Thorpe runs track and cross country; is the Vice President of her4-H club, is involved in National Honor Society and sings in her school Symphonic Choir. She also loves to read and write.


Ohio Quarter Horse Youth Association

The 2017 AQHYA World Championship Show is a wrap for the Ohio Youth! Ohio hustled hard in Oklahoma City this year with winning the Division 1 Team Spirit Contest and Scrapbook Contest and taking Second Place in the Stall Decorating Contest as well as Third Place in the Wrangler Jeans Decorating Contest. Ohio ended up with 4 Level 3 World Champions, 4 Level 3 Reserve World Champions, 26 Level 3 Top 10, 10 Level 3 Finalists, 4 Level 2 Champions, 3 Level 2 Reserve Champions, 10 Level 2 Top 10 and 8 Level 2 Finalists.

The Ohio Quarter Horse Youth Association is proud to announce their 2017 Congress NYATT Team:
Showmanship - Ellexxah Maxwell & Cora Wyers
Barrels - Maggie Cain & Colin Robinson
Reining – Caleb Sturgeon & Isabella Tesmer
Hunter under Saddle – Ashton Krutulis & Olivia Tordoff
Hunt Seat Equitation – Lauren Carnahan & Kalee Lohr
Western Pleasure – Halie Harner & Gavin Patterson
Horsemanship - Emma Brown & Marley Mainwaring

OQHA Youth are excited to announce their 3rd Annual Congress Youth Bash on Saturday, October 21, 7-10 p.m. in the Rhodes Building. The bash will include music, dancing, food, games and free t-shirts. All youth are invited!

The youth will be selling 50/50 tickets prior to the start of the PBR Bull Riding and the Free Style Reining.
All youth are encouraged to participate. Check Facebook for meeting times.

*Interested in becoming more involved with the Ohio Quarter Horse Youth Association? Any youth interested in becoming an officer (candidates must have completed a minimumof 12 months of service as a director or officer of OQHYA) or director should contact Valerie Sturgeon, 330-651-6107.

Check www.oqha.com under youth for all the OQHYA news, Spotlights, World Show, Congress NYATT Team, Judging Team, Hippology Team, and Educational Events to see all we do.


Congrats to the following Youth for qualifying for the OMIQHYA Nyatt team!

Showmanship- Chloe Demint and Jackbars Invited; Courtney Hilty and Three Bars Edition
Hunter Under Saddle-Natalie Hilty and Rock on Mr Cool; Brooklyn Wright and Hes The Good One
Hunt Seat Equitation-Catherine Tata and Surely Im Invited; Jessica Garvin and One Hot Kuervo
Western Pleasure-Mason Dorsey and Burn the Invitation; Palmer Barnett and Pure Goodness
Reining-Seth Rodgers and Pines Gun Start; Dylan Jordan and Whiz In The Sno
Barrels-Kade Stump and Brody; Sarah Studer and Paris Deck
Horsemanship-Montgomery Alexander and Radical McCue; Maryn Klaus and Meant To Be Good

Mark your calendars for the OMIQHA Warm Up Show April 14-15, 2018 in Sunbury, Ohio.

Congratulations to 2017 OMIQHA Queen Kate Clapp who received the crown title at the OMI show in June!

Northern Ohio Quarter Horse Association

Congratulations to the NOQHA Congress NYATT Team

Kyleigh Buhl – Showmanship & Horsemanship
Justin Carroll – Reining
KC Critchet – Barrel Racing
Jessica Crozier – Showmanship & Horsemanship
Faith DiLillo – Hunt Seat Equitation
Madison Reynolds – Hunter under Saddle

Good Luck to the NOQHA Queen, Alexis Taylor as she competes for Congress Queen. Check out her Facebook Page, 2017 Northern Ohio Queen Alexis Taylor.

Anyone interested in running for NOQHA officer or director should contact Candi Fites, 330-257-3881. Any youth interested in running for an officer or director should contact Rhonda Pickersgill, 440-221-6517.

Eastern ohio quarter horse association

2017 has been a great year for EOQHA. We have had good turnout for both our April and May shows.

The EOQHA futurity is September 8-10 at the fairgrounds and will be the last show for EOQHA this year. Come get another chance to ride in the Coliseum before the Congress. For stall reservations please contact Kyle Flatter at 937-209-8711.

This year’s EOQHA queen is Sara Laughlin and we would like to wish her the best of luck in the Congress Queen contest. We would also like to congratulate the following members on making the EOQHA NYATT team this year: Ashley Henry, Hannah Fox, Sydney Krebs, Tara Salamans, Megan Bailey,Lane Robinson, Dolan Robinson, and Jamie Turner.

Good luck at the Congress!