Where is Quarter Horse Congress Held: Your Complete Guide

If you’re a fan of Quarter Horses, you’ve likely heard of the prestigious Quarter Horse Congress. But, where is Quarter Horse Congress held? In this complete guide, we’ll answer that question and provide you with all the information you need to know about this exciting event. From its history to its location, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s get started and discover everything you need to know about the location of the Quarter Horse Congress!

All American Quarter Horse Congress

A group of quarter horses on the farm


The All American Quarter Horse Congress (AAQHC) is a world-renowned event that stands out as the largest horse show dedicated to a single breed. It is held annually on the sprawling 380-acre Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds located in Columbus, Ohio. This prestigious event is a celebration of the American Quarter Horse and draws over 700,000 people from all over the world each year. The Ohio Quarter Horse Association (OQHA) founded the event, which has grown tremendously over the years, featuring numerous events and disciplines.

Ohio Quarter Horse Association (OQHA)

The OQHA is the host organization of the AAQHC, playing a crucial role in organizing and managing the event. As an affiliate of the American Quarter Horse Association, the OQHA works to advocate for the welfare and promotion of the American Quarter Horse, not just in Ohio but across the globe. They also aim to educate and build connections within the community, creating a network of Quarter Horse enthusiasts that helps to grow the industry.

Role in the Central Ohio Economy

The All American Quarter Horse Congress is not only an important event for horse enthusiasts but also for the Central Ohio economy. Generating over $409 million in economic activity annually, the Congress contributes significantly to the area’s growth by attracting thousands of spectators and participants from around the world. The influx of people and the demand for accommodation, food, and other services during the event bolster local businesses and support the region’s economic stability.

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio is the proud host of the prestigious All American Quarter Horse Congress, an annual event that attracts participants and enthusiasts from across the globe. This large-scale convention focuses on the Quarter Horse breed, celebrating its versatility and showcasing various equestrian disciplines.

Ohio Expo Center

The All American Quarter Horse Congress takes place at the Ohio Expo Center, a sprawling event venue that caters to numerous high-profile gatherings within the city. The expo center boasts state-of-the-art facilities and ample space to accommodate the multitude of activities that occur during the congress, including competitions, clinics, and exhibitions.

One of the primary reasons Columbus was chosen to host this prestigious event is its strong connection to the equestrian community. The city and its surrounding areas are home to a significant number of horses, making it an ideal location for an event of such magnitude.

At the All American Quarter Horse Congress, visitors are treated to a plethora of exciting equine events and competitions, along with an extensive range of vendors offering a diverse array of products and services tailored to the equestrian lifestyle. The Congress Cutting event, in particular, has been held at the Bullen Equestrian Center at Preble County Fairgrounds in Eaton, Ohio, in recent years. This move demonstrates the event’s unwavering commitment to providing the best possible experience for both participants and spectators alike.

The All American Quarter Horse Congress not only generates significant economic benefits for Columbus but also fosters a rich cultural experience for visitors and locals alike. By hosting this renowned event, the city of Columbus and the Ohio Expo Center play a crucial role in the promotion and celebration of the beloved Quarter Horse breed.

Events and Competitions

A royal looking quarter horse running fast

The All American Quarter Horse Congress is held annually at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds in Columbus, Ohio. It is the largest single-breed horse show in the world, offering a wide range of events and competitions for participants and spectators to enjoy. This section will provide an overview of some of the most popular events and competitions at the Congress.

NRHA Events

The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) hosts several events during the Congress, showcasing the athleticism and precision of both horse and rider in this popular discipline. Competitors perform complex patterns that highlight their horses’ ability to perform sliding stops, spins, and flying lead changes.

NSBA Events

The National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA) also holds various events at the Congress, focusing on a range of disciplines such as Western Pleasure, Western Riding, and Trail. NSBA events celebrate the versatility of Quarter Horses and their ability to excel in various disciplines in both an amateur and professional context.

Congress Cutting

Cutting is another highlight of the Congress, featuring a display of cow work and athleticism as horse and rider work together to separate a cow from the herd. The Congress Cutting event draws some of the best in the sport, making it a must-see for cutting enthusiasts.

Mounted Shooting

Mounted Shooting is a fascinating spectacle where riders navigate a course on horseback while shooting at balloon targets with blanks, testing their speed, agility, and marksmanship. Although not specifically a Quarter Horse event, the Quarter Horse’s natural athleticism and presence make them well-suited for this action-packed competition.

Barrel Racing

Barrel Racing is a popular event where riders and their horses demonstrate their speed and agility by racing around a series of barrels in the fastest time possible. Quarter Horses, renowned for their powerful acceleration and quick turns, excel in this discipline.

Pole Bending

Pole Bending is another speed-based event, where competitors and their horses weave through a series of poles as fast as possible, in a test of both precision and athleticism. Quarter Horses’ agility, nimbleness, and balance truly shine in this challenging event.

Open Ranch Trail

The Open Ranch Trail event celebrates the versatility and adaptability of the working Quarter Horse. In this event, horse and rider navigate through a series of obstacles that replicate the challenges faced in real-life ranch work, showcasing the practical skills and partnership necessary for success on the ranch.

YEDA Events

The Youth Equestrian Development Association (YEDA) also hosts events for younger riders during the Congress. These events provide an opportunity for youth to showcase their equestrian talents and develop their skills in a competitive environment that encourages sportsmanship, education, and personal growth.

Participants and Entries

White Appaloosa Quarter Horse in a old derby field

The All American Quarter Horse Congress, held annually at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio, is the largest single-breed horse show in the world. In 2022, around 27,500 entries were recorded, and this prestigious event attracted over 700,000 visitors, generating approximately $436 million for the central Ohio economy. In this section, we will delve into various aspects related to the participants and entries of this esteemed event.


Each year, a panel of esteemed judges is selected for the All American Quarter Horse Congress. These professionals are responsible for evaluating the horses and riders in various disciplines, ensuring that the event maintains its high standards. The 2023 Congress selection consists of experienced individuals who bring their expertise to this significant event.

Congress Queen

The Congress Queen represents the event and serves as an ambassador for the American Quarter Horse Association. Each year, an accomplished young woman with a passion for American Quarter Horse culture is chosen through a competition that tests her horsemanship skills, knowledge, and presentation abilities. The Congress Queen is an essential figurehead for the All American Quarter Horse Congress, promoting the event and celebrating the outstanding achievements of participants.

Reid Fady

Although information on Reid Fady is minimal, it is essential to mention notable persons associated with the All American Quarter Horse Congress. As a prestigious horse show, key individuals play an important role in its success, whether as competitors, trainers, judges, or organizers. The names are subject to change yearly, and it is always refreshing to see outstanding talent and dedication in the American Quarter Horse community.

Holly Hover

Holly Hover is another significant figure connected to the All American Quarter Horse Congress. Like other Congress participants, Holly contributes to the overall success of the event by showcasing her talents, enthusiasm, and commitment to the American Quarter Horse breed. The continual support and involvement of passionate individuals, such as Holly Hover, help uphold the high standards of the Congress, ensuring its future growth and popularity.

Schedule and Dates

Beautiful fine thoroughbred horse outside

The All American Quarter Horse Congress is an annual event organized by the Ohio Quarter Horse Association (OQHA). This prestigious horse show is held at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio, and is known for attracting participants and spectators from across the country. It is considered the largest single-breed horse show in the world, and boasts an array of competitions, exhibitions, and educational seminars for those passionate about Quarter Horses. In this section, we will explore the schedule and dates for the 2021 All American Quarter Horse Congress, as well as key events and developments within the congress.

2021 All American Quarter Horse Congress

In 2021, the All American Quarter Horse Congress took place from September 28th to October 24th. The event spanned nearly a month, offering a wide range of activities and opportunities for participants, spectators, and enthusiasts alike. Major events included various AQHA-approved classes and competitions, like cutting, reining, and western riding, along with exhibitions from well-known industry professionals like Headley Quarter Horses.

During this period, participants had the opportunity to compete in events organized by the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), with the ultimate goal of winning championships and accolades. The AQHA events were managed using a tiered system, including Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 classes, ensuring a level playing field for competitors of all experience levels. Additionally, exhibitors wearing the iconic Cinch brand’s apparel could be seen throughout the event, highlighting the long-standing partnership between the brand and the congress.

A few noteworthy events during the 2021 All American Quarter Horse Congress included:

  • Cutting classes showcased some of the best cutting horses and riders in the world, with spectators enjoying thrilling displays of equine athleticism.
  • Reining events were a true testament to the power and control of the American Quarter Horse, with competitors weaving intricate patterns and executing precise movements.
  • Western riding competitions displayed the versatility and style of the breed, as riders guided their horses through a series of required maneuvers.

Throughout the event, participants and attendees had access to expert insights and advice through educational seminars and clinics led by renowned experts in the field. Publications like Equine Chronicle also covered the event, providing in-depth information and updates to readers interested in the congress.

Looking ahead, as the All American Quarter Horse Congress continues to grow in popularity and international recognition, scheduling and event organization will undoubtedly evolve to accommodate the growing number of exhibitors, spectators, and enthusiasts. With a focus on celebrating and promoting the American Quarter Horse breed, the congress remains a key event on the equestrian calendar for years to come.

Additional Information

American quarter horse mare and foal walking on field full of grass

Trade Show

The All American Quarter Horse Congress is an annual event that is known as the world’s largest single-breed horse show. Each year, the event typically brings together around 28,000 entries, attracting over 650,000 people and generating $409 million in the central Ohio economy.

One of the significant components of the Quarter Horse Congress is the Trade Show, which showcases various vendors, equestrian merchandise, and interactive activities for attendees. Exhibitors include various brands of horse tack, riding apparel, fine art, and specialty goods. This part of the event is an excellent opportunity for equestrian enthusiasts to shop, learn about new products, and network with professionals in the industry.


The event takes place at the Ohio Expo Center, a 360-acre facility located in Columbus, Ohio. The Ohio Expositions Commission oversees the venue and ensures that visitors have a pleasant experience during their time at the Congress. Ample parking is available on the site to accommodate visitors’ needs, and regular shuttles transport guests to and from the parking lots to the event areas.

Contact Information

For any inquiries, concerns, or additional information, visitors and participants can contact the Ohio Quarter Horse Association, which hosts the event. Details on contact information for the Association can be found on the official Quarter Horse Congress website.

While attending the All American Quarter Horse Congress, visitors can expect to witness many competitions and events, such as reining and various other disciplines. These contests showcase the talents and abilities of both horses and riders, creating an exciting atmosphere for all attendees.

In addition to the Trade Show and competitions, the All American Quarter Horse Congress features educational seminars, demonstrations, and clinics led by experienced professionals in the equestrian world. These activities offer valuable insights and techniques for riders, trainers, and horse enthusiasts alike.

Where is Quarter Horse Congress Held?

Brown Horse on Farm Grazing on Hay

The All American Quarter Horse Congress (AAQHC) is a prestigious event in the equestrian world and attracts thousands of visitors each year. It is held annually at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds in Columbus, Ohio, hosted by the Ohio Quarter Horse Association (OQHA). This event is known as the largest single-breed horse show globally, featuring numerous events in various disciplines.

The Congress spans over a three-week period in October, gathering more than 24,500 entries and housing nearly 6,000 registered American Quarter Horses. This event is particularly significant because Ohio is home to 33% of the United States’ horses. Participants and visitors can experience not only exciting competitions but also educational opportunities, industry showcases, and social events.

During the Congress, the Ohio Expo Center transforms into a hub of equine activities, offering plenty of entertainment and showcasing the versatility of American Quarter Horses. Some of the standout features include:

  • Over $3.5 million in cash and prizes for participants
  • The largest collegiate and youth judging contest, consisting of teams from colleges, 4-H, FFA, and Quarter Horse youth organizations
  • The Congress Super Sale, where more than 200 registered Quarter Horses are auctioned

All of these elements contribute to the Congress’s estimated economic impact of $409 million on the central Ohio economy.


In summary, the All American Quarter Horse Congress is a prestigious annual event held at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds in Columbus, Ohio, during October. This gathering celebrates the extraordinary talents of American Quarter Horses and provides a space for education, competition, and commerce within the industry. With an impressive economic impact and a vast array of activities for equestrian enthusiasts, it is no wonder that the Congress has maintained its status as the largest single-breed horse show in the world.