In November 1967, the Ohio Quarter Horse Association hosted a three-day American Quarter Horse show at the Ohio State fairgrounds that drew more than 5,000 people. They could not have known that this horse show would grow to become the largest American Quarter Horse show and the largest single-breed horse show in the world.
The All American Quarter Horse Congress was founded by the Ohio Quarter Horse Association Board of Directors. The first Congress incorporated elements new to the horse show circuit, including an area for commercial exhibits, a stallion avenue and educational lectures and demonstrations. Later innovations included an American Quarter Horse auction, a Queen contest and youth horse judging competitions. At the tie of dedication, Congresses typically lasted 14 days and boasted attendance of more than 425,000 people, as the riders of 7,000 horses competed for purse money and prizes totaling more than $1.4 million.
American Quarter Horses are now competing in horse shows around the world and are in demand for racing, ranch work, rodeo, recreational riding and many other activities. AQHA is the world's largest equine breed registry, with its international headquarters located in Amarillo, Texas.