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POLL – We Ask The Industry: Would You Like to See the Select World Combined with the Open World Going Forward?

In 2012, GoHorseShow wrote an article asking Select Amateurs where they felt would be the ideal venue for the AQHA Select World Championship Show. After we interviewed several exhibitors and posted an online poll, it was clear that the vast majority (95%) of our readers favored moving the show away from Amarillo, Texas.

AQHA listened, and in 2018, it was announced for the first time that the AQHA Select World Show was going to be held in Fort Worth, Texas, starting in 2019.

Last year, after the show, we did another article and poll about whether people liked the move to Fort Worth. According to our poll, 73 percent of our readers who voted stated they liked the new venue.

In 2020, another curve ball was thrown at the industry with the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the Select World being canceled this summer and combined with the Open/Amateur AQHA World Show this fall.

During the AQHA World Show, this hot button issue was heard being discussed in the barns and stands, and we wanted to formally visit the topic…Would you like to see the Select World combined with the Open World going forward?

Several trainers and exhibitors shared their thoughts. We’d also love to hear your opinion. Vote in our poll at the bottom of the article.

Heather Lange – Kudos to AQHA for putting on such a great show. I was a huge fan of holding the Select World Show separate and apart from the Open/Amateur World Show, but I might be a convert. It was great to watch my friends in other divisions show, and I appreciated them being in the stands for me. One of the unique things about Select World is the fantastic camaraderie among exhibitors. I was afraid we would lose that with so much else going on. My fellow selects did not disappoint—such a great group of people. I worry about the impact of our trainers’ schedule – lots of long days in a very long show. I hope AQHA will bring back the award jackets. I missed those this year.

Shelby Ratliff – Honestly, I liked having it combined a lot. I loved having the Selects there so I could watch them and cheer them on. The energy was great and it felt more like a world show for them. I hope AQHA keeps the two shows combined in the future.



Beth Clemons – There are pluses and minuses to having the Select World combined with the Open World. While for some Select Amateurs, it makes it easier for their trainers also to be able to show, for some, it was hard on the horses who also have amateur riders. Another issue I see with combining these shows in the future is selecting clients who also like to participate in Foundation events. The Select World has always celebrated the AQHA Foundation, and we didn’t see that this year. It would be easier for some selects if their horses don’t show all-around, then it’s only one trip and less wear and tear on the horses. For those who show all around, it isn’t easy on the horses and the people involved to combine the shows. This year would be tough to judge, considering the COVID virus prevented many from feeling comfortable traveling. It’s hard to know if the schedule would work for more Select Amateurs since the hours were already long. I think AQHA did the best they could this year, given the circumstances, and gave as many people as possible the opportunity to show.

Brad Ost – I think it’s great. I thought they should have done it a long time ago. I think it will add entries too. For instance, a Senior Trail horse might not go to the Open World Show for one class. But, if it’s going anyway for its select owner, it will most likely enter because it’s already there.

Kristy Starnes
– I loved it. It was nice to have everyone in one place for the world show. We have a few select exhibitors that would consider coming if everything is together in the future as it helps to cut down on expenses.

Scott Reinartz
– Well, I don’t have anything to compare to since this was my first year participating in the Select World Show. I can only compare as a spectator from last year. I have to say I liked being included at the Open World show. I felt like there was more enthusiasm and better energy. I was able to watch and cheer on the Amateurs. My only concern is the show ran too late. I felt like the trainers were run ragged and maybe didn’t feel as prepared as before. Overall, I liked it and support the thought of combining.

Joanne Garnett – I liked having the Select combined with the Open. It helps with the expense of sending horses to the world show. We brought horses for the open reining, which we usually do not do because of the added cost. I do wish they would be combined from now on. In the future, I am not sure I would send horses for the Open World if they were not integrated. I do think there were way too many events held at the world show. Riding was difficult, and although they added the outside arena, I am not sure how things would have been if the weather was terrible, and we could not have ridden outside.

Angela Stanhope – First, a huge thanks to AQHA for making this multi-championship event this year with all the challenges. We appreciate it, and they did a fantastic job. I am sure it was even more difficult than we can imagine. If I were given a vote, mine would be to make Select World a stand-alone event. My impression is that some special recognition like the Super Select, for example, got put on the back burner. As well, I think some of what this show is supposed to be about was lost. The less pressure, more friendship, more social is not what you get when combined with the Open/Amateur event. I believe we will lose some of our audience if the shows remain combined. In my first two years attending the Select World, I kept my horses at home and went without a trainer. Had it been a combined show, I have to believe I would have been too intimidated to go. Having the Level 1 classes combined with the show was a great idea, and I hope that remains part of the World Show events.

Kellie Hinely – I did like the Select World being combined with the Open and Amateur show. I have a few select riders that have horses that I show in the open classes. It allows them to come to one venue to both shows and watch their horse show simultaneously. I don’t care for the L1 being combined with the Youth and Amateur World Shows.  The L1 show’s purpose was to provide a show for novice competitors, and it was always a special event. I could see the “grassroots” exhibitors getting discouraged with themself at the shows’ intensity and level when they are combined.

Elizabeth Brown – I enjoyed having all our barn family, Selects and Amateurs, together for the World Show. It did present some challenges in getting practice time in the appropriate arenas. In all, I felt like it was a great show. I would support it being held together.


Suzanne Mayo
– As someone who might have a horse for my trainer to show in the Open as well, I would save lots of money having it combined. However, that calendar position directly following QH Congress creates several problems for lots of exhibitors and trainers. Seven weeks in a row gone is way too many.




Beth Case
– Yeah, it’ll be nice not to have to go to another separate show during the year.



Lynda Danielson
– Yes, I liked it. It sounds like it will continue this way in the future. Hopefully, the Level 1 Championship shows will be separate.




Brister Shum
– I loved this year’s World Show combined with Open/Amateur. Lots more to see and do. I got to visit with friends of all ages. I was shopping for a horse, and it was amazing to see Open, Amateur, and Select classes in one venue. Moving forward, I hope we get to combine Open/Amateur/Select.






What is your opinion? Vote in our poll and let us know.

Would you like the Select World to be combined with the Open/Amateur World going forward?

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