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We Ask the Industry: Congress is Back – What Are You Most Looking Forward to?

The All American Quarter Horse Congress is back. Everyone is excited to be able to smell the cold, brisk air, eat at the Sweet Shop, and let’s not forget the incredible horses, the stall setups, seeing long-time friends, and shopping. The carnival-like atmosphere and everything else that makes the Congress the Congress are things you just don’t get at any other show.

It is a staple. A tradition. We’ve all missed it and there is no doubt about it, the Congress is still the one!

Let’s find out what some of the leaders of the industry are looking forward to after a year off. Don’t forget to let us know what you’re most looking forward to in the comments.

Carey Nowacek – I am so excited for The Congress to be back. I know some might think I am crazy, but I am excited about the midnight rides. That time spent working and practicing always gets me. Also, getting to spend so much time with my horse and friends. The excitement of being at The Congress is like no other, and I love that feeling. I cannot wait.

Ellexxah Maxwell – The Congress has been a staple in my life since I was born. Quite literally, I was two days old when I went to my first Congress. The thing I love about Congress is the feeling it gives you. It not only demonstrates the best in the industry, but it also demonstrates how much of a family we are. I most look forward to the atmosphere. Anyone who’s been to the Congress knows what I’m talking about. That indescribable feeling that Congress gives. You can only get that at the Congress, and the buzz and excitement of its return, prove that it’s still the one.

Grant Mastin
– I am most looking forward to having the opportunity to win the prestigious Congress bronze. Growing up in Ohio, the Congress is a horse show that I have always gone to, whether as a spectator or an exhibitor. When I was little, I always left Congress wanting a leather Champion jacket and the bronze trophy. While I have been fortunate enough in the past to win here, it is always an incredible feeling. The Congress will forever hold a special place in my heart, and I’m so excited to be in Columbus for October.

Shannon McCullough Bacon – The smell of the Sweet Shop cinnamon rolls when I come out of the Celeste after riding late at night.





Tali Terlizzi – I’m super excited to head back to the Congress. I’ve only shown there a couple of times and I am really looking forward to showing my string there and finishing out the year strong! Unlike most people, I actually love the weather there. I’m a huge fall girl, so I love the cool, crisp air and the smell of bourbon chicken and Sweet Shop cinnamon rolls blowing through the wind.



Emma Brown – One of my favorite things at Congress is seeing all of the fun stall setups. No other show is like Congress when it comes to that. Also, I love how it brings everyone to hang out at the stalls and enjoy good conversations.


Joe Whitt
– The opportunity to show at the Congress is exciting to me. When I was a kid showing in open shows, I always dreamed about showing at the Congress.  The competition, vendors, and excitement of being in Columbus in October are milestone events for any exhibitor. To me, it is the Superbowl of the Quarter Horse World. Plus, the food and shopping add to the excitement.





Alyssa Casa – Now that Congress is back, I am really looking forward to some potato soup from Schmidt’s. Nothing beats it on a chilly, fall day.





Jennifer Welhouse – I’m so excited for the nostalgia. The walk down the food trucks and the smell…the stepping into the Celeste for the first time…in the air is excitement for competition! But, most I love seeing all my trainer friends. Watching them compete…sitting at their stalls. And then in the parking lot, laying in your camper…the guy’s voice every morning that I wake up to…that iconic voice. It’s like boom…“Welcome to the All American Quarter Horse Congress.”


Dakota Diamond Griffith – I’m looking forward to honoring tradition and being back in the Buckeye state with friends and family.





Ashley Leister – This will be my first time showing at Congress, so I have a lot to look forward to. My goal is to show my best on such a big stage and in a crazy environment…a placing would be nice! Then, of course, I am looking forward to the shopping. It is the one time you have such an amazing selection at the tips of your fingers.

Abbey Zawisza
– I am so excited to be able to spend time with all my friends! This might sound a little crazy, but I look forward to the middle of the night practices and competing with the best of the best. I am also looking forward to having a big show that is so close to home.




Violet Shetler – This year, I’m showing my new horse, Im N Outsider, so I am most looking forward to my first Congress with him. I am also moving to the 15-18 this year, so I am looking forward to being in that division. There is a certain feeling of nostalgia when showing at Congress, so I am excited to have that back.



June Liston – I love the magic of the Congress. The crisp air of the Fall, the brightly colored leaves. The great competition from all over the country. All the decorated stalls, the smell of cinnamon buns at The Sweet Shop in the cold, night air, and all the crazy adventures that my barn family and I are sure to get into.



Debbi Trubee – Visiting with our breeding customers and getting updates on their babies.





What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Congress ? The weather? The food? Seeing friends? Let us know in the comments.