For over 50 years, queens representing quarter horse associations from across the country have traveled to Columbus, Ohio to compete for the title of All-American Quarter Horse Congress Queen. This October, the queens will return to Columbus, Ohio to participate in an amazing, competitive, and memorable weekend as they compete for the title.
The All-American Quarter Horse Congress is arguably the most prestigious show affiliated with the American Quarter Horse Association. It is a highly anticipated event that hosts 25,000 entries over a four-week span. The tradition of the Congress Queen Contest was started at the second annual Congress and has been a staple of the event ever since.
The Congress Queen Contest is in place to crown an official first-lady and spokeswoman of the Congress. She becomes a representative of the Ohio Quarter Horse Association, American Quarter Horse Association, and the horse industry as a whole. The Congress Queen is a woman who exemplifies grace, intelligence, and horsemanship, while living the western way of life.
Each Quarter Horse Association may choose one woman to represent them at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress Queen Contest. There are three phases of competition throughout the weekend of the contest. Judging is divided as follows:
40% Interview: Contestants are judged on poise, appearance, and personality.
40% Written Test: Questions about the Congress and from the entire current year’s AQHA official handbook
20% Horsemanship: scored on a pattern and rail work
The written test is created new each year and is what makes the Congress Queen Contest even more reputable. The queens start studying every detail and page of the AQHA Official Handbook many, many, many months before the contest.
Throughout the weekend of competition, the contestants are immersed into the culture of the Congress. They travel throughout the famous tradeshow to meet sponsors, participate in the Heroes on Horses special event, interact with the Ohio Quarter Horse Association board members, and the crowning is during the extremely popular Freestyle Reining.
Upon being crowned, the queen wins over $100,000 in prizes from some of the top brands in the industry. The duties of the Congress Queen begin bright and early the morning following the crowning. She immediately steps into the role of first lady and begins taking part in awards ceremonies.
Taylor Foster was crowned as the 2018 All-American Quarter Horse Congress Queen last October. She represented the Indiana Quarter Horse Association. During Foster’s reign, she traveled across the country to represent the American Quarter Horse Association, be part of awards presentations, and meet hundreds of individuals in the industry. “Being an advocate for the most versatile breed of horse has been the BEST experience,” said Foster. As the Congress Queen, you are given many opportunities and Taylor said she got to participate in Cowboy Mounted Shooting as part of her reign!
There are 17 women vying for the title of 2019 All-American Quarter Horse Congress Queen. Being the Congress Queen means “having great sportsmanship, unmatched confidence, and being the absolute best role model for younger generations,” said Foster.
The Congress Queen contest is rich in history. The queen is an ambassador for the equine industry and a woman who can respectfully represent the world’s largest equine breed registry and membership organization, the American Quarter Horse Association.
“I hope that I have inspired young horse women across the country to strive to have all the traits of a Congress Queen”
– Taylor Foster, 2018 All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen