In Honor of the 2015 Congress Queen Competition, Here are 25 Signs you have competed for the title of All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen

In Honor of the 2015 Congress Queen Competition, Here are 25 Signs you have competed for the title of Congress Queen.

You know you have been a Congress Queen Candidate If….

1.)    You know the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations like the back of your hand.  – Yes, you live it, you breathe it and you even dream about it. You have spent countless hours making note cards and taking practice tests. Fellow exhibitors turn to you with any and all questions regarding the rulebook.

2.)    Your knowledge extends far past just the handbook – Queens must be well-spoken, articulate and up-to-date with current events outside the industry, as well. After all, interview is 40% of the overall scoring!

3.)    You have “Wings” – No, not on your back… These wings are within your Queen Hair, of course.

4.)    Speaking of Wings, Kenra 25 is your best friend – This hairspray holds through the humidity and the cold temperatures, which one might experience all in the same day at Congress.

5.)    You go to bed so late, you recycle your makeup for the next day – One might think the role of Congress Queen is all glamour, but the Queen puts many late nights in while staying up to hand out the final awards. Even followed by super early mornings for more awards, photos and television interviews… You are expected to look your best and always shine!

6.)    If you are craving sweets, you know just where to go – From Crème Puffs to Cinnamon Rolls, you can find it all. Long and late nights around Congress often call for a delicious treat!

7.)    You know the correct color for each placing – And, are required to still get them right even when there are 3 sets (including AQHA, NSBA and Southern Belle Breeders Futurity Medallions)

8.)    The awards office becomes your second home – Why yes, you sleep there, eat there and even brush your teeth there. Many people might not know that this is where the Congress Queen can be found when she is “off set.”

9.)    Magnets are a girl’s best friend – No, they aren’t quite like diamonds, but they do come in pretty shapes and can even have rhinestones. Queens know that magnets are the best way to keep your sash from sliding around!

10.) You have dreamed of “The Ring” – That’s right, the Congress Queen Contest has something in common with the Superbowl. Each year, one lucky lady has a diamond ring placed upon her hand that says “Congress Queen.” The ring is graciously donated by Fritz and Carol Leeman of Leeman Farms. Although I said we love our magnets, we really dream of the diamonds.

11.) Who needs a purse when you have your boots? – Many objects can be found inside the boot of a Congress Queen Candidate. From cell phones to lipgloss, a boot holds more than one might think! You might even find a sharpie in there, as you never know when someone will ask you for your autograph! Speaking of boots, have you checked out the Lagrange Leather Wings of the Journey Boots? Congress Queen Candidates are selling raffle tickets for someone to have the chance to WIN a pair of these limited edition boots designed by the one and only, Babs Bryant!

12.)  You are the Queen of False Eyelashes – Yes, you might also find eyelash glue in the boot of a queen. Queens love big, bold lashes!

13.)  You know how to pack for all seasons – The Congress weather is unpredictable and as a queen, you must be prepared for all seasons. From 75 degrees and sunshine to freezing temperatures and snow, you are prepared for it all.

14.) You have walked the red carpet (on top of dirt) – This is no small task! When is the last time you have tried to gracefully walk across dirt in platform heels? Our Queens have mastered this, as they gracefully take the red carpet each year in the Coliseum for the Congress Opening Ceremony and crowning of a new Congress Queen!

15.) When asked where your castle is, you simply reply the All American Quarter Horse Congress – Afterall, they have recently allocated $49 million dollars to go toward improvements to your Castle (The Ohio Exposition Center).  

16.) You love the color pink – Whether it is your favorite color or not, there is no denying that the Congress Queen Contest loves pink! You see it in our logo, booth and throughout our website, www.congressqueen.com

17.) You know every vendor on the show grounds – And, how to direct people to their booth! Queens are grateful for the sponsors of the contest and enjoy cross-promoting them! Be sure to check out our website (www.congressqueen.com) to see a list of Congress Queen Contest sponsors. Our website also features our Masters Auction Items graciously donated by Berry Fit, Carolina Moon and Shorty’s!

18.)  You know the judges, too – Throughout travels, Queens really get to know the judges. They can “talk the talk,” as they are well informed on the rules and regulations within the handbook. When they are not judging or passing out awards, the group can typically be found together resting their feet in the show office! 

19.)  Many people simply refer to you as Queen or Queenie – When the crown and sash are taken off, you might cause confusion around what your “real name” is.

20.) You know how to work hard, but do it with style – Just because you are a queen doesn’t mean you are unwilling to roll up your sleeves and help out when needed!

21.) You know this isn’t a “pageant” – We ride horses! - Where similar contests might have a talent portion, Congress Queen Contestants are required to perform a horsemanship pattern in front of hundreds of spectators in the largest arena at the All American Quarter Horse Congress, the Celeste Center.

22.) You know how to handle TSA when they question you about what is inside your “hat can” – No, it is not a weapon. No, there are no animals in there. Yes, it is simply a cowboy hat and crown.

23.)  You have made lasting relationships with women from all over the country – Every year, queens from all over the country descend on Columbus, Ohio to compete for the coveted title of All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen. This time leads to lasting friendships that extend far beyond the contest. You end up becoming best of friends… Perhaps, even Bridesmaids for each other, too!

24.) You have a love for the Quarter Horse – All queen candidates have one thing in common that brings the group together… The love for the American Quarter Horse! Queens love their horses because the heart they have shown both inside and outside of the show arena. The Quarter Horse is what ultimately brings the Congress together and allows queens to proudly represent their respective Quarter Horse Associations!

25.) You care about more than just horses and the crown – You have a passion for philanthropy! The Congress Queen Contest has partnered with many organizations throughout the years including the Shirley Bowman Nutritional Foundation and Nellie’s Catwalk 4 Kids. Queens care for more than just themselves, they care for all of those around them!  


Tips from 2014 Congress Quee Carly L. Kidner

Most people know that typically the lucky lady that captures the Congress Queen title is either first or second on the written exam. For this reason, studying as frequently as possible is so important and after all, the Congress Queen should be well educated on the industry she represents. One piece of advice that I have is rather than sitting down for 3.5 hours on Saturday to study the rulebook, study a half hour each day of the week. This will help you retain the information much better. Unlike a typical college exam, the rulebook test is pure memorization. Unless you are blessed with a photographic memory, it is not possible to memorize the necessary details by just reading through the rulebook. Personally, I highly recommend notecards and recording at least parts of the rulebook. Especially if you drive a lot! I drove a lot and I would always listen to the rulebook every time I was in the car. This is especially good for parts that you are struggling to remember. This is the only part of the contest you have full control over because it is your knowledge and no one is judging you so to speak! This is where the largest point spreads in the contest are made. With the interview and the horsemanship the point gaps are a lot closer!

I will also stress the importance of the interview because it is just as important as the test to prepare for! At Congress I walked into the interview room confident because I knew there was not a question that I could not answer. What is special about the interview is that you do not have to have a ton of answers because the same answer can be used for a lot of different questions. For instance, if a question in the interview room is different than one you have practiced, think of answers you have used in the past that work for that question too! I feel mock interviews are the best way to prepare. It is not nearly as beneficial to attempt to prepare for the interview alone because you will not be alone when you walk into the room at Congress with the three judge panel. You have to practice actually saying the answers to someone instead of just thinking the answers in your head. Also, know everything that you put on your application/bio that you sent in and be prepared to answer anything on it. The judges will use this during the interview, so make sure you save a copy before you send your application in.

Ideally, for the horsemanship I recommend using a horse that you are comfortable on. I know this is not always possible, but if you are able to ride your horse before Congress or even show in a novice class, that would be great! It really helps to eliminate the nerves when you enter Celeste. Luckily, I had a great friendship with the owners of the horse I used and I was not nervous at all when I went in for the queen’s horsemanship.

Most importantly, my greatest piece of advice is to enjoy the experience! Of course preparing for the Congress Queen contest is important, but it is also important to not get too wrapped up in it. Before you compete for Congress Queen, you represent your state and your state quarter horse association. Make sure to really embrace your time as a state titleholder! I loved every second I spent as the 2014 OQHA Queen! Once you are at Congress, if you are stressed or a nervous wreck, the judges will see that. Of course, you should have some nerves as you have put a lot of preparation into something you care about, but make sure not to lose the joy! As my mom always told me since my leadline days, “Smile with your eyes!”

Best of Luck,

Carly L. Kidner

All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen 2014