"I didn't come this far to only come this far."
Why Run for Congress Queen?
The Congress Queen is a unique title that I have the privilege of holding.
As Congress Queen you embody beauty, intelligence, grace, and horsemanship and advocate on behalf of the quarter horse breed and a sport that you are passionate about. It provides a platform for you to share your own story with the AQHA industry as well as empower young women and riders across the country to be proud of what they accomplish.
Rarely do we have the opportunity to highlight our passions and interests across such a wide audience. As Congress Queen, the opportunity to be an authentic leader is at your fingertips.
The world becomes your oyster.
Who you are, where you travel, and what you accomplish is up for you to decide in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
How to Apply
First, you must represent a recognized AQHA state association. Reach out to the executive board or leadership team of the organization you wish to run for and inquire about queen opportunities.
If you are selected as a state association queen, you must then download and complete the Congress Queen Application by August 1st. The application consists of personal information, essay questions, and professional headshots. Within the application you will also find the rules and regulations of the contest and Congress Queen title.
I Am A State Queen, What Next?
Plan Your Travels and Appearances
What horse shows do you want to attend as Queen? Are there certain groups [4-H, FFA, state association youth groups, etc.] that you would like to speak with?
Personally, as Congress Queen, I have reached out to Ohio’s 4-H and FFA extensions to see if there were any opportunities to give back to the clubs that gave me my start in the horse industry. I am excited to announce I will be judging the state’s public speaking competition as well as passing out awards at the State Fair!
I encourage everyone to think about the impact they hope to have as Queen and seek opportunities throughout the year that will lead to fulfilling these goals.
Running for Congress Queen can incur some expenses. Whether it be the application fee, traveling throughout the year, hauling and stalling your horsemanship horse, needing a new jacket, skirt, or Queen attire, there are people and businesses out there who would love to support you on your journey!
My motto is: You never know unless you ask! When seeking sponsorships from others, be sure to describe the benefits of the contest and why it is important to you.
As an aspiring fundraiser (yes, I actually am seeking a career in raising money), I have learned that people love to contribute opportunities to others that provide personal and professional growth.
Tell your story, be proud of what you hope to achieve, and remember: it is always okay to ask for help. Personally, as a graduate student, there was no way my endeavors in the contest, and my current experiences as Queen, would have been possible without the help of my generous sponsors. I appreciate and value each and every one of those individuals who has contributed to my Congress Queen journey!
The rulebook test is a doozey, let me tell you.
I started studying in February, at least once a day, until the contest began in October. Some common questions I get around the test:
1. What should I study?
Literally everything. Definitions, class scorings and penalties, AQHA processes, drug regulations, registration and exhibitor fees, required and optional obstacles, class patterns, racing rules, types of recognition awards…
The list goes on and on. Any and all bullets from the AQHA rulebook will be fair game.
2. How should I study?
Everyone has different study habits. With my photographic memory, I personally learn best by asking myself questions. I made each bullet of the rulebook into a question on a study guide and separated my guides by rulebook section/class.
Some learn best by reading and highlighting, others make charts and flashcards, and recording the rulebook and listening to it in the car on long drives is also a popular option. Do what works best for you!
3. What types of questions are on the test?
Let me give you some examples:
- Descendants from which horse are at risk for HYPP? What is this horse’s registration number?
- What are the jumping heights for progressive working hunter?
- List three mandatory obstacles in ranch horse trail.
- What does it cost to a member to register a foal less than six month old? A non-member?
- What is the penalty for a two-loop run in roping classes?
4. Anything Else I Should Study?
Be sure to look for any rule changes throughout the year and updated rulebooks
It also doesn’t hurt to know facts about the Quarter Horse Congress!
You know what they say: it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!
What Else Should I Do to Prepare for The Contest?
Remember the contest consists of an oral interview, the AQHA rulebook test, and horsemanship. Therefore, studying hard and practicing as much as you can on the horse you are going to ride will be helpful come October.
The interview, though, is different altogether. This is your time to shine and let the judges know who you are, why you are running for Congress Queen, and what you hope to accomplish with your title.
I recommend thinking about your values and goals and how you will represent them as Congress Queen. Some questions I used to think about my own purpose are below:
1. What are my values? Why are these important in a Queen?
2. What will I bring to this role that shows I am unique among other candidates?
3. What do I hope to accomplish as Queen?
4. How will I personally represent the Ohio Quarter Horse Association, the Congress, and the interests of all members in AQHA?
5. If I had a personal motto, what would that be?
What Can I Expect During the Contest?
You can expect to showcase all of your hard work, all while creating irreplaceable bonds with girls from all over the country (and Canada!) The relationships I have made from this Congress Queen contest still hold strong with me today. This past year was such a supportive environment and everyone truly rooted for the best interests of one another. I cannot begin to describe what the experience was like and I cannot wait to share it with our next group of girls!
Best of Luck!
We look forward to following all of your journeys this year as well as seeing all you will accomplish during the Congress Queen Contest!
Sara & The Congress Queen Committee