San Luis Obispo County Quarter Horse Association-Mother's Day Circuit

Sports & Recreation

Non-profit that produces one of the largest AQHA shows in California, as well as a series of local, and family friendly all-breed horse shows


The San Luis Obispo County Quarter Horse Association is a volunteer organization that produces one of the largest Quarter Horse shows in California, as well as a series of local, beginner and family friendly all-breed horse shows. Their main event is the SLOCQHA Mother’s Day Circuit, an AQHA show approved by the American Quarter Horse Association and the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Association (PCQHA). The show is an AQHA Youth World Championship Show Qualifier, as well as Novice Championship Show Qualifier and Western States Championship Show Qualifier.

History of SLOCQHA
The San Luis Obispo County Quarter Horse Association (SLOCQHA) was founded around 1967-68 by Cal Poly Equine Instructors, Bill Gibford and Bob Hadley along with a local physician, Chalmer Ferris. Back in the 1960’s the only place to showcase Quarter Horses was during the Paso Robles Fair. Bill Gibford was on the Paso Robles Fair Board and at that time owned and campaigned the famous stallion, Zan Parr Bar. Bob was also involved in breeding Quarter Horses and his program produced Professors Alibi (Jean Tivio x Doc Bar).
At that time, Maynard Potter was the manager of the Fair. In those early years, the Paso Robles Event Center (then called the Paso Robles Fairgrounds) was a bit rough. There were no covered arenas or permanent stalls with rubber mats like we see today. The horse show took place on one day and it offered halter classes for “Registered Quarter Horses”. Later, Weanling Futurities in order to showcase foals produced by local breeders were added along with Cutting because it was a big sport on the California Central Coast at the time.
As the horse show evolved and grew in the late 70’s and early 80’s, the SLOCQHA membership applied to the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) to have a one-day standalone event to be held on Mother’s Day weekend. The show continued to grow with traditional classes that showcased “California Trail Horses”, Pleasure, Reining and Cattle Classes. During the mid 1990’s, the Paso Robles newspaper reported that “the show had grown to 2 days with 130 Quarter Horses and 400 participants, many who were from out of town". AQHA member Bill Enk, remembers showing in the rodeo arena because it was the only large arena at the fairgrounds to use. Sometimes the race track was used if classes were big.

SLOCQHA Mother's Day Circuit
Much has changed since those early years. Requests to add more disciplines as well as Youth and Amateur classes allowed the Mother’s Day Circuit to grow again. The Mother’s Day Circuit now keeps two arenas going over 4 days and also offers additional special event days. There are cattle classes, including Cutting, Reined Cowhorse and Reining, rail classes for Western and English riders, plus Trail, Speed and Jumping events that attract some of the best horses on the West Coast. In the last several years, entries have topped 2,200 horses and riders. Those entries bring exhibitors, horse owners, trainers and vendors to the area providing a significant bump to the Paso Robles local economy. Classes start between 7 and 8am daily and admission is free. For details or a full premium for the SLOCQHA Mothers Day circuit or the Trail Special event, visit our Mother's Day Circuit tab, or check our our Facebook Page.


SLOCQHA - Open Horse Shows
The San Luis Obispo County Quarter Horse Association is not just about producing one of the largest AQHA shows in California. The membership also believes in embracing the horse community in the area and they have worked hard over the years to provide everyone with the opportunity to show no matter the type of horse or pony, or level of experience. These open horse shows welcome horses and riders from all breeds and disciplines with classes for English, Western, Lead-line, Walk-trot, Jumping, Trail, Ranch Horse and Speed classes. Exhibitors can participate in just one show to get their feet wet, or can set goals to compete in all three shows for year-end award buckles. The Open Show Series shows are held in Templeton, California with easy access right off the 101 freeway.