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A Little History

Quarter Horse racing originated in North America shortly after the founding of Jamestown in 1607. Although the horses were long-acknowledged to be a distinct type, the registration of the Quarter Horse as a breed did not begin until the founding of the American Quarter Horse Registry in 1940. It is now the largest horse registry in the world. With the heart and willingness to win, the American Quarter Horse rockets from starting gate to finish line at speeds up to 55 mph, living up to its trademark as “Americas Fastest Athlete!”

IQHRA Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Iowa Quarter Horse Racing Association to support and enhance the ownership, breeding, and racing experience of our members. IQHRA does this by promoting the association’s goals and objectives, in a mutually cooperative and beneficial manner, with race track officials, owners, breeders, horse racing industry related groups, businesses, and the general public.

The Beginning in 1976

A handful of Quarter Horse racing enthusiasts got together to discuss their ideas about making pari-mutuel horse racing a reality. Progress was slow but steady and, in 1981 when Prairie Meadows was still a vision of the future, Central City track at the Linn County Fairgrounds was host to Quarter Horse racing. Hundreds of racing fans showed up on Sundays for an afternoon of exciting Quarter Horse racing. It wasn’t long before word of mouth resulted in over 1,400 fans one afternoon.

The Iowa Quarter Horse Racing Association continued diligently to promote pari-mutuel interest in the state of Iowa and was instrumental in the passage of pari-mutuel legislation and the Iowa Breeder Fund as we know it today.

Thirty-five years since the founding of the Iowa Quarter Horse Racing Association, the industry is alive and strong. The Iowa Quarter Horse racing program is one of the tops in the United States, and the Iowa-bred program continues to grow steadily and the future is bright.

The Iowa Quarter Horse Racing Association, as a nonprofit organization, sponsors a variety of programs to complement all aspects of the Quarter Horse racing industry in Iowa and provides the following benefits and activities to its members.

  • Maintains an open line of communication with state and local government agencies and monitors any legislation that would affect our industry.
  • Works closely with racing officials at Prairie Meadows in its efforts to provide a well-balanced racing program.
  • Has representation on the AQHA Racing Council.
  • Sponsors five Iowa-bred stakes races.
  • Holds an annual membership meeting.
  • Conducts open election of officers.
  • Holds public board meetings.
  • Hosts an annual awards banquet to honor outstanding Iowa breeders, owners, and horses.
  • Hosts a Summer membership picnic.
  • Conducts the IQHRA Stallion Service Auction.
  • Conducts the IQHRA Fall Mixed Sale.
  • Distributes a bi-monthly newsletter.
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