Following the proven model of the racing industry, the Barrel Racing Industry Alliance (BRIA) has developed a system to grade barrel races that are consistently recognized as the highest level and quality of competition.
Qualifying barrel races will be ranked by Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3, with Grade 1 being the highest grade. Races receiving grades for 2023 were evaluated on total entry numbers, payouts, and quality of competition by the BRIA Graded Races Subcommittee. Requirements for grading and graded status of races will be revisited annually by the BRIA committee, with a new graded barrel race list issued for each year resulting from that evaluation and assignment process.
As 2023 graded races are entered into the system, these grades will appear on AQHA’s QData Database Online Reports. The wins and placings of horses in graded barrel races will then appear on catalog pages produced by the QData Catalog Builder.
This new system will more closely align barrel sale catalog pages with race sale catalog pages and help breeders, owners and buyers easily understand the caliber of the horse and its sire and dam. This new grading tool from BRIA is a significant advance in data analysis for all in the barrel racing industry.
Black type System
Black type is a system that allows a horseman to easily discern the performance level of horse from a catalog page.
When viewing a sale catalog, horse name’s that are in bold-faced “black type” designates that a horse has achieved the designated black type pedigree criteria.
The new black type system will become effective January 1, 2024. Horses earning black type under the former official AQHA black type system will not have their black type status changed. The new system will apply to horses born in 2020 and later.
Horse can earn black type several ways:
$100,000 & above = UPPERCASE BLACK TYPE
$50,000-$99,999 = Upper & Lowercase Black Type
By Graded Race
Winning a Grade 1 Race (regardless of earnings) = UPPER CASE BLACK TYPE
Placing 2nd or 3rd in a Grade 1 Race (regardless of earnings) = Upper & Lower Case Black Type
View Black Type Pedigree Example >
What is a graded barrel race?
The graded race system is intended to provide buyers, owners, and breeders with a reliable guide to evaluating the quality of competing horses by identifying races are consistently recognized as the highest level of quality and competition.
What races are graded?
All races with results submitted to the QData database in the requested format will be reviewed. Graded status will be assigned based on the minimum criteria set forth and a commitment to be repeated annually. If an event does not meet the minimum graded criteria requirements, it will receive no grade by default. Races that have previously earned a grade can also lose its grade or have its grade lowered, if minimum criteria is not met in subsequent years. Race results may be submitted to email@example.com.
What are the grades?
Grades consist of Grade 1 [BG1], Grade 2 [BG2] and Grade 3 [BG3] for races open to all entries. Similar to horse racing on the track, graded races with entries restricted by the horses’ pedigrees or any other criteria, such as state foaled, are denoted by the letter R: [RBG1], [RBG2] and [RBG3]. A “B” for barrel racing will appear on the grade to distinguish the race from racetrack races.
Can a past race be graded?
No, races will not be graded retroactively.
Who grades the races?
The BRIA Graded Races subcommittee annually reviews all of the past year’s races to determine which races meet the minimum criteria set forth. The committee will review and may grant graded status, if warranted, for individual historic premier races that do not meet minimum entry or payout criteria.
Who is on the Graded Races Subcommittee?
The subcommittee is made up of members of the Barrel Racing Industry Alliance.
How do I get my race graded?
To maintain and/or receive consideration graded status, race results must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org upon immediate completion of the event. Races must meet the minimum criteria set forth to receive graded status.
Do I need to do anything as an owner, trainer or rider?
No. As results from 2023 graded races are received and entered in the system, these grades will be entered into the QData Database and appear on the QData Database Online Reports. The wins and placings of horses in graded barrel races will then appear on catalog pages produced by the QData Catalog Builder, and the information will be published on QStallions.com and other AQHA outlets.
If you would like to see a race considered for grading, encourage producers to submit results to email@example.com.
What does this mean for my horse?
This new system will more closely align barrel sale catalog pages with race sale catalog pages and help breeders, owners and buyers better evaluate the caliber of the horse and its sire and dam.
As 2023 graded races are received and entered in the system, these grades will appear on QData Database Online Reports. The wins and placings of horses in graded barrel races will then appear on catalog pages produced by the QData Catalog Builder, and the information will be published on QStallions.com and other AQHA outlets. Grades will begin appearing on these catalog pages in late Spring 2023.
What is the criteria for each grade?
The BRIA Graded Races Subcommittee will annually review all submitted races. The committee will review and may grant graded status if warranted for individual historic premier races that do not meet minimum entry or payout criteria.
- Minimum $250,000 payout
- Minimum 250 entries
- Minimum $150,000 payout
- Minimum 150 entries
- Minimum $75,000
- Minimum 150 entries
My horse won a race in 2022 or earlier, will this appear on their catalog page?
No, grades will not be applied retroactively. Only those races graded in 2023 and beyond will appear.
What does “R” mean next to a grade?
“R” denotes that the race is restricted by specific entry criteria. This may be by pedigree, state-bred, or sale participation requirements.
Black Type Pedigree
Will the new black type be retroactive?
The new black type system cannot be retroactive, meaning horses that could have already appeared on catalog pages cannot have black type removed or black type status otherwise changed.
What horses will the new black type system apply to? does “R” mean next to a grade?
The new black type system will apply to horses foaled in 2020 or later.
What if my horse earns black type in other events (racing, etc.)?Horses earning black type in other events will continue to be black typed accordingly.
What if my horse already appears as black type in a catalog?
Horses that could have already appeared on catalog pages will not have black type removed.
Want to learn more?
Listen to the Barrel Racing Industry Alliance on The Money Barrel.