The Standard of Excellence

Martinganza’s History

With over 20 years of equestrian excellence, Martinganza has earned a reputation for hosting top-tier horse shows. Learn all about the rich history and legacy behind one of the premier horse show circuits in the south.

Martinganza is affiliated with the AQHA, VQHA, NSBA, and the North Carolina Quarter Horse Association.  It is managed and run by District IV North Carolina Quarter Horse Association.

The first Martinganza planning session was held in 2000 by Ken Johnson, Beth Tew, Linda Falls, Alvin Crandell, Mary Murray, Diane & Gary Phelps, and Susan & Jim Rouse.  The first show was held in February, 2001.  In 2002, Pam Jackson, Steve Reams, and Paul Thurston came on board to add NSBA classes to the show.  In 2023, with so many horse becoming dual-approved registered with AQHA and APHA, APHA classes were added as well.

Martinganza proceeds provide partial funding for the Equine Technology Program at Martin Community College in Williamston, NC. This is the only public two-year equine studies program in North Carolina.

Martinganza is a not-for-profit organization developed to promote the horse industry in Eastern North Carolina. Our primary objectives are to:

  • Benefit the economic growth of Eastern North Carolina
  • Benefit the local and regional horse owners
  • Philanthropic donation to the MCC Equine Program Plan for growth
  • Create a rewarding experience
  • Fiscal responsibility to involve people that put the industry ahead of individual reward
  • Associate with corporate and individual sponsors that share the same philosophies
  • We hope you will join us at the beautiful Senator Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center in Williamston, North Carolina for a GREAT AQHA show and a taste of our “Down East” hospitality.



Martinganza Steering Committee