Getting Started

If it’s competition you crave, AjPHA has something to offer every Paint Horse rider! APHA has developed programs for every level of interest and skill. Team up with a natural athlete and compete with your Paint in events ranging from regional shows to World Championships. If your goal is to reach new levels of performance, a Paint Horse can take you there!

Beginning January 1, 2025, all points earned in APHA Youth and Amateur competition will be automatically eligible for incentive payback through APHA’s Paynt Points program. Read more here. 

New to Showing? Follow these steps:

Youth Division

  • Unmarried individuals aged 18 & under as of January 1. Married individuals may apply for the Amateur or Novice Amateur Division.

Novice Youth Division

  • A Youth that has limited show experience in a particular category of classes.
  • Novice Youth eligibility is based on a per category basis, with 25 different categories available. To be eligible for Novice status in a category, at the time of application, an individual cannot have earned any of the following in a recognized equine association:
    • Less than 75 revalued points (25 revalued points for Zone 12, 13, & 14 exhibitors), excluding W/T division points
    • $2500 or greater in prize money in that category;
    • A World or Reserve World Title in that category.

Review your novice eligibility on your Exhibitor Novice Eligibility page.

Youth Walk-Trot 11-18

  • A youth that has no prior loping show record can compete in walk-trot classes for up to two consecutive years.
  • To be eligible for the Youth Walk-Trot 11-18 division, an exhibitor cannot have earned ANY loping points or a World or Reserve World Championship title in a corresponding class.

Youth Walk-Trot 5-10

  • A youth that is ages 5-10 and only wants to compete in walk-trot classes. When an exhibitor enters these walk trot classes at a show, he or she may not enter any other classes at the show with the exception of halter and showmanship.

Lead Line

  • This class is for youth 3-8 years of age as of January 1. The horse is led by an individual 16 years of age or older and the contestant must exhibitor some knowledge of equitation.

A horse exhibited in a Youth class does not have to be owned by the youth showing the horse. However, to be eligible for points, titles, and awards sponsored by APHA, the horse must be owned by the Youth and/or the youth’s immediate family, family owned corporation, ranch or farm. For a list of approved family relationships, please see rule YP-015 in the Official APHA Rulebook.

*No ownership requirements are needed for the lead line.

You bought a Paint Horse, what’s next?

Upon acquiring your American Paint Horse, you will need to transfer your horse’s ownership. A transfer report can usually be found on the back of your horse’s original registration papers, or you can submit a Transfer Report. Exhibitors attending an upcoming event may need to submit a rush fee and have their transfer paperwork rushed. The recorded owner on the official APHA registration papers of a horse at the time of the show can affect the divisions in which the horse is eligible to show.

If you or an immediate family member will not be owning the horse you plan to show, you must submit a Show Lease to meet the Youth ownership requirements and be eligible for APHA points, titles, awards, and to compete at the World Show.

All exhibitors at an APHA-approved show must possess a current individual membership. Memberships may be purchased online.

Youth Division

  • Exhibitors must possess an individual AjPHA membership.

Novice Youth Division

  • Exhibitors must possess an individual AjPHA membership and Novice Youth Card.
  • Novice Youth Cards must be applied for using a Novice Youth Application. A Temporary Novice Youth Card may be obtained at an APHA-approved show, however, an additional rush fee will be incurred. To review your novice eligibility, check out our Exhibitor Novice Eligibility page of our APHA Online Services site!

Youth Walk-Trot 11-18 Division

  • Exhibitors must possess an individual AjPHA membership and Walk-Trot 11-18 Card.
  • Youth Walk-Trot 11-18 card must be applied for using a Youth Walk-Trot 11-18 Application. A Temporary Youth Walk-Trot 11-18 Card may be obtained at an APHA-approved show, however, an additional rush fee will be incurred.

Youth Walk-Trot 5-10 Division

  • Exhibitors must possess an individual AjPHA membership.

Lead Line

  • No individual membership or separate card needed.

Each year, APHA approves over 1,200 shows in the United States, Canada, and abroad. Chances are there’s a show near you. For a list of upcoming events in your area, please refer to our Calendar of Events or contact your local AjPHA Regional Club.

Its time to load the trailer and head out to your first show. Here are some essential items that you need to pack:

Show Packing List

  1.  Health and/or Coggins Papers—Check with show management and your State Veterinarian’s office to determine exactly what paperwork is required to transport your horse to the show facility.
  2.  Membership and Enrollments Cards—Your membership card and/or enrollment card, a legible photocopy, or digital download, must be presented at the show.
  3.  Registration Papers—A copy of your horse’s registration papers must be presented at the show. Amateur and Youth exhibitors must be able to prove ownership by presenting the APHA registration certificate or a legible photocopy with the correct owner’s name printed on the certificate by the APHA office. Exhibitors showing leased horses must present the APHA Show Lease certificate, physically or digitally.

QUESTIONS? Please contact APHA’s Director of Youth Activities at heichman@apha.com.