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18 rule changes passed by state directors, including show secretary certification, optional clipping and prohibiting raised trot-overs for in-hand trail

State directors voted on 21 rule change proposals as part of the 2022 APHA Convention and ultimately passed 18; results are summarized below. Passed rules go into effect January 1, 2023, unless they are otherwise noted for early implementation (in which case staff will determine the earliest possible date).

Among the passed rules are a requirement for certification of show secretaries, elimination of the embryo transfer permit and fee when used in year of harvest, prohibiting the use of raised trot-over poles for in-hand trail, optional clipping in showmanship, and disallowing Amateur Walk-Trot cardholders to cross-over into loping events at non-APHA competitions.

Rule changes passed by state directors are:

    Summary:  Allows Youth to stay on the AjPHA Executive Committee from the minimum to maximum age requirements, but they may only hold the same position for a maximum four years.
  • CONTROL #GR-020
    Summary:  Revises GR-020 sections J. and K. to explain the details of life memberships.
  • CONTROL # RG-120 – Early Implementation
    Summary: Updates and simplifies the embryo transfer rules, and removes the requirement for an embryo transfer permit and fee for those used in the same year of harvest. The permit and fee is still required by October 1 of the collection year for vitrified embryo(s).
  • CONTROL #RG-125 – Early Implementation
    Summary: Simplifies and removes duplication of information in the existing RG-125 rule.
  • CONTROL #SC-105 – Early Implementation
    Summary:  Allows APHA regional clubs to co-host PORs outside of one of the hosts’ boundaries as long as the show is within one of the clubs’ boundaries.
  • CONTROL #SC-110-1
    Requires certification of APHA show secretaries, and encourages education of APHA show managers, by completion of a certification program to increase the accuracy and completion of show applications and results to improve the association’s ability to post approved shows and results on the APHA website in a timely manner.
  • CONTROL #SC-125 (as amended) – Early Implementation
    Summary: Reduces the show submission deadline and assesses a late fee for late submissions of show results.
  • CONTROL #SC-192-2 – Early Implementation
    Summary: Prohibits use of raised poles for trot overs in the yearling and 2-year-old in-hand trail.
  • CONTROL #SC-196
    Gives APHA show managers in Zones 12, 13 and 14 the option to add a 3 years & older in-hand trail class to their show bills with all performance rules as per SC-192.
  • CONTROL #SC-197
    Summary: Gives APHA show managers in Zones 12, 13 and 14 the option to add a longe line class for older horses to their show bills.
  • CONTROL #SC-303 (as clarified)
    Summary: Offers the option to split age divisions in Ranch Rail Pleasure at shows with large class sizes.
  • CONTROL #AM-105-2 – Early Implementation
    Summary:  Allows clipping to be optional in showmanship at halter classes.
  • CONTROL #AM-125
    Summary:  Creates consistency in the rule, promotes participation and eliminates unnecessary fines imposed on exhibitors.
  • CONTROL #AM-245 – Early Implementation
    Summary:  Allows riders to ride any age horse with one hand on the reins or two hands with proper equipment, either a bosal or snaffle bit, in all APHA Novice and APHA Walk-Trot divisions.
  • CONTROL #AM-300-1 (as amended)
    Summary:  Prohibits Amateur and/or Novice Amateur exhibitors from reclassifying to Walk-Trot during the calendar year.
  • CONTROL #AM-300-5
    Summary: Exhibitors can’t compete in loping classes at other recognized equine associations or be a member of an intercollegiate team and hold an Amateur Walk-Trot card in the same calendar year.
  • CONTROL #JU-000 – Early Implementation
    Summary: Revises outdated and contradictory halter rules.
  • CONTROL #JU-000-2 – Early Implementation
    Summary: Revises the judge review process from a three-year review cycle to a continuous review.


The following rule change proposals failed, as per state director voting:

  • CONTROL #SC-110
    Summary: Requires that show managers and secretaries cannot exhibit at the show they are working in those roles.
  • CONTROL #AM-010-3
    Provides opportunities for Amateur lesson-givers.
  • CONTROL #AM-010-2
    Summary: Allows Amateurs to benefit from their name, image and likeness by receiving products or service endorsements without losing their Amateur eligibility.


Full text of the rules is available for review at apha.com/rule-books. Staff will announce when rules designated for early implementation above will go into effect.


[Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provided back to apha.com.]


About APHA

The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded in 1962. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.