20 rule changes passed by state directors at 2023 APHA Convention

APHA state directors considered 21 rule change proposals at the 2023 APHA Convention; they passed all except one.

Among the passed rules are a modification to the RG-070.E rule, which grants Regular Registry status to horses that meet requirements based on qualifying pattern genetics and presence of Paint traits. The new rule expands the options for horses with one Paint parent to grant them Regular Registry status if they carry either a) two Paint traits and at least one pattern gene or b) two pattern genes and one Paint trait. This is in addition to the rules for horses with two Paint parents, which can earn Regular Registry status if they have at least one pattern gene and one Paint trait.

Also passed was a rule change that revises the point eligibility for Novice divisions to re-valued 75 points per category, with the exception of international Zones 12, 13 and 14, which have a point eligibility of 25 per category.

Other passed rules included defining ranch horse gaits, adding green ranch class options and removing the off-pattern rule for novice and walk/trot classes, among others.


The following rule changes were passed by state directors with early implementation in 2023, with the date to be determined by staff:

  • CONTROL NUMBER: RG-050– Simplifies and removes duplication of information in the existing RG-050 rule for enhanced readability and comprehension.
  • CONTROL NUMBER: RG-070 – Allows horses with multiple Paint pattern genes and at least 1 Paint trait to be classified as Regular Registry horses.
  • CONTROL NUMBER: RG-110 –Simplifies and clarifies verbiage in the existing RG-110 rule for enhanced readability and comprehension.
  • CONTROL NUMBER: SC-045– Removes the restriction that a judge may only be used twice when tabulating an exhibitor’s Top 20 award.
  • CONTROL NUMBER: SC-090 – Establishes the same submission deadlines for show approval applications for all show producers regardless of state/province/country and entry deadline.
  • CONTROL NUMBER: SC-125 – Allows show producers to submit score sheets to APHA electronically.
  • CONTROL NUMBER: SC-160-1 – Clarifies that scoresheets should be posted after each class for exhibitors to view to provide education and allow for clerical errors to be caught and fixed during the show. AMENDED to require submission of score sheets in all scored classes by judges to show management and suggests the timing of the scoresheet posting to be after each class.
  • CONTROL NUMBER: SC-205– Encourages exhibitors to show away from the middle of the arena where the judges stand in hunter under saddle.
  • CONTROL NUMBER: SC-302-1– Changes language to be more user-friendly for exhibitors, show management and judges.
  • CONTROL NUMBER: SC-303– Defines the required gaits for ranch rail pleasure.
  • CONTROL NUMBER: SC-303-1 – Changes language to be more user-friendly for exhibitors, show management and judges. AS CLARIFIED
  • CONTROL NUMBER: SC-304– Adds Green Ranch classes to the APHA approved-class list. AS CLARIFIED
  • CONTROL NUMBER: AM-015– Updates the rule to reflect the current methods APHA employs to process showing eligibility cards.
  • CONTROL NUMBER: JU-000– Adds Judged Roping to the list of APHA Restricted Judge classes.


The following rule change proposals were passed by state directors, with normal implementation January 1, 2024.

  • CONTROL NUMBER: SC-105-2– Expands the classes that can be judged simultaneously or in a split arena format for back-to-back shows.
  • CONTROL NUMBER: SC-250– Removes the Off Pattern (OP) rule for Novice and Walk/Trot divisions.
  • CONTROL NUMBER: SC-312 – Removes Competitive Trail Horse from the rule book.
  • CONTROL NUMBER: AM-205(as amended) – Revises Novice Amateur qualification to reflect not having earned more than 75 points in any division. AMENDED to change the original 50 points to 25 points for Zones 12, 13, and 14.
  • CONTROL NUMBER: AM-300– Increases the maximum number of allowed obstacles in the Walk-Trot Trail classes from eight to 10 to match the regular trail rules.
  • CONTROL NUMBER: JU-000-1– Allows clerical errors to be corrected after the show has concluded but before the results are submitted to APHA.


The following rule change proposal was defeated in a vote by state directors:

  • CONTROL NUMBER:  AM-010– Brings APHA in line with other major breed association rules by allowing Amateurs to become independent contractors using their name, image or likeness for remuneration using common performance metrics without losing their Amateur eligibility.  This rule change allows for a more inclusive opportunity for all Amateur-level exhibitors.


[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.