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2018 APHA rule change affects Novice eligibility in select events

A rule passed by APHA National Directors at the 2017 Convention became effective January 1, 2018, and rearranges three of the 21 Novice division categories. Rule AM-250.A.22.-24.  removed ranch riding, ranch pleasure and ranch trail from their corresponding non-ranch class categories and moved each event to its own category,  making a total of 24 Novice division event categories.

In the Novice division, event categories are used to determine Novice eligibility, which is based on an exhibitor’s past successes and awarded on a per-category basis. Due to this change, your Novice eligibility in both ranch events and their corresponding non-ranch classes might have changed.

Read all APHA rules in the 2018 Rule Book

“In layman’s terms, this rule change means an exhibitor’s points and experience in traditional show classes—Western pleasure, trail and Western riding—no longer affect his or her Novice eligibility in similar ranch classes, and vice versa,” APHA Amateur Director Savannah Robbins explained. “As the popularity of ranch events continues to rise, the Amateur Committee decided to move the ranch disciplines into their own Novice categories, thereby making it easier for our Paint Horse exhibitors to dip their toes into these exciting classes at a level suited to their experience.”

Beginning with 2018 Novice applications, any points—including previous years’—earned in ranch riding, ranch pleasure and ranch trail will be tallied in their individual categories. This change might also affect Novice eligibility in the corresponding show classes. For example, an exhibitor who previously competed in both Western riding and ranch riding and exceeded the point ceiling for Novice eligibility due to the combined categories might now be eligible for the Novice division in one or both events thanks to the split.


Think this rule change might have affected your Novice eligibility? Contact the Amateur Department via email or call 817-222-6440 with your APHA ID number to check if your points or eligibility has changed.


Get ready to make 2018 your best year yet! 

Novice Amateur and Novice Youth applications are now available. Apply today!

*Novice Amateur applicants should disclose all points earned with other equine associations to ensure accuracy of eligibility.


2018 Novice Division Categories

Cat. 1 – Barrel Racing, Goat Tying, Pole Bending, Stake Race

Cat. 2 – Western Riding

Cat. 3 – Jumping, Working Hunter

Cat. 4 – Pleasure Driving, Utility Driving

Cat. 5 – Showmanship

Cat. 6 – Breakaway Roping, Tie-down Roping, Heading, Heeling, Steer Stopping

Cat. 7 – Western Pleasure

Cat. 8 – Hunter Under Saddle

Cat. 9 – Horsemanship

Cat. 10 – Hunt Seat Equitation

Cat. 11 – Trail

Cat. 12 – Working Cow Horse, Team Penning, Ranch Sorting

Cat. 13 – Hunter Hack

Cat. 14 – Reining, Ranch Reining

Cat. 15 – Working Ranch Horse
*Points earned prior to May 15, 2015. Class no longer offered

Cat. 16 – Cutting

Cat. 17 – Hunt Seat Equitation Over Fences

Cat. 18 – Cowboy Mounted Shooting

Cat. 19 – Dressage

Cat. 20 -Limited Ranch Cow Horse/ Limited Working Cow Horse

Cat 21. – Competitive Trail

Cat. 22 – Ranch Riding

Cat. 23 – Ranch Pleasure

Cat. 24 – Ranch Trail



[Reprinting all of part of this story is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provide 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. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.