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4 steps to check your Novice eligibility

Whether you’re new to riding or the show ring, APHA’s Novice programs—available for Youth and Amateurs—provide those new to APHA competition with a custom-made starting point. Exhibitors can be classified as Novice in various categories, which are groups of similar classes; even if you’ve shown for a long time in Western pleasure, you could still be a Novice when showing over-fences, for instance.

Want to see if you’re eligible for the Novice program? Check out these four requirements to find out; if you meet all three requirements for a particular class category (see Rule AM-250 and YP-215 in the Official APHA Rule Book for details), you can apply for a Novice card:

  • You meet the point requirement. You’ve earned 19 revalued points or fewer in Open, Amateur or Youth competition OR 49 or fewer revalued points in Novice Amateur or Novice Youth competition. APHA assigns weighted values to points earned in other equine associations to help standardize the field.
  •  You have earned less than $2,500 in prize money in any recognized equine association for applicable classes included in the category for which you are applying. The prize money you’ve earned is considered for each class category. For example, if you have earned $3,000 in Western pleasure prize money, but you are applying for Novice status in hunter under saddle, you would still qualify.
  • You haven’t won a world champion or reserve world champion title in any recognized equine association (excluding walk-trot and lead line) in that category. Recognized associations include, but are not limited to, APHA, AQHA, ApHC, IBHA, PHBA, PtHA, AHA, AMHA, ABRA and POA.
  • You have never been ineligible for Amateur status due to soliciting professional equine services. Riders who have ever been ineligible for Amateur status according to Rule Am-010.A.2. Remuneration Restrictions or AM-010.A.3. Judges Ineligibility are never eligible for Novice Amateur status.

The only exception to this is Novice reinstatement: if you have earned nine or fewer points in any category in the past 10 years, you can apply to have your Novice Amateur status reinstated. Reinstatement is completed upon request ONLY. The reinstatement form should be accompanied by a Novice Amateur application if you are applying for your card, and applicants must fill both out completely.

If you meet all of these criteria, congratulations! Now all you need to do is fill out the application for your Novice Amateur or Novice Youth cards to open up a whole new division of showing possibilities. Forms are available at apha.com/forms/performance-forms. You’ll need to apply for a Novice card annually, but once granted, Novice status includes year-long eligibility—as long as you meet the requirements, you can stay in the category until December 31, no matter how successful you are.

If you have questions about the Novice program, contact Director of Youth and Amateur Activities Christine Henry at amateur@apha.com.


[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 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.

For more information about the American Paint Horse Association, visit apha.com or connect with Paint Horse fans globally at facebook.com/americanpainthorse or on Twitter @APHANews.