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APHA Amateur rules simplified

Showing multiple horses in various divisions–even just remembering your pattern–can be a challenge in itself. Throw in remembering rules for entering in different Amateur age divisions and classes can further complicate your show day. Before you saddle up, make sure you know the ins and outs of showing your Paint in APHA’s Amateur division.

  • APHA recognizes two divisions for Amateurs: Amateur (19 & over) and Masters Amateur (45 & over). A Masters Amateur exhibitor may show in both Amateur and Masters Amateur at a show, so long as the same horse is not shown in both age divisions for the same class at a particular show.
  • An Amateur and Masters Amateur exhibitors may show up to three different horses in individual working events, like trail and western riding. However, the rules above still apply—a Masters Amateur cannot show the same horse in the same event, even if it’s in a different age group. For example, a Masters Amateur may show two horses in the Amateur trail and a different horse in the Masters Amateur trail.
  • A Masters Amateur exhibitor may show two horses in rail/group classes—one horse in Amateur and another horse in Masters Amateur
  • Year-end awards are tabulated and organized based on the age of the exhibitor. For example, if a Masters Amateur shows in Amateur Hunter Under Saddle, the points earned will go toward the Masters Amateur Hunter Under Saddle Honor Roll.
  • Show management has the right to combine the two Amateur age divisions if either has five or less entries. If so, Masters Amateur exhibitors must choose one horse to show in the age-combined class.

Check out this link for a helpful handout containing examples that might help you make the correct decisions when addressing the APHA Amateur rules, whether you are an exhibitor, show secretary or show manager.

Got questions? Email Director of Amateur Activities Savanna Robbins at srobbins@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 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.