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Be aware of APHA program and rule changes for 2016

The result of rule changes passed March 2 at the 2015 APHA Convention—along with other policy or program changes—mean there will be a few things different for Paint exhibitors in 2016. Read up on these modifications, which go into effect January 1, 2016, and arm yourself with the most recent information to have a stress-free year.

Program changes

  • APHA’s Ride America and Paint Alternative Competition programs are combining to create a more viable, self-sustaining program that offers higher-quality awards to trail riders. Learn more here. 
  • The Breeders’ Futurity Platinum Division, a premier weanling futurity held at the APHA World Championship Show, has been restructured into a Non-Pro-only format with higher payouts to all parties. Learn more here. 
Major rule changes going into effect in 2016
  • Once limited to two horses, Amateurs can now show up to three horses in individually worked events such as cutting, barrel racing, Western riding and more. Read the full rule in the 2016 Official APHA Rule Book by searching “AM-085.”


  • New Novice eligibility rules for U.S. and Canadian exhibitors allow for Novice exhibitors to spend more time testing the waters of the Amateur and Youth divisions before relinquishing their Novice status. Read the full rule in the 2016 Official APHA Rule Book by searching “YP-205” or “AM-205.” Then, apply for your Novice Amateur card online.


  • Reclassification from Amateur/Novice Amateur to Walk-Trot Amateur or vice-versa may only be requested once per year, per exhibitor. Read the full rule in the 2016 Official APHA Rule Book by searching “AM-300.”

Read all rules passed for inclusion in the 2016 APHA Rule Book here.


[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. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.