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New Year, New Amateur Rules

Exciting new changes are coming to the APHA Amateur program in 2017, thanks to rule changes adopted by the APHA Board of Directors at the 2016 APHA Convention. Make sure you are informed on the latest modifications by reading up on the changes below.

  • The APHA Amateur divisions have changed.
    • Amateur: any Amateur who is 19 years or older as of January 1.
    • Masters: any Amateur who is 45 years or older as of January 1.

Here are some important points to keep in mind:

  • There is no longer a “Classic Amateur” division—only Amateur and Masters divisions.
  • Amateur cards will read “Amateur” or “Amateur/ Masters.”
  • Show management will have the option to offer Masters class(es) in addition to the all age Amateur classes.
  • A Masters exhibitor may show up to two different horses in group/rail classes: one in Amateur and one in Masters. Masters exhibitors must choose which horse to show if the class is combined by show management.
  • In individual working events, a Masters exhibitor may show up to three horses in Amateur and Masters classes (combined total); however, each horse can only be shown once in that particular event—the same horse cannot be shown in both the Amateur and Masters divisions in the same event.
    • For example, a Masters exhibitor in individual working events may exhibit all three horses in the Amateur, all three horses in the Masters, two horses in Masters and one in Amateur or one in Masters and two in Amateur.
  • APHA year-end Awards will continue to be based on the age of the Amateur due to combining and splitting classes. Awards will be calculated the same as in the past, but will be awarded as Amateur (19–44) & Masters (45 & Over).
  • Equine therapy instructors are now eligible for the Amateur division.

Individuals certified as an instructor in equine therapy by a professional organization recognized by APHA are now eligible for the Amateur program.

  • Yearling Longe Line, 2-Year-Old Longe Line and Yearling In-Hand Trail points now count toward Amateur and Open Honor Roll, Top 20 and Zone awards.
  • Amateur Walk-Trot Trail class requirements have been modified.
    • Maximum of eight obstacles.
    • Care should be taken to make course suitable for Walk-Trot exhibitors.

These are a few of the rules passed for inclusion in the 2017 APHA Rule Book; read all of the 2017 rule changes here.

Have questions? Contact Director of Amateur Activities Savanna Robbins at 817-222-6440 or [email protected].


[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 in 1962. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.