Special Events

SC-096. Special Paint Events. Organizations or individuals wishing to stage or sponsor Special Events (i.e. team pennings, cuttings, reinings, team ropings, cowboy mounted shootings, dressage competitions, etc.) must obtain approval of the APHA if the results of such events are to be recognized and points are to be awarded to the horses which place sufficiently high in that event. Approval does not carry over from year to year, but must be obtained for each individual event. All rules and regulations and fees pertaining to APHA shows will be followed in APHA Special Events.

  1. A special event is limited to two judges in the arena at any given time and held on one day.
  2. Mileage restriction: Rule SC-090.I.applies only if the regular APHA approved show includes the special event classes.
  3. A special event can be held on contiguous dates and within 250 miles of any other APHA-approved show. However, a maximum of 2 special events can be held on contiguous dates and within 250 miles of each other.
  4. Maximum events: A maximum of 2 categories as defined by Rule SC-050.A.3, SC325.K.2, AM-030.A or YP-025.A (see below). Classes can be offered in each division (open, solid paint-bred, amateur, youth…) within a category.
  5. All other rules in the General Show and Contest section of the APHA Rulebook shall apply.
  6. For NCHA – approved Special Events, see rule SC-286.
  7. For Working Ranch Horse Special Events, see rule SC-301.
  8. For Cowboy Mounted Shooting Special Events, see rule SC-305.
  9. For Dressage Special Events, see rule SC-310.


  1. APHA will approve judges to judge special events in the following classes:
    a. Working Cow Horse (NRCHA)
    b. Reining (NRHA)
    c. Team Penning, Ranch Sorting (USTPA)
    d. Jumping, Equitation Over Fences, Working Hunter, Hunter Hack (USEF)
    e. Cutting (NCHA
    b Barrel Racing (NBHA)
    g. Stock Horse of Texas/American Stock Horse Association (SHOT/ASHA)
    h. Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association (CMSA)
    i. United States Dressage Federation (USDF) & United States Equestrian Federation (USEF)
  2. For approval to judge these events the following is required:
    a. The judge is required to be a member of APHA.
    b. The judge is required to hold accreditations from the organizations for the classes in which he/she judges.
    c. Show management must submit the name of the judge at least 60 days in advance of the special event in order to be approved.
a. Category I Halter
Color Class
b. Category II Barrel Racing
Pole Bending
Cow Pony Race
Stake Race
Goat Tying
Team Penning
Ranch Sorting
c. Category III Reining
Western Riding
Utility Driving
d. Category IV Working Hunter
Hunter Hack
Preliminary Working Hunter
e. Category V Cutting
Tie-Down Roping
Team Roping Heading
Team Roping Heeling
Steer Stopping
Breakaway Roping
Working Cow Horse
f. Category VI Hunter Under Saddle
Pleasure Driving
Western Pleasure
g. Category VII Hunt Seat Equitation
Western Horsemanship
Hunt Seat Equitation Over Fences
h. Category VIII Yearling Longe Line
Yearling In-Hand Trail
Yearling & 2-yr-old Longe Line (Zone 12 only)
Yearling & 2-yr-old In-Hand Trail(Zone 12 only)
i. Category IX Working Ranch Horse Competition
j. Category X Cowboy Mounted Shooting
k. Category XI Dressage