Apprentice Judging Program

This program is designed to benefit those who want to apply for APHA judging credentials but may not have the references needed. While Apprentice Judging is not mandatory, it may be useful in helping you get the references required to apply for judging credentials.
Beginning January 1, 2014, you will be required to attend the HorseIQ Live seminar( formerly the Educational Judges Academy) prior to being allowed to apprentice. Starting in 2022, HorseIQ Live will no longer be held at the Color Breed Council (CBC), and instead will be held by APHA at the APHA headquarters in Ft. Worth, TX in the Spring. Details about this seminar can be found here.
You need not apply for judging status prior to entering the Apprentice Judging Program. Apprentices who have applied for the Apprentice Judge Program, are current APHA members in good standing, attended or plan to attend HorseIQ Live (formerly the Educational Judges Academy), and completed 6 apprentice judging assignments under 6 different regular status APHA Judges will have their file forwarded to the Judges Committee at their next scheduled meeting.  The committee will decide at that time whether to issue the applicant an invitation to the Applicant School. You may also use this program if you have already applied for judging status but need an additional judge reference.
To find judges that you could apprentice under, a list of judges and the shows they are judging is available through the Online Judges Directory. A PDF judge directory is also available on that page.

Apprentice Judge Program Forms

Apprentice Judge Application Form
Apprentice Show Information Form

Who is Eligible to Apply

  • The apprentice must be 19 years of age or older.
  • Amateurs are not allowed to participate in the Apprentice Judging Program.

How to Apprentice Judge

  • The apprentice must attend HorseIQ Live (formerly the Educational Judges Academy). Judge Apprentice Applicants who are not currently carded in another recognized equine association must attend HorseIQ Live prior to submitting their application, while those are already carded in another equine association must attend HorseIQ Live at least by the end of the first year of being an Apprentice Judge Applicant.
  • It is the apprentice’s responsibility to contact the judge and show manager to obtain permission to apprentice. Once permission has been obtained, email the APHA show department your completed Apprentice Show Information Form a minimum of one (1) week prior to each show at [email protected]. Failure to contact the Association could result in the show not counting.
  • A completed Apprentice Judge Application or an APHA Judge Application must be placed on file with the Association. Apprentice judges must be current members-in-good-standing with APHA.
  • Following completion of the show, the official judge will be asked to fill out and submit an Apprentice Evaluation Form to the APHA. APHA provides this form to the judge.

Apprentice Judge Rules

  • The apprentice must abide by all rules as listed in JU-000.E., JU-000.F. and JU-000.G. of the current APHA rule book. (Exception: JU-000.G.2.)
  • No more than one apprentice judge is allowed at a show and only one judge may be used as an apprentice reference. You may not apprentice at back to back shows.
  • Apprenticing with World Show judges will not be allowed from the date of publication until after the World Show is complete. Apprenticing will not be allowed at the European Championships.
  • Apprentice judging at a show where a family member is exhibiting, judging or a member of show management is prohibited.
  • The apprentice must judge the entire show from first to last class.
  • The apprentice is responsible for providing his/her own judge cards. Judge cards are available upon request from the APHA Performance Department. Cards will be handed in to the Judge, not show management.
  • There is no limit to the number of times a person may apprentice judge.
  • Show Management is not required to furnish the apprentice with hotel accommodations or meals.
  • Judges are not allowed to receive remuneration for allowing someone to apprentice under them.
  • Any apprentice that fails to attend 3 booked apprentice shows (regardless of the reason) will be immediately removed from the program.
  • An apprentice should not be asked to complete any duty in an official capacity. (Example: having exhibitors show to apprentice in showmanship, call judge, etc.)
  • Apprentices should only converse with the judge they are apprenticing with while in the arena.