Section 5

Classes, Equipment and Attire

 

80. GENERAL

80.1 Reruns

Will not be allowed in instances of equipment failure. When exhibitor equipment failure causes a delay or a run to be discontinued, the judge will disqualify the entry.

80.2 Unsafe and Unfair: In any approved class, the judge will have the authority to require the removal or alteration of any piece of equipment or accoutrement which is unsafe, or in his/her opinion, would tend to give a horse/rider an unfair advantage or which he/she believes to be inhumane.

80.3 Lameness: The judge will examine and check for lameness all horses exhibited in any class. This is essential regardless of whether or not the competition indicates it is necessary.

Obvious lameness will be cause for disqualification. Obvious lameness is:

a) Consistently observable at a trot under all circumstances;

b) Marked nodding, hitching or shortened stride;

c)  Minimal weight-bearing in motion and/or at rest and inability to move.

80.4 Safety HelmetsIt is optional that an exhibitor can wear a safety helmet which conforms to the current Australian Safety Standards in all classes except:

a) That it is mandatory that all exhibitors wear such helmets in the Hunter Hack class and when schooling over fences;

b) All Youth competitors must wear such helmets when competing in all English classes, speed classes, lead line and walk and jog/trot classes;

Speed classes are defined as classes where speed is the determining factor and include, but are not limited to, working cow horse, figure of eight, barrel racing, flag, key hole and pole bending;

c) The chin strap must be securely fastened under the chin at all times during competition and practice.

80.5 In all ridden classes horses are to be ridden astride.                                                                           

80.6 Training Equipment: No training equipment is allowed in the marshalling area or the performance arena one (1) hour prior to the commencement of the show and one (1) hour after the cessation of the show, on each day of the show.

81. PERFORMANCE CLASSES See Rule 2.4, Rule 82.3 and Rule 83.3 for Prohibited Equipment.

a)  A two year old cannot be shown in any ridden classes until 1 April in the year it turns three (3) and must be a minimum of 24 months of age;

b) A two year old can only compete in a maximum of three (3) ridden classes at a show and is restricted to Western Pleasure, Hunter Under Saddle and Trail classes;

c)  No horse can be entered in both the junior class and the three year old class at the same show;
No horse can be entered in both the junior class and the two year old class at the same show;

d) Western: Western Pleasure, Western Horsemanship, Trail, Western Riding, Reining, Ranch Riding, Ranch Versatility, Working Cow Horse and Boxing;

Senior horses, six (6) years and over – must be shown in a bit;

Junior horses, two year old to five year old – must be shown with either a bit, hackamore or snaffle bit;

e)  English: Hunter Under Saddle, Hunt Seat Equitation, Hunter Hack.    Horses, regardless of age, must be shown with either an English Snaffle, Kimberwick, Pelham and/or full bridle;

f) Other Disciplines: For other disciplines see individual class rules regarding age divisions and mouthpieces.

81.1 In performance classes, the judge:

a)  Will not call contestants off the rail at any gait other than a walk, where horses are worked on the rail;

b) Can, at his/her discretion, require the backing of only the finalists in the class where backing is required;

c)  Will disqualify a horse that has an open wound and a horse that shows traces of blood;

d) Will disqualify a horse if the horse appears sullen, dull, lethargic, emaciated, drawn or overly tired;

e)  Will disqualify a horse any time a horse’s mouth is bleeding;

f)  Is not to penalise a horse for the manner in which it carries its tail nor for normal response with its tail to cues from its rider or when changing leads.

81.2 The fall, of a horse or rider being judged, will be cause for disqualification in all classes except for team penning.

  • A horse is considered having fallen when it is on its side and all four feet are extended in the same direction.
  • A rider is considered to have fallen when he or she is not astride.

81.3 Any time a horse’s mouth is tied or fastened in a performance class, it will be disqualified.

81.4 An exhibitor cannot be tied, buckled or fastened in the saddle in any manner or by any means. Except RWD class.

81.5 If there is elimination, each horse must be ridden in the actual class by the same rider who rode it in the elimination.

81.6 Barrels can only be used in Barrel classes and in a trail class as an obstacle. Chairs cannot be used as markers or obstacles in any class.

82. ENGLISH

These rules apply to Hunter Under Saddle, Hunt Seat Equitation and Hunter Hack. Any other disciplines see individual class rule.

82.1 Equipment

a)  An English snaffle (no shank), kimberwick, pelham and/or full bridle (with two reins); all with cavesson nosebands and plain leather brow bands must be used. NB: Hack classes are run under EA or Hack Council rules which allow decorative brow bands;

b) In reference to mouthpieces, nothing can protrude below the mouthpiece (bar) such as extensions or prongs on solid mouthpieces than by no more than 1.6mm. Solid and broken mouthpieces must be between 8mm to 20mm in diameter, measured 25mm from the cheek and cannot have a port higher than 40mm.They may be inlaid, synthetic wrapped, including rubber or plastic or encased, but must be smooth.  On broken mouthpieces only, connecting rings of 32mm or less in diameter or connecting flat bar of 10mm to 20mm measured top to bottom with a maximum length of 50mm, which lie flat in the horse’s mouth or a connecting roller 10mm to 20mm  diameter, are acceptable.  The diameter of Snaffle bit rings must be a minimum of 50mm and a maximum of 100mm. Any bit having a fixed rein requires use of a curb chain.  Smooth round, oval or egg-shaped, slow twist, corkscrew, single twisted wire, double twisted wire mouthpieces and straight bar or solid mouthpieces are allowed;

c)  Bits of any style (pelham, snaffle, kimberwick) featuring mouthpieces with cathedrals, donuts, prongs, edges or rough, sharp material will be cause for elimination. If a curb bit is used, the chain must be at least 12.5mm in width and flat against the jaw of the horse;

d) Saddles must be black and/or brown (shades of brown accepted) in colour and of traditional English (ie Dressage/Hack saddle), hunting or forward seat type, knee insert on the skirt is optional. Saddle pads are to be white, black, cream or grey to fit size and shape of saddle, except where necessary to accommodate numbers on both sides.

82.2 Optional equipment

a)  Spurs of the unrowelled type that are blunt, round or that include a smooth rolling ball. The thickness of the spur can be no more that 1cm and the length of the shank cannot exceed 2.5cm and is measured as per diagram below:

b) Crops or bats to measure no more than 76cm in length;

c)  Gloves;

d) English breast plate;

e)  Braiding of mane and/or tail in hunt style;

f)  Protective boots, leg wraps and bandages are allowed in hunter hack only.

82.3 Prohibited equipment for showing

a)  Bits of any style (Pelham, snaffle, kimberwick) featuring mouthpieces with cathedrals, donuts, prongs, edges or rough, sharp material will be cause for elimination. Square stock, metal wrapped or polo bits will be cause for elimination. If a curb bit is used, the chain must be at least 12.5mm in width and lie flat against the jaw of the horse;

b) Draw reins;

c)  Rowelled spurs or spurs with a shank longer than 2.5cms or a shank that faces upwards;

d)  Figure 8 or flash cavessons;

e)  Protective boots, leg wraps and bandages are prohibited in Pleasure Driving, Hunter Under Saddle, Hunt Seat Equitation or Hunter In Hand and boots of any description except outdoors during inclement weather in Hunter Hack. The use of slip on (easy care) horse boots or related footwear are not considered as protective boots and are permissible to be worn in all classes;

f)  Rubber reins;

g)  Slip on spurs;

h)  Western spurs;

i)   Synthetic spurs.

82.4 English Gaits

The following terminology will apply to Hunter Under Saddle, Hunt Seat Equitation, Hunter Hack and Hunter in Hand:

a)  Walk: is a natural, flat foot, four-beat gait. The horse must move straight and true at the walk. The walk must be alert, with a stride of reasonable length in keeping with the size of the horse. Loss of forward rhythmic movement will be penalised;

b) Trot: is a two-beat gait, comprised of long, low, ground-covering, cadenced and balanced strides. Smoothness is more essential than speed. The knees should remain relatively flat, exhibiting minimal flexion. Short, quick strides and/or extreme speed will be penalised. When asked to extend the trot, there should be a definite lengthening of the stride;

c) Canter: is a three-beat gait; smooth, free moving, relaxed and straight on both leads. The stride should be long, low and ground-covering. Over-collected four-beat canter is to be penalised. Excessive speed is to be penalised;

d) Hand gallop: should be a definite lengthening of the stride with a noticeable difference in speed. The horse should be under control at all times, and be able to halt in a smooth, balanced manner.

82.5 English Attire

a)  In all English classes, riders must wear hunt coats of traditional colours being navy, dark green, grey, black, brown or tweed;

b) Breeches (or jodhpurs) are to be of traditional shades of buff, khaki, canary, grey or rust, with high English boots or elastic sided paddock boots of black or brown, with or without gaiters;

c)  A shirt must be worn and have a minimum of a short sleeve;

d) A tie, choker or dickey with a shirt;

e)  Black, navy blue, brown or green hard hat must be worn; (all riders in Hunter Hack classes must wear an approved safety helmet) Refer Rule 80.4;

f)  Gloves and spurs that are approved by AQHA and crops are optional;

g)  Hair must be neat and contained (as in net or braid);

h) Judges must penalise contestants who do not conform;

i)   Judges can give permission for jackets to be removed in inclement weather as long as the shirt being worn has a minimum of a short sleeve.

83. WESTERN

These rules apply to Western Pleasure, Trail, Western Horsemanship, Ranch Riding, Western Riding, Reining,  Lungeline and Ranch Versatility Classes. Any other disciplines see individual class rule.

83.1 Equipment

a)  References to a hackamore mean the use of a flexible, braided rawhide or leather, or rope bosal, the core of which can be either rawhide or flexible cable. A hackamore must use a complete Mecate rein which must include a tie-rein. Absolutely no rigid material is permitted under the jaws, regardless of how padded or covered. Horse hair bosals are prohibited. This rule does not refer to a so-called mechanical hackamore;

b) References to snaffle bits in western performance classes mean the conventional O-ring, egg-butt or D-ring. The diameter of Snaffle bit rings must be a minimum of 50mm and a maximum of 100mm. The inside circumference of the ring must be free of rein, curb or headstall attachments which would provide leverage. Concerning mouthpieces, bars must be round, oval or egg shaped, smooth and unwrapped metal of 8mm to 20mm in diameter, measured 25mm from the cheek with a gradual decrease to the centre of the snaffle. They may be inlaid, but must be smooth or latex wrapped. The mouthpiece may be two or three piece. A three-piece will have a connecting ring of 32mm  or less in diameter, or a connecting flat bar of 10mm to 20mm measured top to bottom, with a maximum length of 50mm, which lies flat in the horse’s mouth or a connecting roller 10mm to 20mm diameter are acceptable;

c)  References to a bit in western performance classes mean the use of a curb bit that has a solid or broken mouthpiece, has shanks and acts with leverage. All curb bits must be free of mechanical device and will be considered a standard western bit. A description of a legal, standard western bit includes:

  1. 216mm maximum length shank to be measured as indicated in Diagram 1 (see page 89). Shanks may be fixed or loose;
  2. concerning mouthpieces, bars must be round, oval or egg shaped, smooth and unwrapped metal of 8mm to 20mm in diameter, measured 25mm from the cheek. They may be inlaid, but must be smooth or latex wrapped. Nothing can protrude below the mouthpiece (bar), such as extensions or prongs on solid mouthpieces than by no more than 1.6mm;
  3. the mouthpiece may be two or three piece. A three-piece will have a connecting ring of 32mm or less in diameter, or a connecting flat bar of 10mm to 20mm measured top to bottom, with a maximum length of 50mm, which lies flat in the horse’s mouth or a connecting roller 10mm to 20mm diameter are acceptable;
  4. the port must be no higher than 90mm maximum, with rollers and covers acceptable. Broken mouthpieces, half-breeds and spades are acceptable;
  5. slip or gag bits, and donut and flat polo mouthpieces are not acceptable.

 

d) Except for hackamore/snaffle bit classes or junior horses shown with a hackamore, only one hand must be used on the reins and the hand must not be changed and the index finger only must be between the split reins;

Exception: To work a trail obstacle a rider may change hands on the reins but the index figure only must be between the reins.

e) Whenever this rule book refers to romal, it means an extension of braided material attached to closed reins. This extension will be carried in the free hand with 40cm spacing between the reining hand and the free hand holding the romal. When using romal reins, the rider’s hand will be around the reins with the wrists kept straight and relaxed, the thumb on top and the fingers closed lightly around the reins. When using a romal, no fingers between the reins are allowed. In reining and working cow horse (reined work) use of the free hand while holding the romal to alter the tension or length of the reins from the bridle to the reining hand is considered to be the use of two hands and a score of zero (0) will be applied, except during the hesitation or settling of the horse;

f) The romal will not be used forward of the cinch or to signal or cue the horse in any way. Any infraction of this rule will be penalised severely by the judge;

g)  Entries ridden in a snaffle bit must be shown with both hands on both reins. Reins must be bridged with the tails of the reins on the opposite side of the neck. The rider’s hands will be carried near the pommel and no further than approximately 30 cm apart. Rider’s hands must be steady with very limited movement. Failure to comply with this rule will result in disqualification;

h) In all western classes, horses must be shown in a western saddle. NB: A treeless saddle is not acceptable. Silver equipment does not count over a good working outfit. Horses five-years-old (5) and younger may be shown in a snaffle bit, hackamore, curb bit, half-breed or spade bit. Horses six-years-old (6) and older can only be shown in a curb bit, half-breed or spade bit. When a curb bit is used, a curb strap or curb chain is required, but must meet the approval of the judge, be at least 12.5mm in width and lie flat against the jaw of the horse. A broken strap or chain is not necessarily cause for disqualification.

83.2 Optional equipment

a)  Rope or riata; if used, the rope or riata must be coiled and attached to the saddle;

b)  Hobbles attached to saddle;

c)  Tapaderos, except in Working Cow Horse where they are not allowed;

d)  Protective boots, leg wraps and bandages are allowed in Reining, Working Cow Horse, Ranch Riding and Ranch Versatility Classes with exception of Ranch Conformation;

e)   Western Spurs; not to be used forward of the cinch.

83.3 Prohibited Equipment for showing

a)  Protective boots, leg wraps and bandages are prohibited in western pleasure, trail, halter, western riding and showmanship;

b)  Any curb-strap narrower than 12.5mm;

c)  Martingales;

d) Draw reins that are attached between or around the front legs;

e)  Nosebands and tie-downs;

f)  Chain, wire or metal tie-down or bonnets are prohibited, regardless of how padded or wrapped;

g)  Training tack collars;

h) Jerk lines for roping;

i)   English spurs;

j)  Twisted mouthpieces;

k)  No whip of any type can be used in Western performance classes with the exception of Lunge Line and AQHA Sporting classes.

83.4 Western Attire In Halter and other western classes, it is mandatory to wear appropriate western attire, including long sleeve shirt, collar (band, stand-up, tuxedo, etc.) western hat, western pants/jeans and western boots. The hat must be on the rider’s head when the exhibitor enters the arena. Spurs, chinks and chaps are optional in ridden classes. Also refer to rules 52.25, 52.26 and 52.27.

83.5 Western Gaits The horse should be ridden at a speed which is a natural way of going. The head should be carried at an angle which is natural and suitable to the horses’ conformation at all gaits. Rules 83.6 to 83.10.

83.6 Walk: The walk is a natural, flat-footed, four-beat gait. The horse must move straight and true at the walk. The walk must be alert, with a stride of reasonable length in keeping with the size of the horse.

a) Poor walkuneven pace and no cadence. Has no flow and may appear intimidated or appear to march;

b) Average walk – has a four-beat gait, level top-line and is relaxed;

c)  Good walk – has a flowing four-beat gait, level top-line, relaxed and is bright and attentive.

83.7 Jog: The jog is a smooth, ground-covering two-beat diagonal gait. The horse works from one pair of diagonals to the other pair. The jog should be square, balanced and with straight, forward movement of the feet. Horses walking with their back feet and trotting in the front are not considered performing the required gait.

a)  Unacceptable jog; cannot perform a two-beat gait and has no flow or balance in the motion;

b) Poor jog: hesitates in motion. Does not keep an even and balanced motion or a level top-line and may appear to shuffle;

c) Slightly below average jog: average motion but has negative characteristics such as: walking with hind legs, dragging the rear toes or taking an uneven length in stride with the front and rear legs;

d) Correct or average jog: has a two-beat gait, a level top-line and a relaxed appearance;

e) Good jog: has an average motion with positive characteristics such as balance and self-carriage while taking the same length of strides with the front and rear legs;

f)  Very good jog: is comfortable to ride while having a consistent two-beat gait. The horse guides well, appears relaxed and has a level top-line;

g)  Excellent jog: effortless and very efficient motion. Swings the legs yet touches the ground softly. Confident, yet soft with its motion while being balanced and under control. Moves flat with the knee and hock and have some cushion in the pastern. Has a bright and alert expression and exhibits more lift and self-carriage than the “very good jog”.

83.8 Extended Jog: When asked to extend the jog, it moves out with the same smooth way of going as in the jog.

a)  Poor extended jog: never lengthen the stride and may appear rough to ride;

b) Average extended jog: moves up in its pace and appears smooth to ride;

c) Good extended jog: has an obvious lengthening of stride with a slight increase in pace while exerting less effort and appears smooth to ride.

83.9 Lope: The lope is an easy, rhythmical, forward moving three-beat gait. Horses moving to the left should lope on the left lead. Horses moving to the right should lope on the right lead. The horse should lope with a natural stride and appear relaxed and smooth

a)  Unacceptable lope: does not have a three-beat gait. Has no flow, rhythm or balance. Uncomfortable ride. Horses travelling at a four-beat gait are not considered to be performing at a proper lope;

b) Poor lope: appears to have a three-beat lope but has no lift or self-carriage. The horse shuffles, has no flow and bobs his head, giving the appearance of exerting a great deal of effort to perform the gait. Also could be  uncomfortable to ride;

c)  Slightly below average lope: has an average motion but exhibits negative characteristics like head bobbing, not completing the stride with the front leg and leaving the outside hock well behind the horse’s buttocks;

d) Average lope: has a true three-beat gait with a level top-line and very little head and neck motion. He is relatively straight (not over-canted); guides well and has a relaxed appearance;

e)  Good lope: has an average motion but exhibits positive characteristics in his performance like self-carriage, a steady top-line, relaxed appearance and is responsive to the rider’s aids;

f)  Very good lope: has more lift and flow than the average horse. Has a strong but smooth drive from behind. He may bend his knee slightly yet still has a level top-line while exhibiting self-carriage with a relaxed appearance. Appears comfortable to ride;

g)  Excellent lope: has a round back with an effortless strong, deep stride with the rear legs and a flat swing with the front legs. He keeps a level top-line, a relaxed yet alert and confident appearance and correct but soft in appearance. A special horse with a great lift and self-carriage.

83.10 Back-up

a)  Poor back-up: is resistant and heavy in front. May gape mouth and throw his head or back crooked;

b) Average back-up: backs straight and quietly with light contact and without hesitation;

c)  Good back-up: displays balanced and smooth flowing movements. Backs straight with self-carriage without gaping the mouth, with light contact and without hesitation.

84. HALTER CLASSES

A halter class is defined as a class where the horse is judged based upon its conformation.

84.1 The purpose of the class is to preserve Australian Quarter Horse type by selecting well-mannered individuals in the order of their resemblance to the breed ideal and that are the most positive combination of balance, structural correctness, and movement with appropriate breed and sex character and muscling.

84.2 The ideal Australian Quarter Horse shown at halter is a horse that possesses the following characteristics: the horse should possess eye appeal that is the result of a harmonious blending of an attractive head; refined throat latch; well-proportioned, trim neck; long, sloping shoulder; deep heart girth; short back; strong loin and coupling; long hip and croup; and well-defined and muscular stifle, gaskin, forearm, and chest. These characteristics should be coupled with straight and structurally correct legs and feet that are free of blemishes. The horse should be a balanced athlete that is muscled uniformly throughout.

84.3 Conformation is defined as the physical appearance due to the arrangement of muscle, bone and other body tissues.

a) While it could be assumed that most horses with several years’ seasoning and past performance have acceptable conformation, the goal in selection should always be to find the best conformed horse possible;

b) Rating conformation depends upon objective evaluation of the following four traits: balance, structural correctness, breed and sex characteristics, and degree of muscling. Of the four, balance is the single most important, and refers to the structural and aesthetic blending of body parts. Balance is influenced almost entirely by skeletal structure.

84.4 Halter Equipment

a)  The halter must be of leather and may be adorned with silver accents. The lead must be made of leather with a chain for attachment to halter. The chain on the lead may be under the chin or over the nose;

b) Lip chains of any type are not permitted;

c)  Stallions one (1) year of age and older can be shown with a lip cord in open and amateur divisions;

d) The following horses cannot be shown with any cord or device through the mouth including but not limited to lip chains or lip cords;

Mares; Geldings; Weanling Stallions; Any horse shown in a performance halter class; Any horse shown in a ranch conformation class

e)  Applying excessive pressure on or excessive jerking of an allowed lip cord is prohibited.

84.5 Procedure for Judging the Class:

a)  Horses will walk to the judge one at a time. As the horse approaches, the judge will step to the right (near side of the horse) to enable the horse to trot straight to a cone placed at 15 metres away. At the cone, the horse will continue trotting, turn to the left and trot toward the left wall or fence of the arena. After trotting, horses will be lined up head to tail for individual inspection by the judge. The judge will inspect each horse from both sides, front and rear;

b) Any horse that becomes detached from its handler and is no longer under control by the handler will automatically be disqualified and excused. If the initial horse exhibiting poor mannerisms (i.e. rearing, backing or falling into others, etc.) causes other exhibitor(s) to lose their horse(s), only the initiating horse will be disqualified and excused. The decision of the judge(s) is final;

c) The fall of a horse being judged in halter will be cause for disqualification. A horse is considered having fallen when he or she is on their side with all four feet extended in the same direction;

d) All stallions two-years-old (2) and over are to have two (2) visible testicles. All mares and stallions will be examined for parrot mouth, being overshot or undershot where normal occlusion between the upper and lower incisors is absent;

e)  All lame horses, cryptorchids and parrot mouthed horses, as determined by Rule 84.5 d), are to be excused from the ring prior to final placing by the judge;

f)  Broodmares: A mare that has produced a full term foal in the current year or the previous year. Mares may be any age. Mares shown in the broodmare class are not eligible to compete in any other filly or mare class nor is any mare shown in any filly or mare class eligible to compete in a broodmare class.

84.6 Champion and Reserve at Halter

a)  When judging of all classes in a halter division has been completed, all first and second-place class winners of that sex division will return to the ring, with first-place class winners in one line and second-place horses from each class in another line;

b) It is mandatory that the judge select a Champion and Reserve Champion in each sex division in open, youth and amateur divisions having three or more entries;

c)  The judge(s) will select the Champion stallion, mare or gelding from the first-place class winners in the respective sex division. If first place horse does not return for any reason, the second place horse can move up to first place line and be considered for Champion and Reserve. The third place horse cannot move up to second place in the class. All first place horses will retain points in their respective class;

d) The ring steward will take the second-place horse in the class from which the Champion had been selected and place it in the line with the first-place class winners, to be judged equally for the title of Reserve Champion stallion, mare or gelding in the respective sex division;

e) In Amateur halter or Youth competition, when an exhibitor has qualified two or more horses for Champion and Reserve Champion, only another Amateur or Youth can assist that exhibitor as long as the Amateur or Youth who originally qualified the horses leads one of the horses in that class.

84.7 Group Halter Classes

a)  Horses shown in a group class must be eligible to show in their individual halter class at that show;

b) The following additional classes are recommended if interest or entries justify them, but no points will be awarded for Register of Merit or Championship:

Produce of Dam: Two (2) produce, four (4) years of age and younger of either sex, per dam, can be shown. The dam need not be shown. The entry at the show must be made by the owner of the dam or by someone with written permission from the owner of the dam, but it is unnecessary for the produce to be owned by the owner of the dam.

Get of Sire: Three (3) get, four (4) years of age and younger of either sex, per sire, can be shown. The sire need not be shown. The entry at the show must be made by the owner of the sire or by someone with written permission from the owner of the sire, but it is unnecessary for the get to be owned by the owner of the sire.

84.8 Performance Halter

  • A horse is not eligible to compete in this class unless they have an ROM in a performance class.
  • Equipment, attire and class procedures the same as for Halter.
  • A horse may not show in the age division Halter class and the Performance Halter class at the same show.
  • If held, a minimum number of classes to be held are:
  • Performance Halter Gelding
  • Performance Halter Filly/Mare
  • Performance Halter Colt/Stallion
  • Winners and 2nd placegetters of these classes are eligible for Champion and Reserve in their respective gender Champion class.

PERFORMANCE CLASSES

85. BOXING Novice Youth seven (7) to eighteen (18) years, and Novice Amateur only.

 Snaffle bit, Hackamore and two handed rig. Refer to Working Cow Horse Rule 106.

Boxing consists of a reining pattern and single cow work (boxing) on the end of the arena. The goal of this class is to introduce the rider to the “boxing” phase of the cow work. Judging begins when the contestant enters the arena. There will be no schooling between the completion of the rein work and the cow work, or between cows if a new cow is awarded. The penalty for this is -0-. Each contestant upon receiving a cow in the arena will hold that cow on the prescribed end of the arena for fifty (50) seconds, demonstrating the ability of the horse and rider to control the cow. It is legal to hold the reins and romal in one hand (rein hand) while boxing the cow. Time will begin when the gate closes behind the cow after being let into the arena. The announcer or judge will signal the completion of the fifty (50) seconds with a whistle or horn.

85.1 Offered for Novice Amateur and Novice Youth only. If a youth or amateur have achieved more than twenty (20) points in Boxing or Working Cow Horse, fifteen (15) of which must be “A” type points, then you are not eligible to compete in Boxing classes.

85.2 Scoring  will be on the basis of 60 - 80, with 70 denoting an average performance. The same basis of scoring will apply to both the reined work and the boxing work. In the event of a tie, the entry with the highest cow work will be declared the winner. The judge may blow the whistle at any time to terminate the work. A score of zero (0) will be given if the work is not complete at that time. Each work will be limited to fifty (50) seconds and, the judge may request additional work at his/her option.

Credits

a) Maintaining control of the cow at all times;

b) Maintaining proper position;

c) Degree of difficulty;

d) Eye appeal; timed worked.

Penalties are to be assessed, per occurrence, as follows for the boxing/cow work:

e)  One (1) point

  1. loss of working advantage
  2. working out of position

f)  Three (3) points  Loss of control and cow leaves end of arena

g)  Five (5) points

  1. spurring or hitting in front of cinch at anytime
  2. blatant disobedience defined as kicking, biting, bucking, rearing, striking or obviously insubordinate

h) Zero (0

  1. turn tail
  2. using two (2) hands on the reins in a bridle or the two-rein
  3. fingers between the reins in a bridle class, except in the two-rein
  4. balking
  5. out of control
  6. bloody mouth (inside)
  7. illegal equipment
  8. leaving working area before pattern is complete
  9. fall of horse or rider
  10. schooling between rein work and cow work
  11. schooling between cows, if new cow is awarded
  12. failure to quit working a cow after a new cow has been awarded.

86. CUTTING  All cuttings must be run under NCHA Rules

If a show holds both NCHA and AQHA Approved cutting classes, separate works must be held for each class. The scores earned in the NCHA Cutting cannot be used as the scores for the AQHA Cutting at the same show.

87.  HUNTER HACK If only one (1) class held it must be an All Age class. If two (2) classes held they must be Senior & Junior Horse. Amateur, Select Amateur and Youth will be an All Age Class.

a)  The purpose of Hunter Hack is to give horses an opportunity to show their expertise over low fences and on the flat. The class will be judged on style over fences, even hunting pace, flat work, manners and way of going. The poll should be level with, or slightly above the withers, to allow proper impulsion behind. The head should not be carried behind the vertical, giving the appearance of intimidation, or be excessively nosed out, giving a restraint appearance;

b) Horses are first required to jump two fences, 60cm to 85cm in height. Jumps do not have to be set on a line. However, if the jumps are set on a line they must be set 14.5 or 18 metres, or in increments of 3.5 metres, but no less than 11 metres. A ground line is recommended for each jump;

c)  Horses being considered for a placing are then to be shown at a walk, trot and canter both ways of the ring with light contact;

d) At the discretion of the judge, contestants can be asked to hand gallop, pull up and stand quietly following the last fence;

e)  When necessary to split large classes by running more than one go-round, finalists must both be re-jumped and reworked on the flat;

f)  Placing for the class will be determined by allowing a minimum of 70% for individual fence work and a maximum of 30% for work on the flat;

g) Faults, to be scored accordingly but not necessarily cause disqualification during the rail work, include:

  1. being on wrong lead and/or wrong diagonal at the trot;
  2. excessive speed (any gait);
  3. excessive slowness (any gait);
  4. breaking gait;
  5. failure to take gait when called;
  6. head carried too low or too high;
  7. nosing out or flexing behind the vertical;
  8. opening mouth excessively;
  9. stumbling.

87.1 Elimination:

a)  A total of three disobediences which can include any of the following: refusal, stop, run out, or extra circle;

b) Jumping an obstacle before it is reset;

c)  Bolting from the arena;

d) Off course;

e)  Deliberately addressing an obstacle.

87.2 General:

a)  Circling once upon entering the ring is permissible;

b) After jumping the fence and prior to leaving the arena, the horse will trot a small circle on a loose rein for soundness;

c)  Horses will not be requested to re-jump the course;

d) Manners are to be emphasised in youth and amateur/select classes;

e) When an obstacle is composed of several elements, any disturbance of these elements will be penalised; however, only a reduction in height of the top element is to be considered a knockdown;

f)  In cases of broken equipment, the rider can either continue without penalty, or stop and correct the difficulty and be penalised the same as any loss of forward impulsion;

g)  When an obstacle requires two or more fences (in and out), faults committed at each obstacle are considered separately. In case of a refusal or run out at one element, entry may re-jump the previous elements.

87.3 Disobediences (major faults)

a)  Refusal: when a horse stops in front of an obstacle (whether or not the obstacle is knocked down or altered) it is a refusal unless the horse then immediately jumps the obstacle without backing one step. If the horse takes one step backwards, it is a refusal.

After a refusal, if the horse is moved towards the obstacle but does not attempt to jump, it is considered another refusal;

b) Run-out: A run-out occurs when the horse evades or passes the obstacle to be jumped; jumps an obstacle outside its limiting markers; or when the horse or rider knocks down a flag, standard, wing or other element limiting the obstacle (without obstacle being jumped);

c) Loss of forward movement: Failure to maintain trot, canter or gallop after crossing starting line, except when it is a refusal, a run-out or when due to uncontrollable circumstances, such as when an obstacle is being reset;

d) Unnecessary circling on course: any form of circle or circles, whereby the horse crosses its original track between two consecutive obstacles anywhere on course, except to retake obstacle after refusal or run-out;

e)  First disobedience anywhere on course: three (3) faults;

f)  Second cumulative disobedience anywhere on course: six (6) faults.

87.4 The course must be posted at least one (1) hour before scheduled time of class.

87.5 It is mandatory that a schooling area with at least one (1) practice jump or practice time in the arena be provided.

87.6 Schooling over obstacles in the ring or over any part of an outside course is permitted only.

87.7 Riders must wear an approved safety helmet properly fitted and fastened with harness,  as per Rule 80.4  in a Hunter Hack Class and whilst schooling over obstacles.

88. HUNTER IN HAND

Hunter in Hand is a class designed to assess the suitability of a horse for Hunter Under Saddle classes. A desirable horse will demonstrate a quality of movement.

If only one (1) class held it is to be an All Age;

If two (2) classes are held Yearling and 2 & over;

If three (3) classes are run, Yearling, Junior and Senior.

88.1 Equipment

a) English bridle is mandatory on horses two (2) years old and over after the 1st April. Decorative bridles and halters (silver or coloured) are prohibited. Bridle must have Egg butt snaffle, D-ring snaffle, O-ring snaffle or full cheek snaffle bit with keepers;

b)  For 2 year old horses, up until 31 March, one year old and younger, halters are mandatory. The halter and lead must be of plain leather. The chain on the lead may be under the chin, but not over the nose, and no devices are allowed in the horse’s mouth and no lip chains or lip cords are allowed;

c) The use of a crop is optional. Maximum length of crop is 76cm.

82.2 Attire of the handler is to permit free movement:

a) A collared polo shirt or collared dress shirt, minimum of a short sleeve, must be white or black, no patterns;

b) Dress pants must be cream, brown, blue or black and be loose enough in which to run. Jodhpurs can be worn; No jeans;

c) Must wear running shoes, elastic sided paddock boots or top boots;

d) Vest and ties (no patterns) gloves and hats are optional.

e) If a belt is worn it must be plain.

88.3 Class Conduct

a)  Horses will be judged individually on the triangle, following a posted order;

b) The horses will approach the Judging area (A) and set up for inspection in the “open” position (ie with all four (4) legs of the horse visible by the judge standing on either side of the horse). The judge will inspect each horse from the front, rear and both sides;

c)  At the judge’s request, the horse will walk the small triangle ABCA. The horse will continue on at a trot following the large triangle ADEA;

d) At the completion of the judging, the handler will lead the horse away from the judging area promptly;

e)  When all horses in the class have completed the triangle, they will be lined up for judges to place or “ringing” (walking in a large group circle around the judges) may be used;

f)  An exhibitor may show more than one (1) horse in a class on the triangle. In this case, a helper, correctly attired, may assist in bringing the horses back for ringing or final inspection.

88.4 Measurements: Outside triangle must be 20 metres each side; inside triangle must be 10 metres each side.

88.5 Scoring System: 70% movement; 20% conformation, 10% temperament.

a) If a horse knocks over a cone or marker, they are to be scored accordingly. This does not constitute immediate disqualification but at the judge’s discretion can be penalised in the temperament or movement score;

b) If a horse or exhibitor falls, they are to be judged accordingly. This does not constitute immediate disqualification, but at the judge’s discretion can be penalised in the temperament or movement score;

c)  If a horse is off-pattern the entry will be disqualified;

d) If an exhibitors hand touches the bit or chain, they are to be scored accordingly. This does not constitute immediate disqualification but at the Judge’s discretion can be penalised in the temperament or movement score;

e) An appropriate penalty will be assessed at the judge’s discretion for break of gait up to two (2) strides during completion of the pattern, but this will not constitute off-pattern or immediate disqualification.

89. HUNT SEAT EQUITATION Available only in Amateur, Select Amateur and Youth divisions.

89.1 General: Hunt Seat Equitation is an evaluation based on the ability of a rider to perform various manoeuvres in harmony with his/her horse. The communication between horse and rider through subtle cues and aids should not be obvious. Equitation is judged on the rider and his/her effect on the horse.

89.2 Pattern: It is mandatory that the judge post the pattern at least one (1) hour prior to commencement of the class.

The pattern should be designed so the majority of exhibitors can perform it in a reasonable length of time (under 60 seconds). All patterns must include a trot and canter. Patterns used in classes for riders 13 and under will use manoeuvres from Group #1 and/or Group #2. Horses’ gaits are to be ridden with the same cadence and speed as you would find in the rail phase. All ties will be broken at the discretion of the judge.

89.3 Class Procedure: Exhibitors can be worked individually from the gate or they can all enter at once but a working order must be drawn regardless.

The entire class, or only the finalists must work at all three gaits at least one direction of the arena. Rail work can be used to break ties and possibly adjust placing’s. Individual works will be composed of any of the following:

Group 1: Walk, Sitting Trot, Extended Trot, Posting Trot, Canter, Circles, Figure 8, Halt, Back, Sidepass, Address Reins, Demonstrate Change of Diagonal.

Group 2: Serpentine (Trot or Canter), Turn on Haunches or Forehand, Leg Yield, Flying or Simple Change of Lead.

Group 3: Canter and Hand Gallop in a straight or curved line, Counter Canter Figure 8, Drop or Pick-up Irons without stopping.

A turn on the forehand to the right is accomplished by moving haunches to the left. A forehand turn to the left is accomplished by moving haunches to the right. If riders are asked to drop their irons, they can leave them down or cross them over the withers.

89.4 Basic Position.

a)  To mount: Take up reins in left hand and place hand on withers. Grasp stirrup leather with right hand and insert left foot in stirrup and mount. To dismount, rider can either step down or slide down. The size of rider must be taken into consideration;

b) Hands: Should be over and in front of horse’s withers, knuckles thirty degrees inside the vertical, hands slightly apart and making a straight line from horse’s mouth to rider’s elbow. Method of holding reins is optional, and bite of reins may fall on either side. However, all reins must be picked up at the same time;

c) The Eyes: Should be up and shoulders back. Toes should be at an angle best suited to rider’s conformation; heels down, calf of leg in contact with horse. Iron should be on the ball of the foot and must not be tied to the girth;

d) The Walk: Should be a four beat gait, with the rider in a vertical position with a following hand;

e) The Posting Trot: Figure 8 at trot, demonstrating change of diagonals. At left diagonal, rider should be sitting the saddle when left front leg is on the ground; at right diagonal rider should be sitting the saddle when right front leg is on the ground.

When circling clockwise at a trot, rider should be on left diagonal; when circling counter-clockwise, rider should be on right diagonal.

The rider should close his/her hip angle to allow his/her torso to follow the horizontal motion of the horse. The upper body should be inclined about 20 degrees in front of the vertical;

f) Sitting Trot and Canter: At the sitting trot the upper body is only slightly in front of the vertical. At the canter the body should be positioned slightly more in front of the vertical. As the stride is shortened, the body should be in a slightly more erect position;

g) Two Point Position: The pelvis should be forward, but relaxed, lifting the rider’s weight off the horse’s back and transferring the weight through the rider’s legs. In this position the two points of contact between horse and rider are the rider’s legs. Hands should be forward, up the neck, not resting on the neck;

h) Hand Gallop: A three-beat lengthened canter ridden in two-point position. The legs are on the horse’s sides while the seat is held out of the saddle. When at the hand gallop, the rider’s angulation will vary somewhat as the horse’s stride is shortened and lengthened.

A good standard at a normal hand gallop should be about 30 degrees in front of the vertical.

89.5  SCORING

Exhibitors are to be scored from 0 to infinity, with 70 denoting an average performance. Patterns will be divided into 6 to 10 manoeuvres, as specified by the judge, and each manoeuvre will be scored from +3 to -3 with 1/2 point increments acceptable that will be added or subtracted from 70. Manoeuvre scores should be determined independent of penalties, and should reflect equal consideration of both performance of the exhibitor’s pattern and the form and effectiveness of the exhibitor and presentation of horse to result in the following scores:

+3 Excellent, +2 Very Good, +1 Good, 0 Average or Correct, -1 Poor, -2 Very Poor, -3 Extremely Poor.

Exhibitors overall form and effectiveness should also be scored from 0 to 5 with 0 to 2 Average, 3 Good, 4 Very Good, 5 Excellent.

89.6 PENALTIES

An exhibitor should be penalized in the pattern independent of manoeuvre scores and deducted from the final score as follows:

3 points

  • Break of gait at the walk or trot up to 2 strides
  • Over or under turn from 1/8 to 1/4 turn
  • Tick or hit of cone
  • Obviously looking down to check leads or diagonals

5 points

  • Not performing the specific gait or not stopping within 3 meters of designated location
  • Missing a diagonal up to 2 strides
  • Incorrect lead or break of gait at the canter (except when correcting an incorrect lead)
  • Complete loss of contact between rider’s hand and the horse’s mouth
  • Break of gait at walk or trot for more than 2 strides
  • Loss of iron
  • Head carried too low and/or clearly behind the vertical while the horse is in motion, showing the appearance of intimidation

10 points

  • Loss of rein
  • Missing a diagonal for more than 2 strides
  • Use of either hand to instil fear or praise while on pattern or during rail work
  • Holding saddle with either hand
  • Blatant disobedience including kicking, pawing, bucking, and rearing
  • Disqualifications (should not be placed)
  • Failure by exhibitor to wear correct number in visible manner
  • Wilful abuse of horse or schooling
  • Fall by horse or exhibitor
  • Illegal use of hands on reins
  • Use of prohibited equipment

Off pattern, including: knocking over or wrong side of cone or marker; never performing designated gait, lead, or diagonal; over or under turning more than 1/4 turn

90.  HUNTER UNDER SADDLE

Hunter Under Saddle horses should be suitable to purpose. They should move with long, low strides reaching forward with ease and smoothness, be able to lengthen stride and cover ground with relaxed, free flowing movement. Horses should be obedient, have a bright expression with alert ears, and should respond willingly to the rider with light leg and hand contact. Horses should be responsive and smooth in transition. When asked to extend the trot or hand gallop, they should move out with the same flowing motion.

The poll should be level with, or slightly above, the withers to allow proper impulsion behind. The head position should be slightly in front of, or on, the vertical.

Judging: This class will be judged on performance, condition and conformation. Maximum credit will be given to the flowing, balanced, willing horse. A maximum of 20 percent of judging will be based on condition and conformation.

Horses to be:

a) shown under saddle, not to jump;

b) shown at a walk, trot and canter both ways of the ring;

c)  reversed to the inside away from the rail.

Horses should back easily and stand quietly.

Horses can be asked to change to canter from the flatfooted walk or trot, at the judge’s discretion.

90.1 Faults to be scored according to severity:

a) Quick, short, or vertical strides;

b) Being on the wrong lead and/or wrong diagonal at the trot;

c) Breaking gait;

d) Excessive speed at any gait;

e) Excessive slowness in any gait, loss of forward momentum;

f)  Failure to take the appropriate gait when called for;

g)  Head carried too high;

h) Head carried too low - tip of the ear is below the withers for five or less strides;

i) Over flexing or straining neck in head carriage so the nose is carried behind the vertical for five or less strides;

j)  Excessive nosing out;

k)  Failure to maintain light contact with horse’s mouth;

l)   Stumbling;

m) If horse appears sullen, dull, lethargic, emaciated, drawn or overly tired;

n) Consistently showing too far off the rail.

90.2 Faults which will be cause for disqualification:

a) Head carried too low such that poll is below the withers consistently;

b) Over flexing or straining neck in head carriage so the nose is carried behind the vertical consistently.

90.3 At the option of the judge, all or just the top twelve (12) horses may be required to hand gallop, one or both ways of the ring. Never more than twelve (12) horses to hand gallop at one time. At the hand gallop, the judge may ask the group to halt and stand quietly on a free rein (loosened rein).

91. LEAD LINE – Youth only three(3) to six(6) years of age

A lead at least 1.8 metres long must be attached to a halter that is under the bridle so that while the rider is on the rail the horse is controlled by the adult.

The chain on the halter cannot be under the chin or over the nose, it has to come straight off the halter ring.

No two (2) or three (3) year old horses can be used in this class.

No rider entering this class can enter any other ridden class on the program.

a)  Class will enter the ring at a flat footed walk turning right and proceeding on a counter clockwise direction on the rail;

b) The class will be worked on the rail at a walk in both directions;

c)  In the line-up the Judge may ask the exhibitor to back up their horses;

d) The rider will be judged on their basic position in the saddle, hand positions, leg position, seat position and back position;

e)  The horse must be led and controlled by an adult who is over eighteen (18) years of age. If the judge asks the rider to back the horse in line up, the adult is not to aid the rider. The adult should only keep the horse under control;

f) A saddle with suitable stirrup length must be used;

g) It is mandatory for this class that an approved Safety Helmet is worn. Refer Rule 80.4 b);

h) The rider can ride in Western or English in this class and attire to match the gear. Exception:  Rule 91. g);

i) The adult handler must be dressed in appropriate attire as per the Rule book.

92. LED TRAIL  - Yearlings and 2 year old classes only

This class will be judged on the performance of the horse over a minimum of six obstacles, at the walk and jog only, with emphasis on manners, response to the handler and attitude. Credit will be given to horses negotiating the obstacles with style and some degree of speed, providing correctness is not sacrificed.

92.1 Horses will be penalised for any unnecessary delay while approaching or negotiating the obstacles. Horses with artificial appearance over obstacles should be penalised.

92.2 The course must be designed, however, to require each horse to show the gaits walk and jog over the obstacles as part of its quality of movement and cadence should be considered as part of its manoeuvre score.

92.3 The course to be used must be posted at least one (1) hour before scheduled time of class.

92.4 Scoring will be based of 0-infinity, with 70 denoting an average performance. Each obstacle will receive an obstacle score that will be added or subtracted from 70 and is subject to a penalty that will be subtracted.

Each obstacle will be scored on the following basis, ranging from plus 1.5 to minus 1.5:

-1.5 extremely poor, -1 very poor, -.5 poor,  0 correct,  +.5 good, +1 very good, +1.5 excellent.

Obstacle scores are to be determined and assessed independently of penalty points.

The Judge will give credit to the handler that does not enter an obstacle with the horse.

92.4.1 Penalties  should be assessed, per occurrence, as follows:

1/2 point:  each tick or contact of a log, pole, cone, plant, or any component of an obstacle

1 point : each hit, bite, or stepping on a log, cone, plant or any component of the obstacle;

  • incorrect or break of gait at walk or jog for two strides or less
  • both front or hind feet in a single-strided slot or space
  • skipping over or failing to step into required space
  • split pole in lope-over
  • incorrect number of strides, if specified
  • holding horse by halter rather than lead

3 points:  incorrect or break of gait at walk or jog for more than two strides

  • knocking down an elevated pole, cone, barrel, plant, obstacle, or severely disturbing an obstacle
  • falling or jumping off or out of a bridge or a water box with one foot once the horse has got onto or into that obstacle
  • stepping outside of the confines of an obstacle with designated boundaries (i.e. back through, 360 degree box, side pass) with one foot once the horse has entered the obstacle.
  • missing or evading a pole that is a part of a series of an obstacle with one foot

5 points:  first or second cumulative refusal, balk, or evading an obstacle by shying or backing

  • letting go of gate or dropping rope gate
  • use of either hand to instil fear or praise
  • falling or jumping off or out of a bridge or a water box with more than one foot once the horse has got onto or into that obstacle
  • stepping outside of the confines of an obstacle with designated boundaries (i.e. back through, 360 degree box, side pass) with more than one foot once the horse has entered the obstacle.
  • missing or evading a pole that is a part of a series of an obstacle with more than one foot
  • blatant disobedience (including kicking out, rearing, striking)

Disqualified 0 – Score

  • performing the obstacle incorrectly or other than in specified order
  • no attempt to perform an obstacle
  • equipment failure that delays completion of pattern excessively or repeatedly
  • physically pushing, or  hitting horse with lead line or any object
  • entering or exiting an obstacle from the incorrect side or direction
  • working obstacle the incorrect direction;
  • third cumulative refusal, balk, or evading an obstacle by shying or backing
  • failure to follow the correct line of travel between obstacles
  • excessive schooling, pulling, turning, stepping or backing anywhere on course
  • failure to open and shut gate or failure to complete gate

92.4.2 Management, when setting courses, are to keep in mind that the idea is not to trap a horse, or eliminate it by making an obstacle too difficult. All courses and obstacles are to be constructed with safety in mind so as to eliminate any accidents. When the distances and spaces are measured between all obstacles, the inside base to inside base measurement of each obstacle considering the path of the horse and handler, will be the measuring point. Enough space must be provided for a horse to jog at least nine (9) metres, for the judge to evaluate the jog of the horse;

92.4.3 If disrupted, the course will be reset after each horse has worked. In the case that a combination of obstacles is used, the course cannot be reset until the contestant finishes the entire course regardless of where any disruption occurs.

92.5 Handler’s Attire: It is mandatory for handler to wear appropriate western attire, including western pants/jeans, a shirt with long sleeves and a collar, western hat and western boots.

92.6 Horse Equipment: Leather halter, minimum overall width 20mm. Halter must lay flat with a smooth side against the skin. Silver equipment will not count over a good working outfit. Lead (leather, nylon, soft rope or mecate) attached with clip or leather strap to be fastened to the halter underneath the jaw of the horse. A chain can be used under the jaw and must be attached to the lead. Minimum length of the lead six (6) metres and must not exceed nine (9) metres.

92.7 Prohibited equipment

a)  Leg wraps, bandages, boots or any other form of leg protection;

b) Whips or similar objects;

c)  Chain;

d) Roller or similar object to keep the head under control;

e)  Wrapping, either soft or rigid on the halter.

92.8 Mandatory obstacles are:

a)  Opening, passing through and closing gate. Use a gate that does not endanger horse or handler. Must be left hand push away gate;

b) Horse must go over at least four (4) logs or poles. These can be in a straight line, curved or zig zag;

  1. the space between the logs is to be measured and the path the horse is to take will be the measuring point;
  2. spacing must be: Walk over 30-50cm; Jog over 75-90cm.

c) Backing obstacles to be spaced a minimum of 70cm apart. Back thru L Shape, V shape, U shape or similar shaped course.

92.9 Optional Obstacles but not limited to:

a)  Back through and around at least three (3) markers. Minimum ground space 70cm;

b) Horse over wooden bridge. Minimum width will be 90cm wide and minimum length to be 1.8 metres in length. Maximum height from ground to top of the bridge 30cm. Bridge must be sturdy and safe without sides;

c)  Serpentine obstacles at walk and/or jog. Spacing to be a minimum of 1.1 metres or 1.5 metres for jog;

d) Carry object from part of the arena to another (only objects that reasonably might be carried on a trail ride can be used);

e)  Put on and remove slicker;

f)  Remove and replace materials from mailbox;

g)  Side pass–diameter of pole is maximum height of 15cm;

h) An obstacle consisting of 4 poles, logs or rails, each 1.5 to 2 metres long, laid in a square. Each contestant will enter the square by walking over log, pole or rails as indicated. When all four feet are in the square, horse is to execute a turn as indicated and depart;

i)   A circle to walk/jog in. Approximately six (6) metres in diameter to be marked out, with four (4) cones or similar safe objects;

j)   Any other safe and negotiable obstacle which could reasonably be expected to be encountered on a trail ride and meets the approval of the judge can be used;

k)  A combination of one or more of the obstacles is acceptable.

92.10 Unacceptable Obstacles

a)  Tyres

b) Animals

c)  Hides

d) PVC pipe

e)  Jumps

f)  Rocking or moving bridges

g)  Water hazards

h) Flames, dry ice, fire extinguisher etc.

i)   Elevated poles, logs or rails

j)   Straddle a rail

92.11 If a tie occurs for first (1st) place then it will be decided upon by obstacle tie breakers.

93.  LUNGE LINE   Yearlings and two (2) year old only

The purpose of showing a horse on a lunge line is to demonstrate that the horse has the movement, manners/expression/attitude, and conformation to become competitive under saddle.

This class defines what it means to be a “Western Pleasure prospect” or “Hunter Under Saddle prospect.”

Yearlings are not expected to demonstrate the behaviour or quality of a finished show horse, but only that performance necessary for a reasonable presentation to the judge.

If a 2 year old is exhibited in Lunge line at a show it cannot be shown under saddle at the same show.

93.1 Therefore, the purpose of this class is to reward:

a)  Quality of movement, manners, expression and attitude;

b) Conformation suitable to future performance and the horse is to be judged with its suitability as a future performer under saddle in mind.

93.2 Class Format: the class consists of two sections to be judged in the following order:

a)  First Section

Conformation/Equipment Inspection – Each horse is to be inspected by the Judge on conformation, proper equipment and for evidence of abuse and inhumane treatment. Each entry, individually, will be walked into the arena to the Judge and pause for evaluation.

Horses will then trot off straight and around a cone and take a place on the wall inside the arena. All entries will be inspected in this fashion and as the “trot-off” is administered, horses showing evidence of lameness will be excused from the class at that time;

b) Second Section

Lunging Demonstration – The Judge will stand outside the lunging circle.

The lunging demonstration will begin at the sound of a whistle or other audible indicator when the horse has reached the perimeter of the circle. Time will not begin until the horse reaches this perimeter.

When the “begin” signal is given, the exhibitor will be allowed 1½ minutes (90 seconds) to present the horse at all three gaits in both directions. At the end of the 1½ minutes, the signal will be given to signify the end of the demonstration.

Show management has the option of adding a “half-way” signal if they choose.

At the completion of their 1½ minutes the entry will retire from the lunging area and walk to the end of the arena. The horses are to stand quietly, on the wall, whilst the other exhibitors present their horses.

Exhibitors can begin work in the direction of their choice (counter or clockwise).

93.3 Equipment

a)  Horses are to be shown in a halter. Either a regular or show type halter is acceptable.

(Rope halters are not acceptable) Exhibitors are not to be penalised for using a regular halter and plain lunge line, nor are they to be rewarded for using a show halter and show lunge line;

b) For the conformation inspection a lead shank, such as used in halter or showmanship classes, can be exchanged for the lunge line prior to the lunging demonstration;

c) For the lunging demonstration, the only attachment allowed to the halter is the lunge line. Lead (leather, nylon, soft rope or mecate) is attached with a clip or leather strap to be fastened to the halter underneath the jaw of the horse. The use of a lunge whip is permissible;

d) Minimum length of the lead to be six (6) metres and must not exceed nine (9) metres;

e)  The lunge line must hang free from the halter without touching any part of the horse;

f)  No other equipment is allowed on the horse during the class. Mechanical or retractable lunge lines are not permitted;

g)  Only movement, manners/expression/way of going and conformation are being judged. The type of equipment used is not to be a consideration in placing the horse as long as the equipment meets the requirements.

93.4 Attire: Conventional western attire is mandatory, except if a prospect is considered to be a Hunter prospect then conventional English attire will be required. The type of attire worn by the exhibitor is not to be a consideration in placing the horse as long as the attire meets the requirements stated above.

93.5 Gaits: Gaits are to be judged according to the AQHA rules for Western Pleasure and Hunter Under Saddle.

93.6 An exhibitor can show more than one (1) horse in a class providing the same handler exhibits the horse in both parts as described in Rule 93.2 Class Format. Other than in the execution of Rule 93.2, the exhibitor must have a handler, correctly attired for this class, to hold any additional exhibit in the ring while awaiting finalisation of the class.

93.7 Scoring: Movement will count for 34 points of the total score. Judges are to evaluate movement based on the gaits as stated in Rule 93.5

a) Walk  The walk will be scored on a scale of 1 to 3 in each direction, with 2 being average. The horse must be walked long enough for the judge to have enough time to evaluate and score the walk. The change of direction turnaround at the walk may count for the second walk score on the official score sheet. Lower gait scores should reflect stumbling in the gait.

b) Jog or Trot  The jog/trot will be scored on a scale of 1 to 7 in each direction. Using a 7.5 metre radius, the horse is to jog or trot a minimum of 1/2 circle both directions of the ring. Lower gait scores should reflect stumbling in the gait.

c) Lope or Canter  The lope/canter will be scored on a scale of 1 to 7 in each direction, with 10 being average. Using a 7.5 metre radius, the horse is to lope or canter a minimum of one full circle both directions of the ring. Furthermore, any entry that fails to demonstrate the correct lead for one full circle will not place over another entry that has demonstrated the correct lead in its entirety. Lower gait scores should reflect stumbling in the gait.

d) Use of Circle  Scores for all gaits in both directions should reflect positive, consistent use of the radius of the circle. Extra credit will be given for full, extended use of the circle on a slightly loose line. Lower gait scores should reflect lack of full use of the circle.

93.7.1 Manners/Expression/Attitude

Will count for up to 14 points of the total score. Horses will be penalised for obvious signs of overwork and sourness such as ear-pinning, head-throwing, striking, tail wringing, or a dull, lethargic manner of going. Horses will also be penalised for dangerous behaviour such as excessive bucking, cutting into the circle, or running off. Additionally, incidental touching the horse with the whip, cross-cantering, balking, backing up on the lunge line and excessive urging from the exhibitor will be penalised accordingly.

93.7.2 Conformation

Will count for up to 6 points of the total score. The horse will be judged on conformation suitable to future performance as a Western Pleasure or Hunter Under Saddle competitor. The judges are to look for a total picture, emphasizing balance, structural correctness, and athletic capability. Performance conformation will be judged on a scale of 1 to 6 .

93.7.3 Use of the circle – overall score

Consideration will be given to how well or how poorly the horse/exhibitor team uses the 7.5metres radius of the lunging circle. A separate box on the scorecard is available to indicate an overall score (from 1 to 3 points) for use of the circle.

93.7.4 Circle Scores: It is the judge's responsibility to evaluate the circles and incorporate use of the circle in the gait scores based on the following scale:

+3 points (Good to Excellent Use of the Circle).

  • Horse consistently stays on the perimeter of the circle with slight looseness in the line. Horse turns around on the circle perimeter;

+2 points (Average use of the circle).

  • Horse is only slightly inconsistent in using the 7.5 metres radius of the circle

+1 point (Adequate use of the circle)

  • Horse is shown in a circle radius of less than 7.5 metres

0 points (General use of the circle)

  • Potentially dangerous slack in the line
  • Horse pulls exhibitor out of the circle

93.7.5 Penalties

(5) point penalties will occur per direction:

a) Failure to walk a minimum of two horse lengths

b) Failure to jog/trot a minimum of a quarter of a circle

c) Failure to demonstrate the correct lead, for a minimum of a quarter of a circle

93.7.6 Disqualification will occur in the following instances:

a)  Evidence of lameness - judge will immediately excuse horse from the arena

b) Blatant striking horse with the whip during the lunging demonstration that will cause forward or lateral movement

c)  Fall to the ground by horse.  A horse is deemed to have fallen when its shoulder and/or hip and/or underline touches the ground

d) Horse steps over or becomes entangled in the lunge line

e) Improper equipment, evidence of abuse, or other violation of AQHA rules

f)  Failure to show at all three gaits in both directions

g)  Exhibitor shows disrespect towards the judge

h)  Anytime the horse becomes detached from the handler

i)   Failure to complete trot off for soundness in three attempts

94.  PLEASURE DRIVING

a)  Pleasure driving equipment will include a whip suitable to the cart, light horse breast collar harness to include surcingle with shaft tie-downs and crupper, standard bridle, overcheck or check reins;

b) Only loose ring snaffle, half cheek snaffle, liverpool, elbow driving bit and bradoon overcheck bits are acceptable. Mouthpieces must be of the same dimensions as required in Rule 82. If a curb chain is used, it must be at least 12.5mm in width, and be flat against the jaw of the horse;

c) The exhibitor will be the only person permitted in such cart while the horse is being exhibited, and no pets will be allowed in such cart during such exhibition;

d) The cart will be a pleasure type two-wheel single horse cart with seats for one or two persons. All carts must be basket-type, equipped with 60cm to 120cm cart wheels. Stirrup-type carts or sulkies are not d) allowed. Dash and basket cover optional;

e)  Optional equipment

  • Blinders
  • Breaching, shaft keepers or thimbles
  • Running martingales
  • Cavesson nosebands;

f)  Prohibited equipment

  1. wire chin straps, regardless of how padded or covered;
  2. excessive ornamentation on harness, bridle or cart will be penalised.

g)  The following terminology will apply to pleasure driving:

Walk: a natural, flat foot, four beat gait. Loss of forward rhythmic movement will be penalised;

Park gait: a forward, free flowing, square trot with impulsion. Loss of forward, rhythmic movement or jogging will be penalised;

Road gait: an extended trot showing a definite lengthening of stride, with a noticeable difference in speed. Short, quick, animated strides and/or excessive speed will be penalised.

h) Pleasure Driving Attire: The exhibitor is to be neatly attired. A coat, tie and hat of choice may be worn. If female exhibitor is attired in a short dress, a lap robe is required. Exhibitor may wear rainwear or inclement weather apparel if weather conditions require.

94.1 A pleasure driving horse should carry himself in a natural balanced position with a relaxed head and neck. His poll should be level with, or slightly above the level of the withers.

a)  Maximum credit is to be given to a horse that moves straight, with free movement, manners and a bright expression;

b) The horse will be severely penalised if he carries his head behind the vertical, is over flexed, excessively nosed out, the poll is below the withers or exhibits lack of control by exhibitor;

c)  This class will be judged 80% on the horse’s performance and suitability for assuring a pleasurable drive, with a maximum of 20% on condition and conformation;

d) Horses must be shown with standard hooves and shoes. No extended hoofs, heavy shoes or toe weights allowed;

e)  Horses are to enter the ring in the same direction. Each horse will then be exhibited at the walk, park gait and road gait in both directions of the show ring. At the direction of the ring steward, such change of direction is to be accomplished by the horses crossing the show ring while walking only;

f)  Each horse will also be required to back easily and straight and stand quietly;

g) No exhibitor will drive a horse while standing in the cart, either in the arena or warm-up area, nor will any horse be left unbridled or unattended while hooked to a cart.

95. RANCH RIDING

95.1 The purpose of the Ranch Riding horse is to reflect the versatility, attitude and movement of a working horse. The horse’s performance is to simulate a horse riding outside the confines of an arena and that of a working ranch horse. This class will show the horses ability to work at a forward, working speed while under control by the rider. Light contact will be rewarded and the horse will not be shown on a full drape of reins.

The overall manners and the horse’s quality of movement are the primary considerations.

95.2 For horses three (3) years of age and older and offered as a Junior, Senior or All Age class.

An all age class for Amateur, Select Amateur and Youth can be offered.

95.3 No horse can cross enter, a Western Pleasure and Ranch Riding class at the same show regardless of division (Youth, Amateur, Select or Open)

95.4 Class Requirements

a) Each horse will work individually; performing both required and optional manoeuvres, and will be scored on the basis of 0 to 100, with 70 denoting an average performance;

b) Each manoeuvre will receive a score that should be added or subtracted, and scored on the following basis:

Excellent +1½; Very Good +1; Good +½; Correct 0; Poor –½, Very poor –1, Extremely poor -1½

c) The required manoeuvres will include the walk, trot, and lope both directions and the extended trot and extended lope at least one direction; as well as stops, and back;

d) Three (3) optional manoeuvres may include a side pass, turns of 360 degrees or more, change of lead (simple or flying), walk, trot or lope over a pole(s), or some reasonable combination of manoeuvres that would be reasonable for a ranch horse to perform;

e) The manoeuvres may be arranged in various combinations with final approval by the judge;

f) The overall cadence and performance of the gaits should be as those described in Gaits, Rules 83.5 to 83.10, with an emphasis on forward movement, free-flowing, and ground covering for all gaits. Transitions should be performed where designated, with smoothness and responsiveness;

g) No time limit;

h) The use of natural logs is encouraged;

i) Posting at the extended jog is acceptable;

j) Touching or holding the saddle horn is acceptable;

k) It is acceptable to stand in the stirrups at the extended trot.

95.5 Patterns: One of the suggested four (4) patterns can be used, however a judge may utilise a different pattern as long as all required manoeuvres and the three (3) (or more) optional manoeuvres are included. Should a Judge use one of their own patterns, they cannot have a stop following an extended lope.

95.6 Attire: Refer to Rule 83.4

95.7 Equipment

a) No hoof polish;

b) No braided or banded manes or tail extensions;

c) Trimming inside ears is discouraged;

d) Trimming bridle path is allowed, also trimming of fetlocks or excessive (long) facial hair;

e) Equipment with silver will not count over a good working outfit. Silver on bridles and saddles is discouraged;

f) It is suggested that competitors use a breast collar and a rear cinch.

95.8 When exhibiting in a snaffle bit or hackamore, an exhibitor may switch between two hands and one hand on the reins at any time.

95.9 Penalties

A contestant will be penalised each time the following occur:

1 Point: Too slow (per gait); Over-bridled (per manoeuvre); out of frame (per manoeuvre); break of gait at walk or trot for two (2) strides or less;

3 Points: Wrong lead or out of lead; draped reins (per manoeuvre); break of gait at lope; break of gait at walk or trot for more than two (2) strides;  out of lead or cross-cantering more than two strides when changing leads; trotting more than three strides when making a simple lead change; severe disturbance of any obstacle.

5 Points:  blatant disobedience (kick, bite, buck, rear etc) for each refusal;

10 points: Unnatural ranch horse appearance (Horse’s tail is obvious and consistently carried in an unnatural manner in every manoeuvre)

Off-Pattern (OP): Placed below horses performing all manoeuvres

Eliminates manoeuvre; incomplete manoeuvre; use of two hands (except junior horses shown in a snaffle bit/hackamore), more than one finger between split reins or any fingers between romal reins (except in the two-rein).

Zero (0) score illegal equipment including hoof black; braided or banded manes; or tail extensions; wilful abuse; major disobedience or schooling; lameness.

95.10 No specific penalties will be incurred for nicks/hits on logs but deduction made in manoeuvre score. No specific penalties will be incurred for over/under spins but deduction may be made in manoeuvre score.

95.11 Tie Breaker: Specific manoeuvres and/or obstacles will be selected by judge prior to start of  the class and so noted on score sheets, These manoeuvres will be ranked as 1st tie breaker, second, third etc.

96.  REINING

A show may have up to three (3) approved reining classes.

a)  If three (3) reining classes are to be held at a show, they will be the following:

  1. senior reining shown with bit;
  2. junior reining shown with bit;
  3. hackamore/snaffle bit reining (five-years-old [5] and younger, shown with hackamore or snaffle bit);

No horse can be entered in both junior bit and hackamore/snaffle bit reining classes at the same show;

b) If two (2) reining classes are to be held at a show, they will be the following:

Senior reining shown with bit;

Junior reining shown with either a bit, hackamore or snaffle bit at the discretion of the exhibitor;

c) If only one (1) reining class is to be held at a show, it will be the following:

Reining - all ages - horses six-years-old (6) and older must be shown in bit; horses five-years-old (5) and younger may be shown in either bit, hackamore or snaffle bit at the discretion of the exhibitor;

d) Any one of the twelve (12) AQHA approved reining patterns can be used and is to be selected by the judge of the class and used by all contestants in the class;

e)  Each contestant will perform the required pattern individually and separately. All horses will be judged immediately upon entering the arena and judging will cease after the last manoeuvre. Any fault incurred prior to the commencement of a pattern will be scored accordingly;

f)  To rein a horse is not only to guide him, but also to control his every movement. The best reined horse should be wilfully guided or controlled with little or no apparent resistance and dictated to completely. Any movement on his own must be considered a lack of control. All deviations from the exact written pattern must be considered a lack of or temporary loss of control, and therefore faulted according to severity of deviation. Credit will be given for smoothness, finesse, attitude, quickness and authority in performing the various manoeuvres while using controlled speed;

g)  Scoring will be on the basis of 0-Infinity, with 70 denoting an average performance.

96.1 The following will result in no score:

a)  Abuse of an animal in the show arena and/or evidence that an act of abuse has occurred prior to or during the exhibition of a horse in competition;

b) Use of illegal equipment, including wire on bits, bosals or curb chains;

c)  Use of illegal bits, bosals or curb chains;

d) Use of tack collars, tie downs or nose bands;

e)  Use of whips or bats;

f)  Use of any attachment which alters the movement of or circulation to the tail;

g)  Failure to provide horse and equipment to the appropriate judge for inspection;

h) Disrespect or misconduct by the exhibitor.

96.2 Excess rein may be straightened at any place a horse is allowed to be completely stopped during a pattern; rider’s free hand may be used to hold romal in the normal fashion.

96.3 The following will result in a score of Zero (0):

a)  Use of more than index or first finger between reins;

b) Use of two (2) hands (exception in snaffle bit or hackamore classes designated for two (2) hands) or changing hands;

c)  Use of romal other than as outlined in Rule 83.1 e);

d) Failure to complete pattern as written;

e)  Performing the manoeuvres other than in specified order;

f)  The inclusion of manoeuvres not specified, including, but not limited to:

  1. backing more than two (2) strides;
  2. turning more than 90 degrees.

g)  Equipment failure that delays completion of pattern;

h) Balking or refusal of command where pattern is delayed;

i)   Running away or failing to guide where it becomes impossible to discern whether the entry is on pattern;

j)   Jogging in excess of one-half circle or one-half the length of the arena;

k)  Overspins of more than 1/4 turn;

l)   Fall to the ground by horse or rider.

Neither a No Score nor a 0 are eligible to place in a go-round or class, but a 0 may advance in a multi-go class while a No Score will not.

96.4 The following will result in a reduction of five (5) points:

a)  Spurring in front of cinch;

b) Use of free hand to instil fear;

c)  Holding saddle or touching horse with free hand;

d) Blatant disobediences including kicking, biting, bucking and rearing.

96.5 The following will result in a reduction of two (2) points:

a)  Break of gait;

b) Freeze up in spins or rollbacks;

c)  On walk in patterns, failure to stop or walk before executing a canter departure;

d) On run in patterns, failure to be in a canter prior to the first marker;

e)  If a horse does not completely pass the specified marker before initiating a stop position.

96.6 Starting or performing circles of eights out of lead will be judged as follows:

a)  Each time a horse is out of lead, a judge is required to deduct one (1) point. The penalty for being out of lead is accumulative and the judge will deduct one (1) penalty point for each quarter of the circumference of a circle or any part thereof that a horse is out of lead. A judge is required to penalise a horse one-half point for a delayed change of lead by one stride;

b) Deduct half (1/2) point for starting circle at a jog or exiting rollbacks at a jog up to two (2) strides. Jogging beyond two (2) strides, but less than half (1/2) circle or half (1/2) the length of the arena, deduct two (2) points;

c)  Deduct half (1/2) point for over or under spinning up to one eighth (1/8) of a turn; deduct one (1) point for over or under spinning from one-eighth to one quarter (1/8 to 1/4) turn.

96.7 A half (1/2) point penalty deduction will be given for failure to remain a minimum of six (6) metres from the wall or fence when approaching a stop and/or rollback.

96.8 Where a change of lead is specified immediately prior to a run to the end of the arena, failure to change leads will be penalised as follows: failure to change leads by one (1) stride – half (1/2) point; failure to change leads beyond one (1) stride, but where lead change is completed prior to next manoeuvre - one (1) point; lead is not changed prior to the next manoeuvre - two (2) points; in patterns requiring a run-around, failure to be on the correct lead when rounding the end of the arena will be penalised one (1) point. Failure to be on the correct lead prior to the centre point of the arena will be a two (2) point penalty. 

96.9 A judge may require any contestant to repeat his performance of any or all of the various parts of the pattern.

96.10 Faults against the horse to be scored accordingly, but not to cause disqualification:

a)    Opening mouth excessively when wearing bit;

b)    Excessive jawing, opening mouth or head rising on stop;

c)    Lack of smooth, straight stop on haunches bouncing or sideways stop;

d)    Refusing to change leads;

e)    Anticipating signals;

f)     Stumbling;

g)    Backing sideways;

h)    Knocking over markers.

96.11 Faults against the rider to be scored accordingly, but not to cause disqualification:

a)  Losing stirrup;

b) Any unnecessary aid given by the rider such as unnecessary talking, petting, spurring, quirting, jerking of reins, etc.;

c)  Failure to run circles or figure eights within the markers is not considered a fault depending on arena conditions and size; however, failure to go beyond markers on rollbacks and stops is considered a fault.

96.12 Tie breaker, for first place only, as per NRHA rules.

 

 

97. RIDERS WITH DISABILITIES

To provide Show Management with the option to include equestrians with disabilities competition, Australian Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) has adopted these rules and provided an achievement points and awards system for participants.

In doing so, AQHA does not assume responsibility for safety of participants. Since it is Show Management which conducts these classes and controls both the physical facility and all aspects of the classes, responsibility for participant’s safety remains solely with Show Management.

At any time in this section of the rule book where a handler is mentioned, that handler is optional and if a handler is used then they must be dressed appropriately being western style pants/jeans, enclosed safe shoes, shirt with sleeves and a western hat.

The Judge can set their own patterns for RWD classes but must keep in mind the limitations of the RWD riders. Eg: No picking up objects; no dismounting.

97.1 In the case of adult participants, each participant assumes all risk of personal injury or property damage and releases and discharges AQHA, AQHA Affiliates and Show Management, their respective officers, directors, representatives, and employees, from any and all liability, whenever or however arising, as to personal injury or property damage occurring as a result of participation in these classes, except for the negligent act or omission, if any, of said indemnities.

If the participant is a minor, the parent or guardian, by allowing participation, assumes all risk of personal injury or property damage occurring as a result of the participation and does hereby release and discharge AQHA and Show Management, their respective officers, directors, representatives, and employees from any and all liability, whenever or however arising, from such participation, except for the negligent act or omission, if any, of an indemnity.

Further, as parent or legal guardian, they agree to indemnify and hold harmless AQHA and Show Management from such liability to the minor.

a) Each participant, and if a minor, the consenting parent or guardian, authorises the use of any picture, still or video which may be taken in conjunction with the exhibitor’s participation in these equestrians with disabilities classes for AQHA’s official uses;

b) Only horses registered with the AQHA or registered with a relevant breed society are eligible to participate in RWD classes. Only geldings or mares can be shown;

c) Each exhibitor must have a financial individual membership with the AQHA or relevant breed society;

d) An exhibitor cannot show more than one (1) horse in the same class and a horse cannot be shown by more than one (1) exhibitor in the same class;

e) RWD riders cannot compete in Open/Amateur/Youth classes and RWD classes at the same show; they must make a choice either RWD classes for that show or Open/Amateur/Youth classes for that show;

f)  For participation in these classes, a rider must produce a Doctors Certificate, upon joining the AQHA for the first time, which states the disability. Competitors from other recognised breed organisations must have RWD endorsement from their breed. That every five (5) years an RWD Rider must re-apply for an RWD permit

g) Youth participants must be seven (7) years of age or older for RWD ridden classes and five (5) years of age and over for RWD Showmanship classes;

h) Eligible Conditions Include:

  • Amputation
  • Anthrogryposis
  • Aspergers Syndrome
  • Autism
  • Batten’s Disease
  • Cebrovascular Accident
  • Cerebella Ataxia
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Coffin Lowry Syndrome
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Down Syndrome
  • Dwarfism
  • Fragile X Syndrome
  • Friedrick’s Ataxia
  • Guillan Barre Syndrome
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Hunter’s Syndrome
  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Microcephaly
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Post Polio Syndrome
  • Prader Willie Syndrome
  • Rhett Syndrome
  • Spina Bifida
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Touretts Syndrome
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Trisomy Abnormalities
  • Vision Impairment
  • Other diagnoses will be considered upon request.

i)  The following disorders are not eligible:

  • ADHD
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Depression
  • Dyslexia
  • Eating Disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Psychological Diagnosis

j)   The rider or their family does not have to own the horse;

k)    Handler – One (1) handler per entry in the ring to facilitate the safety of the rider. The handler must be eighteen (18) years of age or over. A halter must be on the horse either over or under the bridle for use by the handler if needed.

The handler must have a suitable lead line in hand in case of need. Lead line cannot be fastened to the bit. Handlers will stand quietly as a group in a designated area of the ring unless their assistance is required and requested by the judge or ring steward;

l)   A competitor with a hearing impairment can have an assistant who communicates via sign language or cue cards to the competitor so they can conform to the judge’s directives. This assistant will be outside the ring and their position known to the judge and ring steward;

m)  Markers must be used and may be numbered. People must not be used as markers no matter if they are safety stand-by spotters;

n)  Handlers, in appropriate attire, must stand with their riders along the rail in the line-up. Handler may only help at judge’s or ring steward’s indication.

97.2 Tack and Equipment

a)  Equipment is to conform to the needs of the competitor and be suitable for the horse;

b) Special adaptive equipment may be used where appropriate. Acceptable adaptive equipment includes:

  • Audio Communications
  • Bareback Pads
  • Boot Adaptations
  • Dowel Reins
  • Hand Holds: Flexible and/or Rigid
  • Velcro or Rubber Bands to tie stirrups or leathers to girth or cinch
  • Ladder Reins
  • Loop Reins
  • Rein Handles
  • Rein Handle Tethers
  • Rubber Bands
  • Saddle Blocks, Wedges, Cushions
  • Safety Stirrups
  • Seat Savers
  • Surcingles
  • Whips (one or two)
  • Other equipment will be considered upon request

97.3 Walk & Trot Hunt Seat Equitation (On the Flat)

a)  English equipment and attire, with exceptions of authorised adaptations, will be required. Riders must wear an approved safety helmet properly fitted and fastened with harness, as per rule 80.4,  No equipment is allowed that would in any way affix the rider to the horse or saddle with the exception of light rubber bands. Safety stirrups (Peacock, S-shaped irons or Devonshire) are required if rider is unable to wear boots with a heel. Peacock irons are recommended in all cases;

b) The following points have equal consideration in judging the class:

  • Rider’s balance
  • Rider’s seat
  • Use of aids
  • Ability to follow directions
  • Ring etiquette and safety
  • Sportsmanlike conduct
  • Results as shown by the performance of the horse are not to be considered more important than the manner used in obtaining them;

c) Class Procedure – All exhibitors will complete an individual workout. Horses will be shown at three (3) gaits – walk, trot and extended trot. Judge can set their own patterns, or use the patterns in this rule book, but must keep in mind the limitations of the RWD riders. All exhibitors may work as a group of ten or less when competing on the rail at a walk and trot both way;

d) Scoring – As per Hunt Seat Equitation. Refer Rule 89.

97.4 Walk, Trot, Canter Hunt Seat Equitation (on the Flat)

Riders that choose to ride the walk, trot/jog, canter/lope RWD Hunt Seat Equitation class are not eligible for the RWD walk, trot/jog class at that show. English equipment and attire will follow rules as set forth in the AQHA Rules & Regulations with the exceptions of authorised adaptations. Riders must wear an approved safety helmet properly fitted and fastened with harness, as per Rule 80.4. No equipment is allowed that would in any way affix the rider to the horse or saddle with the exception of light rubber bands. Safety stirrups (Peacock, S-shaped irons or Devonshire) are required if rider is unable to wear boots with heels. Peacock irons are recommended in all cases.

a) The following points have equal consideration in judging the class;

  • Rider's balance
  • Rider's seat
  • Use of aids
  • Ability to follow directions
  • Ring etiquette and safety
  • Sportsmanlike conduct
  • Results as shown by the performance of the horse are not to be considered more important than the manner used in obtaining them;

b) Class Procedure – All exhibitors will complete an individual workout. Horses will be shown at three (3) gaits – walk, trot and canter. Judge can set their own patterns or use the patterns in this rule book, but must keep in the mind the limitations of the RWD Riders. All exhibitors may work as a group of ten or less when competing on the rail at a walk, trot and canter both ways;

c) Scoring – As per Hunt Seat Equitation. Refer Rule 89.

97.5 Walk & Jog Western Horsemanship

a)  Western equipment and attire must follow Rule 83 with exceptions of authorised adaptations;

b) Riders must wear a properly fitted and fastened with harness, Australian Standard protective helmet. A Western hat can be affixed over the helmet. No equipment is allowed that would in any way affix the rider to the horse or saddle with the exception of light rubber bands.

Safety stirrups (covered or other approved safety stirrups) are required if rider is unable to wear boots with a heel;

c) The following points have equal consideration in judging the class:

  • Rider’s balance
  • Rider’s seat
  • Use of aids
  • Ability to follow directions
  • Ring etiquette and safety
  • Sportsmanlike conduct
  • Results as shown by the performance of the horse are not to be considered more important than the manner used in obtaining them;

d) Class procedures: All exhibitors will complete an individual workout. Horses will be shown at two (2) gaits – walk and jog. Judges can set their own patterns, or use the patterns in this rule book, but must keep in mind the limitations of the RWD rider. All exhibitors may work as a group of ten or less when competing on the rail at a walk and jog both ways;

e) Scoring: As per Western Horsemanship. Refer to Rule 103.

97.6 Walk, Jog, Lope/ Western Horsemanship

Riders that choose to ride the walk, jog, lope RWD Western Horsemanship class are not eligible for the RWD walk, jog Western Horsemanship class at that show. Western equipment and attire must follow rules as set forth in the AQHA Official Handbook with the exceptions of authorised adaptations. Riders must wear an approved safety helmet properly fitted and fastened with harness, as per rule 80.4. A western hat may be affixed over the helmet. No equipment is allowed that would in any way affix the rider to the horse or saddle with the exception of light rubber bands. Safety stirrups (covered or other approved safety stirrups) are required if rider is unable to wear boots with heels.

a) The following points have equal consideration in judging the class;

  • Rider's balance
  • Rider's seat
  • Use of aids
  • Ability to follow directions
  • Ring etiquette and safety
  • Sportsmanlike conduct
  • Results as shown by the performance of the horse are not to be considered more important than the manner used in obtaining them;

b) Class Procedure: All exhibitors will complete an individual workout. Horses will be shown at three (3) gaits – walk, jog and lope. Judge can set their own patterns, or use the patterns in this rule book, but must keep in mind the limitations of the RWD riders. All exhibitors may work as a group of ten or less when competing on the rail at a walk, jog and lope both ways;

c) Scoring: As per Western Horsemanship. Refer to Rule 103.

97.7 RWD Trail Horse Classes

Riders that choose to ride the walk, trot/jog, canter/lope RWD Trail class are not eligible for the RWD walk, trot/jog Trail class at that show.

a) Equipment and attire - Class may be ridden English or western but must be one way or the other. There will be no mixing of attire or equipment. Specifications on attire and equipment are the same as for the RWD Walk & Trot Hunt Seat Equitation and RWD Western Horsemanship classes;

b) The following points have equal consideration in judging the class:

  • Rider's balance
  • Rider's seat
  • Use of aids
  • Ability to follow directions
  • Ring etiquette and safety
  • Sportsmanlike conduct
  • Results as shown by the performance of the horse are not to be considered more important than the manner used in obtaining them;

c) Class procedure and scoring: This class will be judged on the performance of the horse  while manoeuvring five (5) obstacles for walk, trot/jog trail and six (6) obstacles for walk, trot/jog, canter/lope trail. Riders are to work individually. There will be no rail work. This class to be scored according to Rule 100;

d) Course: Safety of riders is to be the first consideration in setting up the course. The course should be attractive with readily recognised obstacles. Sufficient space is to be allowed between obstacles;

e) Obstacles as per Rule 100. Judge can set their own patterns, or use the patterns in this rule book, but must keep in mind the limitations of the RWD riders.

97.8 RWD Showmanship at Halter 

Equipment and Attire

Class can be shown English or Western but must be one way or the other. There will be no mixing of attire or equipment. English and Western equipment and attire will follow rules as set forth in this Handbook with the exception of authorised adaptations. Good points for showing may be learned from Showmanship. Refer Rule 98.  Exhibitor can wear an approved safety helmet properly fitted and fastened with harness as per Rule 80.4 or a Western hat. No equipment is allowed that would in any way attach the exhibitor to the horse or halter. Appropriate show halter with lead to be used. The use of a chain is permitted but discouraged. No bridles and/or bits and/or lip chains or lip cords can be used.

a) The following points have equal consideration in judging the class:

  • Exhibitor's poise.
  • Exhibitor's hands.
  • Use of aids.
  • Ability to follow directions and instructions.
  • Ring etiquette and safety.
  • Sportsmanlike conduct.
  • Results as shown by the performance of the horse are not to be considered more important than the manner used in obtaining them;

b) Scoring: As per Showmanship at Halter. Refer to Rule 98;

c) Class Procedure: All exhibitors must work as a group (or in groups) of ten (10) or less. Exhibitors will enter the ring to the right one by one and line up at the Judge's or Ring Steward's direction. The horse handler will take a place on the rail directly behind their respective exhibitor's horse. Judge can set their own patterns, or use the patterns in this rule book, but must keep in mind the limitations of the RWD Riders.  Judges may ask the exhibitors to repeat any or the entire pattern. Exhibitors will remain in the ring throughout the class. After the class has been judged and the judges' card turned in, the handlers should join their exhibitor in the line and are allowed to snap onto the exhibitor's horse to receive their awards and retire from the ring.

98. SHOWMANSHIP AT HALTER

Available only in the Amateur/Select and Youth divisions.

The Showmanship class will be judged strictly on the exhibitor’s ability to fit and show a horse at halter. The horse is merely a prop to demonstrate the ability and preparation of the exhibitor.

The ideal showmanship performance consists of a poised, confident, neatly attired exhibitor leading a well-groomed and conditioned horse that quickly and efficiently performs the requested pattern with promptness, smoothness, and precision. The showmanship class is not another halter class and is not to be judged as such.

A pull turn to the left is an unacceptable manoeuvre.

The horse should be set up quickly with  the feet squarely underneath the body. The exhibitor does not have to reset a horse that stops square.

98.1 It is mandatory that the judge post any pattern(s) to be worked at least one (1) hour prior to the commencement of the class. Pattern(s) are to be designed to test the showman’s ability to effectively present a horse to the judge. All ties will be broken at the judge’s discretion.

98.2 Class Procedures

All exhibitors may enter the ring and then work individually or each exhibitor may be worked from the gate individually. When exhibitors are worked individually from the gate, a working order is required. The following manoeuvres are considered acceptable: lead the horse at a walk, jog, trot or extended trot, or back in a straight or curved line, or a combination of straight and curved lines; stop; and turn 90 (1/4), 180 (1/2), 270 (3/4), 360 (full turn) degrees or any combination or multiple of these turns. On turns of greater than 90 degrees, the ideal turn consists of the horse pivoting on the right hind leg while stepping across and in front of the right front leg with the left front leg. An exhibitor should not be penalised if their horse performs a pivot on the left hind leg, but an exhibitor whose horse performs the pivot correctly should receive more credit.The judge must have exhibitors set the horse up squarely for inspection sometime during the class. 

98.3 Equipment

a)  The halter must be of leather and may be adorned with silver accents. The lead must be made of leather with a chain for attachment to halter. The chain on the lead may be under the chin or over the nose;

b) Lip chains/cords of any type are not permitted;

98.4 Appearance and Position of Exhibitor

Appropriate western attire must be worn. Clothes and person are to be neat and clean. The use of any type of artificial aid including, but not limited to lighters, hay, dirt, sharp pins, etc. will be considered a disqualification.

Exhibitors should be poised, confident, courteous, and genuinely sportsmanlike at all times, quickly recognising and correcting faults in the positioning of the horse. The exhibitor should continue showing the horse until the class has been placed or they have been excused, unless otherwise instructed by the judge. The exhibitor should appear business-like, stand and move in a straight, natural, and upright manner, and avoid excessive, unnatural, or animated body positions.

The exhibitor must lead on the horse’s left side holding the lead shank in the right hand near the halter with the tail of the lead loosely coiled in the left hand unless requested by the judge to show the horse’s teeth..

The excess lead should never be tightly coiled, rolled, or folded. When leading, the exhibitor should be positioned between the eye and the mid-point of the horse’s neck, referred to as the leading position.

Both arms should be bent at the elbow with the elbows held close to the exhibitor's side and the forearms held in a natural position. Height of the arms may vary depending on the size of the horse and exhibitor, but the arms should never be held straight out with the elbows locked.

The position of the exhibitor when executing a turn to the right is the same as the leading position except that the exhibitor should turn and face toward the horse’s head and have the horse move away from them to the right.

When executing a back, the exhibitor should turn from the leading position to face toward the rear of the horse with the right hand extended across the exhibitor’s chest and walk forward beside the horse with the horse moving backward.

When setting the horse up for inspection, the exhibitor should stand angled toward the horse in a position between the horse’s eye and muzzle, and should never leave the head of the horse. The exhibitor is required to use the Quarter Method when presenting the horse.

The exhibitor should maintain a position that is safe for themselves and the judge. The position of the exhibitor should not obstruct the judge’s view of the horse and should allow the exhibitor to maintain awareness of the judge’s position at all times. The exhibitor should not crowd other exhibitors when setting up side-by-side or head-to-tail. When moving around the horse, the exhibitor should change sides in front of the horse with minimal steps and should assume the same position on the right side of the horse that they had on the left side.

Leading, backing, turning, and initiating the set up should be performed from the left side of the horse. At no time should the exhibitor ever stand directly in front of the horse. The exhibitor should not touch the horse with their hands or feet, or visibly cue the horse by pointing their feet at the horse during the set up.

98.5 Appearance of Horse

The horse’s body condition and overall fitness will be assessed. The hair coat should be clean, well-brushed, and in good condition. The mane, tail, forelock, and wither tuft may not contain ornaments (ribbons, bows, etc.), but may be braided or banded for English or Western. The length of mane and tail may vary, as long as they are neat, clean, and free of tangles. The mane should be even in length or may be roached, but the forelock must be left unclipped.  The bridle path, eyebrows, and long hair on the head and legs may be clipped, except where government regulations prohibit.

Hooves should be properly trimmed and if shod, the shoes should fit correctly and clinches should be neat. Hooves must be clean and may be painted black or with hoof dressings, or shown naturally. Tack should fit properly and be neat, clean and in good repair.

98.6  SCORING: Exhibitors are to be scored from 0 to infinity, with 70 denoting an average performance. Patterns will be divided into 6 to 10 manoeuvres, as specified by the judge, and each manoeuvre will be scored from +3 to -3 with 1/2 point increments acceptable that will be added or subtracted from 70. Manoeuvre scores should be determined independent of penalties, and should reflect equal consideration of both performance of the exhibitor’s pattern and the form and effectiveness of the exhibitor and presentation of horse to result in the following scores:

+3 Excellent, +2 Very Good, +1 Good, 0 Average or Correct, -1 Poor, -2 Very Poor, -3 Extremely Poor.

Exhibitors overall form and effectiveness should also be scored from 0 to 5 with 0 to 2 Average, 3 Good, 4 Very Good, 5 Excellent.

98.7  PENALTIES

An exhibitor should be penalised in the pattern  independent of manoeuvre scores and  deducted from the final score as follows:

3 points

  • Break of gait at  the walk or trot up to 2  strides
  • Over or under    turning up to 1/8 of a turn
  • Ticking  or hitting cone
  • Sliding   a pivot  foot
  • Lifting a pivot foot during a pivot or set-up and replacing it in the same place
  • Lifting a foot in a set-up and replacing it in the same place after presentation

5 points

  • Not performing the specific gait or not    stopping within (3 meters) of    designated location
  • Break    of gait   at walk  or trot   for more than    2 strides
  • Splitting the cone (cone between the horse and exhibitor)
  • Horse stepping out of or moving the hind end significantly during  a pivot or turn
  • Horse stepping out of set-up after presentation
  • Horse resting a foot or hipshot in a set-up
  • Over or under turning 1/8 to 1/4 turn   

10 points

  • Exhibitor is not  in the required position during inspection
  • Exhibitor touching the horse or kicking or pointing their feet at the horse’s feet during the set-up
  • Standing directly in front of the horse
  • Loss of  lead shank, holding chain or two hands  on shank
  • Blatant  disobedience including  kicking, rearing  or pawing;          
  • Horse    continually circling exhibitor

Disqualifications (should not be placed) including:

  • Loss of  control  of horse that endangers exhibitor, other horses, or judge
  • Horse    becomes separated from exhibitor
  • Failure  to display correct number
  • Wilful abuse
  • Excessive schooling or training; 
  • Use of   artificial aids Illegal equipment
  • Off pattern  including: Knocking over or wrong side of cone or marker; Never performing designated gait;             
  • Over or under turning more than ¼ turn

99. SPORTING: Barrel, Figure of Eight, Keyhole and Pole Bending offered in All Age Youth, All Age Amateur and All Age Horse classes only at approved AQHA shows.

Equipment: Western type saddle and equipment must be used. Any approved bit can be used irrespective of the age of the horse, any rawhide bosal, mechanical hackamore or other types of bridles is the optional choice of the contestant. However, mechanical hackamore nosepieces must be covered in leather and cannot have visible or bare metal in contact with the horses head. The Judge or steward may prohibit the use of any bit of equipment they consider inhumane or would tend to give a horse/rider an unfair advantage.

Bonnets (tie-down that goes over the poll and/or across the forehead) made of rope, flat nylon webbing or leather only (minimum 9.5mm diameter) are permitted.

Martingales and draw reins are permitted, however martingales used with curb bits must have rein stops. Draw reins may not be attached between or around the front legs.

Protective boots, leg wraps and bandages are acceptable.

Attire: it is mandatory to wear appropriate western attire, including long sleeve shirt, collar (band, stand-up, tuxedo, etc.) western hat, western pants/jeans and western boots. The hat must be on the rider’s head when the exhibitor enters the arena. Spurs and chaps are optional.

99.1 Barrel – is a timed class

Exhibitors race against the clock, following a course consisting of three (3) barrels in a triangular "cloverleaf" pattern. Contestants must choose either the right or left barrel, circle it, and go to the next barrel, completing the course after circling the third barrel and running home. Barrel racing is a timed event.

a) The contestant is allowed a running start. At a signal from the starter, the contestant will run to barrel number 1, pass to the left of it, and complete an approximately 360 degree turn around it; then go to barrel number 2, pass to the right of it, and complete a slightly more than 360 degree turn around it; then go to barrel number 3, pass to the right of it, and do another approximately 360 degree turn around it; then sprint to the finish line, passing between barrel number 1 and 2. This barrel course can also be run to the left. For example, the contestants will start to barrel number 2, turning to left around this barrel, then to barrel number 1, turning to the right, then to barrel number 3, turning again to the right, followed by the final sprint to the finish line;

b) Knocking over a barrel carries a five-second (5) penalty;

c) Failure to follow the course will cause disqualification;

d) A contestant may touch the barrel with his or her hands in barrel racing;

e) A whip cannot exceed 76cm in length excluding over and unders which must be attached to the saddle;

f) It is recommended that drags be conducted before the start of a barrel race and after every seven head. Show management may drag more frequently;

g) A contestant can only use a whip, rope, crop, bat or reins anywhere on the horse twice between 1st & 2nd barrel, twice between 2nd & 3rd barrel and four times on the way home;

h) If a tie occurs for first place a run-off will determine the placing’s. 

  1. Course  The course must be measured exactly according to diagram and cannot exceed these dimensions. However, if the course is too large for the available space, the pattern is to be reduced 4.5 metres at a time until the pattern fits the arena. Adequate space must remain between barrels and any obstacle. The distance from barrel number three to the finish line need not be reduced 4.6 meters at a time if there is sufficient room for the horse to stop
  2. when measuring the area for the barrel course, allow ample room for horses to complete their turns and stop at the finish. It is recommended there be at least 13.5 meters from the starting line to the end of the arena, at least 5.4 meters from barrels 1 and 2 to the fence and 10.8 meters from barrel 3 to the end of the arena;
  3. brightly coloured 200 litre steel drums with both ends in must be used;
  4. no rubber or plastic barrels or barrel pads are to be used.

99.2 Figure of Eight is a timed class.

a)  Timing will begin as soon as the horse’s nose reaches the starting line and will be stopped when the horse’s nose passes over the finish line;

b) The contestant is allowed a running start and may begin his run from either the left or right side of the first pole. Start by crossing the centre line between the upright markers, turn around the second pole, cross over the centre line again between the markers, then around the first pole and run back across the finish line;

c)  The start and finish line is 6 metres wide and marked by two upright markers 3 metres on each side of the centre line and short enough so as to not interfere with the timer if one is used. (Short pylons or cones are recommended.)] The first and second poles marking the centre line are each 12 metres from the start and finish line, making them a total of 24 metres apart;

d) A five-second (5) penalty will be assessed if the hat or helmet is not on the exhibitor’s person for the entire time the exhibitor is in the arena in Stake Racing;

e)  Failure of a contestant to cross the start and finish line between the markers will result in no time;

f)  Failure of contestant to cross over the centre line between the markers before turning the second pole and cross back over the centre line after turning the second pole will result in no time;

g)  If an upright marker or pole is knocked down, it will result in no time;

h) A whip cannot exceed 76cm in length excluding over and unders which must be attached to the saddle;

i)   If a tie occurs for first place a run-off will determine the placing’s.

99.3 Pole Bending is a timed class.

a) Each contestant will begin from a running start, and time will begin and end as the horse’s nose crosses the line. A clearly visible starting line must be provided. An electric timer or at least two (2) watches will be used, with the time indicated by the electric timer or the average time of the watches used by official timers to be the official time;

b) The pole bending pattern is to be run around six (6) poles. Each pole is to be 6.4 metres apart, and the first pole is to be 6.4 metres from the starting line. Poles will be set on top of the ground, 1.8 metres in height, with no base more than 35cm in diameter;

c)  A horse can start either to the right or to the left of the first pole and then run the remainder of the pattern accordingly;

d) Knocking over a pole will carry a five-second (5) penalty. Failure to follow the course will cause disqualification. A contestant may touch a pole with his or her hand in pole bending;

e) A five-second (5) penalty will be assessed if the hat or helmet is not on the exhibitor's person for the entire time the exhibitor is in the arena in pole bending;

f) A whip cannot exceed 76cm in length excluding over and unders which must be attached to the saddle;

g)  If a tie occurs for first place a run-off will determine the placing’s;

h) The judge, at his/her discretion, may disqualify a contestant for excessive use of a bat, crop, whip or rope in front of the cinch.

99.4 Keyhole – is a timed class

a) A lane 12m long and 1.2m wide is marked with whiting, make a circle 6m in diameter on one end of the lane;

b) The starting line is at the end of the lane opposite the circle. Another line is made 6m before reaching the starting line;

c) This is a timed event and time starts at the starting line entering the lane;

d) The rider must have his horse inside the back line and the horse must stop his forward motion before starting the race;

e) The rider has 6m to start the horse before time begins, at the entry of the lane;

f) Competitor rides down the lane turning inside the circle and returning down the lane;

g) Time starts and stops upon entering and leaving the lane;

h) Rider will be disqualified if a horse steps on or over the line;

i) If a horse steps back across the first line, an additional stop of his forward motion will be required in the 6m zone;

j) After the original crossing of the first line, 30 seconds will be allowed to enter the lane;

k) Three (3) judges will be used;

l) The 6m line is to create a 6m zone and does not have to be drawn all of the way across the arena. The rider may enter the zone at any place;

m) A whip cannot exceed 76cm in length excluding over and unders which must be attached to the saddle;

n) If a tie occurs for first place a run-off will determine the placing’s.

100. TRAIL 

This class will be judged on the performance of the horse over obstacles, with emphasis on manners, response to the rider, and quality of movement. Credit will be given to horses negotiating the obstacles with style and some degree of speed, providing correctness is not sacrificed. Horses are to receive credit for showing attentiveness to the obstacles and the capability of picking their own way through the course when obstacles warrant it, and willingly responding to the rider’s cues on more difficult obstacles;

Horse will be penalised for any unnecessary delay while approaching or negotiating the obstacles. Horses with artificial appearance over obstacles are to be penalised;

Horses will not be worked on the rail. The course must be designed, however, to require each horse to show the three (3) gaits (walk, jog and lope) somewhere between obstacles as a part of its work and quality of movement and cadence will be considered as part of the manoeuvre score. Gait between obstacles will be at the discretion of the judge;

The course to be used must be posted at least one (1) hour before scheduled starting time of the class.

100.1 Scoring will be on the basis of 0-infinity, with 70 denoting an average performance. Each obstacle will receive an obstacle score that will be added or subtracted from 70 and is subject to a penalty that will be subtracted.

Each obstacle will be scored on the following basis, ranging from plus 1.5 to minus 1.5:

a) -1.5 extremely poor, -1 very poor, -.5 poor, 0 correct,

b)  +.5 good, +1 very good, +1.5 excellent.

100.2   Penalties

Penalties should be assessed, per occurrence, as follows:

  • 1/2 point:  each tick or contact of a log, pole, cone, plant, or any component of an obstacle
  • 1 point : each hit, bite, or stepping on a log, cone, plant or any component of the obstacle
  • incorrect or break of gait at walk or jog for two strides or less
  • both front or hind feet in a single-strided slot or space at a walk or jog
  • skipping over or failing to step into required space
  • split pole in lope-over
  • incorrect number of strides, if specified

3 points:  incorrect or break of gait at walk or jog for more than two strides

  • out of lead or break of gait at lope (except when correcting an incorrect lead)
  • knocking down an elevated pole, cone, barrel, plant, obstacle, or severely disturbing an obstacle
  • falling or jumping off or out of a bridge or a water box with one foot once the horse has got onto or into that obstacle
  • stepping outside of the confines of an obstacle with designated boundaries (i.e. back through, 360 degree box, side pass) with one foot once the horse has entered the obstacle.
  • missing or evading a pole that is a part of a series of an obstacle with one foot

5 points: dropping slicker or object required to be carried on course

  • first or second cumulative refusal, balk, or evading an obstacle by shying or backing
  • letting go of gate or dropping rope gate
  • use of either hand to instil fear or praise
  • falling or jumping off or out of a bridge or a water box with more than one foot once the horse has got onto or into that obstacle
  • stepping outside of the confines of an obstacle with designated boundaries (i.e. back through, 360 degree box, side pass) with more than one foot once the horse has entered the obstacle.
  • missing or evading a pole that is a part of a series of an obstacle with more than one foot
  • blatant disobedience (including kicking out, bucking, rearing, striking) holding saddle with either hand

Disqualified 0 – Score

Use of two hands (except in snaffle bit or hackamore classes designated for two hands) or changing hands on reins; except for junior horses shown with hackamore or snaffle bit, only one hand may be used on the reins, except that it is permissible to change hands to work an obstacle as outlined in WESTERN EQUIPMENT, or to straighten reins when stopped.

  • use of romal other than as outlined in WESTERN EQUIPMENT
  • performing the obstacle incorrectly or other than in specified order
  • no attempt to perform an obstacle
  • equipment failure that delays completion of pattern excessively or repeatedly
  • touching the horse on the neck to lower the head
  • entering or exiting an obstacle from the incorrect side or direction
  • working obstacle, the incorrect direction; including overturns of more than 1/4 turn
  • riding outside designated boundary marker of the arena or course area
  • third cumulative refusal, balk, or evading an obstacle by shying or backing
  • failure to ever demonstrate correct lead and/or gait as designated
  • failure to follow the correct line of travel between obstacles
  • excessive schooling, pulling, turning, stepping or backing anywhere on course
  • failure to open and shut gate or failure to complete gate

100.2.1 Faults which will be cause for disqualification that occur on the line of travel between obstacles include: head carried too low (tip of ear below the withers consistently); over flexing or straining neck in head carriage so the nose is carried behind the vertical consistently.

100.2.2 Faults scored according to severity which occur on the line of travel between obstacles include:

Head carried too high; Head carried too low and/or clearly behind the vertical excessively and consistently while the horse is in motion, or otherwise showing the appearance of intimidation; 

Opening mouth excessively

100.3 Management, when setting courses, are to keep in mind that the idea is not to trap a horse, or eliminate it by making an obstacle too difficult. All courses and obstacles are to be constructed with safety in mind so as to eliminate any accidents. If difficult courses are set, junior trail is to be less difficult. When the distances and spaces are measured between all obstacles, the inside base to inside base measurement of each obstacle considering the normal path of the horse, will be the measuring point. Enough space must be provided for a horse to jog [at least 9 metres] and lope [at least 15 metres] for the judges to evaluate these gaits.

100.4 If disrupted, the course will be reset after each horse has worked. In the case that a combination of obstacles is used, the course cannot be reset until the contestant finishes the entire course regardless of where any disruption occurs.

100.5 Obstacles: At least six (6) obstacles must be used, three (3) of which must be from the mandatory list of obstacles and at least three (3) different others selected from the list of optional obstacles.

Mandatory obstacles:

a) Opening, passing through and closing gate. (Losing control of gate is to be penalised). Use a gate which does not endanger horse or rider. If the gate has a metal, plastic or wooden support bar under the opening, contestants must work the gate moving forward through it. One hand only must be on the reins at all times whilst working the gate. Height is to be between 1400mm and 1500mm, gate opening to be between 1400mm and 1500mm, the latch or chain to be a minimum of 1300mm measured from the ground;

b) Ride over at least four (4) logs or poles. These can be in a straight line, curved, zigzag or raised. The space between the logs is to be measured and the path the horse is to take will be the measuring point. Jogovers and lopeovers cannot be elevated in novice classes. All elevated elements must be placed in a cup, notched block, or otherwise secured so they cannot roll. The height will be measured from the ground to the top of the element. Spacing for walkovers, jogovers, and lopeovers will be as follows or increments thereof:

Walkovers: The spacing for walkovers will be 40cm to 60cm between the poles and may be elevated to 30cm. Elevated walkovers are to be set at least 55cm apart.

Jogovers: The spacing for jogovers will be 90cm-105cm between the poles and may be elevated to 20cm.

Lopeovers: The spacing for lopeovers will be 1.8 - 2.1 metres or increments thereof between the poles and may be elevated to 20cm. Minimum length of poles to be used in a lope over is 1.8 metres.

c)  Backing obstacle. Backing obstacles to be spaced a minimum of 70cm. If elevated, 75cm spacing is required. Entrants cannot be asked to back over a stationary object.

  1. back through and around at least three (3) markers;
  2. back through an L, V, U, straight, or similar shaped course. May be elevated no more than 60cm (24”).

100.6 Optional obstacles, but not limited to:

a)  Water hazard (ditch or small pond). No metal or slick bottom-boxes will be used;

b) Serpentine obstacles at walk or jog. Spacing to be minimum of 1.8 metres for jog;

c)  Carry object from one part of arena to another. (Only objects which reasonably might be carried on a trail ride can be used);

d) Ride over wooden bridge. Minimum width will be 90cm,  at least 1.8 metres long and a maximum height from the ground to top of bridge to be 30cm. Bridge must be sturdy, safe and negotiated at a walk only;

e)  Put on and remove slicker;

f)  Remove and replace materials from mailbox;

g)  Side pass [may be elevated to 30cm maximum];

h) An obstacle consisting of four (4) logs or rails, each a minimum of 1.5 metres long, laid in a square. Each contestant will enter the square by riding over log or rail as designated. When all four feet (4) are inside the square, rider should execute a turn, as indicated, and depart;

i)  Any other safe and negotiable obstacle which could reasonably be expected to be encountered on a trail ride and meets the approval of the judge may be used;

j)  A combination of two (2) or more of any obstacle is acceptable.

100.7 Unacceptable obstacles are:

a)  Tyres

b) Animals

c)  Hides

d) PVC pipe

e)  Dismounting

f)  Jumps

g)  Rocking or moving bridges

h) Water box with floating or moving parts

i)   Flames, dry ice, fire extinguisher, etc.

j)   Logs or poles elevated in a manner that permits such to roll.

k)  Ground ties

l)    Straddling a rail

100.8 The judge must walk the course and has the right and duty to alter the course in any manner. The judge may remove or change any obstacle he deems unsafe or non-negotiable. If at any time a trail obstacle is deemed to be unsafe by the judge, it will be repaired or removed from the course. If it cannot be repaired and horses have completed the course, the score for that obstacle will be deducted from all previous works for that class.

100.9   If a tie occurs for first place then it will be decided upon by obstacle tie breakers. Ties in minor placings will not be broken.

101. WALK JOG/TROTYouth only 5 to 10 years as at 1st August.

These classes are designed for the very inexperienced competitor who is capable of riding without assistance of an adult leading them. Most of these youngsters are just beginning to compete in youth classes and may not be capable of riding with more experienced contestants.

These classes can be held at “A” and “AA” approved shows.

It is mandatory that show management designate two (2) adults (other than Judge & Ring Steward) to be in the arena during the class to help any contestant who might need assistance. The two (2) adults are to be stationed so as to avoid disrupting class.

a) If the rider is riding two (2) handed then the horse must be in a snaffle (regardless of horses age);

b) No two (2) or three (3) year old horses can be used in any Youth Walk & Jog/Trot classes;

c) Equipment/gear and apparel must be used/worn according to the type of class contested (Western or English) Exception: It is mandatory for the rider to wear a safety helmet. Refer Rule 80.4;

d) When riding in a western saddle it must have fenders of a suitable length and English saddle stirrups are to be a suitable length. Buddy stirrups are acceptable;

e) The contestant will be judged on his ability to govern, control and properly exhibit the horse they are riding;

f) If in the opinion of the Judge, he feels the ability of the contestant’s merits, he may request the contestants to extend the jog or trot;

g) No rider entering any of the classes listed below can enter any other ridden class on the program.

101.1 Classes offered:

  • Youth Walk and Jog Western Pleasure
  • Youth Walk and Jog Western Horsemanship
  • Youth Walk and Jog Trail
  • Youth Walk and Trot Hunter Under Saddle
  • Youth Walk and Trot Hunt Seat Equitation

a) Western Pleasure and Hunter Under Saddle

  • These classes will be worked at a walk and trot or jog both directions of the ring.
  • In the line-up the Judge may ask the riders to back their horses

b) Western Horsemanship, Trail, Hunt Seat Equitation

  • Judges are to be mindful of the age and limitations of the riders when setting patterns.
  • A Walk and Trot or Walk and Jog must be included in these patterns accordingly.
  • Trail obstacles – Refer Rule 100.

102. VERSATILITY RANCH HORSE CHALLENGE

The Ranch Versatility Horse Challenge demonstrates the performance, versatility and conformation of the Australian Quarter Horse as a working horse. The intent is to reward an exhibitor and/or horse based on their level of expertise.

The only divisions that can be run are All Age Horse, All Age Youth and Amateur to gain approval. Two (2) Youth age groups and a Select Amateur class can be offered. Refer Rule 46 for approval requirements.

  • Category 1 Ranch Pleasure, Ranch Trail
  • Category 2 Ranch Reining
  • Category 3 Ranch Cutting, Ranch Cow Work, Limited Ranch Cow Work
  • Category 4 Ranch Conformation;

102.1 Class Participation for all Ranch Classes

a) No horses less than 3 years of age may be exhibited;

b) No hoof polish/black;

c) No braided or banded manes/tails or tail extensions;

d) Trimming inside ears is discouraged. Trimming bridle path is allowed, also trimming of fetlocks or excessive (long) facial hair;

e) Equipment with silver should not count over a good working outfit. Silver on bridles and saddles is discouraged;

f) Holding the saddle horn with either hand will not be penalised in any class;

g) Posting or standing in stirrups at extended trot is acceptable;

h) Snaffle Bit maybe used on Junior horses in all classes except Open competitors attempting the Roping section of Ranch Cow Work;

Bosal or Mecate may be used on Junior horses in all classes except Open competitors attempting the Roping section of Ranch Cow Work.

The use of two-rein is only allowed in Ranch Reining, Ranch Cow Work and Limited Ranch Cow Work.

i) Tie Breaker - Specific manoeuvres and/or obstacles will be selected by judge prior to start of the class and so noted on score sheets, These manoeuvres will be ranked as 1st tie breaker, second, third etc.

102.1 j) In the case of a fall by a horse or rider, the run will end when the horse or rider fall to the ground.

102.1 k) Equipment failure that delays competition or becomes unsafe, the run is stopped, and the exhibitor will be given credit for what they have accomplished prior to that point but cannot place above other exhibitors who complete the pattern correctly and will be considered off pattern.

102.1.1 Except for the conformation class, each exhibitor is scored between 0-100 points and automatically begins the run with a score of 70 points. The exhibitor is scored on the quality of each manoeuvre

 -1 1/2 extremely poor, -1 very poor, -1/2 poor, 0 correct, +1/2 Good, +1 very good, +1 1/2 excellent).

Pluses and minuses reflect the smoothness, finesse, attitude, quickness and authority of the exhibitor when performing the various manoeuvres.

Penalties may be accrued for incorrect manoeuvre execution.

                                                                                                                                                                                        102.2 Versatility Ranch Pleasure

The purpose of the ranch pleasure class is to measure the ability of the horse to be a pleasure to ride while being used as a means of conveyance from performing one property horse task to another. The horse should reflect the versatility, attitude and movement of a working horse riding outside the confines of an arena. The horse should be well-trained, relaxed, quiet, soft and cadenced at all gaits. The ideal ranch horse will travel with forward movement and demonstrate an obvious lengthening of stride at extended gaits. The horse can be ridden with light contact or on a relatively loose rein without requiring undue restraint, but not shown on a full drape of reins. The overall manners and responsiveness of the ranch pleasure horse to make timely transitions in a smooth and correct manner, as well as the quality of the movement are of primary considerations. The ideal ranch pleasure horse should have a natural head carriage at each gait.

a) Horses shall be shown individually and the class may be conducted inside or outside of an arena. The pattern may be started either to the right or left direction. Show management has the option to set markers to designate gait changes. If the class is held inside an arena, the course shall be set up to make approximately one pass of the arena in each direction. Any one of the three (3) AQHA ranch pleasure patterns may be used or Judge can provide another pattern as long as all elements of the class are fulfilled as follows:

Horses will be shown individually at three (3) gaits; walk, trot and lope in each direction of the arena.

Horses will also be asked to reverse, stop and back. The judge must ask for an extended trot and extended lope at least one direction of the ring;

b) Credits and Penalties - Part of the evaluation of this class is on smoothness of transitions. A horse may be collected from the extended trot as the horse moves into the lope. The transition from the extended lope down to the trot is a transition to the seated trot not the extended trot. Therefore, an extra cue to achieve this gait is expected. Horses that complete this total transition within three strides calmly and obediently should be rewarded. Horses that attempt to stop or do stop prior to trotting will be penalised. Judges expect to see horses that have been trained to respond to cues. To see these cues applied discretely and the horse responding correctly could be a credit-earning situation;

c) Penalties will be assessed as follows: 

1 Point: Over-bridled (per manoeuvre), out of frame (per manoeuvre), too slow, break of gait at walk or trot for two (2) strides or less;

3 Points: Wrong lead or out of lead, draped reins, break of gait at lope, break of gait at walk or trot for more than two (2) strides;  out of lead or cross-cantering more than two strides when changing leads, trotting more than three strides when making a simple lead change;

5 Points: Spurring in front of cinch, blatant disobedience, use of either hand to instil fear/praise.

10 points: Unnatural ranch horse appearance (Horse’s tail is obvious and consistently carried in an unnatural manner in every manoeuvre)

 Off-Pattern (OP): Exhibitors cannot place above others who complete pattern correctly.

Breaking pattern; repeated disobedience; use of two hands (except junior horses shown in a snaffle bit/hackamore), more than one finger between split reins or any fingers between romal reins (except in the two-rein).

Disqualification (DQ): Lameness, abuse, illegal equipment, disrespect or misconduct, leaving working area before pattern is complete; improper western attire, fall of horse/rider.

102.3 Versatility Ranch Trail - A ranch trail class should test the horse’s ability to cope with situations encountered while being ridden through a pattern of obstacles generally found during the course of everyday property work. The horse/rider team is judged on correctness, efficiency and pattern accuracy with which the obstacles are negotiated and the attitude and mannerisms exhibited by the horse. Judging emphasis is on identifying the well-broke, responsive and well-mannered horse which can correctly navigate and negotiate the course.

102.3.1 Course

The ranch trail course will include no less than six (6) and no more than nine (9) obstacles. It is mandatory that the horse be asked to walk, trot and lope during the course. Walk can be part of obstacle score or be scored with the approaching obstacle. Trot must be at least 12 metres and score with approaching obstacle. Lope must be lead-specific, at least 17 metres and score with approaching obstacle. Care must be exercised to avoid setting up any obstacles that may be hazardous to the horse or rider.

Setting Courses

When setting courses, judge/management will be mindful that the idea is not to trap a horse/rider team or eliminate it by making an obstacle too difficult. All courses and obstacles are to be constructed with safety in mind so as to reduce the risk for accidents. Show committee/judge shall have the option of setting up the trail course to best fit the arena conditions. An outdoor course is recommended if appropriate terrain is available. Each single-performance class can be time consuming, especially with large classes, so it is imperative that time restrictions are placed on this class. The show committee/judge, either through a pilot run or estimation, shall select a course that has a continuous and positive flow that can be negotiated in four (4) minutes or less.

Design The course must be designed using the mandatory obstacles and manoeuvres plus optional obstacles. Combining two or more of the obstacles is acceptable.

102.3.2 Mandatory Obstacles and/or Manoeuvres

Ride over obstacles on the ground (usually logs).

Walk, trot or lope may be used but only one gait is required.

a) Walk-overs: Walk over no more than five (5) logs no more than 25cm high and spacing between 66cm to 76cm. The formation may be straight, curved, zig-zagged or raised;

b) Trot-overs: Trot over no more than five (5) logs no more than 25cm high. The space between logs or poles should be 91cm to 107cm. The formation can also be straight, curved, zigzagged or raised;

c) Lope-overs: Lope over no more than five (5) logs no more than 25cm high. The space between logs should be 183cm to 213cm. The formation can also be straight, curved, zigzagged or raised;

d) Gate: Opening, passing through and closing  a hinged swinging gate (not a rope gate). Use gate that will not endanger horse or rider and requires minimum side-passing;

e) Bridge: Ride over wooden bridge. Bridge should be sturdy, safe and negotiated at a walk only. Heavy plywood lying flat on the ground is an acceptable simulation of a bridge. Suggested minimum width shall be 91cm wide and at least 183cm long;

f) Backing: Backing obstacles are to be spaced at a minimum of 71cm. If elevated, 76cm spacing is required. Back through and around at least three markers. Back through L, V, U or straight or similarly shaped course which may be elevated no more than 61cm;

g) Side-pass: Any object which is safe and of any length may be used to demonstrate responsiveness of the horse to leg signals. Raised side pass obstacles should not exceed 30cm;

h) Drag an object: For open and amateur classes ONLY. The drag is not to be used in youth classes. Drag may be a complete figure eight and may begin in either direction. The exhibitor must have the rope dallied on the saddle horn (half dally) for the duration of the drag.

102.3.3 Optional Obstacles

Optional obstacles may be used provided the obstacles can be found in everyday ranch work. Optional obstacles from which selections can be made include, but are not limited to:

a) A jump obstacle whose centre height is not less than 35cm high or more than 63cm high. Holding the saddle horn is permissible for this obstacle;

b) Only live or stuffed animals which would normally be encountered in an outdoor setting may be used but not to be used in an attempt to spook a horse; 

c) Carry object from one part of the arena to another; 

d) Remove and replace materials from a mailbox;

e) Trot through cones spaced a minimum of 183cm apart; 

f) Cross natural ditches or ride up embankments; 

g) Swing rope or throw rope at a dummy steer head; 

h) Step in and out of obstacle;

i) Put on slicker or coat;

j) Stand to mount with mounting block;

k) Walk through water obstacle; 

l) Open gate on foot;

m) Pick up feet;

n) Walk through brush;

o) Ground tie (Hobbles are allowed); 

p) Lead at the trot.

102.3.4 Prohibited Obstacles

a) Tarps;

b) Water obstacles with slick bottoms;

c) PVC pipe used as a jump or walk over;,

d) Tyres;

e) Rocking or moving bridges;

f) Logs elevated in a manner that permits such to roll in a dangerous manner.

102.3.5 Judges: Judges must walk the course and have the right and duty to alter the course if it is not in keeping with the intent of the class. Judges may remove or change any obstacles they deem unsafe, non-negotiable or unnecessarily difficult. Any time a trail obstacle becomes unsafe during a class, it shall be repaired or removed from the course. If the course cannot be repaired and some horses have completed the course, the score for that obstacle shall be deducted from all previous draws in that class.

102.3.6 Pattern must be posted at least one (1) hour prior to competition. Printed handouts for exhibitors are helpful and encouraged.

102.3.7 Credits and Penalties - All runs begin upon entering the pen and any infractions are subject to penalty at that time (such as two hands on the reins, using either hand to instil fear or praise, etc.). The rider has the option of eliminating any obstacle, however this will result in being “off pattern” (OP) and the horse/rider team may not place above others who have completed the pattern correctly. A judge may ask a horse to pass on an obstacle after three refusals or at any time for safety concerns.

Credit is given to horse/rider teams who negotiate the obstacles correctly and efficiently. Horses should receive credit for showing attentiveness to obstacles and ability to negotiate through the course when the obstacles warrant it while willingly responding to rider’s cues on more difficult obstacles. Quality of movement and cadence should be considered part of the manoeuvre  score for the obstacle.

Penalties are assessed as follows:  

1 Point : Over-bridled (per manoeuvre); out of frame (per manoeuvre); each hit, bite or stepping on a log, cone plant or any component of the obstacle; incorrect or break of gait at walk or trot for two (2) strides or less; both front or hind feet in a single-stride slot or space at a walk or trot; skipping over or failing to step into required space; split pole in lope-over; incorrect number of strides, if specified; one to two steps on mount/dismount or ground tie except shifting to balance.

3 Points: Wrong lead or out of lead; draped reins; break of gait at lope; break of gait at walk or trot for more than two (2) strides; three to four steps on mount/dismount on ground tie.

5 Points: Spurring in front of cinch; blatant disobedience; use of either hand to instil fear/praise; knocking over, stepping out of or falling off an obstacle; dropping an object required to be carried; 1st or 2nd cumulative refusal; letting go of gate; five or more steps on mount/ dismount or ground tie.

10 points: Unnatural ranch horse appearance (Horse’s tail is obvious and consistently carried in an unnatural manner in every manoeuvre)

Off-Pattern (OP): . Exhibitors cannot place above others who complete pattern correctly

Breaking pattern; 3rd refusal; repeated blatant disobedience, and failure to dally and remain dallied; use of two hands (except junior and level 1 horses shown in a snaffle bit/hackamore), more than one finger between split reins or any fingers between romal reins (except in the two-rein); failure to open and shut gate, or failure to complete gate.

Disqualification (DQ): Lameness, abuse, leaving working area before pattern is complete, illegal equipment, disrespect or misconduct, improper western attire; fall of horse/rider.

102.4 Versatility Ranch Reining

The ranch reining class measures the ability of the ranch horse to perform basic handling manoeuvres with a natural head carriage in a forward looking manner. Patterns may be chosen from any of the ranch reining patterns or approved by the show management and judge.

102.4.1 Credits and Penalties All runs begin upon entering the pen and any infractions are subject to penalty at that time such as two hands on the reins, using either hand to instil fear or praise, etc.

To rein a horse is not only to guide him but also to control his every movement. The best reined horse should be willingly guided or controlled with little or no apparent resistance and dictated to completely. Any movement on his own must be considered a lack of control. All deviations from the exact written pattern must be considered a lack of or temporary loss of control and therefore a fault that must be marked down according to severity of deviation. The horse/rider team’s overall performance should be credited for smoothness, finesse, attitude, quickness and authority of performing various manoeuvres while using controlled speed which raises the degree of difficulty and makes the horse/rider team more exciting a pleasing to watch.

Penalties

  ½ point: Starting a circle or exiting a rollback at a trot for up to two (2) strides; delayed change of lead by one stride where the lead change is required by the pattern description; failure to remain a minimum of twenty feet from the wall or fence when approaching a stop and/or roll-back; over-spin or under-spin up to 1/8 turn.

 1 Point: Over-bridled (per manoeuvre), out of frame (per manoeuvre), out of lead in the circles, figure eights or around the end of the arena (this penalty is cumulative and will be deducted for each quarter of a circle the horse is out of lead); Over or under spinning 1/8 to 1/4 turn. Slipping rein.

 2 Points: Break of gait; freeze up in spins or rollbacks; failure to stop or walk before executing a lope departure on trot-in patterns; failure to be in a lope prior to the first marker on run-in patterns; failure to completely pass the specified marker before initiating a stop position, trotting beyond two strides, but less than 1/2 circle or 1/2 length of the arena.

 5 Points: Spurring in front of cinch; blatant disobedience; use of either hand to instil fear/praise;

10 points: Unnatural ranch horse appearance (Horse’s tail is obvious and consistently carried in an unnatural manner in every manoeuvre)

Off-Pattern (OP): Exhibitors cannot place above others who complete the pattern correctly.

breaking pattern; inclusion of manoeuvre (e.g. over or under-spinning, backing more than two (2) strides, etc.); trotting in excess of 1/2 circle or 1/2 length of the arena; repeated blatant disobedience; use of two hands (except junior and level 1 horses shown in a snaffle bit/ hackamore), more than one finger between split reins or any fingers between romal reins (except in the two-rein).

Disqualification (DQ): Lameness; abuse; illegal equipment; disrespect or misconduct; leaving arena before pattern is complete; improper western attire; fall of horse/rider.

102.5 Versatility Ranch Cutting

This class is judged on the ability of the horse to work a cow by separating it from the herd and holding it to demonstrate the horse’s ability to work the cow. A single cow is cut from the herd and the horse must demonstrate its ability to work the cow.

102.5.1 Objective: To cut one or two cows, based on the division, from the herd and work the cow(s) with the assistance of two turn-back riders and two herd holders. Show management may supply two herd holders and two turn back riders, or exhibitors may supply their own helpers. If an exhibitor is a herd holder or turn back rider, he or she may use the horse that they are competing on, or use a different horse.

a) For open and amateur division competition, there will be a two minute time limit. Each exhibitor must work two head and has the option of ending their run before the two minute limit or working the full two minutes;

b) For youth competition, there will be a one and one-half minute time limit. Each exhibitor may work one or two cows and has the option of ending their run before the one and one-half minute time limit or working the full one and one-half minutes. Working two cows does not assure extra credit to the run;

c)  Time will begin when a rider crosses a time line just prior to entering the herd. Time should not start until contestant crosses a pre-determined and marked timeline. The rider will then quietly separate his/her cow from the herd;

d) Unnecessary roughness or disturbing the herd excessively could result in disqualification;

e)  Ultimate credit will be given to the horses demonstrating excellence in the herd work by committing to, driving, setting up and working a cow in the centre of the arena with minimal disturbance to the herd;

f)  Horses will not be penalized for reining during the cutting portion, but should display natural ability;

g)  The hot quit shall be considered in the run content.

102.5.2 Scoring: 100 percent will be judged by the horse’s performance and natural ability.

Penalties will be assessed as follows: 

1 Point: over-bridled (per manoeuvre), out of frame (per manoeuvre), losing working advantage; toe, foot, or stirrup on the shoulder; working out of position

3 points: cattle picked up or scattered; spurring on shoulder; pawing or biting cattle; back fence; hot quit

5 points: horse quitting cow; losing cow; changing cattle after a specific commitment; failure to separate a single animal after leaving the herd blatant disobedience;

10 points: unnatural ranch horse appearance (Horse’s tail is obvious and consistently carried in an unnatural manner in every manoeuvre)

Off Pattern (OP): turn tail; failure to cut two cows; use of two hands (except junior horses shown in a snaffle bit/ hackamore), more than one finger between split reins or any fingers between romal reins (except in the two-rein)

-Disqualification (DQ): lameness; abuse; disrespect or misconduct; illegal equipment; excessive disturbance of herd to the point that exhibitor is asked to leave the arena; leaving arena before run is complete, fall of horse/rider; improper western attire.

102.6 Versatility Ranch Cow Work

The ideal Ranch horse must also be a cow horse and this class demonstrates and measures the horse’s ability to do cow work. Holding the saddle horn is permitted. There is a time limit per horse/rider team to perform the work depending on the division and the time begins when the cow is turned into the arena. If the time has not elapsed and the judge is satisfied that all requirements of the class have been met, the judge should blow the whistle for the exhibitor to cease work. The judge may blow a whistle at any time for the exhibitor to cease work for safety reasons. Judges will give credit for what they have seen. Only the judge may award a new cow to a contestant to replace a cow that will not honour a horse. If the judge awards a new cow, the exhibitor has the option to refuse the new cow by continuing to work. If the exhibitor accepts the new cow, the time for working the cow will start over. If the exhibitor intends to accept the new cow, the exhibitor must pull up immediately. When multiple judges are scoring, any one of the judges may terminate the work or signal for a new cow.

102.6.1 Content: Exhibitors in the open, amateur and youth divisions are allotted three minutes to complete the work. When there is one minute left, the announcer will announce, “one minute remaining”. At three minutes, the announcer will call  “time”.

There are three parts to the class: boxing, fence work and roping or circling.

Boxing the Cow: The rider shall ride into the arena, face the cattle entry gate and signal for their cow to be turned into the arena. The cow shall be controlled on the entry end of the arena for a sufficient amount of time to demonstrate the horse’s ability to hold the cow. If the cow does not immediately challenge the horse, the rider shall aggressively move in on the cow to demonstrate his horse’s ability to drive and block the cow on the entry fence.

Fence Work: After the cow has been controlled on the entry end of the arena, the rider shall set the cow up and drive it down either side of the arena. The cow should be turned on the fence at least once in each direction. The first run out for a turn shall be past the half-way mark of the arena. All turns down the side shall be completed before reaching the end fence.

Roping or Circling: The amateur and youth exhibitor has the option of circling the cow in the middle of the arena in both directions in lieu of roping. An amateur or youth exhibitor may circle or rope the cow but cannot combine the two to get credit for this portion of the run. Open and cowboy exhibitors must rope the cow. To rope the cow, the exhibitor must be carrying a rope when the run starts. The exhibitor may pull up after the fence work, take down the rope and proceed to rope and stop the cow. The exhibitor must then rope the cow and bring it to a stop. In the roping portion of the class, two throws are permitted and the horse will be judged on two manoeuvres: tracking/rating and stopping the cow. It is not necessary that the exhibitor catch to receive a score in the roping portion. The catch is legal as long as the cow looks through the loop and the rope pulls tight on any part of the animal’s body except the tail. The rope may be tied on or dallied. If the exhibitor does not catch, the horse will be given credit for rating and tracking and will be assessed a 2 point penalty To circle the cow, the exhibitor will manoeuvre the cow smoothly at least 360 degrees in each direction without interference from the fence. The circle’s size, symmetry, speed and relative balance from right and left show control. Tightening the circles down with fast head-to-head speed will be a credit situation. The circles should be completed before the cow is exhausted. Once an exhibitor has committed to circling a cow, if the cow falls no new cow will be awarded. The exhibitor will complete the run by riding around the fallen cow to fulfil circling requirements. In the circling portion of the judging, one whistle will terminate the work and two whistles will award a new cow.

102.6.2 Credits and Penalties. All runs begin upon entering the pen; any infractions (such as two hands on the reins, using either hand to instil fear or praise, etc.) are subject to penalty at that time.

Boxing: During “Boxing”, credit will be given for the horse’s expression and its ‘cow sense’ (i.e., making moves with little rider assistance); holding, controlling, and turning the cow; the amount of work actually done; and the degree of difficulty of the work.

Fence Work: Credit will be given during “Fence Work” for making the first run past the centre of the arena; making turns right on the cow; and controlling a difficult cow.

Roping: If “Roping”, credit will be given for rating and following cow to allow rider the optimal roping position; stopping hard; and staying in the ground during the hold. Credits for each element of Roping range from minus 1½ to plus 1½ .

Circling: Credit will be given when the horse works willingly; acknowledges the cow; and gets close enough to the cow to control the circles. Credits for Circling range from minus 1½  to plus 1½  points for each direction.

102.6.3 Penalties will be assessed as follows:

1 Point : Over-bridled (per manoeuvre), out of frame (per manoeuvre), loss of working advantage; Using the corner or the end of the arena to turn the cow when going down the fence; changing sides of arena to turn cow; for each length horse runs past cow; working out of position; slipping rein; failure to drive cow past middle marker on first turn; two-loop catch in amateur and youth classes.

 2 Points: Going around the corner of the arena before turning cow; when working an animal in the open field (at least 6 metres from the side of arena) and the animal gets within 1 metre from the end fence before being turned; failure to catch if roping in amateur and youth classes.

 3 Points: Exhausting or overworking the cow before circling or roping; hanging up on the fence (refusing to turn); knocking down the cow without having a working advantage; two-loop catch when roping in open/ cowboy class.

 5 Points: Failure to turn the cow both directions on the fence; spurring in front of cinch; Blatant disobedience; use of either hand to instil fear/praise; failure to catch when roping, in open class.

 10 points:Unnatural ranch horse appearance (Horse’s tail is obvious and consistently carried in an unnatural manner in every manoeuvre)

Off-Pattern (OP): Cannot place above others who complete pattern correctly.

Turning tail; failure to attempt any part of the class; repeated blatant disobedience; schooling after entering the arena prior to calling for cow; schooling horse between cows if new cow is awarded, or complete loss of rope in open class; use of two hands (except junior and level 1 horses shown in a snaffle bit/hackamore), more than one finger between split reins or any fingers between romal reins (except in the two-rein).

Disqualification (DQ): bringing the cow straight over backwards landing on its back or head with all four feet in the air, lameness, abuse, illegal equipment, disrespect or misconduct, lameness, abuse, illegal equipment, disrespect or misconduct, leaving arena before run is complete; improper western attire; fall of horse/rider.

Note: If the open rider runs out of time to rope, there will be no credit for the stop/hold manoeuvre and a 5 point penalty for failure to catch. Riders may still earn credit for tracking/ rating, control/position and speed/ degree of difficulty.

102.7 Limited Ranch Cow Work Amateur/Youth

Content: Exhibitors in the limited ranch cow work cannot compete in both the ranch cow work and limited cow work class, at the same show with the same horse. Any amateur or select rider may fall back one time to the limited ranch cow work. Limited ranch cow work exhibitors are allotted one minute and forty-five seconds to complete the work. When there is one minute left, the announcer will announce, one minute remaining. At one minute and forty-five seconds, the announcer will call for time.

102.7.1 There are three parts to the work: boxing the cow; setting up the cow and driving it down the fence to the opposite end of the arena; and boxing it at the opposite end of the arena. There is no expectation that the exhibitor will make a ‘fence turn’, rather the drive down the fence demonstrates correct position and control around the corner.

Boxing the Cow: The rider shall ride into the arena, face the cattle entry gate, and signal for their cow to be turned into the arena. The cow shall be controlled on the entry end of the arena for a sufficient amount of time to demonstrate the horse’s ability to “hold” the cow. If the cow does not immediately challenge the horse, the rider shall aggressively move in on the cow to demonstrate his horse’s ability to drive and block the cow on the entry fence.

Set Up Cow and Drive Down Fence to Opposite End of Arena: After the cow has been controlled on the entry end of the arena, the rider shall set the cow up for driving down the side of the arena. When coming out of corner, the horse shall be close enough to cow to demonstrate control with cow against the fence. This distance and control should be maintained for approximately 1/2 to 3/4 the length of arena. Rider will then stop and release the cow and move horse toward centre of arena to set the cow up for boxing.

Boxing the Cow at Opposite End of Arena: The exhibitor will again control or “hold” the cow for the remainder of time at end of the arena to demonstrate the horse’s ability to “hold” the cow.

102.7.2 Credits

All runs begin upon entering the pen; any infractions (such as two hands on the reins, using either hand to instil fear or praise, etc.) are subject to penalty at that time.

Boxing: During “Boxing”, credit will be given for the horse’s expression and its ‘cow sense’ (i.e., making moves with little rider assistance); holding, controlling, and turning the cow; the amount of work actually done; and the degree of difficulty of the work.

Set Up Cow and Drive Down Fence: Credit will be given for rating the cow; blocking the cow with pressure towards the end of the arena; driving the cow with control down the side of the arena; and controlling a difficult cow.

102.7.3 Penalties will be assessed as follows:

1 Point: Loss of working advantage; working out of position; slipping rein. 

3 Point:    Losing a cow while boxing. 

5 Point:  Spurring in front of cinch; blatant disobedience; use of either hand to instil fear/praise; use of two hands (except in snaffle bit or hackamore) per manoeuvre; more than one finger between split reins or any fingers between romal reins (except two rein) per manoeuvre.

Off-Pattern (OP): Turning tail; failure to attempt any part of the class; leaving arena before run is complete; repeated blatant disobedience; schooling after entering the arena prior to calling for cow; schooling horse between cows (if new cow is awarded); cannot place above others who complete pattern correctly.

Disqualification (DQ): Knocking down the cow, lameness, abuse, illegal equipment, disrespect or misconduct, improper western attire, fall of horse/rider.

102.8 Versatility Ranch Conformation

The purpose of ranch conformation is to preserve the Quarter Horse type by selecting well-mannered individuals in the order of their resemblance to the breed ideal and that are the most positive combination of balance, structural correctness, and movement with appropriate breed and sex characteristics and adequate muscling.

a) The ranch conformation class must be held after the conclusion of the other events;

b) To be eligible to compete in the ranch conformation class the horse must be shown in at least one class in one of the other categories of their appropriate division on the day of the show.

Divisions: All Age Youth, Amateur, All Age Horse ( 2 Youth age groups and a Select Amateur can be offered)

102.8.1 All horses will be shown together as one class:

a) Open/Amateur: stallions, mares and geldings;

b) Youth: mares and geldings;

c) Horses are to be shown in a good working halter, rope, braided, nylon or plain leather. Horses will walk to the judge one at a time;

d) As the horse approaches, the judge will step to the right to enable the horse to trot straight to a cone placed 15 metres away. At the cone, the horse will continue trotting, turn to the left and trot toward the left wall or fence of the arena. After trotting, horses will be lined up head to tail for individual inspection by the judge;

e) The judge shall inspect each horse from both sides, front and rear and place the horses in order of preference.

103. WESTERN HORSEMANSHIP

Available only in the Amateur, Select Amateur and Youth divisions.

a)  The western horsemanship class is designed to evaluate the rider’s ability to execute, in concert with their horse, a set of manoeuvres prescribed by the judge with precision and smoothness while exhibiting poise and confidence, and maintaining a balanced, functional, and fundamentally correct body position. The ideal horsemanship pattern is extremely precise with the rider and horse working in complete unison, executing each manoeuvre with subtle aids and cues;

b) It is mandatory that the judge post any pattern(s) to be worked at least one (1) hour prior to the commencement of the class; however, if the judge requires additional work of exhibitors for consideration of final placing, the pattern may be posted. Pattern(s) should be designed to test the horseman’s ability. All ties will be broken at the judge’s discretion.

103.1 Class Procedures

All exhibitors must enter the ring and then work individually or each exhibitor may be worked from the gate individually. When exhibitors are worked individually from the gate, a working order is required. Exhibitors are to be instructed to either leave the arena, fall into line, or fall into place on the rail after their work.

The whole class, or just the finalists must work at all three (3) gaits at least one direction of the arena.

The following manoeuvres are acceptable in a pattern: walk, jog, trot, extended trot, lope, or extended lope in a straight line, curved line, serpentine, circle, or figure 8, or combination of these gaits and manoeuvres; stop; back in a straight or curved line; turn or pivot, including spins and rollbacks on the haunches and/or on the forehand; side pass, two track, or leg yield; flying or simple change of lead; counter canter; or any other manoeuvre. A back will be asked for at some time during the class. Judges will not ask exhibitors to mount or dismount.

103.2 Scoring:  Exhibitors are to be scored from 0 to infinity, with 70 denoting an average performance. Patterns will be divided into 6 to 10 manoeuvres, as specified by the judge, and each manoeuvre will be scored from +3 to -3 with 1/2 point increments acceptable that will be added or subtracted from 70. Manoeuvre scores should be determined independent of penalties, and should reflect equal consideration of both performance of the exhibitor’s pattern and the form and effectiveness of the exhibitor and presentation of horse to result in the following scores:

+3 Excellent, +2 Very Good, +1 Good, 0 Average or Correct, -1 Poor, -2 Very Poor, -3 Extremely Poor.

Exhibitors overall form and effectiveness should also be scored from 0 to 5 with 0 to 2 Average,   

3 Good, 4 Very Good, 5 Excellent. 

103.3 Overall Appearance of Exhibitor and Horse

Appropriate western attire must be worn. Clothes and person are to be neat and clean

103.3.1 Appearance and Position of Exhibitor:

The exhibitor should appear natural in the seat and ride with a balanced, functional, and correct position regardless of the manoeuvre or gait being performed. During the railwork and pattern the exhibitor should have strong, secure, and proper position. Exhibitors should sit and maintain an upright position with the upper body at all gaits.

The rider should sit in the centre of the saddle and the horse’s back with the legs hanging to form a straight line from the ear, through the centre of the shoulder and hip, touching the back of the heel or through the ankle. The heels should be lower than the toes, with a slight bend in the knee and the lower leg should be directly under the knee.

The rider’s back should be flat, relaxed, and supple. An overly stiff and/or overly arched lower back will be penalised. The shoulders should be back, level, and square. The rider’s base of support should maintain secure contact with the saddle from the seat to the inner thigh. Light contact should be maintained with the saddle and horse from the knee to mid-calf.

The knee should point forward and remain closed with no space between the exhibitor’s knee and the saddle.

The exhibitor will be penalised for positioning the legs excessively behind or forward of the vertical position. Regardless of the type of stirrup, the feet may be placed home in the stirrup, with the boot heel touching the stirrup, or may be placed with the ball of the foot in the centre of the stirrup.

The rider’s toes should be pointing straight ahead or slightly turned out with the ankles straight or slightly broken in. Riding with toes only in the stirrup and riding without contact of bottom of boot securely on pad of stirrup, will be penalised. Those exhibitors that can maintain the proper position throughout all manoeuvres should receive more credit.

Both hands and arms should be held in a relaxed, easy manner, with the upper arm in a straight line with the body. The arm holding the reins should be bent at the elbow forming a line from the elbow to the horse’s mouth. The free hand and arm may be carried bent at the elbow in a similar position as the hand holding the reins or straight down at the rider’s side.

Excessive pumping of the free arm as well as excessive stiffness will be penalised. The rider’s wrist is to be kept straight and relaxed, with the hand held at about 30 to 45 degrees inside the vertical. The rein hand should be carried immediately above or slightly in front of the saddle horn.

The reins should be adjusted so that the rider has light contact with the horse’s mouth, and at no time will the reins require more than a slight hand movement to control the horse. Excessively tight or loose reins will be penalised.

The rider’s head should be held with the chin level and the eyes forward, and may be directed slightly toward the direction of travel. Excessive turning of the head to the inside of the circle, or down at the horse’s head or shoulder will be penalised.

The exhibitor is not to crowd the exhibitor next to or in front of them when working on the rail and should pass to the inside of the arena. When reversing on the rail, the exhibitor should always reverse to the inside of the arena.

103.3.2 Appearance of Horse

The horse’s body condition and overall health and fitness should be assessed. The horse should appear fit and carry weight appropriate for the body size. A horse which appears sullen, dull, lethargic, emaciated, drawn, or overly tired should be penalised according to severity.

Tack should fit the horse properly, and be neat, clean, and in good repair.

The exhibitor should perform the work accurately, precisely, smoothly, and with a reasonable amount of promptness. Increasing speed of the manoeuvres performed increases the degree of difficulty, however accuracy and precision should not be sacrificed for speed.

Exhibitors that perform the pattern sluggishly and allow their horse to move without adequate impulsion, collection, or cadence will be penalised. The horse should perform all manoeuvres in the pattern willingly, briskly, and readily with minimal visible or audible cueing.

Failure to follow the prescribed pattern, knocking over or working on the wrong side of the cones, or severe disobedience will result in disqualification.

Excessive schooling or training, or wilful abuse by the exhibitor is cause for disqualification.

The horse should track straight, freely, and at the proper cadence for the prescribed gait. Transitions should be smooth and prompt in the pattern and on the rail, and should be performed when called for on the rail.

The horse’s head and neck should be straight and in line with their body while performing straight lines and slightly arched to the inside on curved lines or circles. Circles should be round, and performed at the appropriate speed, size, and location as requested in the pattern.

The counter-canter should be performed smoothly with no change in cadence or stride unless specified in the pattern. The stop should be straight, square, prompt, smooth, and responsive with the horse maintaining a straight body position throughout the manoeuvre.

The back should be smooth and responsive.

Turns should be smooth and continuous. When performing a turn on the haunches, the horse should pivot on the inside hind leg and step across with the front legs. A rollback is a stop and 180 degree turn over the hocks with no hesitation. Backing during turns will be penalised severely.

The horse should step across with the front and hind legs when performing the side pass, leg yield, and two track. The side pass should be performed with the horse keeping the body straight while moving directly lateral in the specified direction.

When performing a leg yield, the horse should move forward and lateral in a diagonal direction with the horse’s body arced opposite to the direction that the horse is moving. In the two-track (2), the horse should move forward and lateral in a diagonal direction with the horse’s body held straight or bent in the direction the horse is moving.

A simple or flying change of lead should be executed precisely in the specified number of strides and/or at the designated location.

A simple change of lead is performed by breaking to a walk or trot for one (1) to three (3) strides. Flying changes should be simultaneous front and rear. All changes should be smooth and timely.

Position of the exhibitor and performance of the horse and rider on the rail must be considered in the final placing.

 103.4 PENALTIES  An exhibitor should be penalised in the pattern independent of manoeuvre scores and deducted from the final score as follows:

3 points

  • Break of gait at the walk or jog up to 2 strides
  • Over or under turn from 1/8 to 1/4 turn
  • Tick or hit of cone
  • Obviously looking down to check leads

 5 points

  • Not performing the specific gait or not stopping within 3 meters of designated location
  • Incorrect lead or break of gait at the lope (except when correcting an incorrect lead)
  • Break of gait at walk or jog for more than 2 strides
  • Loss of stirrup
  • Bottom of boot not touching pad of stirrup at all gaits including backup
  • Head carried too low and/or clearly behind the vertical while the horse is in motion, showing the appearance of intimidation

10 points

  • Loss of rein
  • Use of either hand to instil fear or praise while on pattern or during rail work
  • Holding saddle with either hand
  • Cueing with the end of the romal
  • Blatant disobedience including kicking, pawing, bucking, and rearing
  • Spurring in front of the cinch

Disqualifications (should not be placed) including:

  • Failure to display correct number
  • Abuse of horse or schooling
  • Fall by horse or exhibitor
  • Illegal equipment or illegal use of hands on reins
  • Use of prohibited equipment
  • Off pattern, including knocking over or wrong side of cone or marker; never performing designated gait or lead;
  • over or under turning more than 1/4 turn

104.  WESTERN PLEASURE

A good pleasure horse has a free-flowing stride of reasonable length in keeping with his conformation. He should cover a reasonable amount of ground with little effort. Ideally, he should have a balanced, flowing motion. He should carry his head and neck in a relaxed, natural position, with his poll level with or slightly above the level of the withers. He should not carry his head behind the vertical, giving the appearance of intimidation, or be excessively nosed out, giving a resistant appearance. His head should be level with his nose slightly in front of the vertical, having a bright expression with his ears alert. He should be shown on a reasonably loose rein, but with light contact and control. He should be responsive, yet smooth, in transitions when called for. When asked to extend, he should move out with the same flowing motion. Maximum credit should be given to the flowing, balanced and willing horse which gives the appearance of being fit and a pleasure to ride.

104.1   Entries ridden in a snaffle bit must be shown with both hands on the reins. Reins must be bridged with the tails of the reins on the opposite side of the neck. The rider’s hands are to be carried near the pommel and are to be no further than 50cm apart. Rider’s hands must be steady with very limited movement.

104.2 This class will be judged on the performance, condition and conformation of the horse; however, a maximum of twenty percent (20%) of the judging will be based on condition and conformation.

a)  Horses must work both ways of the ring at all three (3) gaits to demonstrate their ability with different leads. At the option of the judge, horses may be asked to extend the walk, jog or lope, one or both ways of the ring. The judge may ask all or just the top twelve (12) horses to extend at the jog; however, no more than the top twelve (12) horses can may be asked to extend at the lope. Riders should sit at the extended jog. Horses are required to back easily and stand quietly;

b) Horses are to be reversed to the inside (away from the rail). They may be required to reverse at the walk or jog at the discretion of the judge, but will not be asked to reverse at the lope;

c)  Judge may ask for additional work of the same nature from any horse. He/she is not to ask for work other than that listed above;

d) Rider will not be required to dismount except in the class judge wishes to check equipment;

e)  Horses to be shown at a walk, jog and lope on a reasonably loose rein or light contact without undue restraint.

104.3 Faults to be scored according to severity:

a)  Excessive speed (any gait);

b) Being on the wrong lead;

c)  Breaking gait;

d) Excessive slowness in any gait, loss of forward momentum;

e)  Failure to take the appropriate gait when called for;

f)  Touching horse or saddle with free hand;

g)  Head carried too high;

h) Head carried too low - tip of ear below the withers for five (5) or less strides;

i)   Over flexing or straining neck in head carriage so the nose is carried behind the vertical for five (5) or less strides;

j)   Overly canted at the lope (where the outside hind foot is further to the inside of the arena than the inside front foot);

k)  Excessive nosing out;

l)   Opening mouth excessively;

m) Stumbling;

n) A horse which appears sullen, dull, lethargic, emaciated, drawn or overly tired;

o) Quick, choppy or pony-strided;

p) If reins are draped to the point that light contact is not maintained.

104.4 Faults which will be cause for disqualification:

a)  Head carried too low such that the poll is below the withers consistently;

b) Over flexing or straining neck in head carriage so the nose is carried behind the vertical consistently;

c)     Use of spurs forward of the cinch.

105. WESTERN RIDING

If one (1) class held it must be an All Age

If two (2) classes held they are to be Senior Horse and Junior Horse.

Amateur, Select Amateur and Youth classes may be held.

Western Riding is a class where the horse is judged on quality of gaits, lead changes at the lope, response to the rider, manners, and disposition. The horse should perform with reasonable speed, and be sensible, well-mannered, free and easy moving.

105.1 Credit will be given for and emphasis placed on smoothness, even cadence of gaits (ie: starting and finishing pattern with the same cadence), and the horse’s ability to change leads precisely, easily, and simultaneously both hind and front at the centre point between markers. The horse should have a relaxed head carriage showing response to the rider’s hands, with a moderate flexion at the poll. Horses may be ridden with light contact or on a reasonably loose rein.  The horse should cross the log both at the jog and the lope without breaking gait or radically changing stride.

105.2 The judge will select one (1) of the five (5)  patterns to be performed. The judge is responsible for the pattern being correctly set.

On the pattern:

a)  The small circles represent pylon markers which are recommended. These are to be separated by a uniform measured distance of not less than 9 metres or more than 15 metres on the sides with 5 markers (see diagram). In pattern one, the three markers on the opposite side are to be set adjacent to the appropriate markers. It is recommended that markers be set a minimum of 4½metres from the fence and with 15 to 24 metres width in the pattern, as the arena permits;

b) A solid log or pole is to be used and be a minimum of 2.5 metres in length;

c)  The long serpentine line indicates the direction of travel and gaits at which the horse is to move. The recommended lead changing point is equal to 1/2 stride length before or after the centre point between the markers. The dotted line (…..) indicates walk, the dash line (- - - -) jog, and the solid line (___) lope.

105.3 Scoring

Will be on a basis of 0-100 with 70 denoting an average performance.

Scoring guidelines to be considered where the points will be added or subtracted from the manoeuvres on the following basis, ranging from plus 1.5 to minus 1.5:

-1.5 extremely poor, -1 very poor, -.5 poor;

0 average, +.5 good, +1 very good, +1.5 excellent;

Manoeuvre scores are to be determined independently of penalty points.

105.4 Penalties: A contestant will be penalised each time the following occurs:

Five (5) points

a)  Out of lead beyond the next designated change area (note: failures to change, including cross-cantering, at two consecutive change areas would result in 10 penalty points);

b) blatant disobedience including kicking out, biting and bucking, rearing and excessive schooling.

Three (3) points

c)  Not performing the specific gait (jog or lope) or

stopping when called for in the pattern, within 3 metres of the designated area;

d) Break of gait at the lope;

e)  Simple change of leads;

f)  Out of lead at or before the marker prior to the designated change area or out of lead at or after the marker after the designated change area;

g)  Additional lead changes anywhere in pattern (except when correcting an extra change or incorrect lead);

h) In patterns one and three, failure to start the lope within 9 metres after crossing the log at the jog;

i)   Break of gait at walk or jog for two or more strides.

One (1) point

j)   Break of gait at walk or jog up to two (2) strides;

k)  Hitting or rolling log;

l)   Out of lead for more than one stride either side of the centre point and between the markers;

m) Splitting the log (log between the two front or two hind feet) at the lope;

One-half (1/2) point

n) Tick or light touch of log;

o) Hind legs skipping or coming together during lead change;

p) Non-simultaneous lead change (front to hind or hind to front).

Disqualified - 0 score

q) Illegal equipment;

r)  Wilful abuse;

s)  Off course;

t)  Knocking over markers;

u) Completely missing log;

v)  Major refusal - stop and back more than two (2) strides or four (4) steps with front legs;

x)  Failure to start lope prior to end cone in patterns one and three;

y)  Four or more simple lead changes and/or failures to change leads;

z)  Overturn of more than 1/4 turn.

105.5 Credits

a)  Changes of leads, hind and front simultaneously;

b) Changes at designated point;

c)  Accurate and smooth pattern;

d) Even pace throughout;

e)  Easy to guide and control with rein and leg;

f)  Manners and disposition;

g)  Conformation and fitness.

105.6 The following characteristics are considered faults and are to be judged accordingly in manoeuvre scores:

a)  Opening mouth excessively;

b) Anticipating signals or early lead changes;

c)  Stumbling.

105.7 Tie – in the case of a tie, for first place only, penalties will be used to break the tie.

 

106. WORKING COW HORSE

Working Cow Horse and Boxing run at AQHA approved shows or an approved program, rules as listed.

106.1 A show can have up to three (3) approved working cow horse classes. No horse may be entered in both junior bit and hackamore/snaffle bit working cow horse classes at the same show;

a) If three (3) working cow horse classes are held at a show they will be the following:

  1. senior working cow horse shown with bit;
  2. junior working cow horse shown with bit;
  3. hackamore/snaffle bit working cow horse (Horses five [5] years of age and under as of January 1 of current show year, may be shown in either a snaffle bit or hackamore.)

b) If two (2) working cow horse classes are to be held at a show, they are to be the following:

  1. Senior working cow horse shown with bit
  2. Junior working cow horse shown with either a bit, hackamore or snaffle bit at the discretion of the exhibitor;

c)  If only one (1) working cow horse class is to be held at a show, it will be working cow horse - all ages – horses six (6) years old and older must be shown in bit while horses five (5) years old and younger may be shown in either bit, hackamore or snaffle bit at the discretion of the exhibitor.

106.2 Use of ‘two (2) rein equipment’ is allowed as recognised by NRCHA in an AQHA working cow horse. The purpose of the two (2) rein option is the transition between the hackamore and bridle and can be used on any aged horse in the amateur, junior, senior or all age working cow horse class or amateur boxing for one (1) year only. The bit and bosal combination must be approved in accordance with NRCHA rules, below. Only one (1) hand may be used on the reins and hands must not be changed. Any number of fingers between reins will be permitted. Both mecate and bridle reins are to be held in the rein hand.

106.3 In the two (2) rein class, bosals may be of any size, constructed of braided rawhide or leather and have a non-metal flexible core. No iron or foreign substance may be used. The rider must use one (1) hand on the reins. Fingers between the reins will be permitted. Both mecate and bridle reins are to be held in the rein hand.

106.4 The Working Cow Horse class is based on the traditional vaquero training techniques used to develop the most highly schooled of all cow horses, the bridle horse. The training begins in a snaffle bit, progresses to a hackamore and then the two-rein on the way to the bridle. This method of training, which takes years rather than months, is geared to helping a horse reach his maximum level of performance, from the working ranch to the competitive arena. Both the cow work portion of this event and the reined work portion are mandatory. Scoring emphasis on the cow work portion will be based on the horse maintaining control of the cow at all times, exhibiting superior cow sense and natural cow working ability without excessive reining or spurring. The greater the difficulty of the run, the more credit is to be given. The difficulty may be due to the extreme speed or stubbornness of the cow, or the cow’s reluctance to move down the fence when sufficiently driven by the contestant.

The most controlled cow work with the highest degree of difficulty will be marked the highest. Failure of an exhibitor to attempt to complete the cow work portion of the class, as well as the reined work, will result in the exhibitor not being considered an entry in the class. A horse that attempts to complete the cow work and has not been disqualified will be scored accordingly at the judge’s discretion. A horse going off pattern in the reined work will receive a score of zero. A horse that attempts both the reined work and the cow work portion may be placed, even if disqualified in one portion of the class. (Example: If a horse is disqualified and receives a 0 score for the reined work, but scores a 70 for the cow work, its total score would be a 70 and the horse would be eligible for placing.) However, the fall of a horse and rider being judged will be cause for disqualification and not eligible to be placed.

106.5 The approved pattern will be used and each contestant will cause his horse to travel at the gait indicated for each part of the pattern. When judging reined work, the judge is to refer to the reining portion of the rule book for guidelines with the addition of a one (1) point penalty for scotching or anticipating a stop.

106.6 In approved working cow horse classes, any of the twelve (12) approved AQHA working cow horse patterns may be used. One of the twelve (12) is to be selected by the judge of the class and used by all contestants in the class. All trot-in patterns may be modified to lope-in patterns. When selecting a lope-in pattern, judges are to take into consideration the direction of the exhibitor’s approach to the arena centre so the horse can be on the correct lead from the gate to the start of the patterns. Rider will walk through the gate and, without trotting, pick up the correct lead and continue loping to the centre of arena. At the centre, without stopping or breaking gait, begin pattern. When using a lope to the centre pattern, judging of the pattern will begin at the centre of arena. Penalties occurring while loping to the centre of arena to begin pattern will be assessed.

106.7 For an ideal cow work, each contestant, upon receiving a cow in the arena, will hold the cow on the prescribed end of the arena to contain the cow on that end. After a reasonable amount of time, the contestant will take the cow down the fence, making at least one (1) turn each way on the fence.

The contestant will then take the cow to an open part of the arena and circle it at least once in each direction. The required pattern for the cow work is boxing, fence turns and circles, in that order. It is the judge’s responsibility to control the pen and treatment of all cattle.

106.8 The judge is to take into consideration the size of the arena, condition of ground and the disposition and degree of difficulty exhibited by the cattle worked.

106.9 At the discretion of the judge, cow work may be done immediately following each individual’s pattern work or immediately after completion of pattern work by all horses being exhibited.

106.10 Horse should keep working until judge blows whistle. If exhibitor quits working before the judge blows the whistle, a score of zero (0) will be given.

106.11 If time and number of cattle permit, the judge may, at his discretion, award new cattle, to enable the contestant to show his horse’s ability on the cow, based on the following criteria:

a) The cow won’t or can’t run;

b) The cow won’t leave the end of the arena;

c) The cow is blind or won’t yield to the horse;

d)   The cow leaves the arena.

Scoring: will be on the basis of 60-80, with 70 denoting an average performance. The same basis of scoring will apply to both the reined work and cow work. In the event of a tie, the entry with the highest cow work will be declared the winner.

Penalties are to be assessed, per occurrence, as follows for fence work:

106.12 One (1) point

a) Loss of working advantage;

b) Horses that run past the cow will be penalised one point for every horse’s length past the cow, when the horse’s buttocks pass the cow’s head by one horse’s length, he is one length past;

c) Failure to drive cow past middle marker on first turn before turning cow;

d) Each time the arena is crossed to use the opposite fence to achieve a turn;

e) Using the corner or the end of the arena to turn the cow when going down the fence;

f) Slipping a rein;

g) Excessive whipping, spurring or hollering.

106.12.1 Two (2) points

a) Going past the corner of the arena before turning the cow when going down the fence;

b) In an open field turn, animal gets within 90cm of the end fence before being turned;

c) On trot-in patterns, failure to stop before executing a canter departure.

106.12.2 Three (3) points

a) Hanging up on the fence (refusing to turn);

b) Exhausting or overworking the cow before circling;

106.12.3 Five (5) points

a) Not getting one (1) turn each way (five [5] points each way);

b) Deliberate spurring or use of the romal forward of the cinch;

c) Blatant disobedience.

106.12.4 Score - 0

a) Turn tail;

b) Using two hands on the reins in a bridle or two-rein class;

c) Fingers between the reins in a bridle class, except the two-rein class

d) Balking;

e) Out of control;

f) Bloody mouth (inside);

g) Illegal equipment

h) Leaving working area before pattern is complete;

i) Fall of horse or rider;

j)   Schooling between rein work and cow work

k)  Schooling horse between cows, if new cow is awarded;

l) If a rider hits or kicks the animal being worked, with the romal or reins, in an abusive manner;

m) Failure to quit working a cow after a new cow has been awarded;

n) If a rider intentionally kicks or hits the animal being worked in an abusive manner;

o) Knocking down the cow.

106.13 The characteristics of the horse considered faults include:

a) Exaggerated opening of mouth;

b) Hard or heavy mouth;

c) Nervous throwing of head;

d) Lugging on bridle;

e) Halting or hesitation while being shown, particularly when being run out, indicating anticipation of being set up;

f) Losing a cow or being unable to finish a pattern because of a bad cow, the contestant should be penalised at the judge’s discretion

106.14 The characteristics of a good working cow horse include:

a) Good manners;

b) Shifty, smooth and having its feet under it at all times; when stopping, hind feet should be well under it;

c) A soft mouth and should respond to a light rein, especially when turning;

d) Head should be maintained in its natural position;

e) Work at reasonable speed and still be under control of the rider.