GENERAL RULES FOR SHOW & CONTEST
1.1.6 Automatic disciplinary action will be taken against any NRCHA member who fails to make any payment of any kind, to the NRCHA, Reined Cow Horse News or any NRCHA approved show, in a fourteen-month period.
NON PRO DEFINITION AND RULES
2.4.1 Non Pros must not exhibit in Non Pro classes (except as noted in 220.127.116.11) any horses owned by any third party, but shall only exhibit horses solely owned by the exhibitor or the exhibitor’s family, which is the exhibitor’s spouse, legal domestic partner, child, stepchild, parent, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, cousin, step-parent, sibling, half-sibling, spouse’s parent, spouse’s step-parent, spouse’s sibling, spouse’s half sibling, spouse’s step sibling, sibling’s spouse, half-sibling’s spouse, step-sibling’s spouse, legal ward, or legal guardian. Separate legal entities such as family corporations, trusts or partnerships, are also authorized by this rule and must meet the family requirements as stated above. “Owned” means, in addition to other legitimate methods of acquiring ownership, the bona fide legal ownership obtained for adequate consideration in reasonable relationship with the actual market value of the horse. Violation of this rule will result in disqualification from the class shown.
18.104.22.168 Horse Show Limited Non Pro Boxing class – Any Non Pro in this class does not need to own the horse they are showing in the Limited Non Pro Boxing.
HORSE SHOW DIVISIONS/APPROVED CLASSES
3.5.2 Limited Open Bridle – open to any rider that has not won more than $15,000 in Open and Non Pro divisions in approved NRCHA events. To be eligible to compete in this division, contestants must have a valid Horse Show Limited Open designation on their membership card. The Open and Limited Open may have a common draw. (Except in the case of the NRCHA World Show.)
3.6.2 Limited Open Hackamore – open to any rider who has not won more than $15,000 in Open and Non Pro divisions in approved NRCHA events. To be eligible to compete in this division, contestants must have a valid Horse Show Limited Open designation on their membership card. The Open and Limited Open may have a common draw (Except in the case of the NRCHA World Show.)
3.8 Boxing Classes – work to consist of reining pattern and single cow work (boxing) on the end of the arena. Each contestant upon receiving a cow in the arena shall hold that cow on the prescribed end of the arena for 50 seconds, demonstrating the ability of the horse and rider to control the cow. Time shall begin when the gate closes behind the cow after being let into the arena. The announcer or judge will signal the completion of the 50 seconds with a whistle or horn. (New cow guidelines will follow rule 19.3.5.) Horses 5 years of age and under as of January 1st of current show year may be shown in either a snaffle bit or hackamore. Horses of any age may be shown in the two rein equipment (in accordance with the two rein equipment rules defined in Rule 3.7) or bridle. Riders cannot have earned more than $750 in fence work classes at any judged classes or events. A rider will be ineligible at the end of the current show year in any combination of officially published NRCHA earnings and/or earnings from any other association. The responsibility for eligibility lies with the competitor. If an individual feels a competitor is not eligible for a class, the burden of proof lies with the person who protests.
22.214.171.124 After Non Pro competitors reach the age of 60, if they do not wish to exercise their fall back provision under 126.96.36.199 and fall back into the Non Pro Boxing, they may, in Limited Age Event Classes only, elect to compete in EITHER the LAE Non Pro Boxing division OR the appropriate LAE Non Pro fence division. A competitor may not show the same horse in an LAE Non Pro Boxing division AND a Horse Show fence division during the same event. For purposes of this rule, an event is any NRCHA approved show or shows held over consecutive, or back-to-back days.
3.8.3 Limited Non Pro Boxing – open to approved Non Pro riders who have not earned more than $1,000 in lifetime earnings and who comply with all Non Pro eligibility rules, with the exception of the section 2.4 ownership rules. (See Non Pro eligibility rules.) For purposes of determining eligibility for this class, all Non Pro Boxing earnings shall be computed at zero as of January 1, 2002. This class may run concurrent with Non Pro Boxing or the Intermediate Non Pro Boxing. There is no fall back Provision in this class. The responsibility for eligibility lies with the competitor. If an individual feels a competitor is not eligible for a class, the burden of proof lies with the person who protests.
3.8.4 Youth Boxing – open to riders 18 years of age and under as of November 16th of the current show year. Riders cannot have earned more than $750 in fence work classes at any judged classes or events with the exception of horse sales. A rider will be ineligible upon reaching the earnings threshold at the end of the current show year in any combination of officially published NRCHA earnings and/or earnings from any other association. Show management may bar youth from exhibiting a stallion in youth classes. Youth Boxing classes may not run concurrently with any other classes. If a youth attends a show and the horse shows only in the youth classes, stalls will be available at half price at the NRCHA Stallion Stakes, NRCHA Derby, NRCHA Hackamore Classic and NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity®.
3.9.1 Select Classes – open to riders 50 years of age and over as of November 16th of the current show year. One select class will be run concurrent with the Non Pro Bridle, Intermediate Non Pro Bridle, or Level 1 Non Pro Bridle. A second select class will be run concurrent with the Non Pro Boxing, Intermediate Non Pro Boxing, or Limited Non Pro Boxing. They cannot be run as standalone classes; riders must enter at least one concurrent Non Pro Division. There will be no World Show eligibility, but these classes will be offered at the World Show for those that qualify for any of the six World Show qualifying classes.
3.12.1 Open to approved Non Pro Boxing riders and who comply with all Non Pro eligibility rules. Non Pro riders in this class must meet the requirements of the 2.4 ownership rule. (See Non Pro eligibility rules.) Earnings are calculated as lifetime boxing earnings. Riders cannot have earned more than $750 in fence work classes at any judged classes or events with the exception of horse sales. A rider will be ineligible upon reaching the earnings threshold at the end of the current show year in any combination of officially published NRCHA earnings and/or earnings from any other association. The responsibility for eligibility lies with the competitor. If an individual feels a competitor is not eligible for a class, the burden of proof lies with the person who protests.
5.3.1 Chin strap must be smooth leather. No wire, chain or other metal or rawhide device may be used in conjunction with a part of the leather chin strap. Leather chin strap must be flat, flexible and at least ½ inch wide. No metal rivets are allowed on the inside of the chin strap and the rivets may not, at any time, come in contact with the chin, or chin groove of the horse. Metal keepers are not acceptable on the chin strap.
5.3.2 Reins with romal required. The reins can be held in either hand, with hand around reins in a fist position with thumbs up. The non-rein hand must be on the romal. (The keeper, or hobble, that attaches the romal to the reins is considered to be a part of the romal.) The non-rein hand is not allowed, at any time, to touch the reins or a score of -0- will be applied. The rider is allowed to shorten the reins while the horse is in motion as long as their hands are held in a legal manner. No fingers are permitted between the reins in Bridle classes, except in the Two Rein class. Reins may not be crossed under the horse’s neck. Crossed reins will result in a zero score. In the herd work and boxing classes only, romal reins can be held in one hand. Roping reins are optional in the Steer Stopping.
6.2 When the cow work immediately follows the rein work, broken equipment may be repaired between the two phases, within a 1-minute time period. If a new cow is awarded, the rider may repair equipment between cows as well.
RULES FOR COMPETITION
9.6.1 If an entry enters the arena or working area out of order, but does not cross the time line, start the pattern (ie… lope depart, trot or run in), step into the roping box, or call for their cow, the entry may exit the working area with no penalty assessed. The correct entry may then enter the arena within a reasonable amount of time (normal gate-call) and compete as normal. If the correct entry is not present at the gate, the score for that entry will be zero.
9.13 For NRCHA Premier Events, herd settler must be entered in the event for show at which he/she is settling. (For example, to settle a herd in any division in a derby, the herd settler must be entered in that derby, in any division). No horse may be used as a herd settler for a class in which that horse is competing. They may be used as turn back help horses. Violation of this rule may result in the following: fine, suspension, probation.
LIMITED AGE EVENTS
10.4.1 Open – Open to any rider who possesses a current NRCHA membership card.
10.4.2 Intermediate Open – open to any rider who is not on the top thirty (30) Open rider listing; based on Open category 1 money won in the past three years at any NRCHA approved events. To be eligible to compete in this division, contestants must have a valid LAE Intermediate Open designation on their membership card.
10.4.2.1 Must enter the Open.
10.4.2.2 If a single entry fee option is utilized, eligible riders are automatically entered.
10.4.2.3 Must run concurrent with the Open draw.
10.4.3 Limited Open – open to any rider who is not on the top 120 Open rider listing; based on Open category 1 money won in the past three years at any NRCHA approved events, has not earned over $350,000 in Open and Non Pro category 1 and category 2 money at any NRCHA approved events. To be eligible to compete in this division, contestants must have a valid LAE Limited Open designation on their membership card.
10.4.3.1 Must enter the Open.
10.4.3.2 If a single entry fee option is utilized, eligible riders are automatically entered.
10.4.3.3 Must run concurrent with the Open draw.
10.4.4 Level 1 Open – open to any rider who has not earned $20,000 or more in Open and Non Pro category 1 and category 2 money at any NRCHA approved events. To be eligible to compete in this division, contestants must have a valid LAE Level 1 Open designation on their membership card.
10.4.6 Non Pro – open to any rider who possesses a current NRCHA Non Pro card.
10.4.6.1 For NRCHA managed events Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro and Limited Non Pro riders will pay a single entry fee and will be automatically entered in all divisions for which the Rider is eligible. If Affiliates choose to use the Single Entry fee, then the same entry rules apply as for NRCHA managed events (except for the percentage breakdown of payout). If affiliates do not choose the single entry fee options, then entry into the Non Pro is required when entering the Intermediate Non Pro and Limited Non Pro divisions.
10.4.7 Intermediate Non Pro – open to any rider who possesses a current NRCHA Non Pro card and is not on the top 25 Non Pro rider listings; based on Open and Non Pro category 1 money won in the past three years at any NRCHA approved events. To be eligible to compete in this division, contestants must have a valid LAE Intermediate Non Pro designation on their membership card.
10.4.8 Limited Non Pro – open to any rider who possesses a current NRCHA Non Pro card and is not on the Top 60 Non Pro rider listing: based on Open and Non Pro category 1 money won in the past three years at any NRCHA approved events and the rider must not have earned more than $100,000 in Open and Non Pro category 1 and category 2 divisions at NRCHA events, and they must have a valid LAE Limited Non Pro designation on their membership card.
10.4.9 Level 1 Non Pro – open to any rider who possesses a current NRCHA Non Pro card and has not won more than $7,500 Open and Non Pro category 1 and category 2 money at NRCHA approved events.
10.4.13 Select Classes – open to riders 50 years of age and over as of November 16th of the current show year. A select class may be run concurrent in each of the Non Pro, Level 1 Non Pro and Non Pro Boxing. They cannot be run as standalone classes, will not count toward National Standings, and will be offered as jackpot only.
SPECIAL EVENTS: CATEGORY 1 & CATEGORY 2
188.8.131.52 Category 1 spectacular descriptions are based on standard horse show divisions (see Section 3). For example, a Non Pro Boxing Spectacular would require an exhibitor to be eligible for the Non Pro Boxing Division and show their horse in age appropriate head gear and comply with Non Pro ownership requirements. A Youth Cow Horse Spectacular would require an exhibitor to be a youth and show their horse in legal headgear that is horse age appropriate. A Two Rein Spectacular would require use of legal two rein equipment with no stipulation on exhibitor, etc.
11.2.3 Earnings from these events will count toward Lifetime Earnings or Limited Aged Event eligibility cap where applicable.
11.2.4 Earnings from these events will not count toward Merit Awards or Limited Aged Event eligibilities where applicable.
SHOW APPROVAL & SHOW MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES
184.108.40.206 Affiliates may require club membership from owners and/or riders to participate in NRCHA approved events.
220.127.116.11 Show management with input from the judge, may deviate from traditional order of events and he/she may also deviate from the exact printed pattern due to arena conditions.
12.1.9 Approval must appear on the NRCHA web site at least 14 days prior to the close of entries for that event. A request for show approval must be submitted to the NRCHA Management by the show management at least 60 days prior to the event. Any show approvals received between 30 and 60 days shall be subject to a $50 fine. No shows will be approved less than 30 days prior without extenuating circumstances. Failure to do so may result in loss of approval. The association accepts the responsibility of publishing show approvals that are received in accordance with the above. Show management is urged to include entry fees, office and cattle charges and the name of the judge when submitting request for show approval. Shows from previous years have priority. If a group applies for an approved show within a driving distance of 300 miles on previously held dates, the previous show organizer will be contacted and given right of refusal for a 21 day period to get a show approval in. If the original group chooses to keep the date, the date will be unavailable to the applying group. Approved Events may be canceled, and $100 approval fee refunded as long as the event is canceled no less than 30 days prior to the beginning of said event. Cancellation must be received in writing (fax or email is acceptable) by the NRCHA office for refund of show approval fee.
14.3 Complaints, Protests and Dispute Resolution
14.3.1.A Member Complaints/Protests.
Any person desiring to file a complaint against a member or non-member regarding any alleged violation of these rules may do so by submitting Intent to Protest within 7 days of discovery in writing to the NRCHA Management. Within 30 days of discovery, a written protest must be filed with the NRCHA Management together with a cashier’s check in the amount of $100, made payable to the National Reined Cow Horse Association. Complaints submitted by an NRCHA Director, NRCHA Staff, Show Representative, Show Management or Judges are not required to file the $100 fee. Upon receipt, all complaints will be referred to the Ethics Committee for investigation and consideration. If the Ethics Committee determines, after investigation, that no further action is warranted, the complainant will be notified, and no further action will be taken on the matter. If the Ethics Committee determines, after investigation, that there are grounds for possible disciplinary action, the NRCHA Management shall be notified and the matter will be scheduled for a hearing before the NRCHA Board of Directors. Complaints submitted through the NRCHA Contest Report, by show management, by NRCHA Representative or by judges shall be handled in the same manner as outlined above.
14.3.1.B Corporate Governance. The NRCHA Board of Directors may take up, consider and determine any matter or rule violation that in its discretion relates to, involves or impacts the corporate governance of the Association. The presiding member of the Board of Directors may set such matters on the agenda of a meeting of the Board of Directors for consideration, review and determination. Any member who is the subject of such matter before the Board of Directors shall be given notice and an opportunity to attend the meeting of the Board of Directors in the same manner as the body is meeting (i.e. in person, telephonically, or by other electronic or video means). The determination of the Board of Directors in matters of corporate governance shall be final and binding on the Association and its members.
14.3.2 Membership in the NRCHA is a privilege and not a right. Any member may be disciplined, placed on probation or suspended from the Association and any member or non-member may be denied all privileges of the Association by the Board of Directors whenever it shall have been established by the preponderance of the evidence that such member or non-member has violated any rule of the Association. When the rule in question contains a specific punishment provision, any disciplinary action taken by the Board of Directors must be consistent with that provision.
14.3.3 With regard to Complaints/Protests, when anyone is accused of any rule violation, he/she shall be given not less than 15 days’ notice of a time and place for hearing such accusation by the Ethics Committee, at which time and place he/she shall have the opportunity, in person or by counsel, to be heard and to present evidence in his/her own behalf and to hear and refute evidence offered against him/her.
14.3.3.A No continuance shall be granted unless requested in writing at least 7 days prior the hearing and good cause is shown. A continuance shall be granted or denied at the sole discretion of the NRCHA President or the Chairman of the Ethics Committee.
14.3.3.B The decision of the Ethics Committee, or other involved committees, shall be recommended to the Board of Directors and the Board of Directors decision shall be final and binding on all parties.
14.3.4 Each NRCHA member releases the NRCHA from liability and renounces any recourse which such member may have against the Association, its affiliates, associated companies or business entities, officers, directors, employees and members, jointly, severally, individually and in their official capacity, of and from any and all claims, damages and causes of action whatsoever arising out of or in connection with enforcement or interpretation of the Bylaws or Rules and Regulations.
14.3.5 If any provision in this Section 14.3 shall be held or made invalid by a court decision, statute or rule, or shall be otherwise rendered invalid, that provision shall be stricken and the remaining provisions shall not be affected thereby.
14.3.6 When disciplinary action is taken against a member or non-member, the person’s name, the rule violated, and the disciplinary action taken will be published in the Reined Cow Horse News.
14.3.7 A member on probation may participate in NRCHA activities, although any rule violations occurring during the probationary period will result in additional penalties, fines or suspension.
14.3.8 A suspended member of the NRCHA will not be considered a member in good standing and will not be allowed to participate in an NRCHA or NRCHA Affiliate approved or sponsored reined cow horse contest as an owner of a horse, rider, agent or judge. A suspended list will be published in the NRCHA publication, Reined Cow Horse News. In the event such suspended member enters an approved event during the period of time he/she is suspended as an owner, rider, agent or judge, an additional 6 months will be added to his/her suspension.
14.3.9 Every person who is suspended by the National Reining Horse Association, American Quarter Horse Association, National Cutting Horse Association or the American Paint Horse Association for unsportsmanlike conduct at a show or contest shall be suspended by the NRCHA upon official notice to this Association from the AQHA, NRHA, NCHA or APHA of any such disciplinary action.
14.3.10 The NRCHA may honor the disciplinary actions of its affiliate organizations when supplied with satisfactory evidence that the person so disciplined has been given a full and impartial hearing by the affiliate organization involved; however, any action taken by affiliates will not limit any authority or jurisdiction of the NRCHA.
14.3.11 Any member of the NRCHA who threatens, or actually inflicts bodily harm or injury to another person based upon that person’s actions, conduct or decisions, shall be suspended from membership in the NRCHA for a period of not less than one (1) year.
14.3.12 If any member institutes litigation in which the Association is included as a defendant in an effort to recover damages, to overturn enforcement or interpretation of the Bylaws or Rules and Regulations, or for any other reason whatsoever, and does not prevail in said litigation by the recovery of all relief requested, said member shall be liable to the Association for its attorney’s fees, costs of court and other expenses incurred in connection with such litigation. Venue for any litigation in which the Association is included as a defendant shall be the county of the Association headquarters. Further, the member agrees such litigation is limited to judicial review to ensure that the rules of Association are lawful, in keeping with public policy, and that any rule interpretation is within the bounds of reason and any rule enforcement is uniform and not arbitrary or capricious. Each member agrees that in no event shall the Association be liable to a member for consequential damage, exemplary or punitive damages, or attorney’s fees.
14.3.13 No person shall make a derogatory remark, nor take or threaten to take adverse action against an NRCHA sponsor, its agents, servants, or employees, relating in any manner to the sponsors involvement with the NRCHA or an NRCHA event. Any person who violates this rule is subject to disciplinary action and is also responsible to the NRCHA for any loss or damage caused by a violation of this rule.
14.3.14 Every notice required by these rules and regulations may be served by delivering a copy of the notice to the person to be served, or his/her attorney, in person or by mail, postage prepaid, to his/her last known address as it appears on the Association’s records and upon mailing, such notice shall be deemed received by such person when it is deposited in the United States mail.
14.3.15 If any member institutes litigation in which the Association is included as a defendant, that member will not be considered a member in good standing with the NRCHA.
SELF ADJUSTED MONITOR SYSTEM
15.1 Definition: A self-adjusted monitor system may be used at NRCHA Approved Shows. A single judge, in a Self-Adjusted Monitor System, may call for a review of any of the major penalties listed in NRCHA 15.1.1 thru 15.1.4. In a multiple judge system, when there is a major penalty marked by at least one judge, and at least one of the other judges did not mark it, a review of the penalty is mandatory. Major penalties shall be defined as follows:
15.1.1 In the rein work, a 2 point penalty or greater, with the exception of marker penalties and cumulative lead penalties may be reviewed.
15.1.2 In the cow work, boxing and box drive, 2 point penalties and above may be reviewed.
15.1.3 In the herd work, 3 point penalties and above may be reviewed.
15.1.4 In the Steer Stopping, 2 penalties and above may be reviewed.
15.1.5 A judge in a single or multiple judged situation should mark his/her card with an “R” to indicate a review is needed for penalties mentioned in 15.1.1 through 15.1.4. The review should be communicated to the announcer in lieu of a score.
15.1.6 During the review, in a multiple judge situation, each judge will have an opportunity to re-assess the penalty in question. Until the review is complete and a final decision is made, the penalty shall remain on the score card(s) as originally marked. Once the review is complete, the judge(s) will mark in the appropriate score. For judges who add a penalty or take one away at the time of review, they should either strike through the penalty legibly or add it and circle it to show it was added. The previous score should be struck through and the new score circled to the side of the score box with the judges initials.
RULES FOR JUDGING
18.104.22.168 Judges who do not comply with 22.214.171.124 will be dropped from the approved judges list.
126.96.36.199 To be reinstated, the judge must attend a seminar within the calendar year he/she was dropped from the list and must be administered a one-time written exam. The exam must be passed with a score of 80% or above; only then may he/she be added back to the approved judges list. If the judge does not pass this written exam, he/she will need to attend an additional seminar and meet the requirements of NRCHA Rule 16.2.5 at another time.
188.8.131.52 Turning: After a reasonable amount of time, the contestant shall take the cow down the fence, making at least one turn each way on the fence. The contestant must get a minimum of one turn in each direction when attempting the fence work. To qualify as a turn, the exhibitor must be in position to control the animal and be the cause of the animal to change course. During the turn, the horse should use himself in a controlled athletic manner, using its hocks to stop and drive out of the turn, while using its front end to balance and turn. More than two good turns in each direction should not result in extra credit but also should not be penalized unless the cow is thereby too exhausted to circle correctly. One turn each way may not necessarily result in extra credit if the horse and/or cow are out of control.
19.3.5 New Cow:
184.108.40.206 When enough cows are available, the contestant should receive a new cow if the cow drawn is unreasonably difficult or unworkable. The judge will indicate new cow by blowing his/her whistle twice – indicating the awarding of a new cow. Allowing the horse to quit working before the judge signals for a new cow will result in a zero score. If the judge awards a new cow, the exhibitor has the option to refuse the new cow by continuing to work. If the exhibitor intends to accept the new cow, he or she must initiate the pull up immediately: instantly, at once, without delay. If the exhibitor is using a bridle or two-rein setup, he/she must not use two hands at any time; either when pulling up from the cow being worked, or while waiting for the new cow. From the time the exhibitor enters the arena until the final whistle, signifying the work is complete, the pair are being judged. If two hands are used on the bridle reins at any time, a score of zero will be applied. With a multiple judge system, any one of the judges may terminate the work or signal for a new cow.
220.127.116.11 In the case that a rider is awarded a third cow, the rider will have the option to work their new cow or to rest their horse and work their new cow at the end of the next set. If the rider is in the last set of the class they shall be afforded up to 20 minutes for their horse to recover before working the third cow. If the rider elects to leave the show arena, the horse must stay in the warm-up area adjacent to the show arena. If the horse leaves the warm-up area or works a cow, the run will result in a 0 score.
Cow Work – Penalty Points:
3 point penalties:
- Dangerous Position
19.5 Steer Stopping – In the steer stopping the horse will be judged on the box, run & rate, stop, position, degree of difficulty and eye appeal. Judging begins when the horse enters the arena.
19.5.5 Scoring will be on the basis of 60-79 points, with 70 points being average. Each maneuver will be scored from a plus 3 (excellent), to a minus 3 (extremely poor), in ½ point increments. Eye Appeal and Degree of Difficulty will be scored from a plus 1 ½ (excellent), to a minus 1½ (poor), in ½ point increments. The maneuver scores will be added or subtracted from 70 to come up with the score.
Box Drive – Penalty Points:
1 point penalties:
- Loss of working advantage
- Working out of position
- Changing sides on the second drive / rate
- One the first drive, failure to drive past the middle marker
3 point penalties:
- Dangerous Position
K Knocking down the cow without having a working advantage
- Performing a fence turn (whether initiated by horse or rider)
- Failure to drive cow past middle marker on second drive before time expires
5 point penalties
- Spurring or hitting in front of cinch at any time or excessively whipping or spurring the horse
- Blatant disobedience, defined as kicking, biting, bucking, rearing, striking, or obviously insubordinate
- Running the cow into the back fence with force
- Turn tail
- Using 2 hands on the reins when using a bridle or two rein
- Fingers between the reins, except when using a two rein
- Extremely out of control
- Bloody mouth (inside)
- Illegal equipment
- Leaving the work area before the pattern or work is complete
- Fall of horse or rider
- Schooling of the horse between rein work and cow work
- Schooling of the horse between cows if a new cow is awarded
- Improper Western Attire
- Failure to work in the proper working order
- On first drive down the fence, failure to drive the cow past the middle marker after two attempts
Addition of two new patterns; Pattern 13 and Pattern 14.