New American Quarter Horse Association rules for 2011 |

New American Quarter Horse Association rules for 2011

At the 2010 AQHA Convention, many showing rules were voted on that will take effect Jan. 1, 2011. Check out which rules have changed before next year’s show season starts.

More horses: Previously, only two horses could be shown per exhibitor in classes that are worked individually. Beginning Jan. 1, exhibitors can show three horses in individually worked classes.

“If the open classes are combined into an all-ages class at a weekend show, then it goes back to four horses total,” according to Charlie Hemphill, AQHA senior director of shows and new events.

In grouped classes, such as horsemanship, Select exhibitors can show one horse in the amateur class and a different horse in the Select.

All-around events: Cotton or ear plugs in horses’ ears will be legal as well as the use of slip-on easy-care boots. In the past, this decision was left up to the discretion of the judges.

“The show committee made the recommendation to allow them, and they are now legal,” Hemphill said.

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Novice youth are now eligible to show any horse without filling out a novice permit. The novice and the horse’s owner can show the horse at the same event, as long as it’s not in that same youth class.

Reining: For reiners, a new pattern has been added to AQHA’s approved list.

New class: Green jumping is a new class that will follow the rules of AQHA’s other green classes. The horses will show at lower heights.

Cowboy Mounted Shooting: The Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association (CMSA) has teamed up with the American Quarter Horse Association to allow American Quarter Horse owners to earn points beginning in 2011. A limited number of CMSA shows will have approved AQHA-approved classes, including Battle in the Saddle, July 4-9 in Oklahoma City.

Leasing to show: Beginning in 2011, any youth or amateur exhibitor can lease a horse to show in AQHA events. To show a leased horse, an exhibitor needs two pieces of paper: a showing lease form from AQHA and a copy of the detailed agreement or contract between the horse’s owner and the lessee.

Members can get the Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations online at in January.