Changes for the 2019 Novice Divisions




The ARHA Novice Amateur Division is for the beginner that is new to showing with little or no show experience or skill in showing horses. The purpose of this division is to aid in raising the confidence and skill levels of the new exhibitor and give them an opportunity to have some success showing against people with the same skill level. The novice division is open to any ARHA member who meets all Novice criteria below. If a member/exhibitor has any questions, the ARHA office must be contacted for clarification on any rule. If you have actively participated in another national equine organization or discipline for three (3) consecutive years, bartered any type of remuneration for training astride, showing, giving lesson, you are NOT considered a novice therefore ineligible to compete in the ARHA novice amateur or youth divisions.

A) Exhibitors that have shown as an amateur or youth in the ARHA may obtain novice status if they have not acquired more than 1,000 total ARHA national points cumulatively in all divisions excluding Conformation classes. The Exhibitor must hold a valid novice amateur or novice youth card and meet all the novice criteria. Riders may use a horse without the restriction of ownership but the owner of said horse must be current member.

B) Any exhibitor with prior show experience showing in any association, including different disciplines with ANY national equine association for more than three (3) consecutive calendar years will not be eligible for the ARHA Novice Division.

C) A novice eligible exhibitor may win any national association World Championship title in a Novice/Green/Rookie Division and/or any other national association Novice/Green/Rookie Year-End High Point Title in any Novice/Green/Rookie Division event but will lose their eligibility should they win a World Championship Title, Year End Title, High Point Award in an upper division (ie: All Age, Junior, Senior- Open Division, Amateur Division or Youth Division in ARHA or any other association.

D) Any person who has trained horses astride in any equine discipline for direct or indirect remuneration shall be considered a professional by this Association. A Novice in this Association may not have trained horses in any equine discipline. As a Novice you may not have received remuneration (pay) or in exchange for any goods or services (feed, rent, veterinary bills, transportation for you or horse) to show train or assist in training horses and/or riders under any circumstances or in any capacity.

E) You are not eligible as a Novice Exhibitor if you have ever trained or judged for any equine discipline at any time.

F) Premium money won shall not be consider remuneration so long as all the winnings are returned to the individual novice who competed on the horse.

G) An application/renewal for the ARHA Novice Amateur/Youth Division must be submitted each year of potential eligibility. Any person found competing in any of this association’s Novice classes and is proven to be ineligible for the Novice Divisions shall forfeit all points, prizes, and monies won in any ARHA Novice classes, and will face a $250 fine and severe disciplinary action.

H) ARHA reserves the right to verify information provided by an applicant and to refuse eligibility into the Novice Division. This determination will be provided by an applicant and to refuse eligibility into the Novice Division. This determination will be provided to applicant in writing.

I) The Amateur/Youth obtaining Novice status will maintain eligibility as a novice for the entire calendar year regardless of the points earned or awards or titles received that year. ARHA Novice Point Cap is 1,000 points (total points).

J) The responsibility lies with the Exhibitor to know how many points they have earned and their eligibility. Exhibitors may contact ARHA Office to verify their points and eligibility.

K) Every exhibitor regardless of age, competing on an ARHA Amateur or Novice contest must possess an amateur, youth or novice card, if applicable, issued by ARHA. This card must be available for inspection at any ARHA show entered.

L) Novice points are accumulated on the exhibitor only.

M) A charter may choose which classes they will offer at their shows in the Novice Youth and Amateur Division. Charters may add Novice Youth or Novice Amateur classes in the following events:

  1. Ranch Riding

  2. Ranch Trail

  3. Horsemanship

  4. Showmanship

  5. Ranch Reining

  6. Ranch Cutting

  7. Ranch Roping

  8. Boxing

  9. Ranchmanship

  10. Cow Catching

N) All Novice classes will be judged in accordance with ARHA rules.

O) Eligible novice youth and novice amateur exhibitors may also enter their perspective amateur or youth classes and open division classes. Any points earned in any division will be calculated towards the 1,000 point cap.

P) Any Novice points earned will not carry over into youth or amateur division classes.

Q) Register Of Merit (ROM’s) will not be presented for Novice Classes.


This designation is offered to encourage exhibitors who have shown and been successful in non-cattle riding events who are ineligible for or pointed out in the novice division to hold an ARHA Novice Cattle Designation. The American Ranch Horse Association remains committed to developing horses and exhibitors that are confident in all aspects of an all-around program that includes cattle classes. The ARHA recognizes that exhibitors new to the association may have strong competencies in areas such as horsemanship, trail, reining, and ranch riding yet have never shown in cattle events. This designation as a novice in “Cattle Only” will allow these exhibitors, and seasoned ARHA Exhibitors who have not tried cattle classes, to compete with others who are also new to these cattle classes.


** A) Amateur & Youth exhibitors who do not qualify for the novice program but have no prior cattle showing experience may request “Cattle Only” eligibility.

B) Novice Cattle eligibility is reserved for Amateur and Youth exhibitors only.

C) Exhibitors that hold a “Novice Cattle Only” card may show in Novice Ranch Cutting, Novice Ranch Roping, Novice Ranch Boxing and Novice Cow Catching until they accumulate 1000 total (includes all division) ARHA points in cattle classes or win any national title or World Champion in an upper division (ie: Amateur, Open or Youth).

D) Novice Rules will apply to Novice Cattle Designation.


A) An Amateur card and/or Novice card is a privilege not a right.

B) The Amateur and/or Ethics Committee may review and investigate any or all applications and make a recommendation to the ARHA Board Of Directors, whose decision shall be final.

C) Should a member wish to protest the eligibility of an amateur or novice rider, he/she must file a protest with the ARHA Office in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Disciplinary Procedure section in the ARHA Rule Book.

Any person found competing in any of this association’s Novice classes and is proven to be ineligible for the Novice Divisions shall forfeit all points, prizes, and monies won in any ARHA Novice classes, and will face a $250 fine and severe disciplinary action. A person revoked from novice status must relinquish their card immediately and return it to ARHA upon notice.