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NCHA Updates Family-Owned Horse Rule & National Championships Entries

nchalogoChanges to the family-owned horse rule and the entry and purse structure of the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Eastern and Western National Championships were approved by the NCHA Executive Committee at their meeting in Fort Worth on Aug. 25-26.

At the 2014 NCHA Convention, several standing committees recommended changes to the family-owned horse rule. The rule that has been approved by the NCHA Executive Committee contains the same verbiage as AQHA uses. It is an established rule that has proven to work and has increased participation and entries.

Additionally, all age restrictions pertaining to a family-owned horse, have been removed at both the limited age event and weekend level. The updated rule is designed to encourage more participation in the sport.

The new Standing Rule 51.a.4 reads as follows: “If a member who holds an NCHA non-professional and/or amateur card publicly exhibits in any contest, whether approved or unapproved, a cutting horse not owned by the member or by the member’s immediate family, as defined herein, said card can be automatically revoked. Additional penalties for ownership rule violations may include loss of Non-Professional/Amateur status for up to life of the member, up to three (3) years suspension from the NCHA, up to a maximum of $10,000 fine. Any other member who aids and abets the rule violator will be subject to the same penalties depending on the severity of the incident.

“For purposes of this rule ‘immediate family’ shall mean the member’s spouse, child, stepchild, parent, grandparents, grandchild, step-parent, sibling, half-sibling, step-sibling, spouse’s parent, spouse’s step-parent, sibling’s spouse, half-sibling’s spouse, step-sibling’s spouse, sibling’s child, sibling’s step-child, half-sibling’s child, half-sibling’s step-child, step-sibling’s child, step-sibling’s step-child, parent’s sibling, parent’s half-sibling, parent’s step-sibling, parent’s sibling’s child, parent’s sibling’s stepchild, parent’s half sibling’s child, parent’s half sibling’s stepchild, parent’s step sibling child, parent’s step sibling’s stepchild, legal ward or legal guardian.”

An ownership form must be filed with the NCHA office indicating the family relationship between the owner of the horse and the exhibitor prior to showing. This rule will go into effect with the 2015 point year.

Eastern and Western National Championships

In response to concerns about costs and decreasing entries at the Four Sixes Eastern and Western Championships, the entry fee for the 2014 point year Championships (held in 2015) has been reduced from $600 to $500. Additionally, all contestants in the horse classes will be allowed to show three horses. All contestants in the rider classes will be able to show two horses. This does not include the Youth classes.

To better position the shows financially, added money for the 2014 point year Championships will be $15,000 per class, an overall reduction from $200,000 to $150,000.

To better support the affiliates, exhibitors will be required to compete at one affiliate-approved show to qualify for the Eastern and Western Championships beginning with the 2015 point year (for the Championships held in 2016).

Additional Recommendations

The Executive Committee reviewed all of the standing committee recommendations from the NCHA Convention and all of the final rules and recommendations will be distributed as soon as the minutes are completed.