Changes for NCHA Youth Announced

Youth participation is an important part of the NCHA’s National Championship shows, and changes to the point system have been announced. • Photo by Alex Lynch

The National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) youth committee had a teleconference on May 1 to discuss Youth rules related to the National Championship shows. The committees proposed changed were approved by the executive committee as of May 18.

The committee proposed rule changes concerning points and Nationals age eligibility be changed to follow the existing weekend structure for the three National Championship shows.

In the past, the executive committee voted to make Nationals a mandatory 6 points for the go-round and 5 points for the finals to encourage youth entries at these shows. However, the downside of not enough entries in the classes was not considered. The NCHA Scottsdale Nationals show only had 12 entries in the Junior Youth and 11 entries in the Senior Youth, but according to the rules, the 6/5-point allotment had to be given.

The Denver Nationals event will fall in the next Youth point year, with the deadline for entries quickly approaching. The youth committee recommended to have Youth points awarded at future National Championships based on entries, as they would be at any other show.

The points will be awarded in the go-round based on total entries (that walk to the herd and attempt to cut), with a maximum of 6 points awarded. The finals will receive 1 less point than the go-round, with a maximum of 5 points.

Since the Youth points at National Championships events count toward the current point year for World standings (unlike all other Nationals classes), the youth committee also recommended to have youth eligibility at National Championship shows fall under weekend show rules and approval; therefore, only riders of the current Youth point year will be eligible to enter and compete in the Youth classes at Nationals.

By this standard, new youth members who join in the current year will be eligible to compete at National shows, regardless of participation in previous year’s youth classes.
Since the deadline is fast approaching, and to avoid confusion, the youth committee also recommended youth entries be taken or dropped up to the draw at the Denver show, which is scheduled for June 23-30.