The NCHA Executive Committee recently weighed in on whether to amend the rules to allow 7-year-old horses to compete in limited age cuttings, which traditional have been restricted to horses ages 3-6. * Photo by Molly Montag.

NCHA Executive Committee Votes on 7-Year-Old Horses in Aged Events

The National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) has decided if it will allow 7-year-old horses to compete in limited-age event cutting classes.

The Fort Worth-based announced Tuesday, Nov. 24, that the NCHA Executive Committee voted to amend its limited-age event eligibility to allow an optional 7-year-old division for the 2021 point year. 

That is a change to the previous rule, which stated limited-age event competition was for horses age 3-6. This new amendment allows for show producers to offer limited-age event competitions for horses ages 3-7.

The NCHA said the 7-year-old division is an option and not a required class. Show producers only need to offer this division if it is in the best interest of both their show and the members in their area. The class format, added money, and all other show details are to be determined by the show producer, as long as it adheres to the NCHA rules. 

Officials said the decision was made in response to the impact COVID-19 has had on our industry and the optional 7-year-old division will only be allowed for the 2021-point year.

Many shows were canceled due to restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19, including the 2020 NCHA Super Stakes in Fort Worth. Another large show, the PCCHA Derby, also was canceled.

The NCHA will not be the only place where 7-year-old horses compete in aged events.

In reining, horses age 7 competed for the first time in this year’s NRHA Derby and the National Reining Breeders Classic.