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The box-drive event, formerly known as beginning fence work, has officially been added as an NRCHA class. It's designed to help riders transition from boxing to going down the fence. • Photo by Primo Morales.

NRCHA Adds Box-Drive As Official Class

The beginning fence work class designed to help reined cow horse riders transition from boxing to going down the fence is now an official National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) class.

A provisional class in 2020 and 2021, beginning fence work was well received by the NRCHA non-pro limited riders, resulting in the class becoming an official event in 2022 under the name box-drive, the association announced.

When launched, beginning fence work allowed non-pro limited riders the opportunity to advance their boxing skills by boxing then driving a cow down the fence, to then box the cow on the other end of the arena in under one minute and 45 seconds. The provisional class ran the cow work separately from the rein work, which was held concurrently and required entry into another Non-Pro Limited division class.

NRCHA Board of Director Member and EquiStat Elite $3 Million Rider Todd Crawford championed the class from its inception, when it was first offered at affiliate shows before moving to the NRCHA premier events. The goal was to ease the transition from boxing to going down the fence.

 “I am happy that this is going to be an official class; I think it is an important class,” Crawford said in a statement released by the association. “It is a chance for people to practice going down the fence without the challenges of making the turns and doing the circles, which makes for an easier transition to our fence work classes. I think it is really cool that it has developed to being a class and I am excited to see what happens with it.”

The association said entries in beginning fence work classes have consistently grown.

In 2022, the class can be entered as box-drive. The class previously did not count for regional or national standings, and while it was a class that was held the NRCHA World Championship Show, no qualifying was required. Though earnings counted toward lifetime earnings, they did not contribute to merit awards. That all changes in 2022. The points will count toward a regional and/or national award and the class will be one that riders can qualify to compete in at the World Championship Show. Earnings will count toward both merit awards and lifetime earnings. 

 “This is a great stepping-stone class for our competitors to advance from boxing to going down the fence,” said Emily Konkel, NRCHA premier event manager. “We see an increase in entries with every show, proving that exhibitors not only enjoy the added opportunity to show their reined cow horses but that they also appreciate the challenge of the class.”

Complete rules for the box-drive class will be included in the 2022 NRCHA Rule Book, which will be available in November. 

For more information about available classes, visit NRCHA.com