Bylaws & Rules

Northeastern Nevada Horseman’s Association

Bylaws and Rules


PO Box 2002

Elko, Nev. 89803

About NENHA…

Chartered in 1977, the Northeastern Nevada Horseman’s Association (NENHA) is an active family equestrian organization. As a non-profit organization all proceeds are used for awards, promotions and other NENHA functions.

Each year four, or more, all-breed shows offer classes for all ages in Halter, Showmanship, English and Western Pleasure, Trail, Reining, Pleasure Driving and Gymkhana Events. At each show a member can show his/her horse earning points towards a year-end award. Members can also be actively involved in the club by joining one of the many committees or taking an officers position. Along with the all-breed point shows, we hold monthly meetings (first Wednesday of each month), and other activities such as local parades, clinics and seminars.

NENHA consistently strives to expand its horizons, offering more to our members and encouraging interested people to join one of the best family organizations in Northern Nevada.

As approved at the February, 2015, General Membership Meeting.


This association is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote horse related activities in a healthy, family and community-oriented atmosphere. We seek to model good sportsmanship through friendly competition. We strive to educate ourselves, our families and our community in the proper care of horses and the art of preparing and showing horses through educational seminars, clinics, all-breed horse shows and other horse related functions.

Article 2 – NAME

The name of this association shall be the NORTHEASTERN NEVADA HORSEMAN’S ASSOCIATION, but for practical purposes, may be referred to as NENHA.


The principle office of the association shall be PO Box 2002, Elko, Nevada 89803.

Web address is

Article 4 – MEMBERSHIP


The three classes of membership are:

Single Adult Membership ­­– person 19 years of age and older and applies only to the person named on the membership application.

Family Membership – parents, children, stepchildren, grandchildren living in the home in which the adult members are serving as guardians. All family members must reside in the same household. Only the adult members are eligible to vote on club decisions but all members of the above are entitled to points and reduced rates.

Single Youth Membership – persons 18 years of age or younger who are not members of a household having another class of membership.


An application for membership shall be deemed accepted upon presentation to the Secretary or Treasurer if accompanied by the payment of the annual dues. Membership in NENHA is not transferable or assignable.


  • To be a member in good standing, said member must have paid the requisite membership fee and must not have any monies owing to NENHA or of its affiliates.
  • Members participate at NENHA functions at their own risk.
  • Members and their children will conduct themselves with good sportsmanship during all club functions.
  • Members will vote on club business during general membership meetings.
  • Members will participate in club functions and fund raisers and serve on committees whenever possible.
  • Members will familiarize themselves with these by-laws and contest rules.


  • Members are able to cast votes on important club issues.
  • Members accrue points at NENHA Horse Shows towards year-end awards.
  • Members receive reduced rates at NENHA Horse Shows and other club functions.


Members shall have the privilege of voting at the NENHA elections and general membership meetings. No member who is delinquent by reason of nonpayment of dues or other debts due NENHA shall be entitled to vote while such delinquency exists.

Each membership shall be entitled to one vote. Youth membership may vote only in matters pertaining to youth or junior activities.


For cause, any membership may be suspended, terminated or fined. The Board of Directors of NENHA must base all cases of suspension or expulsion upon a finding of fact. Such findings, to be valid, must be based upon evidence presented before the Board at a hearing. Due notice must be given to the party against whom a charge is made.

Any member who has a grievance with the club or a member, which requires a disciplinary action, has seven days to file the grievance and will be required to pay a fee of $50, which will be returned if the Grievance Committee rules in favor of the complainant. The matter must be resolved by a 2/3 majority vote of the Grievance Committee. Once a grievance has been filed with the Secretary and the appropriate fee tendered, the Board of Directors, acting as the Grievance committee, has up to 14 days to convene regarding that action. Anyone accused of a violation shall be given not less than seven days notice of a time and place for the hearing and has the right to present evidence in his or her own behalf. Neither the accuser nor the accused is required to be at the hearing, but both must be informed as to the time and place.

Any member of NENHA may be suspended and denied privileges of NENHA and any non-member may be denied privileges of NENHA by the Board of Directors of NENHA for, but not limited to, the following reasons:

  1. Failing to pay when due, any obligation owing NENHA.
  2. Issuing a check with insufficient funds. Violation shall incur a $50 fee. Three violations will require the member or non-member to pay with cash or a money order from that time on.
  3. Displaying excessive disorderly conduct (fighting, drunkenness, abusiveness, unsportsmanlike conduct, etc.). Any member or participant displaying excessive disorderly conduct can be suspended by the Board of Directors. If a problem arises during a show, it should be immediately brought to a board member’s attention, so the matter can be taken into consideration for disciplinary action.



The usual rules as laid down in “Roberts Rules of Order” shall govern all deliberations, when not in conflict with these bylaws.


A monthly meeting of the members shall be held on the first Wednesday of the month for the transaction of such business as may come before the meeting. If the day for the meeting shall be a legal holiday, such meeting shall be held at an alternate time or place. Each member shall be notified of any changes by mail, email or phone call.

Agendas will be posted on the website and available at the meeting. Persons wishing to have an item on an agenda should contact the club secretary seven days prior to that meeting. Items not on the agenda may be tabled until the following meeting or referred to committee if research or extended discussion is warranted, or if time runs out.

Grievances will not be discussed at member meetings and should be brought to the attention of the Board of Directors as addressed in Article 4.


Special meetings of NENHA may be called by the President, the Board of Directors or written request of twenty-five percent of the voting membership.

Section 4 – QUORUM

The quorum for membership and board meetings shall be the number of members present.


  • The General Membership may determine from time to time the amount of annual dues payable to NENHA for membership. Dues are payable to NENHA on or before January 1st of each year. Only members in good standing will be allowed to vote. Dues increase after April of each year.
  • The officers, directors and members of NENHA shall not be held individually liable for any debts, contracts, or liabilities of the association. No members shall be subject to any assessment or liability, other than dues, by reason of membership in NENHA.



The Board of Directors will consist of seven members. The newly elected board shall elect the four officers, President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasure, at its first meeting.

Section 2 – ELECTION

Nominations for the next year’s Board of Directors will be taken from any interested members by email to the secretary or on an open list available at all club functions in July, August and September. Ballots will be delivered by mail or email in October and a vote taken at the November membership meeting. Members may vote by submitting their official ballots one week prior to the November meeting or at the meeting. New officers will take office at the end of the annual Awards Banquet. In case of a tie, the out-going President will cast the tie-breaking vote.

Section 3 – TERM OF OFFICE

The newly elected Board of Directors shall take office at the end of the annual Award Banquet and shall serve for a term of two years, unless re-elected, or until his or her successor is elected. The Board of Directors shall fill any vacancy caused by death, resignation, or any due cause, by appointment of replacement for the balance of the unexpired term. The outgoing President shall preside at the first meeting of the newly elected Board of Directors until the Board has elected its new President.



  • Conducts Meetings
  • Delegates responsibilities to other officers and committee members
  • Coordinates club business
  • Votes to create or break a tie vote, or create a 2/3 majority.


  • Chairs the Rules Committee
  • Coordinates all other Committees
  • Conducts meetings whenever the President is unable to attend


  • Takes minutes of General and Board of Directors Meetings
  • Compiles and distributes the minutes to members.
  • Keeps track of membership
  • Coordinates with other committees on necessary correspondence
  • Makes arrangements for monthly meetings
  • Sends correspondence and “thank you” notes to sponsors


  • Reports club treasury to membership monthly
  • Responsible for club checking
  • Pays bills (two signatures required on checks)
  • Works with Secretary on memberships
  • Keeps itemized record of all debts and credits of club treasury
  • Keeps track of all sponsors’ addresses and phone numbers
  • Responsible for post office box and getting pre-entries to show secretary


  • The officers must be members of NENHA in good standing.
  • All committees will be chaired by a member of the Board of Directors.
  • The Board of Directors may remove officers who fail to attend three general membership meetings. Officers unable to attend monthly meetings will send a report with another officer (minutes, treasury report, etc.).
  • NENHA shall keep correct and complete books and records of accounts and shall keep minutes of the proceedings of its members and board meetings. It shall keep a record giving the names and addresses of the members entitled to vote. Any member may inspect all books and records of NENHA for any purpose at any reasonable time
  • All current Club documents must be reviewed by the Board of Directors once a year at a regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting.
  • All monies collected for club business must be immediately given to the Treasurer to be deposited within five days.
  • The Board of Directors may meet to conduct any and all club business, however bylaw changes must be presented to the general membership prior to a vote. Due notification of a vote to change the bylaws must be given to the general membership by mail or email. The proposed changes may be posted electronically on our web site or emailed to members. Those who contact the secretary can receive changes by mail.
  • All board meetings shall be open to the membership to observe. Members may address the board only during the open comment period, unless invited to speak by the board.
  • All committee business must be approved by either the Board of Directors or the general membership.

Section 6 – MEETINGS

Officers meeting shall be held as necessary to conduct club business. The date for any meeting shall be set by order of the officers; this date may be changed if in the opinion of the President, an alternate date would better suit the convenience of the majority of the officers. Special Meetings may be called by the President at any time he/she determines it to be necessary for the benefit of NENHA. Any director may call a special meeting when an emergency exists requiring the immediate attention of the Board of Directors. All directors must be notified of the meeting at least 48 hours in advance.

Article 8 – COMMITTEES

The President, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors, shall appoint such committees and Committee Chairs as he/she may find necessary to conduct the business of NENHA. Committee members shall be NENHA members, unless otherwise specifically approved by the Board of Directors. Committees are responsible to the Vice-President and each committee chairman shall make reports to the Vice-President as requested. A Board Member shall chair only one committee at a time, but may serve on more than one.

STANDING COMMITTEES – All standing committees shall be established at the beginning of the year and be chaired by a member of the board.


The Board of Directors will serve as the Grievance Committee.


The Rules Committee shall be chaired by the Vice-President. The Rules Committee will conduct an annual review of the rules contained herein at the beginning of each year.  The accepted rules will be printed and distributed to the members. No further changes will be allowed after acceptance by the general membership.


These bylaws may be altered, amended or repealed and new bylaws may be added by a 2/3 majority of voting members present at any regular membership meeting or at any special membership meeting if at least ten days notice is given of intention to alter, amend, or repeal or to adopt new bylaws at such meeting. Notice may be given by mail, email or telephone.

Article 10 – DISSOLUTION

Upon the dissolution of this organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose.

NENHA Rules and Regulations

As approved at the February, 2015, General Membership Meeting.


Annual NENHA dues shall be as follows:

  • Single Adult Membership: $30
  • Family Membership: $40
  • Single Youth Membership: $20

If dues are not paid before March 31st, the dues go up $10.00 per membership on April 1st.



The Show Committee will be responsible for the following:

  • Submitting a Judges List for approval by the February General Membership Meeting and hiring Judges from that list.
  • Submitting Class Premium List for Horse Shows by the March General Membership Meeting.
  • Responsible for show supplies.
  • Organize all show help. (i.e.: Ring Steward, Gate Person, Announcer, Ground Help, Timers, etc.)
  • Organize all necessary props. (Trail Obstacles, Poles, Barrels, Cones, etc.)
  • Obtain a Show Secretary/Point Secretary (This position may be held by one or two persons). The Show Secretary will be responsible for taking entries at shows and coordinating entries with the announcer. The Show Secretary will work with the Club Treasurer at the end of the show to balance the day’s receipts. Will tabulate the points accumulated by members of NENHA in good standing who participate in the shows. These points must be tabulated within seven days of the show and posted at the following show and on the club website. The Point Secretary will work from the Judges signed Show Placing Cards and with the Announcer and Show Secretary. Judges cards must be validated before the Judge leaves the Fairgrounds.
  • Obtain a Show Manager – who is responsible for organizing show volunteers, keeping the show on schedule, and enforcing show rules. The manager will be in charge of the NENHA event and will have the authority to enforce all rules referring to the show and may excuse any horse or exhibitor from the show or contest prior to or during the judging.
  • Obtain a Ring Steward – this person acts as a scribe for, and assistant to, the Judge.
  • Obtain a Ribbon Person at each show who will be available to award ribbons after each class.
  • Keeps and provides the Club with a yearly show budget based on the previous year’s show participation and expenses. An account of class participation will be made at the end of each year which may be used to submit the new class schedule for the following year.


This committee will work closely with the Show Committee and will present business to the General Membership meetings. This committee will be responsible for the following:

  • Daily Horse Show awards (ribbon inventory, ordering, etc.)
  • Solicit donations from individuals and businesses.
  • Organize the Year-End Awards Ceremony.
  • Post a list of which classes are required for competition towards Year-End High-Point Awards.
  • Keeps and provides the Club with a yearly budget based on the previous year’s participation and expenses.


The Public Relations Committee shall be responsible for three main areas:

A. Public Relations:

  • Make certain public relations is done through advertising, television stations, radio stations and newspaper articles before and after each show or event. Information regarding meetings, shows, parades, and special events should be submitted to the media in a timely manner. The Chairman will work with the Show Secretary in order to provide show results.
  • Maintain the club website. The website must contain a copy of the current by-laws, a list of current officers and committee chairs and their contact information, and the points from the current show season. Meeting agendas and minutes will be posted as they are made available by the club Secretary.
  • Keeps and provides the Club with a yearly budget based on the previous year’s participation and expenses.

B. Membership

  • Welcome all new members, and introduce them to current members and acquaint them with the purpose of the club.
  • Plan membership drives and make sure NENHA information is available at special events.

C. Special Events

  • Organize Special Events such as trail rides, clinics, and parades for the current members and for the purpose of attracting new members.


  • Points will only be awarded to NENHA members in good standing. Membership must be paid before the show begins. Non-members may show for class awards (ribbons) but will not be eligible for any year-end awards. Any NENHA member in good standing, regardless of position held within the organization, is eligible to accumulate points.
  • Points will be tabulated from the Judge’s placings. Points will be awarded to six contestants in each class as follows:

NENHA Placings Chart

Number of horses in class Points earned
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1 1
2 2 1
3 3 2 1
4 4 3 2 1
5 5 4 3 2 1
6 6 5 4 3 2 1
7 7 6 5 4 3 2
8 8 7 6 5 4 3
9 9 8 7 6 5 4
10 10 9 8 7 6 5
11 11 10 9 8 7 6
12 12 11 10 9 8 7
13 13 12 11 10 9 8
14 14 13 12 11 10 9
15 15 14 13 12 11 10
16 16 15 14 13 12 11

This chart can be extended for larger classes.

  • In Halter Classes: Grand Champion will receive 2 points more than the top horse in the sex division. Reserve Champion will receive 1 point more than the top horse in the sex division.
  • Ties will not be allowed in judged classes. In the event of a tie in a timed event, there will be a run-off.
  • Ties for year-end awards will be resolved as follows: Classes in which both contestants competed will be reviewed. First: The contestant with the greater number of wins over the other will be placed higher. Second: The horse earning points in the greatest number of classes will be the winner. If these two criteria do not resolve the point tie, the tie will be submitted to the awards committee for resolution.
  • Points will be accumulated by ONE HORSE / ONE RIDER combinations in all classes. Each time a rider changes horses, or information isn’t correct on entry forms from show to show (i.e. names of horse or people aren’t the same on the entry forms from show to show), a new set of points will begin.
  • Substitutions: Points may be transferred only when a signed veterinary certificate has been received by the show committee verifying inability of the horse to continue the show season due to death, debilitating or permanent injury. Only one substitute horse per rider will be allowed in order to finish the show season and continue to accumulate points. The substitute horse must be used for the remainder of the show season. This allowance will not be allowed for Halter classes.
  • Points will be tabulated within seven days of the show, and will be posted at the following Show or Event and on the club website prior to the next show.
  • An audit of points will be conducted after the second show of the season by a committee, as designated by the board.

Classes that count toward Year-End Awards will be listed at each show, in each monthly newsletter between April and September, and on the website.

Rule 4 – JUDGES

  • Members may submit Judges’ names to the Show Committee.
  • Judges will not be hired from within a 50-mile radius for point shows. If there is a last minute cancellation by a hired judge, this rule may be waived.
  • Trail Judges and Play Day Judges may be local judges.
  • Gymkhana Classes are timed, fun classes based on speed; no professional judge is required. The show manager shall appoint a gymkhana official and a timekeeper to record times and results.
  • NENHA will pay a reasonable fee, provide a motel room and provide lunch for each point show judge. This fee will be established when the judge is hired (fee must be within limits set at the General Membership meeting) and a written contract will be made and signed by the Judge and Show Committee Chairman, on approval of the Board of Directors. A copy of NENHA Bylaws shall be presented to each hired judge
  • A person may not judge NENHA point shows in consecutive years, in the same capacity. Last year’s trail judge may judge this year’s performance classes and vice a versa.
  • NENHA Judges must comply with AQHA rules regarding affiliation and/or relation which states that no judge be allowed to judge a horse belonging to, or being exhibited by, any member of his/her immediate family (spouse, son, daughter, father, mother, sister, brother). If a judge cannot exercise an objective opinion, free from possible prejudice, bias or outside influence, because of a connection with an owner, exhibitor or anyone else connected with the horse, or, for that matter, if such connection would appear to others of possible bias, whether or not the judge feels he or she would be affected, a judge must disqualify himself or herself. Additionally, no horse may be shown to a judge if that judge has been owner, trainer, agent in any capacity, or conditioner of that horse within the previous six months.
  • Judges will place all classes first through sixth place; no ties are allowed.
  • The NENHA Board may waive these rules if necessary to secure a judge for an imminent show.


Rules, Class and Membership fees, Judges fees and limits, Show Premium Lists and any other fee changes will be discussed by committees and Board of Directors, brought to the discussion and decision of the general club members present at a set meeting early in the year. Once a decision is made at that meeting, changes can not be made during the remaining part of the current year, although, those decisions will not necessarily set a precedence for future years.

NENHA strives to run its shows in concert with show standards set by current breed association handbooks. Many of our rules are taken directly from the AQHA Official Handbook. NENHA may fall back on the AQHA Handbook for any rules not described in this copy of the NENHA By-Laws and Rules. If AQHA’s Official Handbook does not provide an adequate ruling, NENHA Board of Directors will have the authority to make mid-season rulings to insure the show season continues to run smoothly. These decisions will be brought before the following year’s Rules Committee meeting in January, for clarification and possible inclusion in the by-laws. NENHA Officers, Board of Directors, as well as the general membership must comply with AQHA rules, regarding affiliation, and/or relation to a Judge, which states that a judge may not judge a horse belonging to, or being exhibited by, any member of his/her immediate family (spouse, son, daughter, father, mother, sister, brother). Additionally, no horse may be shown to a judge if that judge has been owner, trainer, agent in any capacity, or conditioner of that horse within the previous six months.


  • An exhibitor may enter one or more horses in a class, but each horse may have only one rider per class. A horse may be ridden in one or more divisions.

Section 2 – ATTIRE

  • Protective headgear is strongly suggested.
  • In Western classes, appropriate western attire is required which includes long pants, long-sleeved, collared shirts, western hat (or helmet) and cowboy boots. Spurs and chaps are optional.
  • In Gymkhana classes, long-sleeved shirts and hats are waived. Other western attire is still required.
  • In English classes, riders are required to wear a hunt coat (unless waived by the judge due to heat), breeches or jodhpurs, high English boots or paddock (jodphur) boots and a hard hat. A tie or choker is required. Gloves, spurs, and crops are optional.
  • All exhibitors must wear the correct number in a visible manner. Numbers may be displayed either on the back of the shirt/jacket, or on the saddle pad. Riders putting numbers on the saddle pad are required to display the number on both sides of the horse.

Section 3 – JUDGING

Decisions of the Judges and Gymkhana Official are final.

Section 4 – ENTRY FEES

Entry fees for NENHA Horse Shows and any other club function, where a fee is charged, are due and payable the day of the Horse Show or club function. NENHA reserves the right to charge for all classes entered, unless prior notification is given. If proper notification is given to the show secretary, prior to the running of the class that the contestant is scratching, credit will be givenN.  Scratching must occur at least three classes prior to the scratched class.

A contestant who registers early for the show, but cannot make it, will still be charged unless they notify the show secretary that they are scratching their classes.

Points earned at a show will be lost if payment is not made the day of the Horse Show, or within 5 working days of the show.


There is a three-class entry cutoff at all Horse Shows which includes horse and/or rider change. Entries must been done through the show secretary. No late gate entries will be allowed.


  • An amateur has not shown, judged, trained or assisted in training a horse for remuneration, monetary or otherwise, either directly or indirectly, nor received remuneration for instructing another person in riding, driving, training or showing a horse for five calendar years previous to the current show season.


  • All age group classes are amateur classes. No professional may compete in an age class.
  • The age group in which a Youth participates is determined by the age of the youth on January 1st of the current calendar year. (Example: On January 1st, the youth is 13. He/She will compete as a 13-year-old for the entire Show Season and will advance to the 14-18 age group in the following year; even if his/her birthday falls on January 2nd.) A copy of the original birth certificate for each youth member must be presented for validation at the first show shown. Birth Certificate validation will be kept on file for future reference. Participant may move up one age division, but must remain in that age division for the entire season to be eligible for year end awards.
  • Participants in the Walk/Trot All Ages division may not cross enter into non walk/trot classes in any performance, reining, or gymkhana classes in the current show year.  Same rule applies to Leadline/Stickhorse participants.

Section 8 – STALLIONS

Participants must be 18 years of age or older to show or handle a stallion. Stallions may not be shown in Youth, Novice or Walk-Trot All Age Division.


If classes have three or fewer horses entered, the classes may be combined at the Show Manager’s discretion.

Rule 6 – AWARDS


Daily awards for show classes may be given up to 6th place. These awards may be in the form of ribbons, coins, or merchandise. Stakes classes may award cash and other prizes as budgeted. Grand and Reserve Halter Horses in each sex division may be given a special ribbon or trophy.


Year-End High-Point Awards may be given to the high-point winner of each age division, Novice Division/ and Open Division in the following DISCIPLINES: Western Performance and Gymkhana.

High-Point Awards in Non-Age Divisions including, but not limited to, Junior Horse, English Performance and Walk-Trot All Ages will also be allowed providing at least three classes are offered in the discipline.

The high-point halter horse in each sex division, to be calculated to include ALL points earned within sex division, will also be awarded a year-end high-point award.

Reining and Ranch Riding qualify participants for awards given for multiple class awards.  A buckle or similar prize will be awarded to the high point winner for the entire division and a jacket or similar prize will be given for the reserve.  No awards will be given for individual classes in Reining or Ranch Riding, however class points will count towards yearend awards

There must have been on average, at least two contestants in the division throughout the show season to qualify for a year-end award. A Year-End Reserve High-Point Award may be given to the reserve high-point winner in divisions as described above. There must have been on average at least three contestants in the division throughout the show season to qualify for a Year-End Reserve High-Point Award.

High-point winners of individual classes may be given an award for the placing at the year’s end, however, this should not be considered the same as the Year-End High-Point Award and may not be the same type of award. This award may be in the form of a trophy plaque or other similar merchandise. Winners of stakes, or added money classes do not qualify for a year-end class award.

No year-end high-point awards will be given to overall winners in stakes or other cash award classes.

Only awards and events sanctioned by NENHA may be allowed to be presented at the year-end ceremonies. Additional special awards such as sportsmanship, hard luck, and achievement may be presented by the club at the discretion of the Awards Committee.

Classes required for year-end high-point awards must be voted on at a general membership meeting prior to the show season. The required classes must be advertised at the show office and or by newsletter. No awards for classes or combined classes will be given at year’s end unless the requirements for the award have been discussed prior to the show season and advertised at each show.

Section 3 – AWARDS

All-Around Year-End High-Point Awards may be in the form of a trophy belt buckle or other similar trophy or merchandise, and must include at least two disciplines in three of the NENHA horse shows. Awards for each year will be at the discretion of the committees and will not necessarily set precedence for future years.


For any individual to qualify for year-end awards, they must participate in the same division in at least three of the NENHA Horse shows. Example: A member shows in the 19 & Over western classes at the June show and in the Novice western classes at the July & August show. This exhibitor is not eligible for any year-end high-point awards, unless he /she participates in the September show in the Novice western classes. This would then qualify him/her for the mandatory participation rule in order to receive year-end awards in the Novice western classes. Individuals may qualify in as many categories as they are eligible.

Section 5 – DONATIONS

Donations may be accepted by the club, and solicited by club members, but may not be designated by individual club members for special interests. The donations shall be accepted by the Show, Awards or PR committee and designated by them. Donations for specific awards, which have not been sanctioned by the club prior to the show season, will not be accepted. All monetary donations shall be directed to the treasurer to be applied and dispersed under the discretion of the BOD. Any donations not previously sanctioned, go through the awards committee for approval and disbursement.


The following classifications may be found on show premiums and are defined as follows:

Section 1 – AGE OF HORSE

All horses born in a given year are considered to be one year old on January 1st of the following year.


NENHA may offer classes in the following disciplines. Class restrictions apply to all disciplines offered.

  • Halter
  • Western Performance
  • English Performance
  • Reining
  • Ranch Riding
  • Gymkhana


Classes in which horses are shown in-hand and judged on conformation, soundness, condition and temperament. Horses will walk to the judge one at a time. As the horse approaches, the judge will step to the right (left of the horse) to enable the horse to trot straight to a cone placed 50 feet away. At the cone, the horse will continue trotting, turn to the left and trot toward the left wall or fence of the arena. After trotting, horses will be lined up head to tail for individual inspection by the judge. For Halter Points, points are accumulated on the horse. Open to professionals. The Grand Champion Class will consist of all horses of that sex regardless of age of horse.


Classes limited to horses 2, 3, 4, or 5 years old. Can be shown in a snaffle bit, bosal (rawhide), hackamore or shank bit. If shown in a shank bit, they must be ridden with one hand on the reins. Note: All horses born in a given year are considered to be one year old on January 1st of the following year. Open to professionals.


Horses 6 years old or older. Must be ridden in a shank bit with one hand on the reins. Note: All horses born in a given year are considered to be one year old on January 1st of the following year. Open to professionals.


Novice classes are designed for exhibitors who are just starting out in the show world. To qualify as a Novice rider for any class or discipline, a rider must be an amateur as defined by Rule 5, Section 6 and not have won a year-end high-point award in that discipline in any division (with the exception of Youth, Leadline 6 & under, Stick Horse, and Walk-Trot All Ages). If a rider wins a Year-End Class Award in Novice or any other division (except Youth, Leadline 6 & under, Stick Horse, and Walk-Trot All Ages), they cannot enter that specific Novice class in following years, but may still enter the other Novice classes that they did not win. Example: A rider, who wins a 14-18 Western Horsemanship year-end high-point award for that class, may not enter the Novice Western Horsemanship class. This exhibitor may enter any Novice classes in which he/she has not won a year-end class award. Likewise, any exhibitor who has won the year-end high-point award in his/her age division, Novice Division, or Open Division, within a specific discipline such as Western Performance, Gymkhana, etc, may not enter any Novice classes in that discipline (with the exception of Youth, Leadline 6 & under, Stick Horse, and Walk-Trot All Ages). Any Exhibitor who begins the year as a Novice may finish the year as a Novice regardless of placing.

Section 7 – OPEN CLASSES

Classes with no horse or rider restrictions. Open to professionals.


This is a skill level restricted class for the amateur rider as defined by Rule 5, Section 6, to include three Western Performance classes: Pleasure, Horsemanship and Trail. Once you win a year-end high-point performance division award in any division, except Youth, Leadline 6 & under or Stick Horse, you are no longer eligible to compete in this walk-trot division. If you win a year-end class award in any division, except Youth, Leadline 6 & under or Stick Horse, you may no longer enter in said class. No exhibitor may participate in this division if they have participated in any NON walk/trot Performance, Reining or Gymkhana class during the current show year.


Participants in the Walk/Trot All Ages division may not cross enter into non walk/trot classes in any performance, reining, or gymkhana classes in the current show year.  Same rule applies to Leadline/Stickhorse participants.


Contestants 6 years old or younger ride while being led by a capable person, at Show Management’s discretion. The judge will ask them to walk along the rail in both directions, or negotiate obstacles, line up and then he/she may ask simple questions of the children. They may be asked to back their horses. A lead shank at least six feet long must be attached to a halter that is under or over the bridle so that while the exhibitor is on the rail the horse is controlled by the adult. If the judge asks the exhibitor to back the horse in the line-up, the adult should not aid the exhibitor. The adult should only keep the horse under control. English or Western attire is acceptable. Leadline is the only class in which contestants may be led. Contestants in Leadline classes may not enter any classes off the lead. Class will be placed to 6th place and exhibitors not in the placing will receive a participation ribbon.


Open to contestants 6 years old or younger. Exhibitors to walk, trot and lope in both directions of the arena. “Horses” should back easily and stand quietly. Class will be placed to 6th place and exhibitors not in the placing will receive a participation ribbon.


  • Showmanship: Showmanship shall be judged strictly on the exhibitor’s ability to fit and show a horse at halter. All exhibitors may enter the ring and then work individually or each exhibitor may be worked from the gate individually. When exhibitors are worked individually from the gate, a working order is required. A pattern will be posted for this class and may include the following maneuvers: lead the horse at a walk, jog, trot or extended trot, or back in a straight or curved line, or a combination of straight and curved lines; stop; and turn 90° (1/4), 180° (1/2), 270° (3/4), 360° (full turn) or any combination or multiple of these turns. The judge must have exhibitors set the horse up squarely for inspection sometime during the class. Contestants are encouraged to read the AQHA Official Handbook for additional information on how to successfully compete in Showmanship at Halter.
  • Pleasure: Horses to be shown at a walk, jog and lope on a reasonably loose rein or light contact without undue restraint. To be worked both ways of the ring. May be asked for a moderate extension of the jog and a lope with forward motion. Horses are expected to back easily and stand quietly. This class will be judged on the performance, condition and conformation of the horse. Contestants are encouraged to read the AQHA Official Handbook for additional information on how to successfully compete in Western Pleasure.
  • Horsemanship: The western horsemanship class is designed to evaluate the rider’s ability to execute, in concert with their horse, a set of maneuvers prescribed by the judge with precision and smoothness while exhibiting poise and confidence, and maintaining a balanced, functional and fundamentally correct body position. Contestants are encouraged to read the AQHA Official Handbook for additional information on how to successfully compete in Western Horsemanship.
  • Trail: This class will be judged on the performance of the horse over obstacles, with emphasis on manner, response to the rider and quality of movement. Obstacles will include, but are not limited to: a gate, ride-over poles or logs and a backing obstacle. Optional obstacles may include but are not limited to: water hazard, serpentine, carrying an object from one place to another, wooden bridge, side pass, putting on and removing slicker, remove and replace materials from mailbox, logs or poles laid in a square, other safe and negotiable obstacles approved by the judge. Trail will be judged based on AQHA rules, which are too extensive to include here. Contestants are strongly encouraged to read the AQHA Official Handbook for additional information on how to successfully compete in Trail.


  • Showmanship: The handler of the animal is judged on his or her ability to present the horse. The horse is merely a prop used to show the ability of the handler. The horse should be clean, well groomed and in excellent physical condition. The exhibitor must be able to walk, trot, stop and back the horse as directed by the judge. The exhibitor shall always lead the horse from the horse’s left side. All turns shall be to the right with the exhibitor walking to the right around the horse. When lined up, the horse should stand squarely on all four feet. Exhibitors must keep proper position in line and allow reasonable space (at least five feet) between horses. Handler should never block the judge’s view of the horse. Horse must be shown in an English headstall equipped with a bit and reins. The exhibitor shall be attired in English attire as described in Article 11, Section 1. No spurs will be permitted in an English Showmanship class. Contestants are encouraged to read the ApHC Handbook for more information on how to successfully compete in English Showmanship.
  • Hunter Under Saddle: To be shown at a walk, trot and canter both ways of the ring. Horses should back easily and stand quietly. This class will be judged on performance, condition and conformation. Maximum credit will be given to the flowing, balanced, willing horse. Contestants are encouraged to read the AQHA Official Handbook for additional information on how to successfully compete in Hunter Under Saddle.
  • Equitation: Equitation is an evaluation based on the ability of a rider to perform various maneuvers in harmony with his/her horse. Equitation is judged on the rider, including body position and use of aids, and his/her effect on the horse. Exhibitors will be required to ride a pattern, which will be posted prior to the class, and may be asked to work on the rail. Contestants are encouraged to read the AQHA Official Handbook for additional information on how to successfully compete in Hunt Seat Equitation.
  • Hunter Hack: Hunter Hack is a prerequisite for Hunt Seat Equitation Over Fences. The class will be judged on style over fences, event hunting pace, flat work, manners, and way of going. Horses are first required to jump two fences. The first fence may be 2´0˝, 2´3˝ or 2´ 6˝ but not more than 3 inches lower than the second fence. The second fence may be 2´0˝, 2´3˝, 2´ 6˝ or 2´ 9˝. Fences may be, but are not required to be in a line and should be set at distance in increments of 12´ but not less than 48´. A ground line is required for each jump. At the discretion of the judge, exhibitors may be asked to hand gallop, pull up, back and stand quietly on a loose rein following the last fence. Horses will also be shown at a walk, trot and canter both ways of the ring with light contact
  • Hunt Seat Equitation Over Fences: Contestants entering this class must also enter Hunter Hack. The class objective is to judge the rider’s ability over the fences, not the horse’s. At least four obstacles are required and horses must jump a minimum of six fences. Minimum height of fences must be 2’0” with a maximum height of 3’. Course will be posted prior to the class. Judge may disallow a contestant based on Hunter Hack performance.


Games and fun classes based on speed.

  • Barrel Racing: A timed event. Contestants ride a prescribed cloverleaf pattern around three barrels in the arena. The contestant is allowed a running start. If room allows, barrels 1 and 2 will be set at 60 feet from the start line and 90 feet apart, barrel 3 will be set 105 feet from barrels 1 and 2. Barrels will be set at least 45 feet from the starting line to the end of the arena, at least 18 feet from barrels 1 and 2 to the fence and 36 feet from barrel 3 to the end of the arena. Contestants may begin pattern with either the left or right barrel. If a barrel is knocked down, a five-second penalty per barrel is added to the overall time. Failure to follow the course shall cause disqualification. Additional information on Barrel Racing can be found in the AQHA Official Handbook.
  • Pole Bending: A timed event. Pattern consists of six poles set 21 feet apart, starting 21 feet from the start/finish line. The contestant is allowed a running start. Horses may start on either the left or right side of the first pole and run the remainder of the pattern accordingly. A five-second penalty is added for each pole knocked over. Failure to follow the course shall cause disqualification. Additional information on Pole Bending can be found in the AQHA Official Handbook.
  • Flag Race: A timed event. The contestant is allowed a running start. Contestants ride to the barrel, pick up the flag from the cone on top of the barrel and ride back to the start/finish line. Contestant must go around the barrel, either direction is legal. Dropping the flag or hitting your horse with the flag is a disqualification. Knocking over the cone is a five-second penalty, knocking over the barrel is a ten-second penalty. There is a one-minute time limit.
  • Keyhole Race: A timed event. The contestant is allowed a running start. The starting line shall be 50 to 100 feet (according to arena size) from the entrance to the keyhole. The entrance shall be 6-feet wide and 10 feet long, connected to a circle 20 feet in diameter. Time starts as the contestant crosses the starting line. He shall proceed through the entrance, turn right or left in the circle, return through the entrance and cross the finish line. An exhibitor will receive a five-second penalty for the first time they touch the line. Multiple touches or crossing the chalk (flour) line is a disqualification. A judge or judges must be at the keyhole to decide upon these disqualifications, and their decisions will be final.


Each contestant will perform the pattern posted for their class. Reining will be judged as follows:

  • Each contestant will perform the required pattern individually and separately. All horses will be judged immediately upon entering the arena. To rein a horse is not only to guide him, but also to control his every movement. The best reined horse should be willingly guided or controlled with little or no apparent resistance and dictated to completely. Any movement on his own must be considered a lack of control. All deviations from the exact written pattern must be considered a lack of or temporary loss of control, and therefore faulted according to severity of deviation. Credit will be given for smoothness, finesse, attitude, quickness and authority in performing the various maneuvers while using controlled speed. Scoring will be on the basis of 0-Infinity, with 70 denoting an average performance. The individual maneuvers are scored in 1/2 point increments from a low of -1 1/2 to a high of +1 1/2 with a score of 0 denoting a maneuver that is correct with no degree of difficulty. Contestants are encouraged to read the AQHA Official Handbook for additional information on how to successfully compete in Reining. NENHA does not judge reining according to NRHA rules.
  • Year-end high point will be based on accumulated scores per class from the judge’s score cards from all of the shows.


  • Open to professionals.
  • Reining maneuvers originated from moves that a cow horse must use in performing its duties and have been refined to the high level of competition existing today. Freestyle Reining not only provides an opportunity to use these maneuvers creatively, but also to expand them to music by means of choreography. Riders are encouraged to use musical scores which permit them to show the athletic ability of the horse in a crowd appealing way.
  • Required Maneuvers. Will be defined as follows:
  • A minimum of 4 consecutive spins to the right
  • A minimum of 4 consecutive spins to the left
  • A minimum of 3 stops
  • A minimum of 1 lead change at the canter from right to left
  • A minimum of 1 lead change at the canter from left to right
  • Exhibitors will only be judged astride.
  • Exhibitors are allowed to use two hands (as well as one or no hands).
  • Failure to perform all the required maneuvers or failure to complete the performance within the time limit will result in a score of 0.
  • Additional maneuvers such as rollbacks, backups, speed variations, and non-classical reining maneuvers such as half pass and side pass are appropriate in Freestyle and shall be given appropriate credit. Additional repetitions of required maneuvers are appropriate, but will only add or subtract from the existing scores already given for the required maneuvers, not as additional scores.
  • Time Limit. A maximum of 3 1/2 minutes including any introductions. The time limit will be from the beginning of the music, or from the beginning of the introduction, whichever is first, and will end with the music, or in 3 1/2 minutes, whichever is first.
  • Costumes. Permitted but not required. Emphasis is placed on performing the reining maneuvers to music.
  • Props. Permitted but at no time may hinder the judges’ view of the horse. The use of props will not add to the score.
  • Required maneuvers in Freestyle will receive a score based on technical merit and artistic impression utilizing judges score sheets specifically designed for the Freestyle. Transitional maneuvers and other maneuvers not specified as reining maneuvers will be evaluated and scored accordingly in a specified box and counted as a single maneuver score. Judges will assess an artistic impression score in the box specified using a -2 to a +2 evaluation.
  • Validating required maneuvers will be the responsibility of the judge. However, at least one scribe will be used to assist in verifying the required maneuvers for each horse as they are completed in the pattern.
  • Show management will reserve the right to rule on music or dress, which may be inappropriate or offensive to the spirit and nature of the show

Section 15 – RANCH RIDING

The Ranch Riding horse should reflect the versatility, attitude, and movement of a working horse. The horse’s performance should simulate a horse riding outside the confines of an arena and that of a working ranch horse.  This class should show the horse’s ability to work at a forward, working speed while under control by the rider. Light contact should be rewarded and horse shall not be shown on a full drape of reins. The overall manners and responsiveness of the horse while performing the maneuver requirements and the horse’s quality of movement are the primary considerations.

  • No horse may cross enter a Western Pleasure and a Ranch Riding class at the same show.
  • For horses three years of age and older.

Class requirements:

  • Each horse will work individually, performing both required and optional maneuvers, and scored on the basis of 0 to 100, with 70 denoting an average performance.
  • The required maneuvers will include the walk, trot, and lope both directions: and the extended trot and extended lope at least one direction; as well as stops, and back.
  • Three optional maneuvers may include a side pass, turns of 360 degrees  or more, change of lead (simple or flying), walk, trot, or lope over a pole(s); or some reasonable combination of maneuvers that would be reasonable for a ranch horse to perform.
  • The maneuvers may be arranged in various combinations with final approval by the judge.
  • The overall cadence and performance of the gaits should be as those described in the AQHA Handbook section GAITS, with an emphasis on forward movement, free-flowing, and ground covering for all gaits. Transitions should be performed where designated, with smoothness and responsiveness.
  • No time limit.

One of the suggested patterns may be used, however a judge may utilize a different pattern as long as all required maneuvers and the three (or more) optional maneuvers are included. Should a judge use one of his/her own patterns, it is recommended to not have the stop following an extended lope.

  • The use of natural logs is encouraged.
  • Posting at the extended trot is acceptable.
  • Touching or holding the saddle horn is acceptable.

Ranch Riding Apparel and Equipment

  • No hoof polish.
  • No braided or banded manes or tail extensions.
  • Trimming inside ears is discouraged.
  • Trimming bridle path is allowed, also trimming of fetlocks or excessive (long) facial hair.
  • Equipment with silver should not count over a good working outfit. Silver on bridles and saddles is discouraged.
  • It is suggested competitors use a breast collar and a rear cinch.

Ranch Riding Penalties. A contestant shall be penalized each time the following occur:

  • One (1) point penalties

Too slow/per gait


Out of frame

Break of gait at walk or jog for 2 strides or less

  • Three (3) point penalties

Break of gait at walk or jog for more than 2 strides

Break of gait at lope

Wrong lead or out of lead

Draped reins

Out of lead or cross-cantering more than two strides when changing leads

Trotting more than three strides when making a simple lead change

Severe disturbance of any obstacle

  • Five (5) point penalties

Blatant disobedience (kick, bite, buck, rear, etc.) for each refusal

  • Placed below horses performing all maneuvers

Eliminates maneuver

Incomplete maneuver

  • Zero (0) score

Illegal equipment including hoof black, braided or banded manes, or tail extensions

Willful abuse

Major disobedience or schooling

  • No specific penalties will be incurred for nicks/hits on logs but deduction may be made in maneuver score.
  • No specific penalties will be incurred for over/under spins but deduction may be made in maneuver score



















If you need a copy of the American Quarter Horse Association rule book, contact the AQHA at:

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Northeastern Nevada Horseman’s Association

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