Show Type Terminology
While Cutting competition is the same (horse, rider, cows, 2.5 minutes) - the classes in which they compete are different. Some classes are based on the horse and its earnings, while some are based on the rider and their classification & earnings. Further more, some classes are based on both horse age AND rider classifications / earnings.
When discussing NCHA cutting shows, you'll hear usually hear them referred to as either a "Weekend Event" or an "Aged Event".
Limited Age Events (also called "Aged Events")
Aged Events place a restriction on the AGE of horse on which a rider can compete.
- Futurity classes are for 3 year-old horses
- Derby classes are for 4 year-old horses
- Classic classes are for 5/6 year-old horses
Usually, these 3 age groups are broken into 3 rider groups: Open / Non-Professional / Amateur. From there, those rider groups are broken down into earnings categories like Intermediate or Limited based on rider earnings. Most Aged Events offer a dizzying combination of horse / rider combinations and each show is different. It behooves a rider to make sure they know their eligibility.
The biggest and most lucrative Aged Events are the NCHA Produced Triple Crown Events.
Championship / Weekend Shows
The words Championship and Weekend shows are usually used interchangeably and are focused more on a rider’s ability in mind, regardless of the horses age. Results from classes at approved Weekend shows are tracked for year-end World Standings and National Circuit Program standings. Riders past earnings help to classify their riding ability.
- Open - open to any horse with any rider regardless of either's earnings.
- $25,000 Novice Horse - open to horses with less than $25,000 in earnings regardless of rider earnings.
- $25,000 Novice Horse Non Pro - open to Non-Professional riders on an owned horse that has earned less than $25,000 in earnings.
- $5,000 Novice Horse - open to horses with less than $5,000 in earnings regardless of rider earnings.
- $5,000 Novice Horse Non Pro - open to Non-Professional riders on an owned horse that has earned less than $5,000 in earnings.
- Non-Pro - open to Non-Professionals on any owned horse regardless of either's earnings.
- $35,000 Non-Pro - open to Non-Professional riders on any owned horse who have earned less than $35,000 as a rider.
- $50,000 Amateur - open to Amateur riders on any owned horse who have earned less than $50,000 as a rider.
- $15,000 Amateur - open to Amateur riders on any owned horse who have earned less than $15,000 as a rider.
- $2,000 Limited Rider - open to riders that have earned less than $2,000 on any horse.
- Senior Youth
- Junior Youth