It’s nice to be Novice, especially now that AQHA is offering championship-level shows for this division. The AQHA Novice program is available to youth and amateur competitors who have earned fewer than 25 points in the class they are competing in.
The inaugural SmartPak AQHA Western Novice Championship Show in Las Vegas and the Nutrena AQHA Eastern Novice Championship Show in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, will be held October 5-7.
Want to know how to get there?
Three Ways to Qualify for a Novice Championship Show
1. Competitors can qualify by placing in the top 10 at an AQHA regional championship show in a Novice class.
2. Showing at 20 AQHA shows during the qualifying period will complete eligibility. For this option, there is no requirement about where the rider competes geographically.
3. Competitors can qualify through their state or provincial affiliate. For this option, competitors should become familiar with their affiliates’ rules because they vary state to state.
The national qualifying period for the 2012 championships is May 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012.
If a competitor graduated out of a Novice class during 2011, he or she is still eligible to compete at the 2012 Novice championship shows.
Once a competitor is qualified, he or she can go to either the eastern or western show. There is no restriction, but competitors can only show at one championship each year.
If the competitor qualifies nationally, his or her invitation to the Novice championship is not class-specific. Once nationally qualified, competitors can participate in any of the available classes.
Classes at the Championships
The following classes will be available at the 2012 Novice championship shows.
- Halter: yearling, 2-year-old, 3-year-old, aged and performance halter geldings and mares
- Hunt seat equitation
- Western Pleasure
- Hunter under saddle
- Western riding
- Barrel racing
- Pole Bending
- Stake race