Amateur Division Conditions Approved for Trial Year


For immediate release – January 10, 2020 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Executive Committee recently finalized and approved conditions for a trial phase an amateur division.

For 2020, any producer of an NRHA-approved non pro derby who wants to offer an amateur division that meets the criteria can submit a request for approval to the NRHA office.
The criteria are as follows:

  • To compete in the amateur division, the same horse/rider must be cross-entered into the NRHA-approved non pro derby. The show conditions will govern which level(s) must be entered.
  • There will only be one level of amateur. Added money cannot exceed half of the Level(L) 4 added money.
  • Riders entering the amateur division must be non pros as defined in the NRHA Handbook.
  • Riders must abide by the non pro ownership rules as outlined in the NRHA Handbook.
  • During the test period, this will be classified as a Category 11 class.
  • All other NRHA rules apply.

The following riders are excluded from competing in the amateur division:

  • Youth (as defined by the youth membership requirements in the NRHA Handbook).
  • Legal dependents of professional equine trainers.
    • A legal dependent is defined as being officially claimed as a dependent on a tax return.
  • Spouses or legal partners/mates of professional equine trainers.

o Partner/mate status will only be accepted when the civil status is legally and lawfully registered in the country/state of residence. All relationships must be current and lawful.

  • A “professional equine trainer” is defined as someone who handles the mounted preparation of a horse with the intent to improve the horse’s performance in any equine discipline (as defined in the NRHA Handbook).
  • Anyone who has exceeded NRHA lifetime earnings of $100,000 in Category 2, 6, and 8 as of 12/31/19 or is currently eligible for Level(L) 4 non pro only.

Note: NRHA judges and breeders are eligible to compete in the amateur division if they meet the required criteria listed above.
“We’re glad to be able to provide an opportunity for flexibility in our programs to allow growth in NRHA competition,” remarked NRHA President Mike Hancock. “We’re approaching this trial phase with anticipation that it could grow into something big for the sport of reining. We appreciate the original supporters and backers of this program for their interest in the sport and its expansion.”
An amateur division will be debuting at the 2020 Cactus Classic in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information about how to enter or to check your eligibility, contact the NRHA office at (405) 946-7400 or visit

Founded in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association is a nonprofit association dedicated to promoting and encouraging the development of and public interest in the sport of reining. The focus is on developing and maintaining suitable standards of performance and judging and in providing a fun filled, family-oriented atmosphere. 

Media Contact:
Haley Carmen
Director of Digital Marketing & Communications
National Reining Horse Association
(405) 946-7400 x 102