NRCHA Clarifies Non-Pro Limited Eligibility Rules

Effective in 2014, the National Reined Cow Horse Association implemented new eligibility language for its boxing division classes.

From the National Reined Cow Horse Association

Effective in 2014, the National Reined Cow Horse Association implemented new eligibility language for the non-pro limited, $5,000 non-pro limited and youth limited (boxing) divisions.  It amended the previous "three fence runs and out" rule, which rendered limited riders ineligible for those divisions if they made three fence runs in judged competition.  

The current eligibility rule is based on earnings, not a specific number of fence runs. Non-pro limited, $5,000 non-pro limited and youth limited-eligible riders may compete in both the boxing and the fence work classes until their fence work earnings pass the $750 mark. According to the rule in the official NRCHA Rulebook (see below), "Riders shall be ineligible for the class upon the meeting the earnings limitation." 

The NRCHA office has received some questions about what it means to meet the earnings limitation during the show year in progress. Here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions about non-pro limited eligibility as it pertains to the fence work.

Q: I was eligible for the boxing and the fence work classes at a NRCHA show, so I entered both. The show lasts three days. I passed the $750 fence work earnings limit on Friday. Can I still show in the boxing on Saturday and Sunday?
A: Yes. If a rider earns more than $750 down the fence during an NRCHA-approved event in progress, he/she may finish out that show in both the boxing and the fence classes.
 
Q: I had zero earnings down the fence at the beginning of the show year. I won $800 in a fence work class in May. Can I still show in the boxing and the fence work classes for the rest of the show season?
A: No. After a rider passes the $750 earnings limit, the grace period for showing in both divisions only applies to the event at which he/she passed the earnings limit. After that event, the rider is not eligible for the boxing divisions any longer.

Q: I qualified for the NRCHA Celebration of Champions in both the boxing and the fence work. Can I show in both? 
A: Yes, a properly-qualified rider may compete for a NRCHA world championship in both the boxing and the fence work as long as he/she does not pass the $750 fence work earnings limit before the Celebration of Champions. If a rider passes the earnings limit before the Celebration of Champions, even if he/she has already received an invitation to compete, his/her eligibility to compete for a world championship in the boxing division(s) will be revoked. 
 
Q: I am going to the NRCHA Celebration of Champions in both the boxing and the fence work divisions. My fence work earnings are under $750. What happens if my earnings in the World Championship fence work classes break the $750 mark before I show in the boxing World Championship class? 
A: A rider in this situation may still compete in the non-pro limited (and/or $5,000 non-pro limited, and/or youth limited) world championship at the Celebration of Champions. Refer to the first question in this list of FAQ – If a rider earns more than $750 down the fence during an NRCHA-approved event in progress, he/she may finish out that show in both the boxing and the fence classes. 
 
The NRCHA office staff is available to answer questions about all eligibility issues: 940-488-1500.
 
From the 2015 NRCHA Rule Book, p. 22:
3.8 Non-Pro Limited, $5,000 Non-Pro Limited and Youth Limited Classes – work to consist of reining pattern and single cow work (boxing) on the end of the arena. Each contestant upon receiving a cow in the arena shall hold that cow on the prescribed end of the arena for 50 seconds, demonstrating the ability of the horse and rider to control the cow. Time shall begin when the gate closes behind the cow after being let into the arena. The announcer or judge will signal the completion of the 50 seconds with a whistle or horn. Horses 5 years of age and under as of January 1st of current show year may be shown in either a snaffle bit or hackamore. Horses of any age may be shown in the two rein equipment (for one year only) or bridle. Riders cannot have earned more than $750 in fence work classes at any judged classes or events with the exception of horse sales. Riders shall be ineligible for the class upon the meeting the earnings limitation. The responsibility for eligibility lies with the competitor. If an individual feels a competitor is not eligible for a class, the burden of proof lies with the person who protests. 
 
Download a PDF of the 2015 NRCHA Rulebook.