Stock Horse of Texas Rule Changes
Texas organization adjusts rules for 2018.
January 8, 2018
Last month, the Stock Horse of Texas Board of Directors approved rule changes for the 2018
competition year. Significant changes include rules in the Open division, altering the format of the
Limited, Junior and Intermediate cow work class, and the collegiate year end awards calculations.
SHTX members are encouraged to become familiar with these changes.
Open Level 1 (L1) Division
Responding to several requests for a division for riders who do not meet the definition of a non pro
but have very limited showing experience, the Board created the Open Level 1 Division. “This was
created for people who start colts, might get paid to ride ranch horses they don’t own, or maybe
they’ve given some lessons, but they are not experienced professional trainers,” said SHTX
President William Lewis. “These riders by definition are not non pros, but they don’t compete and
show against professional trainers on a regular basis. Now they have the opportunity to get show
experience without competing against mainstream open riders.”
Open L1 riders cannot have combined earnings of $5,000 in any western performance organization.
The new division will run concurrent with the Open and will be a jackpot-only division. It will not
have year-end awards or added money. However, Level 1 riders can enter both the L1 and the Open
by paying L1 entry and jackpot fees, as well as the Open jackpot fee. Riders also entering the Open
will be eligible for Open year-end awards.
Open Year End Awards
In accordance with industry standards of Open competition, the 2018 year end awards in the Open
division will track points on the horse only, not the horse and rider. All other SHTX divisions will
remain one horse/one rider to track year end points.
Limited, Intermediate & Junior Cow Work
For the last two years, SHTX officers and staff have worked in conjunction with judges as well as
AQHA staff to modify the box-drive-box format of the Limited, Intermediate and Junior Cow Work
(and AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse limited cow work) classes.
“When we started this class, it was intended to be a step-up class for riders coming from the boxing, and possibly preparing them to advance to a fence class if they chose. The idea was to teach riders how to box, read a cow and set up the cow to drive down the fence,” Lewis said, with a time limit to accomplish the tasks.
“However, as the class evolved it became more of a time management class. Riders knew it was
harder to hold the cow on the far end, and would make their decision to drive down the fence based
on the clock instead of reading when the cow was honoring their horse and ready to drive down the
fence. We worked with several top cow horse judges who suggested we change the format of this
class to get back to its purpose – teaching riders to read their cows and drive down the fence based
on the cow, not a clock.”
Riders will have 1 minute, 30 seconds to box a cow, drive down the fence, box on the opposite end,
and then drive the cow back down the fence, past the middle marker. Riders do not need to work
the entire allotted 1 minute, 30 seconds. Once they have fulfilled the requirements of the class, a
judge will blow the whistle signifying completion of the run.
Collegiate Year End Awards
To be eligible for year end collegiate awards, collegiate riders must attend at least 75% of the
shows during the collegiate academic year (when class is in session during the spring/fall), or at
least 50 percent of the total shows in a competition year.
Other minor changes were approved regarding various classes or divisions. All changes are
underlined in the 2018 rule book, which is available at stockhorsetexas.org. Printed rule books will
be available to pick up in person at SHTX events.
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