*Exceptions can be made for adult riders that have had at least a ten-year break between showing in performance or equitation before returning to Academy.
Riders who have previously shown in western, hunt seat or dressage who are transitioning to the saddleseat discipline are allowed to show at the National Academy, providing they have not shown at the state or national level in their previous discipline.
Walk-trot (WT) Riders are to be judged both ways of the ring at a walk and trot only. RIDERS WHO HAVE CANTERED AT A RECOGNIZED OR UNRECOGNIZED SHOW ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THIS DIVISION. (This follows AHSA ruling p. 236 Art. 2218 sec. 8, under Equitation division.)
Walk/trot/canter (WTC) riders are to be judged both ways of the ring at these gaits.
Alpha classes are open to riders that have moved out of Academy and onto show horses. Riders show in a full riding suit, WTC. These classes give a window of 2 show seasons to compete on their level before moving into more advanced show horse classes. Shows are encouraged to add or change their novice or limit rider classes to Alpha show classes, giving the inexperienced rider more time to compete in the show ring.
Master’s classes are for riders over the age of 50 years old.
Prohibited tack includes: Overchecks, blinkers, or curb-bit or leverage reins through martingales in under-saddle classes.
Pants: To consist of jodhpurs.
Footwear: To consist of paddock or jodhpur boots.
Headgear: ASTM/SEI certified safety helmets are the ONLY acceptable headgear. Riders under 12 are REQUIRED to wear helmets. Older age riders are strongly encouraged to wear helmets, but this will be left up to the discretion of their parents and trainers.
Every rider must qualify in a preliminary class in order to compete for a Championship class. The top 10 ribbon winners from each age group will move on to the Championship rounds. If a class has to be split, only the top 8 from each split will qualify for the Championships.
Junior and Senior Finals will consist of the top 8 ribbon winners from each age group in their respective category. Ten ribbons will be awarded in the Grand Championship finals.