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  1. Each member club may have three voting delegates (one of which will be a junior club representative). See NISCA BYLAWS for specific voting privileges.
  2. One dollar ($1.00) of each approved class entry will be sent with the show results for the year-end awards.
  3. Individual shows may have more class offerings than just NISCA approved classes, but only approved classes will receive credit for high point awards. All approved NISCA classes must be offered.
  4. Only under extreme weather conditions will a rain date be allowed. The Member Club’s official shall contact an Executive Officer and a representative of each NISCA club. This may be done via text, messenger or phone call; as long as each attempt is verified back to the hosting official to ensure the message is received. The Executive Officers shall post on the NISCA website and Facebook account. Members are responsible for monitoring the website and Facebook for notices.
  5. Each saddle club is responsible for knowing NISCA Rules and Regulations, and Bylaws.
  6. A legible copy of the placings and times, judge’s cards and payment will be provided to a Point Secretary the day of the show if possible. If not, these must be mailed within seven (7) days following the show. Failure to submit in this time will result in a $25 fine to be paid to NISCA.
  7. All clubs must follow the same procedure for numbering the horses and riders. Each horse/rider combination must have a number. Each horse and rider combination is charged an office fee, which is to be stated on the show bill and retained by the member saddle club.
  8. Point standings will be available after the third show. Exhibitors will be responsible for checking the points and filing any grievance within one week. Points are posted on, the NISCA website.
  9. Permanent registration cards for POAs will be accepted regarding height measurement. Otherwise, height for Pony Halter is defined as under 57 inches. If there are questions, they are to be resolved at the pony’s first show of the season, prior to the Halter classes. An Executive Officer or the show judge will measure the pony on a hard surface. For that show season, the animal will remain in the same class, Horse or Pony Halter. Cards or measurement information will be provided to at least one Point Secretary day of show.
  10. Conduct: NISCA Rules and show policies are intended for safety and enjoyment of all exhibitors, equines and spectators. Courtesy and good sportsmanship is expected in the show pen, ring-side and throughout the Event Facility. Acts of unacceptable conduct, or rule infractions, by the exhibitors or spectators, shall be brought to the attention of any member of the Grievance Committee (Rule 12) immediately. Show Management and the NISCA Board will work together to resolve the issue in a fair and timely manner.
  11. Priority of rules and regulations will apply as follows:

a.) NISCA b.) Show Committee c.) AQHA d.) Judge

  1. Grievance Process:
    Grievance Committee: NISCA President, NISCA Vice President and a Rep of Member Club. Each club shall list their Rep for Grievances on the show bill to be handled at show if possible; with follow up later if needed.

    For issues not resolved on the show day, NISCA’s Grievance process shall be used. Formal complaints must be by signed letter and accompanied with a $10 fee. Letters must be submitted to a Grievance Committee member within two days of the date of incident. The letter must include date and location of Show, and a detailed account of the situation in question. The Grievance Committee will review and vote, with a quorum necessary. The ruling will be final and the Complainant will be notified of the outcome before the next show. If the complaint is verified, the grievance fee will be refunded: if the complaint is unfounded, the fee will be deposited in the NISCA treasury. Class points will be adjusted as necessary.
  2. Each member club will be required to pay back according to the pay back schedule approved by the Executive Committee and the Board. This is the minimum pay back required. Entry fees for additional and Jackpot classes are determined by individual member clubs.
    Exhibitors must be signed up for a class or scratched at least two classes prior to the class they will show in. It will be up to each club if they choose to enforce this or not.
  3. In the case of a rescheduled show due to weather, new entrants will be allowed. If the class was in process, the whole class will be started again.


  1. A judge must live 50 miles from the site of the NISCA show and outside of the NISCA radius. The same club cannot use a judge two consecutive years.
  2. A judge can judge only one NISCA pointed show during the current show season.
  3. Judges must be familiar with the NISCA Rules and Regulations. The hosting club is responsible for sending the NISCA book to the judge.
  4. No one person can participate in the NISCA point show prior to judging of a NISCA show during the same year.
  5. The judge’s decision is final in any class placing.
  6. The judge no longer has to be present through the game classes.
  7. The judge needs to record eight (8) placings.


  • There will be a one-time nomination fee of thirty dollars ($25.00) per horse/rider (exhibitor) combination for the year. This is for each combination of horse/rider (exhibitor). Numbers will be laminated and assigned; same number will be used all year.
  • After the first show, each nominating person shall be a member in good standing of one of the member saddle clubs. Failure to join a member Saddle Club will result in forfeiture of points.
  • To be eligible to compete for year-end awards, each horse/rider (exhibitor) must be nominated and have shown in that class at least half the scheduled shows. We will round up in years where there are an odd number of shows.
  • A horse cannot compete against itself in the same class, but may be shown in more than one age group. This rule is waived for 8 and under classes performed one rider at a time.
  • Horse’s age is as of the current year.
  • Rider’s age for the show season is actual age as of January 1.
  • Anyone is able to nominate as many horses in the same or like events as they want to have the same rider.
  • A horse shall be entered in each NISCA show under the SAME NAME AS STATED ON THE NOMINATION PAPERS.
  • In the event of the death of a nominated horse of the horse/rider combination any time before the second show of the season, the points and nominated number can be transferred to a different horse. Once the second show of the season starts there will be no transfer of points or nominated number.


  1. The Point Secretaries will compile and verify individual points of nominated horse/rider combinations based on materials provided by the Member Clubs. All show results are final per judge’s cards and times provided by the show secretary unless amended by the Grievance Committee. Nominated riders may seek clarification of posted results from the Point Secretaries.
  2. Points awarded in each approved class pertain to the number of entries. 1st place = 8 points, 2nd place = 7 points, 3rd place = 6 points, 4th place = 5 points, 5th place = 4 points, 6th place = 3 points, 7th place = 2 points, 8th place = 1 point. If there are less than 8 entries per class, points will be awarded as entries in class.
  3. If an un-nominated horse places, that placing will not receive points. Other placings receive only face value for their positions as stated above.
  4. Points will be official after either Point Secretary received the nomination form. Points won that day will count if the nomination form is turned in before the end of the show, but no points will be given retroactively beyond that point.


  1. One dollar is deducted from every entry fee and will go towards the purchase of high point/year end awards.
  2. There will be four placings given per class at the Year End Awards Banquet.


  1. Unruly horses or participants that endanger themselves and others will be expelled from the show grounds by the NISCA Executive Board and/ or Grievance Committee.
  2. Stallions are prohibited in all youth classes.
  3. When the show starts with Halter, breaks are to be held prior to Leadline (for pleasure/ranch horses) and Timed Events (for speed horses). When the show starts with Timed Events, the break is prior to Leadline. As guidance only, show management should announce breaks of preferably 30 minutes, with shorter breaks possible during poor weather, in large arenas or for small shows. English riders may need a short break for tack changes. Prior to Leadline, it is preferred that adults are given the first portion of the time, and youth are allowed a separate warm-up, with both groups announced to travel in a single direction, and then reverse.
  4. Unsportsman-like conduct or abuse of the horse will not be tolerated. Anyone wanting to report an incident will need to contact the Grievance Committee.
  5. No bareback riding in timed events.
  6. All arenas are required to be free of debris and rocks. The NISCA Board reserves the right to inspect and refuse the use of an arena for a show if conditions are not suitable and safe for our event.
  7. During games there will be a minimum of a 30’ visible radius of the entry gate for next 2 entries only. All other contestants should stay behind that line. Management should maintain a spray-painted line.
  8. Leader on foot or mounted may assist the rider for entrance purpose only. This does not apply to 8 & Under Division classes with a leader.


  1. Participants are to wear appropriate equestrian attire and boots for points to count.

  1. Appropriate attire for Judged events is identified as: long-sleeved, collared shirts, western hats/helmets and boots.
  2. Appropriate attire for Games is: collared, buttoned blouse/shirt (long or short sleeved or sleeveless), or the approved NISCA T-shirt. Helmets are optional. Hats are not required.

  1. Nomination points will not count if proper attire is not worn.


  1. A five second penalty will be assessed on each barrel or pole knocked down in those classes.
  2. An orange cone will be placed on the inside of each side of the arena during timed events to designate the time line so that the rider can visually see the line that must be crossed to stop the clock.
  3. In Barrels: the first and second barrels are 21’ from time line and 21’ from rail of arena. The 3rd barrel is set in the middle of the two.
  4. In Pole Bending: the first pole is 21’ from time line and then each pole is 21’ apart with use of 6 poles.
  5. Requirements for Texas Flag Race: The flag will be about 6”x 6” with a round sharp dowel 18” x 5/8”. Barrels will be 55-gallon drums. Pails will be a five-gallon filled with sand to about 3” from the top. These should be placed at the outside edge of the barrel. Flags must be in the pail. A five second penalty will be assessed for faults on the other barrel. No time if either pail is knocked off barrel. If a horseman deliberately hits his/her horse with the flag he/she will be disqualified.
  6. Requirements for Jumping Figure 8: The jump must be a minimum of 10’ and a maximum of 12’ wide using 3” PVC pipe, 15” high with poles at each end. The jump is 21’ from time line. If pole is knocked off the rider is disqualified. The PVC pipe will be put on the ground for the 8 & Under class. The barrels are 21’ apart and there will be a five second penalty for each barrel knocked over. The barrels will be set a minimum of half the distance between the jump and the end of the arena.
  7. Requirements of Keyhole: Using four poles set 4’ apart and 4’ wide. There will be no boundary. Rider is disqualified if a pole is knocked down.
  8. Requirements for Stake Race: Use only a pole (no barrel allowed). Rider is disqualified if pole is knocked down.
  9. There will be no re-ride in timed classes in event of tack failure.
  10. In the case of a tie, there will be a fresh runoff.
  11. In the 8 & Under Timed Classes if the rider chooses to have a leader this will be allowed. The patterns will not be shorter for this.
  12. A game horse cannot compete against itself in the same class, but may be shown in more than one age group. This rule is waived for 8 and under classes performed one rider at a time.
  13. THERE WILL BE NO RUNNING THE GATE. Horses must be controlled until through the gate. This will be enforced and will result in disqualification for the class if violated.
  14. In the case of a timer malfunction, it will be announced as soon as possible to the exhibitor. A re-ride will be given; the rider has a choice of immediately re-riding or being put at the end of the class. This is a true re-ride; no penalties will be carried over, and no credit will be given for a clean original run.
  15. In the case of a horse balking at the gate, the rider must make a reasonable effort to get into the gate within three (3) minutes.


  1. Trail classes of NISCA shows may use additional judges, local judges, at each obstacle if there are 12 or more entries in the class. The official show judge will decide the outcome of ties.
  2. Equitation, Horsemanship, Showmanship and Trail patterns must be posted ½ hour before that portion of show starts. Patterns will be posted to the NISCA website prior to show day. The pattern for Ranch Riding is included in this book.
  3. Any junior horse (5 years old and under) may be ridden two handed with a snaffle bit or bosal.
  4. Ranch Horse Pleasure:
The description of the movement of the horse in this class should be a free flowing stride of reasonable length with the head in a natural position in keeping with the horse’s conformation.

The Walk should be four-beat gait with ground-covering motion. The horse should show a relaxed appearance with a bright and attentive attitude.

The trot should be very comfortable to ride and always performed with a consistent two-beat gait. The horse’s motions should seem effortless. In Ranch Horse Pleasure the trot should be shown at a moderate speed and the judge should call for a ground covering extended trot. Horses may also be asked to reverse the trot at the judge’s discretion, turning away from the rail for any change of direction.

The lope should be performed on the proper lead with a consistent balanced three-beat gait. The horse should have a pleasant expression and be responsive to its rider and may be shown with light bit contact, or none, but not draped reins. Horses will not be reversed at a lope. If the judge requires a hand gallop he/she will call back no more than the top eight horses to complete the class.

Consistency should be recognized, excessive speed or slowness should be penalized in all gaits. Maximum credit should be given to the flowing, balanced and willing horse that gives the appearance of being fit, alert, and a pleasure to ride.

Transitions should be instant and effortless when asked for.

Horses should work both directions on the rail and perform a back of 5 steps.

Ranch Riding (added 2016)

A ranch riding horse should reflect the versatility, attitude and movement of a working horse. The horse should have a pleasant expression and be responsive to its rider and may be shown with light bit contact, or none, but not draped reins.

This class should show the horse’s ability to work at a forward, working speed while under control by the rider.

Each horse will work an individually scored pattern, scored on the basis of 0-100, with 70 denoting an average performance. One of 4 patterns will be used.

Transitions should be instant, smooth and effortless when asked for.

There is no time limit, use of natural logs is encouraged, and posting at the extended trot is acceptable.


One(1) point penalties:

Too slow/per gait


Out of frame

Break of gait at walk or jog for 2 strides or less

Three(3) point penalties:

Break of gait at walk or jog for more than 2 strides

Break of gait at lope

Wrong lead or out of lead

Draped reins

Severe disturbance of any obstacle

Five(5) point penalties:

Blatant disobedience (kick, bite, buck, rear, etc.)

Placed below horses performing all maneuvers:

Eliminates maneuver

Incomplete maneuver

Zero(0) Score

Illegal equipment

Willful abuse

Major disobedience or schooling

No specific penalties will be incurred for nicks/hits on logs, but deduction may be made in maneuver score.

No specific penalties will be incurred for over/under spins, but deduction may be made in maneuver score.