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  1. Contestants are responsible for determining the eligibility of themselves and their horses to
    enter any class. Any points earned by an ineligible horse or rider will automatically be revoked.

  2. Proof of ownership may be required at any time. A notarized bill of sale or bona fide registration
    papers constitute proof of ownership.

  3. All Gold Country Cutting Horse Association (GCCHA) shows will be judged by both National
    Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) and GCCHA rules. If a conflict arises, GCCHA rules will take
    precedence. All horses are to be judged on performance only.

  4. A horse shall not enter the arena at any GCCHA contest with any abusive gimmick or training
    device, except help horses may use martingales. Futurity horses may use training devices
    during the futurity works. Horses must be ridden with a bridle having a bit in the mouth or with a
    hackamore. A bridle shall have no noseband or bosal and hackamores shall be of rope or
    braided rawhide with no metal parts. A judge must be able to freely pass two fingers between
    the hackamore and muzzle completely around the horse’s nose. Choke ropes, tie downs, wire
    around the horse’s neck, nose, or brow band, tight nose band, quirt, bat or mechanical device
    giving the rider undue control over a horse will not be permitted in the arena. Wire of any kind
    and on any part of the curb device is not permissible.

  5. Any abuse or inhumane treatment of animals on the show grounds will not be permitted.

  6. Western attire is required in the arena, arena warm up area, and practice pen while on horseback. Western attire is encouraged but not required in a warm-up area, which is distinctly separate from the arena. Western attire includes western hats (safety helmets are permitted) and western boots. Riders must wear long-sleeved shirts with collars with buttons or snaps completely down the shirtfront. Sweaters may be worn over an appropriate shirt. Waivers are permitted only per NCHA rules.

  7. A show representative will be appointed by the President to act as a liaison person between the Board of Directors, contestants, cattle supplier and spectators. It shall be his/her responsibility to settle any problems which may occur during the show. If said representative should have to leave before the conclusion of a show, it shall be his/her responsibility to appoint a replacement to carry on his/her duties until the conclusion of that show.

  8. The Board of Directors shall have final say on all matters.

  9. Any comment about the performance of horses working shall not be made within hearing distance of the judge. A contestant shall not talk with the judge(s), beyond the exchange of normal greetings, during a show.

  10. The Board of Directors has the right to disqualify or refuse entry to any contestant for any actions of misconduct, including harassing the judge(s), show management, or employees. 

  11. Judge(s) shall present, in writing, any grievance that he/she may have against contestants to any officer, board director, secretary, or representative of GCCHA. The Board of Directors shall review the grievance. The Board may enforce penalties, as it deems suitable.

  12. All complaints must be made in writing by contestants and must be filed with a $15.00 non-refundable fee, within one (1) week of the show involved. Such complaints will be reviewed by the Board of Directors and a decision rendered.

  13. The show representative shall cancel any class that does not have two (2) or more horses entered, except Youth classes. Cancelled classes may be combined with another class and cattle from that class added to make a sizeable herd. When classes are combined, the entire combined class will be drawn in a single draw.

  14. Once a horse is in the draw, no money will be refunded. If a horse is scratched before the draw, the cattle charge will not be refunded.

  15. When time is called, a rider must quit at the earliest possible convenience. Failure to comply will result in a penalty to be determined by the Board of Directors. After the buzzer sounds, the contestant will discontinue working and ride his/her horse forward past the judge’s stand before dismounting.

  16. Both owners and riders must be members of GCCHA to compete. To comply with GCCHA insurance requirements anyone riding or showing a horse on the show grounds must be a member. If ownership is a partnership, only one partner must be a member.

  17. Age of Senior Youth is fourteen (14) through eighteen (18) years of age and Junior Youth is thirteen (13) years of age or under. Age to be ascertained January 1, of that year and carry the entire year.

  18. There will be no alcoholic beverages or controlled substances allowed in the arena, warm up area, or practice pen. However, alcohol consumption in the parking area is contingent on the rules of the owner of the grounds on which the show is being held.

  19. When combining classes, the classes will be drawn separately.

  20. Entry fees shall be set by the Board and published in a timely manner.



Please Note:

The official rules will always be in this linked PDF Document

Distribution of Points

  1. Points will be awarded first through tenth place in all classes at all shows. First place will receive 1 point for each horse in the class with a maximum of 10 points and a minimum of 5 points.  A score of 60 will receive a maximum of 1 point.   No points will be awarded for a score of zero (0).    Points will count in each separate class towards an award for that class only.  Awards will be determined in each class by the number of points earned.  In the event of a tie, points are combined for the places tied and divided equally among them.  When there is a tie for an award, the highest money earned will determine the winner, but if there is still a tie, a coin will be flipped to determine the winner. Under certain circumstances a ride off may used to determine the winner for a saddle in the event of a tie.

  2. A horse/rider must show in at least 50% of a class to qualify for year-end awards. Year-end awards include first through sixth place and Top Ten Horse Awards. Other awards may be established by the Board.


    1. Open – Any horse ridden by any rider.

    2. 5,000 Novice Horse – Any horse not having won more than 5,000 dollars/points. Any rider.

    3. 15,000 Novice Horse – Any horse not having won more than 15,000 dollars/points. Any rider.

    4. 5,000 Novice Non-pro – Any horse not having won more than 5,000 dollars/points being ridden byaNon- Pro.

    5. 15,000 Novice Non-Pro – Any horse not having won more than 15,000 dollars/points being ridden by a Non-Pro.


  1. 35,000 Non-Pro Any Non-Pro rider whose lifetime earnings do not exceed 35,000 dollars/points.

  2. 2,000 Limit Rider – Any rider whose lifetime earnings do not exceed 2,000 dollars/points.

  3. 50,000 Amateur – Open to certain Non-Pro riders per NCHA rules whose lifetime earnings do not exceed 50,000 dollars/points.

  4. 15,000 Amateur – Open to certain Non-Pro riders per NCHA rules whose lifetime earnings do not exceed 15,000 dollars/points.

  5. 500 Limit Rider – Any Non-Pro rider whose lifetime earnings do not exceed 500 dollars/points. (See Rule 31)

  6. Ranch Class – Any Non-Pro rider whose lifetime earnings do not exceed 250 dollars/points riding a horse whose lifetime earnings do not exceed 250 dollars/points. Reining points will be waived.

  7. Youth – Open to youths as defined by GCCHA Rule 17

  8. Never Won A Buckle – Any Non-Pro rider whose lifetime earnings do not exceed 2,000 dollars points and having never won a cutting horse association buckle. One entry per rider.

  9. If more than one class is competing for the same saddle, saddle points will be awarded as follows: If there are at least 6 horses in a class, then 1st place will be given 6 saddle points, 2nd place, 5 saddle points, 4th place 3 saddle points, 5th place, 2 saddle points and 6th place 1 saddle point. If there are less than six horses, points will be adjusted to begin with number of horses in that class and adjusted down from there. For example if there are 4 horses in the class,
    1st place would receive 4 points, 2nd place 3 points and so on.

Distribution of Points

Any horse receiving ROM or equivalent in any breed association may not show below the 3,000 class.


Dollars earned by a horse or rider at any cutting club or association cutting will count as one dollar per point earned towards graduation in GCCHA. A horse’s eligibility to enter novice cutting horse contests or a rider’s eligibility to enter Non-Pro or Amateur cutting horse contests will be based on the lifetime earnings of said horse or Non-Pro on the first day of the year in which the contest is held. Money won in events restricted by age (Futurities, Derbies, Maturities, etc.) shall not be counted when determining eligibility for novice horses.

Any professional as defined by NCHA rules may not show below the 5,000 class.

A Non-Pro in GCCHA is a rider who has not shown, trained, or assisted in training a cutting horse for remuneration or trade per NCHA rules.

All contestants will work at the appointed time designated by the show management. Horses arriving late may be allowed to show and receive a score if the herd drawn into is still in the arena. Under no circumstances will a horse be allowed to show and compete after its designated herd is finished. In all classes in which the points are earned by the rider, any rider that shows more than one horse in a class must declare, before the show, which horse will earn points for that class. This horse will be the only horse that said rider can earn points for that day in that class.

GCCHA horse ownership rules shall conform to NCHA rules except that in the 500 Novice Rider, Never Won a Buckle, and Two-Handed Class the rider need not own the horse.

Riders are required to establish entries on or before the published deadline. Riders will not be allowed to show again until all outstanding fees and/or penalties are paid to GCCHA. Late entries may be accepted after the deadline depending upon the availability of cattle. A $25 late charge may be assessed.

Checks returned by the bank will be assessed a $25 charge and riders may be asked to pay in cash in the future. Members with outstanding checks will not be allowed to show until all assessments are paid.

Vendors attending GGCHA activities will be required to pay a $50 fee per activity. This fee will be waived for buckle or saddle sponsors.

Saddle Rules – For all saddle awards the horse or rider must show in at least one-half of the shows for the points in the eligible class to count toward the saddle. All eligible classes meeting the show minimum are added for the year end point total.

Top Ten Rules – Horse must be shown in at least half the year’s shows in any class, in order for points from that class to count for the Top Ten.

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