Quantcast
<em>Journal</em>

Novice Level

AQHA explains Novice eligibility under the new leveling program.

American Quarter Horse Association
March 13, 2013

Pre-Denver Quarter Horse show at National Western

Find your level eligibility and view the 2013 level point ranges at www.aqha.com/leveling. (Journal photo)

Editor's note: Effective April 3, 2013, the Intermediate and Progressive levels of the new leveling program will be temporarily postponed until the launch of AQHA's database upgrade. Learn more about the database upgrade.  

To create a new handicapping system that benefits both AQHA members and American Quarter Horses, changes to long-standing programs, such as Novice, were necessary. Known as the AQHA leveling program, the new handicapping system ensures that horses and exhibitors compete against individuals of similar abilities.

Novice is designed as the beginner level for exhibitors in youth, amateur and Select amateur classes, plus cattle and halter events. The hierarchy of exhibitor levels is as follows: Rookie, the true introductory level; Novice; Intermediate; and Open. View the levels figured by horse record at www.aqha.com/leveling.

Eligibility in a Novice class is determined by two things:

  • Points earned in that particular class in the past three years
  • Specific conditions regarding a rider’s achievements in the previous three years

“The Novice level has been revamped,” said AQHA Executive Director of Shows Patti Carter-Pratt. “Under the previous AQHA competition system, known as the legacy system, Novice eligibility was based on lifetime achievements. With the new leveling program, Novice eligibility is now determined by the exhibitor’s record from the past three years.”
 
While the leveling program is designed to benefit horses and exhibitors competing at the level for which they are eligible, horses and exhibitors always have the option to show up a level or two. However, they may not show down a level.

Determining Eligibility


To compete in a Novice class, the exhibitor must hold a Novice amateur or Novice youth membership card. Rule SHW245 in the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations states the guidelines of Novice eligibility.

For three years immediately previous to application for Novice eligibility in a particular class, an individual may not have:

  • Earned a Superior award for that particular class in any equine organization or association with a membership of more than 7,500 members
  • Won a world, reserve world, national or reserve national championship title for that particular class in any equine organization or association with a membership of more than 7,500 members
  • Won an international or international reserve title for that particular class in the European Championships or German Championships, regardless of whether the international class in question was an AQHA-approved class
  • Won a championship title for that particular class at an AQHA Novice championship show 
  • Won a total of $5,000 in cash and prizes for that particular class with any equine organization or association
  • Been an accredited horse show judge

The number of points earned by an exhibitor in the past three years is the other factor in Novice-level eligibility. The Novice eligibility point caps can be found at www.aqha.com/leveling.

“In the past, when an exhibitor earned 25 points, he or she pointed out of Novice,” Carter-Pratt said. “That isn’t necessarily the case anymore. The Novice-level point range is now calculated on a class-by-class basis.”

How Point Ranges Work

Level point ranges are based on the cumulative points earned during the previous three years as of November 1 of that year. To figure the next year’s levels, all points earned by all horses and all exhibitors in each class at all AQHA shows in the past three years are tabulated.  
 
From there, commonly used statistical measurements – such as means and standard deviations – are applied to point-earning horses and exhibitors. The result is an objective handicapping system that assigns exhibitors and horses to competition levels.

To figure an exhibitor’s eligibility to compete at the Novice level, points earned in all levels in the past three years are tabulated – this means that points earned in Novice, Intermediate, Progressive and all Open-level classes are added together.  
The Novice-level point range is up to 25 points or the 90th percentile, whichever is highest.

Find your level eligibility and view the 2013 level point ranges at www.aqha.com/leveling.
 
AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHAnews on Twitter, watch the AQHA Newscast and visit www.aqha.com/news.