AQHA competition starts at the Rookie level.
The AQHA Rookie level is the perfect level of competition for beginning competitors or those with few accomplishments.
Rookie classes are offered for exhibitors at all ages and riding levels. These classes are great introduction for riders to the AQHA show scene, as well as a terrific environment for exhibitors to try out a new class.
Who is eligible for Rookie classes?
Rookie-level classes are offered in all three AQHA divisions – open, amateur and youth.
Eligibility for a Rookie class depends on both the horse and the rider’s show records:
- For a horse to be eligible to compete in a Rookie-level class, that horse must have earned fewer than 10 lifetime points in that class in any division excluding Level 1 exhibitor points. (Level 1 exhibitor points, are not recorded on a horse’s performance record; points are recorded on the exhibitor.)
- For an exhibitor to be eligible to compete in a Rookie-level class, that exhibitor must have earned fewer than 10 lifetime points in that class in any division.
- Thus, to compete in a Rookie level class, the horse and rider must each have earned fewer than 10 points in that particular class. (Level 1 amateur/youth points are excluded from the horse's lifetime points.)
- The horse and exhibitor must be Rookie eligible per Rule SHW 252.1.
Open, amateur, Level 1 amateur, youth, Level 1 youth and Rookie-level points all count toward Rookie-level Rookie-level eligibility.
Check Your Rookie Eligibility
Shows Offering Rookie Classes
The AQHA East and West Level 1 championships also offer Rookie championship classes.
Visit aqha.com/shows/level-1/ to see which classes are offered, plus learn how to enter the Rookie classes.
More About Rookie Classes
Upon earning 10 points in a particular class in any division (excluding points earned in Level 1 amateur/youth classes), the horse will be able to compete in that particular class at the Rookie level in any division for the remainder of the calendar year. The owner of the horse will receive a certificate of recognition, similar to a Register of Merit, and the accomplishment will be added to the horse’s show record at the years end.
Also, upon earning 10 points in a particular class in any division, the exhibitor will receive a certificate of recognition, and the accomplishment will be added to the exhibitor’s show record at the years end.
For halter classes, Rookie-level halter classes must be all-ages classes and must be held as stand-alone classes. Rookie-level halter classes are not eligible for grand and reserve awards.
Rookie-level points do not count toward anything other than computing Rookie-level eligibility and recognition.