Superintendents: Pat Notter and Gale Wiebers


  • General rules
  • Horse Rules
  • Drug Rules
  • Headgear
  • Classes

General Horse Rules and Requirements:

  1. Please read all General Rules, Livestock Rules, Livestock Health Regulations. FFA members will follow and abide by 4-H Horse rules.
  2. Please see Official Schedule of the Fair for Entry and Judging times
  3. 4-H members are responsible for knowing the specific rules of the show in which they are entered.
  4. 4-H horse members must be properly enrolled as a 4-H or FFA horse project member. Members must have passed Level I written and riding tests to show at the fair.
  5. The horses a 4-H club member intends to show as project animals must be designated/identified by June 1st of the current year.
    1. A horse identification certificate (available at the Extension Office and in the record book) must be on file with the Extension Office. It is recommended that multiple-project horses also have an ID certificate filed under the 4-H member’s name in case of
    2. Horse hardship substitutions at the 4-H horse show can only be a project horse identified by June 1st of the current year.
  6. Registrations are due July 15th of the current year. The horse pre-registered for a class as of the registration date is the animal to be used for that class. The only exception would be illness/injury substitution authorized only by a veterinarian.
  7. The Fair Board has determined horses must remain on the premises for the duration of the fair. Fair Board members are the only ones that can okay an exception to this rule.
  8. Exhibitors must own, lease, or manage the horses they exhibit. Exhibitors must have access to the use of their horse at any time and must provide full care and management for a clear majority of the time, whether the horse is owned or leased.
  9. Exhibitors are expected to keep a 4-H record book on their horse project, attend the required 4-H club meetings, and actively participate in the local club or chapter horse program.
  10. The age of horses will be computed from a common birth date of Jan. 1 for any year of birth.
  11. Stallions over 1 year of age are prohibited in 4-H.
  12. When there is no competition in a class, awards will be at the discretion of the judge.
  13. 13. Awards will be determined by a point accumulation of 1st, 6 points; 2nd, 5 points; etc., with the exception of halter classes.
  14. Premiums: See Livestock Rules.

Show Rules and Requirements:

  1. Judging will proceed as follows: Showmanship, Halter classes, Performance classes, and Gymkhana events.
  2. When on exhibit, each horse must be bridled or haltered and under control by or in the charge of the exhibitor or designated agent.
  3. To be eligible for the Grand Champion All-AroundWestern Horse award, the same horse must be used in all the classes selected for competition for that award. Points for All-Around Western Horse Award will be accumulated in Western riding classes only. The All-Around award includes total points from Showmanship, Halter, Performance and Gymkhana. The lowest Gymkhana score will be dropped.
  4. In the event of a tie for the Grand Champion All-Around Western Horse award, the score for Showmanship will be used as a tie-breaker.
  5. Permission must be requested and received from show management to approach a judge. Under no circumstances may an exhibitor, parent, leader, or spectator badger, insult, or be argumentative with a judge, show secretary, ring steward, or show management. Any flagrant display of poor sportsmanship or affront to any of these by or on behalf of the exhibitor may result in exclusion of the exhibitor from competition and forfeiture of awards or expulsion from the show grounds for the person and/or exhibitor.
  6. The management may, at its discretion, expel any person or persons abusing any horse on the grounds at any time and prize money will be forfeited. In any 4-H class, horses showing signs of undue stress or inhumane treatment must be penalized. Any horse exhibited in a class that has evidence of abuse, a cut or abrasion showing clear evidence of fresh blood in the mouth, nose, chin, shoulder, barrel, flank or hip area, must be considered to be ineligible to receive an award in that class.
  7. Participation of temporarily or permanently handicapped exhibitors shall be decided by the show management or the judge, based upon the safety of the individual and/or other exhibitors.
  8. Judge may penalize for unsoundness. The severity of penalty is at the judge’s discretion.
  9. Riders who do not have their mounts under suitable control will be excused from the ring. Judges and ring officials should interpret this wording to stress safety and courtesy to all riders in the class and to consider a horse as being out of control at any time the rider is unable to manage the animal in the required class routine after a reasonable corrective action. (Judge should be aware of differences in fit of tack).
  10. A contestant who is handicapped during the class by equipment failure or by the horse casting a shoe may be allowed 7 minutes to stop and make repairs. The contestant will then proceed from the point of failure and complete the class. If, in the opinion of the judge, the contestant is able to continue the class in a safe and humane manner, no penalty will be assessed. The judge and/or management of the show will make the final decisions concerning stopping and repair of equipment.
    1. Horse show management should inspect for proper equipment and attire prior to entry into the ring. It is the member’s responsibility to review applicable rules for each class.
    2. A judge or show manager shall have the authority to require the removal or alteration of any piece of equipment which, in his opinion, would tend to give a horse or rider an unfair advantage. Lack of required appointments or inability to alter prohibited equipment will be penalized at the discretion of the judge.
  11. Riders shall not be asked to change horses in mounted classes because of difference in proper fit of tack.
  12. Show management will randomly select and post or draw the order of go for the individual work-off classes such as trail, reining, jumping, western riding, etc.

4-H Horse Drug and Medication Rules:

No horse or pony may be shown in any class if it has been administered, in any manner, a forbidden substance. A forbidden substance is any stimulant, depressant, or local anesthetic which might affect the performance of a horse. (Stimulants and depressants are defined as medications which stimulate or depress the circulatory, respiratory, or central nervous systems.)

Also prohibited are any drugs, regardless of how harmless or innocuous they might be, which by their very nature might mask or screen the presence of the aforementioned prohibited drugs, or prevent or delay testing procedures. The use of these drugs is considered physical abuse and will be enforced through the general rules and requirements of rule number 2.

It is the exhibitor’s responsibility to declare (in written form) any veterinarian’s prescribed medication to show management prior to show’s start.

The full use of modern therapeutic measures, including phenylbutazone for the improvement and protection of the health of the horse, is permitted, unless the treatment may also stimulate or depress the circulatory, respiratory, or central nervous systems.

Protective Headgear Policy:

A certified equestrian helmet with safety harness fastened in place is required in over fences classes, gymkhana events, activities and practice sessions (i.e., timed events not involving livestock). It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian of the 4-H member to see that the headgear worn complies with such standards and is in good condition. The state 4-H office encourages the use of ASTM certified/SEI approved safety helmets in all equine events. Protective headgear may be used in all classes and shall not be discriminated against.

Western Classes

Halter Classes:
 1. Showmanship Senior
 2. Showmanship Intermediate
  3. Showmanship Junior
4. Tiny Tot Showmanship
 5. Foals after Jan. 1, 2015
 6. Mares foaled in 2014
 7. Mares foaled in 2013
 8. Mares foaled in 2012
 9. Mares foaled in 2011
 10. Aged mares
11. Pony Mares 56” and under
12. Champion and Reserve Champion Mare
13. Grand Champion and Reserve Mare Overall
14. Geldings foaled in 2014
15. Geldings foaled in 2013
16. Geldings foaled in 2012
17. Geldings foaled in 2011
18. Aged geldings
19. Champion and Reserve Champion Gelding
20. Pony Gelding 56” and under
21. Grand Champion and Reserve Gelding
22. Tiny Tot Lead Line

Overall Performance Classes:
23. Western Horsemanship Senior
24. Western Horsemanship Intermediate
25. Western Horsemanship Junior
26. Reining Senior
27. Reining Intermediate
28. Reining Junior
29. Trail Senior
30. Trail Intermediate
31. Trail Junior

Gymkhana Events:
32. Goat Tying Senior
 33. Goat Tying Intermediate
 34. Goat Tying Junior
 35. Poles Senior
 36. Poles Intermediate
 37. Poles Junior
 38. Keyhole Senior
 39. Keyhole Intermediate
 40. Keyhole Junior
 41. Barrels Senior
 42. Barrels Intermediate
 43. Barrels Junior
 44. Flags Senior
 45. Flags Intermediate
 46. Flags Junior

English Classes
47. English Riding Control
48. Hunt Seat Equitation