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Association Rules 
Amended - 2023

Neither Spartanburg Horseman’s Association nor Croft State Park is responsible for accident or injury. Disclaimer:  In unforeseen circumstances, the current officers and Board Members reserve the right to temporarily amend the SHA rules to proceed as deemed necessary.


  • MEMBERSHIP - All exhibitors must be current members of Spartanburg Horseman’s Association subject to the conditions of Article III, Section 2 of the Bylaws.  Additionally, if an application is denied or a member expelled under the conditions of the Bylaws, all points earned shall be forfeited.  A current membership list shall be in the secretary booth at each show.  This is the responsibility of the membership chairperson.  Memberships expire on Dec 31 each show year.


  • AGE - Age as of January 1 of current show year determines age for classes.  NO CROSS ENTRIES allowed between age groups.  Exhibitor can move up to next age bracket but cannot move back down.

                                                                                   Pee Wee:          12 years or under

                                                                                   Youth:             13 to 18 years of age

                                                                                   Adult:              19 years or older

  • RULES: All English, Western and In Hand classes follow American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) rules; Gaited and Jumper classes will follow USEF, Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association (TWHBEA) and the American Racking Horse Breeders Association (ARHBA) rules; Western timed events will follow National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) rules.  If any of these rules conflict with SHA rules, SHA rules will prevail. Each member is responsible for reviewing the SHA Rules and Bylaws and familiarizing themselves with them.  Rule Books are available at the show booth and on the website. For a complete list of Rules and Bylaws please refer to SHA Rule Book. Patterns will be determined prior to the start of the show season and each month’s pattern set will be made available prior to each show.  All patterns are approved by the Board.


  • ATTIRE & EQUIPMENT - Proper attire and equipment is required for showing.  It is the responsibility of each exhibitor to know what proper attire and equipment is for his/her style of showing.  Refer to the appropriate Rulebook(s).  SHA does allow any horse of any age, competing in a western class to be shown 2 handed with a Snaffle Bit. Exhibitors may not show two handed in a shank bit (unless gaited). Judge or show officials will deduct points, disqualify, or excuse an exhibitor for improper attire and/or equipment.  No shorts, cutoffs, halter-tops, tank tops, tennis shoes, etc. will be allowed. Minimum cap sleeve shirts required.  Any SHA member has the right to protest illegal equipment or actions.  Protests must be filed, in writing, with a $25.00 deposit within 10 days after the show to the President.  The next official Board meeting will evaluate the protest.  If the finding favors the Protestor, the deposit will be refunded and any alterations to the points made.  If the protest was determined unjustified, the $25.00 will be kept by SHA.


  • ENTRIES & SCRATCHES - Horse and Rider Combination must use the same back number for each class. A horse and Rider Combination competing for year-end awards must maintain the same back number throughout the entire show season.  Entries and scratches are required at least one class prior to the class you are entering.  Scratches receive a refund $2 less than the entry fee paid if the show secretary is notified one class in advance. No entry or refund once class has started.  We adhere to a one-minute gate call.  No refund will be given if the exhibitor fails to make the gate call for class.  Request for tack changes must be made two classes in advance, notify show booth of any such requests. Because of time limits imposed by Croft Park, this must be strictly enforced.


  • SPORTMANSHIP - Good Sportsmanship will always prevail and is encouraged. Unnecessary roughness, discourteous acts or behavior will dismiss exhibitor from further competition in show.  We do not tolerate abuse to any horse or person.  If an exhibitor’s family or friends are discourteous towards show officials, exhibitor will be dismissed from any further competition for that show and possible loss of points.  We encourage open communication with our board and appreciate any feedback from concerns.  Slanderous speech and disparaging remarks (to include Social Media) could result in dismissal from SHA showing for the remainder of the show season.


  • LAMENESS OR INJURY - Horses exhibiting lameness or injury may result in disqualification at judge or show official’s discretion.  


  • COGGINS - South Carolina State Law requires that each horse show an original or valid copy for proof of Negative Coggin’s Test (test performed within the last 12 months).  These are checked at the show booth.


  • GREEN HORSE/GREEN RIDER - is defined as a horse or rider in their first year of showing.  SHA rules will still consider a Horse or Rider as Green if they have been shown no more than three times the previous year.


  • NO CROSS ENTRY in Ranch and Western Pleasure classes.  Go as You Please classes are open to riders in either Division.  Go as You Please: Pleasure class to be shown in both directions at the walk and “go as you please”.  Horse is judged on manners, way of going and responsiveness.


  • TIMED EVENTS - Open Barrels and Poles are payback Jackpot classes – $10 entry fee to run for points, $20 entry fee to run for points and payback for the top 4 placings.  All timed events (speed events and jumpers) will use digital or electronic timers for scoring.  The time will be transmitted to and announced by the announcer after each contestant completes the pattern.  If digital or electronic timers cannot be used, two (2) stop watches will be used and the times averaged.

    • Pole Bending: Pattern is set 21 feet from the timer and 21 feet from each pole. Texas Barrels shall be set at 30 feet apart

    • Reruns allowed only in case of timer failure

    • A knockdown of a barrel or pole (in pole bending) will incur a 5 second penalty per pole/barrel, but not a disqualification. 

    • A knockdown of a pole or obstacle (in jumpers) will incur a 4 second penalty per pole or obstacle.


  • PAYMENT - SHA accepts cash or check as forms of payment.  No held or open checks will be accepted during a show. If you write a bad check to SHA, you will forfeit your points for that month and will be responsible for paying the outstanding fees and penalties before you can enter another show.


  • SHOW MANAGEMENT - Only exhibitors, show officials and volunteers are allowed in the show ring.  The ring steward will be an SHA member, or someone approved by the Board of Directors. Only show officials are allowed in the booth.


  • SHOWS - There will be ten (10) SHA shows a year.  They will be held on the third (3rd) Saturday of each month, February through November.   No show will be held in January or December, unless deemed necessary by the Board.  The show may be postponed in the event of extremely inclement weather.  The President has the discretion to reschedule the show.  If cancelled, the park superintendent will be notified by 6:30am on the day of the show and information will be posted on the SHA website, Social Media outlets and time permitting, an email notification will be sent to those who receive the emailed newsletter.  The Treasurer has the authority to pay up to one hundred ($100.00) dollars traveling expenses to the judge of a cancelled show.

  • STALLIONS - No Individual under 18 years of age may exhibit a stallion in any class.  A stallion is any male horse that is not gelded, regardless of age. 

  • JUDGES: The Judge’s decision is Final.  There shall be NO discussion of the show placement results with the judge by anyone other than the show officials during the show.  If an exhibitor would like to discuss the results of a class, the exhibitor shall request that an Officer or Board member request that the Judge talk with him/her at the judge’s convenience.  The Board of Directors will approve the Judge’s list each year. A judge may judge only one (1) monthly show per calendar year, unless deemed necessary by the Board.

  • AWARDS: Ribbons are awarded for 1st-6th place in each class.  To be eligible for year end awards, a horse and rider combination must be shown at least 5 times in that class during the year.  The name of the horse must not be changed during the year.  If a horse's name is changed the points will not apply. A horse and rider combination competing for year end awards must use the same back number. Year end award ties will be broken in the following manner: 

                                        A. Shown against the greatest number of horses in that class

                                        B. Shown in the most shows - same class

                                        C. Consistency of winning over the horse tied with 

                                         D. Shown in the greatest number of classes 

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