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Rule Book


The WCHA was founded to promote cutting as a sport for the entire family, and encourage riders of all levels to become involved in the showing of cutting horses in a fun, and family friendly environment. If you just became a member, or you are interested in joining the quickest-growing cutting horse association, check out our full rule book. The WCHA provides a competitive but welcoming environment for anyone to come show!

Membership Fees: $35 for Regular Memberships ~ $15 for Youth Memberships

Open Riders
Open riders receive direct or indirect remuneration for the training of cutting or cow horses, and/or cutting or cow horse riders. Open riders may show unlimited entries in any open or novice class. Owners and riders must be WCHA members.

Non Pros/Amateurs
Eligibility is based on all total lifetime earnings. Must not receive direct or indirect remuneration or any other considerations for the training of a cutting or cow horse, nor the training of a cutting or cow horse rider. Non Pro/Amateur status is solely based on money won by the rider, not who the rider is married to or lives with. Non Pro/Amateur riders may show two horses in a single class.

Novice Horse Classes
Eligibility is based on the horse’s earnings in weekend events, LAE earnings will not count towards the horse’s eligibility in a novice horse class. Owners and riders must be WCHA members. Open riders may show unlimited entries in the novice horse classes. Non Pro riders may show two entries in the Novice Non Pro class.

Youth Riders
Youth riders may show one horse per day in the youth class. A youth rider may show multiple horses throughout the show season. Standings are based on the rider’s earnings for the year. Owners and riders must be WCHA members.

$2,000 Amateur

Eligibility is on the rider, they must have less than $2,000 in lifetime earnings. A $2,000 Amateur rider may show a horse that is owned by someone else. The rider may work for a trainer, but cannot be an assistant trainer. Standings are based on the rider’s earnings for the year.

Amateur Herd Work

The Amateur Herd Work class is designed for the beginner/ novice cutters who have not won in excess of $6,000 in lifetime earnings with NCHA, NRCHA or other cutting horse affiliates. Horse’s earnings do not affect eligibility in the Amateur Herd Work class. Riders in the Amateur Herd Work do not have to own the horse they are riding.

Open Herd Work
The Open Herd Work class is open to any rider/horse regardless of Lifetime Earnings. Both the Herd Work classes can be run as stand alone classes or combined depending on the number of entries. Min. 3 entries to make a class. Riders are permitted to rein their horse and will be judged on their cuts and run content. Credit is awarded for riders showing the ability to help their horse in a quiet manner while controlling the cow in a positive working position. Judging is based on same basic rules for “cutting” with the following exceptions: NO 1 point penalty deductions for “MISSES” (A) & (a), “REINING” (B) or “HOLDING ON TOO LONG” (E) – NO 3 point penalty deduction for “SECOND HAND ON THE REINS” (C) – All other 1 point & Major 3 & 5 point penalties apply as normal – Judges will use Run Content to award or deduct points and award a score. – The contestant should approach the herd with no hesitation or reluctance on the part of the horse and enter the herd sufficiently deep enough to show his/her ability to drive and separate a cow from the herd. – Credit will be awarded for driving cattle a sufficient distance from the herd and setting up the cow in a working position near the center of the arena. – Credit will be awarded for degree of difficulty, eye appeal, amount of courage and working time.

Standings are based on the rider’s earnings for the year end awards in the $2,000 amateur and in the youth class, all other classes year end standings are based on the horse’s earnings.

You must show each day at the WCHA finals that your class is offered to
receive awards for year end standings.

Classes must have made a minimum of 80% of the year to be eligible for year end awards. A contestant must attend at least three WCHA sanctioned shows in a show season to qualify for the WCHA Finals.

No contestant, WCHA member, or any other person in attendance of a WCHA show shall engage in any form of misconduct, verbal harassment or physical aggression toward show management, judges, or fellow contestants.

The WCHA reserves the rights to amend rules throughout the show season.

**Lifetime earnings may be found at Equistat