Arizona National Adds NRCHA to the Annual Horse Show

Stephenie Bjorkman and Maxwell prep for their time in the ring for the versatility ranch riding event.


Notice something different about the Arizona National Horse Show this year?

With significant growth since its placement at Westworld of Scottsdale, more competitions have been added to its setlist including an American Quarter Horse Association show and now a National Reined Cow Horse Association show.

The implementation of this additional show gives exhibitors the opportunity to earn points for both organizations in one place.

“It’s really great to be able to come to one show and qualify for more,” Lauren Boychuk, who competes in the versatility ranch riding competition along with fellow horseman Stephenie Bjorkman, said.

Bjorkman shared she believes the combination of the two associations is a big draw especially for those in the versatility ranch riding competition because it allows for more opportunity for horse from all backgrounds to compete.

“It brings people together,” Bjorkman said. “It brings different clubs and disciplines together.” It is an opportunity for riders to qualify for more events such as the Arizona Saddlebred Futurity Horse Show.

Each organization counts points similarly, and all points go toward larger horse events such as the Futurity competition.

A break-down of the basics to tracking points for both events:

NRCHA Point System

  • In a class with five or more horses shown, first place will receive five points for the win plus one point for every horse defeated.
  • Each succeeding place will receive two points less than the place before it. For example if there are 10 horses in class, first place is 14 points, second place is 12 points, third place is 10 points and so forth.
  • In classes having less than five entries, the first place horse will receive points equal to the number of horses shown in the class plus one point for every horse defeated.


AQHA Point System

  • There have to be at least three horses in a class for points to be awarded.
  • In any performance class, points are awarded based on the total number of eligible horses actually judged in that class, whether or not a disqualification took place.
  • For performance classes, horses must be two years or older to earn points.
  • For halter and showmanship classes, horses must be yearlings or older to earn points.
  • Points in the amateur and youth divisions are compiled on a one horse/one amateur or one horse/one youth basis and count toward any award so long as the amateur or youth ownership requirements are met.

Shayla Hyde, a recent Arizona State University alumna, holds a bachelor’s  in journalism and mass communication from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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