Eligibility for Amateurs



Unless otherwise noted in Rule 62, “Amateur” will mean an Amateur and Select Amateur.

62.1 Permit

a) Amateur Permit - for those members of the Association, who are no longer eligible to exhibit in Youth classes, who are not professionals in the horse industry and who ride their horses for the pleasure of competing against other members who are also not professional;

b) Select Amateur Permit – if a person has attained the age of 50 years and provides proof of age, which must be in the form of a copy of a driver’s licence or birth certificate, then an Amateur Permit will be endorsed as to allow them to compete in Select Amateur classes;

c) Person must be a financial member of the Association and hold either an individual Full, Life or Honorary Life membership in their own name;

d)The Amateur Permit Application form must be completed in its entirety and sent to the Association with the correct fees. These Permits are to be renewed annually. NB: You cannot show in an Amateur class until such time as your application for a permit is successful and been processed;

e) The person applying for the Amateur permit must declare the following:

“I have not, in the previous three (3) years from the date of application for my Permit, received remuneration or compensation for: Showing or training any horse or instructed any other person in riding, driving or exhibiting”;

f) Payment by another person for stable and or yard fees, bedding or camping fees will not be considered remuneration if the Amateur reimburses the payee;

g) Prize money or judging fees will not be considered as remuneration;

h) Amateurs may accept Sponsorship in the form of goods only. Exception would be Amateurs fundraising for a sanctioned Australian Quarter Horse Association event. NB: If you are a Judge with the AQHA you cannot hold an Amateur Permit with the AmQHA.

62.2 Owning the horse

a) An Amateur can only exhibit a horse owned by themselves or their immediate family in any class, this is any class, any discipline.

b) Separate legal entities, such as family corporations, trusts or partnerships, are also authorised owners of the Amateur exhibitor’s horse so long as all legal and equitable owners and beneficiaries of the legal entity are individuals specifically authorised by this rule;

c) Immediate family – Spouse, de facto partner, parents, child of the family, grandparents, brother(s), sister(s);

d) Horses owned in partnership or jointly with any person other than the persons immediate family, do not fulfil the ownership requirements for Amateur;

e) Ownership of horses exhibited by the Amateur must be evidenced by the records of the Association.

62.3 Showing

62.3.1 Combining classes - Amateur divisions and Select Amateur, of the same discipline, can be combined at the direction of the Judge and Show Manager, only when there are two (2) or less entries in one or more divisions. A combined class can only have one set of results.

62.3.2 Concurrent classes – That two (2) classes, of the same discipline, can be run concurrently and the Judge and Show Manager will make this decision. The Judges results will determine the placings for both the classes.

62.3.3 Exhibiting

a) No horse can be shown by more than one competitor in any class;

b) Amateur may exhibit two (2) horses in individually judged classes:

c) An Amateur can ride a horse in an Amateur class and another Amateur can ride this same horse in a different Amateur class, if all rules pertaining to ownership of the horse and age of horse rule applies;

d) Select Amateurs must choose which class they wish to enter at a show, if the show offers Amateur, Select Amateur and Novice Amateur (if eligible see Rule 64) for the same  class;

e) Amateurs can exhibit a different horse in either a Junior Amateur or Senior Amateur class if all rules pertaining to ownership of the horse and age of horse rule applies:

f) Select Amateurs can exhibit a horse in either a Junior Amateur or Senior Amateur class on a different horse to the one they exhibited in Select Amateur classes if all rule spertaining to ownership of the horse and age of horse rule applies;

g) Every person competing in an Amateur class must possess a current Amateur Permit or Select Amateur permit appropriately endorsed by the AQHA or the equivalent issued by their relevant breed organisation. The permit must match the registered breed of horse the Amateur is exhibiting. A permit issued by the HSAA can only be used if the breed Association, recognised by the AQHA, does not issue Amateur permits;

h) Regarding Amateur High Point Award at shows, refer Rule 45.

62.4 Performance Classes for Amateur and Select Amateur refer Rule 46.3.4

62.5 Amateur Halter competition

There are no Select Amateur Halter classes

a) Amateur Halter classes are not compulsory but if held must conform to Rule 46.3.2 for age and sex divisions;

b) In Amateur Halter competition, when an Amateur exhibitor has qualified two (2) or more horses for Champion and Reserve Champion, only another Amateur may assist that exhibitor as long as the Amateur who originally qualified the horses leads one (1) of the horses in the Champion/Reserve class.

62.6 Points

a) Points earned in Select Amateur classes will only count towards Select ROM’s etc., Select Annual High Point Awards and Novice Amateur eligibility;

b) Points earned in Amateur classes will only count towards Amateur ROM’s etc., Amateur Annual High Point Awards and Novice Amateur eligibility;

c) To gain points, AQHA Amateurs can only show under AQHA Amateur Rules.

62.7 For further situations not covered by the Amateur Rules, the rules applying to open classes will apply.

62.8 Youth

Upon application to the Association, a free Amateur Permit is made available to Youth their first year out of Youth if that Youth possesses a financial individual membership in their own name. Youth must meet the criteria in Rule 62.1 to apply for an Amateur Permit.

62.9 Amateur Showing Lease

a) Amateurs can exhibit leased horses;

b) Lease must be for a minimum of six (6) months;

c) The signed lease form, must be lodged with the Association, along with the lease fee and will not come into effect until duly processed by the Association;

d) If a lease is terminated, for any reason, prior to expiry date, notification in writing to the Association, from both the Lessor and the Lessee is required, and the horse cannot be shown in Amateur classes until the original expiry date has been reached. NB: If no notification received by expiry date, the lease will be terminated by the Association;

e) An Amateur showing another relevant breed, can show leased horses providing proof of lease is available and that such leasing is accepted by that relevant breed organisation;

f) International Leases are permissible.

A minimum of a 35 day lease will be made available to International Amateur visitors to Australia that wish to Show in Amateur classes at shows. Rule 62 must be adhered to.

62.10 Ineligibility or breach of Rules

a) If an individual, for any reason, becomes ineligible to have an Amateur Permit, he or she will promptly return their AQHA membership card to the Association for amendment;

b) An individual, who holds an Amateur Permit, will be subject to possible suspension of their Amateur status if they violate any of the Amateur rules;

c) To make a formal complaint against an Amateur, such complaint must be in writing, signed by the complainant and contain the specific facts giving rise to the complaint

62.11 Professional to Amateur

A person wishing to relinquish their professional status with the view to holding Amateur status must inform the Association in writing. From the date of receipt of this notification, three (3) years must pass before an application for Amateur status can be submitted.

62.12 Amateur/Select Exhibitor and Horse Awards may at the discretion of the Association be awarded on the following basis:

a) Register of Merit - twenty (20) or more points in any class, fifteen (15) of which must be “A”;

b) Superior Register of Merit - fifty (50) or more points in any class, twenty five (25) of which must be “A”;

c) Champion - three (3) Registers of Merit in three (3) different classes

d) Versatility Award - Register of Merit in five (5) different classes

e) Bronze Century Award - 100 points and a minimum of 75 being "A" points

f) Silver Century Award - 200 points and a minimum of 150being  "A" points

g) Gold Century Award - 300 points and a minimum of 225 being "A" points


If you have gained Novice Amateur points and you relinquish your Amateur or Select Amateur Permit, and then reapply for Amateur or Select Amateur status in the future, then the Points you had gained previously will be brought forward.

How To Become An Amateur

Step 1: Refer to the Requirements above to check your eligibility

Step 2: Complete and sign an Application for Amateur/Select Amateur Permit and must be renewed annually Membership Forms 

Step 3: Please note that the AQHA Membership year runs from August 1 - July 31

Step 4: Novice Amateur applications available at Membership Forms and must be renewed annually

Step 5: Send the fully completed Application to the AQHA via email, fax or post.