Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to attend every RPHSA horse show in order to be eligible for year-end awards? 

No. You are eligible for year-end awards if you are a registered RPHSA member and you have attended at least 1 RPHSA show during the calendar year. 

If I show at an RPHSA show, can I join RPHSA at that show so that my points count for year-end awards?  

Yes. You can join RPHSA at any show. Membership for hunter, jumper and dressage are available.  First discipline is $30, adding a second discipline is an additional $10 ($40 total) and all three disciplines are $50.  You must join at the show or prior to the show (postmark date) in order for your points to count. If you decide to join RPHSA after the show you attended, your points from previous shows will not count towards year-end totals. To join RPHSA at a horse show, please complete and submit the registration form and the membership fee to the horse show office.

If I do not join RPHSA but still show at the RPHSA horse show, will I have to pay the $8 non-member fee? 

Yes, an $8 non-member fee is assessed to each rider at each show if the rider is not a member of RPHSA. However, if you want to join RPHSA at that show,  you will not have to pay the non-member fee- you would only pay the RPHSA membership fee and complete the registration form. 

When calculating the year-end awards, is an averaging system used? 

No. There is not an averaging system. 

Is a horse/rider combination allowed to change divisions over the season?  If so, how would that affect the points tabulation for RPHSA division at the end of the season?

Yes. A horse and/or rider can change divisions as long as the rider and horse are both eligible for that particular division. RPHSA points are calculated individually for each division just like other associations do for year-end awards. Unfortunately, it means that points from one division will not transfer to another should a horse/rider change divisions.   

Is there a maximum number of years a rider can participate in RPHSA? For example, I am starting this much older than most & I don't think I have the same aspirations of a younger rider, but it would be nice to compete on our level yet still have a competitive "edge".  

RPHSA does not currently have a maximum number of years a rider can participate in RPHSA. We hope that riders use their discretion and try to use the circuit as a learning opportunity. For example, if a rider is a consistent blue ribbon winner at the RPHSA highest fence height/level for a couple of years, then we would encourage them to move on to nationally recognized levels of competition (ie. USEF,, USHJA, USDF). 

What is the expected attire? Are polo shirts allowed or is a more formal attire such as formal show coats with show shirts preferred? 

RPHSA does not have any specific requirements except heeled boots and a certified ASTM helmet. Anything from polo shirts to hunt coats is acceptable (no sleeveless tops).  Tall boots or paddock boots with 1/2 chaps are also acceptable. It is important that riders do not have to spend money on a full show outfit if it does not fit into their budget.  Braiding is optional but is certainly not discouraged.

When registering for classes at an RPHSA show, do riders need to provide proof of RPHSA membership? How will RPHSA know that the rider is a member in order to ensure that show scores are passed on to RPHSA? 

No, you do not need to provide the Show Office with membership verification. Prior to each show, RPHSA will provide an updated membership list to the horse show management. After each show, the hosting barn will send their results to RPHSA. Then, the points will be calculated for each division for all riders who are registered RPHSA members. You do not need to be an RPHSA member to participate in RPHSA shows. However, if you attend an RPHSA show and are not a member, there will be a non-member fee per rider per show. We hope that all show participants will support RPHSA by becoming members which makes you eligible to win fabulous prizes and ribbons.

Regarding the Twin Cities Hunter and Modified Hunter divisions, is a rider able to move between the two if the horse needs to change mid-season? 

You can move between these two divisions as necessary. For year-end awards, each division will be calculated separately. Please see the rules which are posted on the RPHSA Divisions and Rules page.

What is the difference between hunter over fences & equitation over fences? 

Hunter classes are judged on the horse's quality and style. Equitation classes focus on the rider. Both classes are individual patterns over obstacles.

What is the difference between hunter under saddle & equitation on the flat? 

Both of these classes are conducted as a group at a walk, trot and canter in both directions. There is no jumping in under saddle (horse) and flat (rider) classes. 

Are the shows on your schedule strictly schooling shows to get riders acclimated to the show circuit? 

Yes. The shows are not USEF recognized (rated). RPHSA wants to provide an affordable way for new riders and younger horses to gain positive experiences in the show ring. 

How do I know which classes or division is best for my horse & me? 

It would depend on your horse showing experience. It is always easiest to work with a trainer or a friend who is experienced in horse showing and jumping. Because safety is our MOST important thing, we want you to show at a level that will not be overwhelming for you. 

How do I receive the prize lists for the shows? Will they come in the mail? 

RPHSA will post links on our website with prize lists for each show. Prize lists will not be mailed out. If you would like a copy of a prize list emailed to you, please contact or visit the Show Schedule page.

Do all of the RPHSA shows on the website offer all of the RPHSA approved divisions/classes which are necessary to earn points for year-end awards? 

Yes, unless special exception is made by RPHSA.

Are points being combined from all equitation and hunter over fences and flat classes for each RPHSA division at approved shows for total year-end awards (placings)?  

No. Hunter and equitation classes have been separated. Please see the full list of divisions which have been listed on the RPHSA website.

Are the following pieces of equipment allowed for RPHSA classes?  RPHSA makes the following recommendations to show management.  
    -Running martingales?
 No, running martingales are not allowed in any hunter jumping classes or flat classes.
    -Standing martingales? Standing martingales are allowed in over fences classes but not under saddle/flat classes.
    -Draw reins? No, they are not allowed in either jumping or flat classes.
    -Jumping boots and/or bell boots? Bell boots are permitted.  Jumping boots are allowed but may be penalized at judge's         discretion. 
    -Nosebands such as drop noseband, figure-8, flash attachments in hunter ring? No, these nosebands are not allowed in           hunter ring. 

    -Ear bonnets? They are allowed in the jumper ring, but not the hunter ring. 

    -Gag bits, hackamores? They are allowed in the jumper ring, but not the hunter ring. 

Hors Concours (aka Mulligan, Do-Over) may be permitted if the schedule allows. The horse cannot compete in a subsequent class at the same or higher height, however the rider may compete in subsequent classes. No jump-off allowed in Table 2.2b class formats.

How many refusals are allowed in each class?  Hunters= 3 refusals are allowed.  Jumpers=2 refusals are allowed.

Where can I find an explanation of the USEF course formats for jumper classes?There is a great article at The Plaid Horse explaining the different Tables.