All About WWHA Shows

Have you thought about showing at a WWHA show but you looked over our show bill and were unsure of class you would take your horse in? Or have you never shown before and wanted to start, but weren’t sure of how? Or have you shown before but needed some clarification? This article will give an overview of our show bill, classes, and information that you will need to show at one of our shows.
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In 2013, the WWHA will host five shows. The Spring Warm Up will be May 4, Summer Jamboree on June 1, Summer Versatility Fun Show on June 29, Fox Valley Classic on August 10, and the Fall Finale on September 21. The WWHA shows are different in that they are strictly a breed show only. Our show’s regulations are set forth by the Walking Horse Owner’s Association (WHOA) HIO and the TWHBEA Versatility Program. You don’t have to be a member of the WWHA to show at one of our shows, but in order to show you must either have a WHOA membership number, youth number, Trainer’s number, or temporary day card. Each horse will be inspected by a DQP (an enforcement of the Horse Protection Act) before showing in a class.

An example of proper English tack and dress.

An example of proper English tack and dress.

All classes are open to adult and youth participants unless otherwise specified. Exhibitors’ apparel shall be in either English or western, but not in a combination of both. English classes will require English attire: English saddle suit, underpasses or pant’s tie downs, riding boots, spurs (optional), hats (homburg, top hats, derby, snap brim, or helmet), gloves (optional), hair neatly tied back, and back number. Western attire: western long sleeve shirt, pants, riding boots, gloves (optional), chaps (optional), spurs (optional), hat (western hat or helmet), hair neatly tied back, and back number. Safety helmets are allowed in all divisions. English classes require English equipment: English saddle, English bridle, bit (shanks in excess of 9 ½ inches in length are prohibited), whip (optional). Western classes require western equipment: western saddle, western bridle, silver mounted equipment will not count over good working equipment. A horse will have braids and ribbons in English and Halter classes, but not in western classes. Curb chains or straps must be flat against the jaw and be at least 1/2 inches wide. Martingales and tie downs are prohibited except barrel racing and pole bending classes.

Model Class: This class is based on a horse’s conformation. Exhibitor’s will set up their horse for judge’s inspection. Entries must wear either an English show bridle or leather show halter.

Kayla Kuenzi exhibits Dude's Sun Rise in a model class. Model is an in-hand class judged on a horse conformation. Way of going is not judged.

Kayla Kuenzi exhibits Dude’s Sun Rise in a model class. Model is an in-hand class judged on a horse conformation. Way of going is not judged.

Youth classes: exhibitor must be under 17 years of age. If exhibitor is 17 on January 1st and turns 18 on January 2nd, exhibitor is still eligible to show in youth classes. A youth exhibitor may also show in an amateur class. Youth exhibitor’s are allowed to use two hands when riding in either English or western classes.

Amateur Country Pleasure: these classes are for Amateur riders only! TWHBEA registration is not required for horses. A horse shown in this division may not cross over into another division at the same show. Amateur Country Pleasure horse must display a show walk and a smooth, easy comfortable pleasure gait with excessive speed in the pleasure gait to be penalized. Horse must stand quietly and back upon command. This division may also be asked to trail walk and or readily halt. Exhibitor’s may use two hands when riding in either English or western classes. Shoe requirements: no wider than 3/4 inch and no thicker than 3/8 inch.

These ribbon braids are part of an English horse's turnout.

These ribbon braids are part of an English horse’s turnout.

Trail Pleasure: Trail Pleasure horse must perform the four beat walking gaits with an effortlessness geared toward encouraging stamina and longevity on the trails. He should not display a crampy or gimmicky way of going. The horse should exhibit a four beat walking gait with pronounced and cadenced head motion (nod). Horses may be asked to trail walk and or halt. Animation and action are not desired and it is not desired for this horse to exhibit driving rear legs with long overstride. Horse must be extremely well-mannered, responsive, and quiet. He must stand quietly and back readily on command. A horse shown in this division may not cross over into another division at the same show Shoe requirements: maximum 3/8 inch thick with 3/4 inch wide, no heavier than carbon steel or aluminum shoe.

Lite Shod: Lite Shod horse should perform the four beat walking gaits in a relaxed fashion with an alert and willing attitude. He should display pleasure qualities necessary for road and trail riding, such as good manners, responsiveness, manageability on a light rein, etc. He must stand quietly and back readily on command. Shoe requirements: no wider than 1 inch and no thicker than 1/2 inch and made of no heavier than carbon steel or aluminum shoe, maximum 1 1/2 inch turn back measure from front to back of caulk, thickness of shoe must not exceed 1 1/8 inch thick.

Appropriate Western attire.

Appropriate Western attire.

Classic Park: Horse should exhibit natural animation and smoothness. A laboring and/or unnatural way of going will not be accepted. The gaits must be performed with the bold, four-cornered movement with the front legs moving with some elevated animation, with a pronounced and cadenced head motion, with the rear legs following through close to the ground and over-striding the front tracts. He should display manners and soundness, must back readily. Shoe requirements: maximum ½ inch x 1 ½ inch wide, no heavier than carbon steel or aluminum shoe, thickness of the shoe, and caulk must not exceed 1 1/8 inch, maximum 1 5/8 inch turn back measured from back to front of caulk.

One popular versatility class is the Trail Obstacle Class, a class judge on a horse and rider pair's ability to navigate simulated trail obstacles.

One popular versatility class is the Trail Obstacle Class, a class judge on a horse and rider pair’s ability to navigate simulated trail obstacles.

Flat Shod and versatility classes are open to all TWHBEA registered horses in all divisions. 2 gait classes: Horses will be exhibited at a flat walk and running walk. 3 gait classes: Horses will be exhibited at a flat walk, running walk, and canter. When exhibiting, horses will be shown both ways of the ring. Western horses will be reversed away from the rail (to the inside) and English horses will be reversed into the wall (to the outside). Horses that are four years and younger shown in a western class may be shown two-handed providing a snaffle bit is used. Water Glass: exhibitor holds glass of water and is asked to perform different gaits. Exhibitor with most water left in glass wins class.

The above information was taken from the WHOA official rule book (link is to a PDF). The rule book and more information can be found at www.walkinghorseowners.com. Also, more information can be found on a WWHA show bill regarding fees and show rules or if you still have any unanswered questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. More information can be found at www.wisconsinwalkinghorse.org. If you are a first time exhibitor, haven’t shown in a while, a seasoned exhibitor, or just want to be spectator, we hope to see you at one of our shows!

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