ECEA Show Rules and Regulations - Updated February, 2022
1. As required by law, a current (Texas - 12 month, Out of State – 6 month) negative Coggins test conducted by a veterinarian is required on all equine entering the grounds. The registration number of the test will be recorded on the show application to confirm current negative test status. NO EXCEPTIONS.
2. Exhibitors show at their own risk. As stated in Chapter 87 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code, due to the inherent risk in equine activities, anyone participating in any such activity shall assume all liability for injury or death and hold the ECEA (Ellis County Equine Association), it's agents, assigns, officers, members and the owners or operators of locations where ECEA events are held, blameless and harmless of any liability, civil action or remedies. The ECEA, ECEA members and the owners or operators of facilities where ECEA events are held are not responsible for accidents, theft, or any other damage to real or personal property.
3. No illegal drugs or alcohol will be tolerated. Use of these or any illegal substances shall be reason for immediate ejection from the grounds.
4. In all classes, the judge's decision is final.
5. All exhibitors dogs must be on a leash or confined.
6. All returned checks are subject to a $50.00 returned check fee. Any returned check not cleared up in ten days from notification will result in forfeiture of any and all year-end awards and may be forwarded to the county attorney in the jurisdiction in which the check was accepted for prosecution.
7. Conduct not promoting sportsmanship, such as showing disrespect to anyone, obscene or vulgar language or gestures, inciting or causing conflict, excessive force or display of temper with animals or persons will not be permitted. Use of such will be cause for immediate ejection from the grounds. Conduct that exposes others to danger will not be tolerated. Any violation should be reported immediately to any Officer or Director of the ECEA.
8. Divisions – Age is determined as of January 1 of the season year. Exhibitors are required to compete solely in their actual age division.
Youth – An exhibitor who is 18 years of age or under. Youth will be split into 3 divisions: 10 & under, 11-13, and 14–18. 10 & Under will be a walk/trot only division. 11 to 13 and 14 to 18 will have three gaits in all classes.
Adult – An exhibitor who is 19 years of age or older on January 1 of the show season. 3-gait classes.
Green Novice Division – This division is for the green horse OR the novice rider or anyone who does not feel comfortable showing in the age categories requiring a lope. Open to riders 11 years of age and older. The horse/rider combination may not cross over to any other division. Showing in this walk/trot only division is strictly the exhibitors choice. ECEA will not be creating or enforcing rules as to what an exhibitor determines to be green horse or a novice rider. Exhibitors may show a horse in the Green Novice Division and then show a second horse in their respective age division. Horses may be exhibited in a snaffle bit regardless of horse’s age. No other training aids allowed. These rules apply only to this division.
** If a youth exhibitor wishes to compete in up an age group, the parent or legal guardian must submit a written request to the Board of Directors stating reasons and criteria why the youth is qualified to compete in the higher age group. The Board of Directors will vote on any such requests at the next General Membership Meeting. Once approved, the youth may not move back down to a younger age division. Intentions to change divisions must be declared before the youth’s first show of the season.
** Youth 18 and under may NOT ride in adult divisions.
9. Youth may not show or ride stallions.
10. All series shows count toward the ECEA End of the Year High Point and Special Awards. Exhibitors must be a current ECEA member for points earned to count toward Year-End Awards and Daily High Point. ECEA Members must participate in a division in at least 3 of the 5 ECEA Open Shows with the same horse/rider combination to qualify for that division's end of year award.
11. To be eligible for the Open Show Year-End Awards, an exhibitor, or an individual specifically working on behalf of the exhibitor, must perform a minimum of 6 hours of event assistance duty at any scheduled ECEA function. An official sign in –sign out sheet will be available.
12. Exhibitors need to be a member of ECEA to qualify for daily high point awards. The DHP (daily high point) award is given to the horse/exhibitor that has the most points in each division at the end of the show. Leadline, Walk/Whoa classes, Reining, Ranch Riding, Ranch Trail and Hunter Hack do not count for DHP awards. Exhibitors must show in halter, English and western performance classes (minimum 1 class) to be eligible for DHP and halter points will count for DHP. In the event a horse is shown in two age divisions, one of the exhibitors must show the horse at halter and the other exhibitor must show in a Color Class with Color Class points counted as halter points for purposes of the DHP awards. Individuals showing multiple divisions (ex: age division on one horse and Green Novice on a 2nd horse) are only eligible to receive one DHP award per show, but are eligible to win DHP in one division and Reserve in another division. You may not show two divisions on the same horse.
13. ECEA's decision to cancel or interrupt an event due to inclement weather or dangerous conditions will be final.
14. In all classes requiring patterns, the patterns will be posted at the registration area and or designated place at least 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the class. Patterns may not be changed after they are posted.
15. Horses must be manageable. Horses that pose a threat to other horses or persons will be asked to leave the grounds. A committee of 3 ECEA officials will make the decision that a horse poses a threat to other horses or persons. In the event a horse is required to leave, all daily show fees will be reimbursed, and any points earned will be forfeited.
16. Tack and equipment must be in good condition. Tack and equipment may be rejected if deemed too harsh or inappropriate by the judge. Cruel or inhumane bits and tack will not be allowed. Use of such will be cause for immediate ejection from the arena grounds.
17. Dress code: Boots or footwear as stipulated in class rules is required. Western hats and English or safety hats are required in all classes. Suitable attire is required in all classes. Long sleeved shirts are required for Western classes and sleeved shirts are required for English classes. Coats are optional.
Exhibitors may show in the current official ECEA t-shirt. The shirt must be tucked in and worn in an appropriate manner, with no visible tears, holes, stains, or extraneous writing. Sleeves may not be rolled up or torn off. Shirts will be sold prior to the first show and there is no expectation of the club to have extras available.
18. All protests regarding violations of rules and rules only must be taken to the ring steward before the class is pinned and/or has left the arena. All other conflicts or protests must be taken to the event chairman, in writing, for resolution on the day of the event in which the conflict occurred. All such protests must be accompanied by a $35. fee, which will be refunded if the claim is sustained. A committee consisting of at least three ECEA Officials (members of the Open Show Committee or the Board of Directors and/or the Ring Steward) will resolve any conflict.
19. Tie Breaker: In the event of a tie, the following tiebreaker will determine the winner. We will compare the number of 1st places and whoever has the most 1st places is the winner. If there is still a tie, then we will compare the number of 2nd places and so on, through 6th place. If there is still a tie after all the comparisons through 6th place is done, then the winner will be determined by the flip of a coin. If the flip of a coin is used, both exhibitors will be contacted and will be given the choice to attend the coin toss where a least 3 Board or Event Committee Members will be present.
Open Show Class Rules – Note : 1 Horse 1 Rider Rule Applies. 20. Points awarded as each show are based on:
NOTE: Halter grand champions receive 2 points more than the winner of their division. Reserve champion will receive 1 more point than the winner of their division.
21. Halter - Horses to be shown in halter tack only. Horses shall enter ring and line up at the discretion of the judge. Entries shall be judged individually, standing and at the walk and trot. Horses stand squarely and naturally. Exhibitors shall not be penalized for touching or moving a horse's leg with their hands. Horses will be judged towards the ideal standards for their breed. Points count towards horse.
22. Most Colorful at Halter – Horses to be shown in halter tack only. Horses shall enter the ring and circle the judge at a walk as a group. At the judge's request, all horses shall reverse at the walk and again circle. Horses shall then be judged while standing squarely and naturally. This class is judged 100% on color only. See appropriate color breed rule books for desirable characteristics.
23. 2 and Under Longe Line – Class is limited to horses ages 2 and under.. The purpose of the class is to reward: a. Quality of movement b. Conformation c. Trainability
Even though the appropriate levels of training will be recognized, these horses are not expected to demonstrate behavior or performance beyond that necessary for a reasonable presentation to the judge.
Horses are to be shown in a halter, regular or show type is acceptable. For the longing demonstration, the only attachment allowed to the halter is the longe line. The longe line may not exceed 30 feet (9.14 m) in length with a chain or snap attached to the halter. The longe line must hang free from the halter without touching any part of the horse. It is permissible to use a longe whip as long as the exhibitor does not touch the horse with it.
Gaits to be judged according to gaits for western pleasure and hunter under saddle. Judge(s) will be outside of the longing circle. The exhibitor will enter the arena and await the signal. Once a signal is given, the exhibitor will be allowed 1 and ½ minutes to present their horse. At the end of 45 seconds a signal will be given as a halfway mark. Another signal will be given at the end of the run.
The horse will walk, jog (trot) and lope (or canter) in each direction as they will be scored each way. The exhibitor may begin work in the direction of their choice (counter or clock-wise).
At the end of 1 and ½ minutes, a signal will be given and the exhibitor shall at the request of the show management; either 1) retire from the longing area and retire to the far end of the ring, or 2) leave the ring and wait nearby to return for the conformation judging. If the horses remain in the ring, they are to stand quietly on the rail while the other exhibitors are being judged.
The horses are judged 70% on movement and 30% on conformation suitable to purpose. Judges may not discriminate for or against bulk, but rather look for a total picture, emphasizing balance and athletic capability.
24. Showmanship – The exhibitor is judged on his/her ability to present the horse. The exhibitor is asked to execute a pattern posted that includes walk, trot, pivot, stop and backing as dictated by the posted pattern. Grooming and the appearance of the exhibitors are considered toward the final score. The exhibitor should continue showing the horse until the judge has dismissed the class. The exhibitor may be disqualified for touching the horse.
25. Leadline – Open to all exhibitors as long as they do not cross over into any riding classes other than Walk & Whoa. A halter and lead rope must be used under the bridle.
26. English Pleasure – Horses are to be shown in English tack. Horses are to be shown at a walk/trot or walk, trot, canter, in both directions of the arena. The horse should stand quietly and back readily. It is the judge's option to require the exhibitor to back their horse or extend any gait. The horse is judged on performance, manners, conformation, quality and substance.
27. English Equitation – The equitation class is to determine the riding ability of the rider. The rider should have a workman like appearance, seat and hands light and supple, conveying the impression of complete control. Each rider will work individually following the posted pattern. The judge may or may not require all riders to return for rail work. 10 and under exhibitors will walk/trot only. Walk and Whoa exhibitors are walk only.
28. Western Pleasure – Horses are to be shown in Western tack. Horses to be shown at walk, jog, lope or walk/jog in both directions of the arena. The horse should stand quietly and back readily. It is the judge's option to require the exhibitor to back their horse or extend any gait. The horse is to be judged on performance, manners, conformation, quality and substance.
29. Western Horsemanship – The riders will be judged on seat, hands, and ability to control and show the horse. Each rider will work individually following the posted pattern. Judge may or may not require all riders to return for rail work. 10 and under exhibitors will walk/trot only.
30. Trail – May use Western or English tack. Classes to be judged on the performance of the horse over or around obstacles with the emphasis on manners, response to rider, and attitude. All classes will use 4 to 6 obstacles. 10 and under and Green Novice exhibitor patterns will be walk/trot only. Walk & Whoa trail is walk only.
31. 2 & Under in Hand Trail – See AQHA Rules Book.
32. Walk & Whoa – Participants have the option of an attendant walking with their horse. Participants can cross over to lead line but no other riding classes.
33. Reining – See reining rules in current AQHA Rule Book.
34. Hunter Hack– See hunter hack rules in current AQHA Rule Book. 35. Ranch Riding –The purpose of the ranch riding class is to measure the ability of the horse to be a pleasure to ride while being used as a means of conveyance from performing one ranch task to another. The horse should reflect the versatility, attitude and movement of a working ranch horse riding outside the confines of an arena. The horse should be well-trained, relaxed, quiet, soft and cadenced at all gaits. The ideal ranch horse will travel with forward movement and demonstrate an obvious lengthening of stride at extended gaits. The horse can be ridden with light contact or on a relatively loose rein without requiring undue restraint, but not shown on a full drape of reins. The overall manners and responsiveness of the ranch riding horse to make timely transitions in a smooth and correct manner, as well as the quality of the movement are of primary considerations. The ideal ranch riding horse should have a natural ranch horse appearance from head to tail in each maneuver. For class penalties and requirements see AQHA rulebook.
36. Ranch Trail–The ranch trail class should test the horse’s ability to cope with situations encountered while being ridden through a pattern of obstacles generally found during everyday ranch work. The horse/rider team is judged on the correctness, efficiency and pattern accuracy with which the obstacles are negotiated, and the attitude and mannerisms exhibited by the horse. Judging emphasis is on identifying the well-broke, responsive and well-mannered horse which can correctly navigate and negotiate the course.
End of Year Awards will be awarded in the Following Divisions: Grand Champion and Reserve Champion awards will be awarded in Yearling Halter (Mares and Geldings only), Junior Mares (2- 5), Aged Mares (6 & Over), Junior Geldings (2-5), Aged Geldings (6 & Over),Stallions All Ages, 2 and Under Performance Horse (Total number of points for Yearling Longe Line and Yearling in Hand Trail), Ranch Horse(total number of points for year from Reining, Ranch Riding and Ranch Trail), Walk & Whoa(total number of points for year from Walk & Whoa Pleasure, Equitation and Trail),Color Spotted Breed, Color Solid Breed, and Hunter Hack.
All Leadline exhibitors who compete in 3 of 5 shows will receive an award.
Top 5 Awards shall be awarded in each age division (10 & Under,11-13, 14-18, Adult) for both Western, and English. Top 5 awards shall also be awarded in the Green Novice Division.
Western – Division points will include the following classes: Showmanship, Trail, Western Pleasure, Horsemanship.
English - Division points will include the following classes: English Pleasure, Equitation.
Green Novice – Division points will include the following classes: English Walk/Trot, Equitation Walk/Trot, Trail Walk/Trot, Western Walk/Trot, Horsemanship Walk/Trot
1 All youth are required to participate in the management of the youth show in order to have their ECEYA year-end field trip funded by ECEYA.
2. The president of ECEYA is required to attend ECEA meetings to report on ECEYA news.
3. All youth must participate in at least 4 meetings and/or activities to receive a participation award.
4. Nominees for ECEYA officers must be a ECEYA member, in good standing with the ECEA and have dues currently paid. An Officer should also be ECEYA members for one year and have participated in an event in the prior year to be eligible for office.
5. All youth should display themselves in good sportsmanship like manner always.