NRCHA Approves Cowboy Class to Begin in 2023

The Cowboy Class, which is NRCHA's newest officially sanctioned division, introduces working ranch cowboys to reined cow horse competition.

Photograph Courtesy Bonnie Wheatley

The National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) has voted and approved implementing rules for the Cowboy Class for the 2022 Snaffle Bit Futurity ® and in the 2023 NRCHA Rule Book. 

The Cowboy Class introduces working ranch cowboys to the reined cow horse. Beginning in 2023, the Cowboy Class will be a recognized class, and local affiliates and show producers will be allowed to host these classes at their approved NRCHA events. It will be recognized as a sanctioned Category 1 special event, similar to the all-around and spectacular classes. 

“Reined cow horse grew from training methods used on ranches by the Vaqueros. NRCHA has continued to support cross over from working ranch horses and cowboys into our arenas through the Cowboy Clinics and Cowboy Invitational for several years now,” said Anna Morrison, NRCHA executive director. “Establishing the Cowboy Class as an official class in our rulebook was the natural next step to honor and grow our sport’s connection with ranching.”

Eligibility for this class will be limited to individuals working on ranching and livestock operations, and who have earned less than $15,000 in NRCHA Open and Non Pro monies outside of the Cowboy Class. 

The rules for the Cowboy Class can be found online at nrcha.com/snaffle-bit-futurity and will be listed in the 2023 rule book. The NRCHA will welcome working ranch cowboys to the Cowboy Invitational presented by XIT Ranch during The Run For A Million event, August 17-20 in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the Cowboy Class held at the Snaffle Bit Futurity ® presented by Metallic Cat, October 6-22 in Fort Worth Texas. Visit nrcha.com to learn more about these upcoming events.

About the National Reined Cow Horse Association

Based in Pilot Point, Texas, the National Reined Cow Horse Association was formed in 1949 in California, with the goal of preserving and educating the public about the rich history of this traditional horsemanship. The NRCHA is responsible for promoting the sport and ensuring high standards of competition and continuing to work to keep the Vaquero tradition alive in today’s equine industry. The NRCHA also supports numerous affiliate clubs across the United States, Europe and abroad. These groups serve as the association’s backbone, holding many NRCHA-sanctioned competitions and events each year. For more information on these events and reined cow horse, visit nrcha.com.