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Preface | What is a National Spotted Saddle Horse? | Membership | Qualifications for Registration | Identification Only Registry |



The National Spotted Saddle Horse Association, Inc. was organized in 1979 to collect, record and preserve the pedigree of National Spotted Saddle Horses.

The National Spotted Saddle Horse Association serves as an information center to the general public on matters pertaining to shows, sales, trail rides, or other events that are designed to improve the breed of the National Spotted Saddle Horse and to aid the industry.

With the improvement of the breed as our objective, we have approved and established the following rules and regulations, covering all areas of rules for registering, showing and procedures included in the affiliation of National Spotted Saddle Horse Association, shows, and the conduct and operation of such.

It is obvious that, however complete rules may be, they can never cover all situations which may arise. If a matter cannot be resolved by the interpretation of the rules to the letter, the resolution to be adopted by this Board of Directors of the National Spotted Saddle Horse Association will follow as nearly as possible the rules of the National Spotted Saddle Horse Association and the National Horse Show Commission.

Rules revised 2004

Note: National Spotted Saddle Horse Association hereinafter referred to as “NSSHA”.
National Horse Show Commission hereinafter referred to as “NHSC”.


One of the most fantastic things to ever happen to the horse industry was the formation of a registry for a new breed of horse, the National Spotted Saddle Horse.

After years of careful breeding this horse has emerged and is fast taking his place in the equine world.   He is becoming famous Nationwide as one of the most versatile pleasure horses money can buy.  With his loud colors and easy gaits, he is always a crowd favorite on trail rides, parades, or horse shows.

His ancestry traces back to the spotted horses brought to this country by the early Spaniards; and the old time saddle gaited horses that were similar to the foundation stock of the famous Tennessee Walking Horses, the American Saddle Bred Horse and the Standard Bred Horse.

The Middle Tennessee region, with its fertile valleys, plenty of water and a long growing season has long been favored by prominent breeders of horses.  These assets are essential in proper breeding and development of any breed of horse. Although the breeders in the Middle Tennessee area have been more involved with the upgrading and refinement of the breed for several years, this breed is not limited to this area alone.  There are many horses across the United States that exhibit this gait quite naturally.

This breed has many small horses; but, the average horse stands 15 hands.  They can run anywhere from fourteen hands up.  He is a rugged square made horse with very large strong bones. The bones in these animals are generally as large as the bones in a horse standing sixteen hands!  He has a gentle disposition and is generally trained to neck rein; which makes handling the horse even easier.

He is being shown in pleasure classes and versatility classes in western tack, he is being used by hunters for his mild manners as a bird-dog mount, by coon hunters for his quickness and surefootedness in rugged mountain terrain.  He is being used by ladies and children as a “Sunday afternoon” pleasure mount; and by anyone who dares…for his quick end efficient jumping ability.

There is no doubt that this horse is the most up and coming breed of the decade and has definitely been BRED TO EXCEL.


Membership in the National Spotted Saddle Horse Association, Inc. is available and all horse owners are encouraged to become members.  Membership in NSSHA runs a calendar year, January through December.  Your membership will expire on December 31, of a given year, regardless of when you become a member.

NSSHA offers a Family Membership which covers 2 spouses, and all children ages 15 and under.  Cost of the Annual Membership is $50.00.

BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP: Each family membership receives one free foal registration ($30 value) each year, a monthly newsletter, a quarterly journal, voting rights at annual year end meeting, notification of all shows, sales, rules, changes, etc.

Members also pay reduced fees for registration and transfer processes.  Members are the only individuals who can take advantage of any registration specials which may be in effect.

FREE REGISTRATION: Free registrations, which are a benefit of being a member, must be used in the calendar year that you are a member.  The free registration cannot be carried over, or saved from one year until the next.  Nor, can the registration be “given” to another individual.  Likewise, the free registration cannot be used on transfers of ownership, only on new applications for registration.  The free registration is for a foal of the year that the membership is paid for and must be requested as your free registration at the time of submission.

** Annual membership dues amounts are reviewed, annually, by the NSSHA Board of Directors and are subject to change, upon notification. 


In order for a horse to qualify for registration with the National Spotted Saddle Horse Association, Inc. it must be spotted, color above the hock other than facial markings, it must be able to exhibit a gait other than a trot.  

The horse must possess one spot above a level line, midway between the center of the knee and the floor of the chest and midway between the point of the hock and the center point of the stifle. Spotting must consist of a spot TWO INCHES (2”) or more in diameter of white or a spotting of a different color with underlying contrasting skin in the area described. Facial markings and/or high stockings alone do not qualify as a spot. A mixed tail alone, does not qualify for registration.

If you have a horse which you feel exhibits the gaits and traits of the National Spotted Saddle Horse, it is very possible that you have a horse that can qualify for registration.  If you are interested and would like to have your horse registered, please contact the NSSHA office for complete details.  The NSSHA office will supply you with the necessary forms, and provide you with the cost of registration, and detailed steps to follow in the registration of your spotted saddle horse.

Horses with both a NSSHA registered sire and dam do not have to be inspected, providing the said owner of both sire and dam sign the application for registration in correct space.

Horses with one NSSHA registered parent and the other parent an acceptable outcross (example – Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses, Missouri Foxtrotters, Kentucky Mountain Horses and SSHBEA Registered Spotted Saddle Horses) do not have to be inspected for gait, providing the owners of said parents sign the application for registration, and providing you send a copy of the registration papers from the accepted outcross breed registry, along with your application for registration.

Horses being submitted for registration with NSSHA that are already registered with an accepted outcross breed registry must submit a copy of the registration papers from that breed registry.

All persons submitting papers with Walking Horse, Racking Horse, Missouri Fox Trotter, Kentucky Mountain Horse or SSHBEA lineages MUST submit a copy of the papers on these sires and/or dams, otherwise, pedigrees cannot be issued.

Unnatural markings:  Any horse, which is found to have unnatural markings, will be rejected from registration, and the owner may be barred from the Association.  The Association shall have the option of sending a NSSHA representative to collect hair 

samples and/or biopsies (by a licensed veterinarian) as a precedent right to registration or for a horse to remain registered.


All owners with solid color foals out of a NSSHA registered sire or dam (one parent must be NSSHA registered); we are accepting applications for registration on solid color foals for IDENTIFICATION ONLY.  (This will provide you with the background for the possible spotted off-spring that these horses may produce).  To be eligible each solid color horse must:

  1. Have NSSHA registered sire or dam (sire or dam owner must sign application for verification of breeding).
  2. Must have been born 1979 or later.  No          horses foaled before 1979, the beginning of NSSHA, will be accepted.
  3. After 1983, be registered in the year they are foaled.

Pictures must be included along with your application.  These horses are not eligible for show in Spotted Saddle Horse Shows unless the class sheet so specifies a solid color class. These horses are eligible to go through NSSHA sales.

Applications for registration must be made on an official form furnished by NSSHA.   Applications must be neat, complete and in ink or typewritten.


NSSHA has established a Breeding Stock Registry for Solid Color Horses.  This division is available to mares and stallions, solid in color and gaited.  These mares and stallions do not have to have a spotted sire or dam in order to qualify for registration.  We accept horses registered already as Racking Horses, Tennessee Walking Horses, Missouri Fox Trotters, etc. as well as “Good Gaited Country Horses” who have no verifiable pedigree, but who produce great spotted offspring when crossed with NSSHA horses.

These horses are being accepted as breeding stock and are not allowed to show in Spotted Saddle Horse Shows, unless the class sheet so specifies a solid color class.  These horses must be gaited, they cannot trot.


Application must bear the signature of the recorded Owner(s) of stallion and mare at time of service as well as the owner(s) of mare at time of foaling. 

Name of horse must not exceed 25 letters.  An apostrophe counts as a letter.

Transfers are required with application for registration of foals when the dam of the unregistered foal was owned at the time of foaling by someone other than the owner of the foal at the time application for registration is submitted.  Transfers must be attached to such applications for registration, date of purchase completed, and fee remitted for both registration and transfer.

All applications for registration become an important and permanent part of the records of NSSHA.  You are responsible for, and should give extreme care in giving accurate dates and information.



Any person or persons who shall willfully register or record a false pedigree shall be forever barred from making further registration, and the registration for such false pedigree shall be cancelled.



From time to time, NSSHA runs registration specials, which are available to MEMBERS ONLY that lifts late fees on late registrations.

Currently NSSHA has the following registration special, for the benefit of their members (you may become a member at any time). The Registration “Special” which allows NSSHA members to register any horse that is spotted and gaited, regardless of age, parentage, or any pending late fees, for only $30.00, once membership is paid, has been extended until further notice.

 You must be a member to take advantage of the “Special” registration rate on older horses, or horses with unknown parentage, or horses that do not have sires or dams registered with NSSHA.  We encourage you to mention this outstanding opportunity for registration to your friends and fellow horse owners.  Membership and registration forms are available at the NSSHA office, and will be mailed, upon request to any interested party.

 **NSSHA reserves the right, at any time with proper notification, to withdraw the registration special, at which time all pending late or extra fees will again go into effect.

 All foals must be registered in their calendar year of foaling.




Calendar year of foaling



1 to 2 yrs of age



2 to 3 yrs of age



3 to 4 yrs of age  



Over 4 yrs of age



*The NSSHA Board of Directors review Registration Fees and Registration Specials annually and are subject to change.


Each transfer of a registered horse shall be recorded in the NSSHA Office.

The seller (owner of record at time of sale) shall have the responsibility for completion of the transfer, including the correct name and registration number of the horse, date of sale, name and address of buyer and signature and address of the seller.

The seller will also sign in the appropriate box on the outside of certificate of registration. 

If said horse is a mare and has been served prior to sale, but has not delivered her foal, the lower portion of the transfer slip must be completed and signed by owners of sire and dam at time of service.

A separate transfer form must accompany an application for registration if a foal is being recorded in any name other than the owner of the mare at the time of foaling.  A fee will be charged for this transfer, which is determined by the date of purchase and the membership status of the person making the transfer.

Transfer Without Signature of Recorded Owner

Whenever legal title to a registered NSSHA horse passes to another by reason of death of the recorded owner, by foreclosure of any lien or by any order or decree of court or otherwise by operation of law, the NSSHA may transfer the registration of the horse to the new owner when presented with the following: 

1. A certified copy of the order of a court of           competent jurisdiction or other satisfactory       proof of authority for the transfer such as a       divorce decree or a will;
2.  Payment of applicable transfer fees;
3.  Any other requirements as may be defined by  
      NSSHA in special situations.

No person shall make any alteration of a completed transfer form, nor in any manner deface, change or amend the provisions therefore.  If a NSSHA owner should dispose of a registered horse, or if horse dies, the owner shall notify NSSHA and surrender the certificate for cancellation.

 Forward the transfer fee and completed certificate and transfer slip to NSSHA within 30 days.

 Fee for Transfer

 Fee is based on the membership status of a person applying for and paying for the transfer fee.

 Member   $20.00 Non-Member   $40.00

 The original certificate of registration, transfer slip and appropriate fees are to be forwarded to NSSHA.  The original certificate of registration will be mailed to the new owner after recording.  (You will receive the same certificate of registration).


To apply for the registration of a horse:  Information needs to be listed on a NSSHA application for registration form.  Forms are available from the NSSHA office.

Signatures of Sire and Dam owners:  Both the sire and dam owners must sign the application for registration, listing the sires and dams names and registration numbers.  If the horse is registered with a registry other than NSSHA, please list what registry the sire or dam is registered with, as well as their number.

If either the sire or dam, or both, are not registered with NSSHA, please submit a copy of the horse’s original registration papers.  A new rule makes it necessary for a copy of the original papers (of sire’s or dam’s not registered with NSSHA) to be included for pedigree use on the horse you are submitting an application for.

If the sire and/or dam is registered NSSHA, only the owner’s signature and the horse’s name and number is required.  Our computer will generate the pedigree, and you don’t have to fill it in.

Spotted Registry:  If you are applying for the registration of a spotted horse, you must submit 4 photos, along with your application.  Please make a photo from each side, front and back.

ID Registry:  NSSHA has an ID registry to register foals which come solid color, out of at least one NSSHA registered parent (either the sire or dam must be NSSHA registered to qualify).  You need only supply one photo for a solid color foal, made from the front.

Breeding Stock Registry:  NSSHA has a Breeding Stock registry to register mares and stallions solid in color and gaited, and do not have a solid parent.  You need only supply one photo, made from the front.

Name Choices:  Please submit 3 name choices, with each choice totaling no more than 25 characters, which includes spaces and apostrophes.   You will need to name your horse a name, which includes more than one word, as usually the most common horse names, which contain only one word, are already taken. If you do not supply 3 name choices, a name will be issued from the office.

Foaling Date:  This is date of the horse’s birth, please list day, month and year. If you have the date of service, please list on the form (this is the date the mare was bred to produce the animal being registered).

Signature of Owner:  Please sign the application for registration at the bottom of the form and include your complete mailing address.  Please also print your name, beside the signature.  Please list the date the application for registration is being submitted.

On Reverse of Application form: Please list the sex of the horse – either Mare, Stallion or Gelding.  Please also list the color of the horse.  You Do Not have to describe the horse; we can list the color and pattern from your photos.




Registered horses from any the following registries:  Tennessee Walking Horse, Missouri Fox Trotters, Racking Horses, SSHBEA registered Spotted Horses and Kentucky Mountain Horses. 

It is not acceptable to breed Spotted Saddle Horses to non-gaited horses such as Quarter Horses, etc., horses that do not have a smooth gait.

Video required:  If the horse for which you are applying for the registration of has a parent which is not a registered papered horse, a video will be required to assure that the cross was between two gaited horses.  Video only required on horses with one or both grade or unknown parents.

If the application is for a foal, please show him at halter or in the lot gaiting alongside the dam, or on a lunge line.  If the horse is at least 2 years old and is rideable, please show him exhibiting his gaits.  Do not send a video of the horse just standing in the lotThe video is to prove gait, if the video is required.

Membership Registration Special: At this time, we have a membership registration special.  You must become a member to take advantage of the $30.00 Registration fee on any age horse.

If you do not become a member, you will pay the fees, as listed on the reverse of the application for registration, under Non-Member Rates.

If you take advantage of the Membership Drive, any age horse, regardless of any pending late fees, etc. can be registered for only $30.00 as long as the horse is Spotted and Gaited.

Transfers of Ownership: You must submit the original Certificate of Registration, along with the signed transfer slip to have a horse transferred into your name. The fees are:

 Member $20.00    Non-Member $40.00

You will receive the same certificate of registration back; your name will be inserted into the first available position.  You do not receive a new set of papers, unless you pay an additional $20.00 new certificate fee, in addition to the member or non-member transfer fees.

We urge you to register your foals as soon as they are foaled.  All foals must be registered in the calendar year of foaling, to save any late fees.  The sooner you submit your applications for registration, the sooner they will be processed.

We experience a large year-end deadline.  Any papers, which are submitted after November 1st of each year, get entangled in the year end work.  Completion time could take up to 3 months.  Most often, if you submit papers in a timely manner, you can expect to receive them within no more than a 2 to 3 week time period.  (Providing you have all information and fees correct, if we have to notify you, and you have to reply, many papers are being received, and your papers get placed behind those, which were correct).

Rush Fee:  If you need your papers quickly, enclose a letter of request and an additional $20.00.

**If you call regarding papers, please know the horse’s name, the date the papers were submitted, and the person to whom the horse is being registered.


The name of any registered National Spotted Saddle Horse may be changed, providing it has not sired or produced a registered foal.  The original certificate of registration must be submitted, as well as a new choice of name.  A new certificate bearing the new name, with original registration number will be issued. The fee for changing records is

 Member - $30.00 Non-member - $100.00


Alterations on NSSHA Certificates of Registration after being issued can be made in the following instances:

Correction or color markings or both
Change of status of stallion to gelding

Return original certificate along with requested changes, with authorized statement to verify such.

Office errors will be corrected without charge; other alterations carry the fee of $30.00. 


Duplicate Certificates of Registration will be issued if the original has been lost or destroyed, provided an affidavit for duplicate has been signed by the last recorded owner and sent to association along with $30.00 duplication fee.  The new certificate will be stamped duplicate, and the original certificate automatically becomes void.

*All fees for transfer, alteration, and duplication are viewed annually by the NSSHA Board of Directors, and are subject to change.


Privileges of an Affiliated Show or Sale:

  • Listing in the NSSHA advertised schedule of show and sale dates, the printing of a show sheet in monthly newsletter just prior to the show date.
  • Total cooperation of NSSHA, including providing an approved judges list and DQP information.
  • Services of the NHSC and Enforcement Committee.
  • Protection of Show/Sales managers or show chairman afforded through the use of NHSC licensed judges and DQP’s as set forth in the Horse Protection Act (HPA) and the rules and regulations of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
  • Participation by exhibitors in the NSSHA points accumulation program, where points are accumulated toward horse of the year titles, and trainer of the year award.

General Rules and Instructions for Presenting a NSSHA Horse Show

Grounds: A show ring is needed, in good condition.  Seating needs to be available, or you need to state on your handbills for spectators to bring chairs.  Good lighting in ring area and in area where horse trailers will park.
A P. A. system and electrical hookup for organist equipment.

Classes:  A class sheet, with suggested and required classes will be provided.  Also provided will be a listing of additional or optional classes, which may be added to the standard listing of classes.  Please do not omit any of the required classes; however you may feel free to add any optional classes with NSSHA permission.



The NSSHA established a hearing/protest process to address the following:

  • Protest:  To object to in a formal statement
  • Charge:  To impute something
  • Grievance: An actual or supposed circumstance regarded as just cause for protest.

The guidelines and process addressed under separate titles.


Any member of the NSSHA may file a protest by:

  • Submitting in writing - specifically stating reason(s) for filing protest/charge.  All applicable rules must be listed with the protest.
  • Specifically listing the name, address, and phone number of all pertinent parties.
  • Must list address and phone number of the individual filing the protest/charge.
  • Signed by the individual filing the protest/charge
  • All protests require a $100 deposit.  Deposits will be refunded only if the protest is upheld by the decision of the Hearing/Protest Committee.
  • Protest may be personally delivered and signed for by the NSSHA office, official delegate, or mailed to the NSSHA office by certified mail only.


  • A protest encompasses the areas of horse registration; rule violation, and matters occurring at NSSHA official or affiliated functions.
  • The protest process does not consider or hear protests in regards to DQP rules, regulations, or suspensions.  These issues are addressed by NHSC.
  • Protest/charges related to an affiliated NSSHA show must be submitted to the Show Chairman or Show Secretary no later than thirty (30) minutes after the show ends.
  • The NSSHA office must receive all other protest/charges no later than ten (10) days after the alleged offense.
  • All protests will be documented in the NSSHA official records to the time received and verification of money received.  All money will be held by the NSSHA until decision of the Hearing/Protest Committee.

Hearing/Protest Committee

  • Appointed by the Board of Directors
  • Consists of Chairman, Co-Chairman and five members – two alternates.
  • Written minutes of proceedings submitted to the NSSHA Board of Directors on each hearing.
  • Each formal protest to be heard no sooner than 15 days and not later than 45 days after complaint is filed.
  • Notice of hearings to consist of a copy of the formal protest as filed along with a notice of date, time, and place of hearing. 
  • Notice of hearings will give all interested parties at least 10 days notice before hearing date.
  • Any person or persons filing a protest/charge must be prepared to substantiate same by personal testimony, witnesses, and/or other evidence at the hearing.
  • NSSHA must receive, within 5 days of date of hearing notification, confirmation that individual filing protest will attend the hearing.
  • No appeal will be granted on the decision of the Hearing Committee UNLESS new evidence is presented to the Board of Directors along with sworn affidavits stating that no knowledge of this information existed at the time of the original hearing, the nature of the new evidence, reason not presented at original hearing.
  • If a re-hearing is granted, the re-hearing will be conducted on the record of the entire hearing along with the new evidence and any opposing evidence to the new evidence.
  • When a re-hearing is granted, the penalty imposed on the initial hearing is suspended until the re-hearing.  If the Hearing/Protest Committee sustains the initial hearing, the penalty may be more, but no less than the original decision.
  • Individuals serving penalties from the Hearing/Protest Committee may be temporarily or permanently suspended from NSSHA activities or affairs (including affiliated shows) for the stated time of suspension.
  • The $100 deposit will not be refunded to the individual filing the protest if the Hearing/Protest Committee rules not in their favor.



Judges at NHSC affiliated shows must be chosen from the approved list of the NHSC.  The NHSC office will furnish a list of approved and qualified judges in show packages and upon request to organizations or persons planning to conduct affiliated shows.

(Complete rules and information regarding NHSC Judging are available on pages 93-105 of the current NHSC Rule Book.



One Night Shows:  One night shows use one Judge for the judging of all entries, in all classes.  Therefore, the cards will not be tabulated, but will stand as marked by the Judge.

Multi-Night Shows:  3 (Three) Judges are used at Championship Shows.  Their score cards are calculated by the computer, using the Majority Opinion Three Judge Scoring System (M-O-S).

 Majority Opinion Three Judge Scoring System (M-O-S)

Under the Majority Opinion System (M-O-S), all three judges carry equal weight in the final class decision, and winners are placed by the best two out of three votes.  Each horse is judged as if it were working individually and then compared with the performance of all the other horses in the class who are judged on the same basis.

All Judges place the same number of entries in each class depending on class size.  Ties are resolved by averaging the opinions of the three judges.

Judging:  Judges must work independently with no discussion of any kind until the winners are announced.  They should vary their judging positions and rotate around the ring.  They should discuss and plan how to cover the ring and work classes before the show to avoid “cluster” judging.  A suggestion would be to section the ring into three areas, which will give each Judge a separate but equal view of the rail, with rotation of positions for each class.

Rotation:  Mark the judges’ cards ahead of time with the rotation and indicate who will be Call Judge for each class.  No referee is required since all ties are broken by a two-thirds majority vote.

Workouts:  Any Judge may request a workout in any class by communicating through the Ringmaster.  The Judge making the request must state what horses he wants called and what positions they are to be worked for.  The Ringmaster relays this to the other judges one at a time. A workout requires agreement by two of the three, or the positions must be filled without a workout.

If a workout is agreed upon, the Ringmaster must ask the other judges if they wish to add other horses to those being sent to the rail.  The Ringmaster must be sure that all judges know what horses are working for what position.

In order to be included in a workout, an entry must appear on two judges’ lists.  If an entry does not receive two votes for inclusion in the workout, that entry does not return to the rail.  If no entries receive two workout votes, there is no workout and the class is tied.

The Ringmaster must inform the Announcer of the workout request.  Whenever horses are being called for a workout, the Announcer must call them in numerical order.

Automatic Workout:  (Identical Tie for First Place) When a three way identical tie occurs for first place, a workout is mandatory.  The judges should be advised and the three horses sent back to the rail.

If there has already been a workout, the judges should be notified and given the option of going with the fall of the Cards or sending the horses back to the rail for additional work.

If the tie is still identical after the workout, the class is tied by the Fall of the Cards. (See Scoring Supplement).

When the identical three-way tie is for second place or lower, the class is determined by Fall of the Cards.

Scoring:  Have two people trained to score for each performance. One person can do the work alone, but two working together insures speed and accuracy.

The Scorer should be stationed as close as possible to the Announcer.  The Scorer works with the three judges’ cards in each class.  Final results and placements are based on how the judges place competitor’s numbers on these cards.

Announcing Class Winners: An experienced Scorer and Announcer can expedite broadcasting of the class results.  Announcement of the first place winner can be made in an average of 30 seconds.  It is recommended that all places be tied before announcing the results, but where the first few places are readily apparent, the announcer can proceed.

The Announcer can introduce the trophy donor or class sponsor before receiving the first place number.  If more time is needed (sometimes a judge is slow to hand in a card or scoring is complicated), the Announcer should be able to fill in with miscellaneous show announcements


 After the Judges turn in their cards, the Ringmaster checks to see that the correct number of places are tied.  The Ringmaster then hands the cards to the Scorer to determine the best two out of three votes for each placing.  The cards are handled as follows:

 Line the cards up evenly.  Card arrangement does not affect results, but it is suggested that they be aligned in order (Call Judge, Second Judge, Third Judge)

  • Read the votes from left to right and from the top line down.  Mark all the votes for one number at the same time.
  • Each number should be marked with a check for the first time it appears, circle (0) the second time it appears, and crossed out (X), the third time it appears.  Acknowledging votes in this manner ensures that each vote for every horse has been considered in the final tabulation.
  • Go back to the top and mark the next number.  Repeat until all entry numbers have been acknowledged.
  • Whenever a circle appears, the entry has already received two votes.  If a number is marked on only two of the three cards, the third (or low vote) is recorded as an “X”.

 After marking all votes, the first place horse will have its number circled highest on the three judges’ cards and all places will follow as the circles fall from high to low.  The first place entry number does not have to be circled on line one.  Also, two or more numbers may be circled on the same line.  For further explanation of those situations, see Similar and Identical Ties.

 In the following example, after all votes are acknowledged, the entries are placed simply seeing where the circles appear.






Vote Count








240 X


 812 X












706 X




259 X


321 X






290 X



Quickly double check the Finals, record on the Class Data sheet and hand to the Announcer.

 NOTE:  It is possible for a horse to win without having a first place vote.  This rare situation only occurs when there is a significant variation in the judges’ opinions.


Circles can and will appear on the same line.  When this occurs, a vote count is necessary - a tally of votes from highest to lowest.  Resolve ties immediately rather than waiting until all numbers have been acknowledged.  Refer to the Position Chart to determine the best vote count.

 The Position chart is read from left to right and from the top line down, (as are the judges’ cards).  Since middle votes are always identical in these cases, they are ignored.  Compare the high and low combinations.







Vote Count














352 X













236 X





245 X


213 X





561 X

699 X




If a number is marked on only two of the three cards, the third (or low vote) is recorded as an “X” – i.e., (3-5-X).  If the tie is (4-5-6), (3-5-X) and (4-5-X), locate the (4-6).  (3-X) and (4-X) on the Position Chart - (4-6) is best, then (3-X), then (4-X).







Vote Count














289 X



































There are also two way identical ties, an example of which follows:












































When a vote count reveals that the horses received identical votes from the Judges.  It is still possible to determine a two-thirds majority.  In this case, Judge A placed 281 over 637.  But Judges B and C placed 637 higher than 281.  Since two of the three judges preferred 637, it must be placed over 281.


When three numbers are circled on the same line and their vote counts are identical, a three way identical tie is extremely rare.  It is resolved by a “Fall of the Cards” unless it involves first place.  In that instance there is an Automatic Workout (see page one).





















 The number that is positioned first (not the circled line) on the Call judge’s card will be first (101). The Second (102) and third (103) placed are then determined by the Judge’s choices as their cards are placed in sequence.

 In the example shown above, if B was the Call Judge, then 102 would be first, C’s choice of 103 would be second and A’s choice of 101 would be third.  If C were the Call Judge, then 103 would be first, 101 would be second and 102 third.


 Two people should independently score the results, with both as close to the Announcer as possible.  The use of colored pencils (different colors for each scorer) is recommended, with a lot of scratch paper handy.

 The Scorer should line up the three judges cards in sequence (Call Judge, Second Judge, Third Judge) with the Final Sheet and proceed to acknowledge votes.  The Final Sheet should not be filled in until all votes are either checked or circled and all ties are resolved.

 The checker watches the scoring and will find in most classes the first place winner is obvious.  The circle stands alone or vote count confirms Final placing.  The checker can mark the winning number on scratch paper.  Second place may also be obvious and should be marked below the first number on the scratch paper.

 After all votes are acknowledged, the Scorer makes sure there are enough circles for places and no ties to resolve.  With first place confirmed by the checker, the scratch paper can be handed to the Announcer.

While the winner is being called, awarded and photographed, the Scorer marks in Finals together with the vote count while the checker checks for errors. 

 If the Announcer is ready for more numbers, but scoring isn’t completed, the checker notes winners of second, third, etc. to hand to him in progression until all finals are marked. There is no reason to hold up announcement of winner - they can be handed to the Announcer as soon as they are confirmed, one at a time.

 NOTE:  Judges do make mistakes.  Don’t panic.  Before returning a card to a Judge, check the numbers for the obvious – a missing digit (27 instead of 127) or transposing of numerals (243 instead of 234).

 Trust your scoring.  If you have studied the instructions and have practiced the sample classes, it is unlikely you will have to work slowly to get things right.  With two people scoring, the checker will catch the few possible errors.





Acknowledge Votes - on Judges Card one number at a time with Check, Circle, Check.

Final Votes - after resolving ties, by placing circled numbers 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc., as read from the highest to lowest position on judges’ cards.

Similar Tie – two or three circle, the same line, vote counts different. Compare votes for best 2/3’s.  Mark for position.

Position Chart - Use to resolve questionable best 2/3’s in Similar Tie Situations.  Compare high and low vote combinations - middle votes are always identical.

2 Way Identical Tie - Two circles, same line, vote counts identical.  Check Judges Cards for number placed Highest by 2 out of 3 judges.  Mark for position.

3 Way Identical Tie – Three circles, same line, vote counts identical.  Resolve by “Fall of the Cards”.  Review instructions.

Alternate – Always score one extra place for each class as an alternate in case of a disqualification.

Computer Calculation – At most or all multi-day shows, the judges cards will be calculated by the computer, using a specifically written calculation program, which implements all information included in this section.



The Ringmaster performs a variety of very important duties.  Any person desiring to become a NSSHA Ringmaster must:

  1. Obtain an application from NSSHA office, complete and return.
  2. The Ringmaster has several duties.  He must check riders as they enter the gate to see they are properly dressed (in correct western attire, with sleeves rolled down, cuff buttoned on long-sleeved western shirt, hat intact) and that horses are properly tacked up.  (English tack and colored brow bands are prohibited types of equipment, except in English classes).
  3. The Ringmaster checks the number of entries and makes sure that entries tally with the class list. He may ask the Announcer to make a call for missing entries.  At the end of 3 minutes, however, he should close the gate and signal for the class to begin.
  4. During the class, the Ringmaster stands by the side of the Call Judge.  He relays “calls” from the Call Judge to the Announcer, and acts as a messenger between the Judges.  The Judges present their cards to the Ringmaster, who then gives them to the Tallying Committee.  He also watches traffic in the ring and stands ready to assist riders in trouble.



 Section 1 – General


  1. All horses entered in classes for NSSHA affiliated shows shall be registered as National Spotted Saddle Horses, (see notation*).  Each Exhibitor or agent of exhibitor shall submit a signed entry form to the Show Manager, if required, before the calling of a class, giving all required data, including the full registered name, and the owner of record of each horse, registration number and amateur card or trainer’s license if required.  All horses shall be entered and shown under their registered name.  NOT providing the information asked or using substitute information will be construed as the “giving of false information” and will require an appearance before a Hearing Committee. 

*Entries at one night shows do not have to be NSSHA Registered.  However, NSSHA requires all entries at the Spring Show, Mid-Season Show and the World Grand Championship Show to be registered with NSSHA prior to the shows.

  1. A horse is deemed to have shown when the class is tied.  A horse is deemed to have been exhibited when it departs the ring at the end of a class.

A horse may, at the discretion of the Judge, be excused from the ring for an infraction of the rules or for deviating from the true gaits of the class for which the horse is entered. But the

  1. entry shall be eligible to show in a succeeding qualifying class if the problem can be corrected.
  2. An entry shall be deemed to have qualified for a Championship Class in an appropriate qualifying class if:
    1. It has made the initial line-up after having performed all required gaits both ways of the ring.
    2. It is excused by a Judge after or during the initial line-up.
    3. It has completed the class.
  1. Shoeing Rules and Regulations must follow the NSSHA guidelines as required by the current industry or USDA regulations.

 Heel/Toe Measurement:  Toe length must exceed the height of the heel by one (1) inch or more.   The length of the toe shall be measured from the coronet band, at the center of the front pastern along the front of the hoof wall, to the ground.  The heel shall be measured from the coronet band, at the most lateral portion of the rear pastern, at a 90 degree angle to the ground, not including normal caulks at the rear of the horseshoe that do not exceed 3/4 of an inch in length.  That portion of caulk at the rear of a horseshoe in excess of 3/4 of an inch shall be added to the height of the heel in determining the heel-to-toe ratio.  Any change in the above Rules made by the U. S. Congress, the Department of Agriculture, or by Court of competent jurisdiction shall automatically supersede

the above rules to comply with such action taken by Congress, the Department of Agriculture or such Court.

  1. All substances are prohibited on the extremities above the hoof and below the fetlock of any horse being shown or exhibited at any horse show, sale or exhibition.  However, glycerin, petrolatum, mineral oil, or a mixture thereof, may be used if the following conditions are met:
    1. If a NSSHA/NHSC DQP or Show Management furnished said lubricant and maintains control over same during the horse show, sale or exhibition;
    2. If said lubricant is applied after the horse is inspected by a certified NSSHA/NHSC DQP or his representative and is applied under their supervision or that of Show Management;
    3. The DQP or Show Management makes such lubricants available for U.S. Department of Agriculture personnel to obtain sample for laboratory analysis.
  1. A horse shall be considered one year old on January 1 following its foal date.  It shall be considered to have aged one year each succeeding January 1.  (Exception:  For show purposes, all horses foaled during the month of October, November, and December may compete in the same age classification with foals born the following year.)
  2. Any class at a NSSHA affiliated show in which there are more than 25 entries appearing for competition shall be divided into two classes which offer identical awards; 15 or more entries requires an automatic workout.
  3. Age of Exhibitors:  For horse show purposes, the age of an individual on January 1 shall assume the age of that date for the upcoming show season.
  4. Horses foaled after October 1, 1975, with a bilateral scar, callous or granulated tissue, on the pastern or coronet areas indicative of the practice of soring must be excused by the Judge or DESIGNATED QUALIFIED PERSON from the class entered.  The owners, trainers, and riders of such horses are subject to further penalties.  Please review the definition of “Scar Rule” in the violation section the NHSC Rule Book .
  5. No exhibitor may use any veterinarian’s statement to contradict the decision of the Judge or DQP with respect to any horse.
  6. All horses brought to a NSSHA affiliated show must be accompanied by a negative coggins test in accordance with the State Regulations where show is being held.

Rules for Appearance of Horse in NSSHA Show Ring:

  1.  Horse should be groomed
  2.  Hair coat clean, well brushed
  3. Mane and tail free of tangles and clean
  4. Hoofs trimmed and shod properly, clinched neatly and hoofs polished
  5. Horse should be properly trimmed
    1. Inside of ears trimmed
    2. Bridle path trimmed
    3. Long hair on jaws, legs, and pastern trimmed
    4. Tack should be neat, clean, and in good repair

All Judges, DQP’s, show officials, owners, trainers, exhibitors, their agents and employees shall at all times conduct themselves as ladies and gentlemen and in a sportsmanlike manner.


15. Type of Equipment:  The type of equipment to be used in NSSHA competition is western.  The attire of the rider must correspond with the type equipment used.  Western saddle and western bridle are to be used.  Colored brow bands are prohibited.  Silver mounted equipment will not be counted over clean leather equipment.  Braids are not to be used in NSSHA competition.  Tie-downs and martingales are prohibited types of equipment.

 English Attire Class:  In shows where an English attire class is included, the attire and tack to be used is English.  Braids will be acceptable, as well as colored and rhinestone brow bands.

 Bits:  Severe bits must be penalized in the final judging.  Shanks are measured from the top of the metal of the top ring to bottom of the metal of the bottom ring if the ring is welded to the bridle.  If the bottom ring is broken or will twist or turn, then it is not considered a part of the shank and should not be measured as such but the top ring will always be included in the measurement of the shank.  Shanks will not exceed 10 inches.

 If the bottom ring is welded to the shank then it shall be considered a part of the shank and the measurement should include all of the bottom ring.

  • If the bottom ring of the shank is “broken” so that this bottom ring will turn or twist in any way, it is not considered a part of the shank and should not be included in the shank measurement.
  • If the bottom ring of the shank is not broken, that is the bottom ring is welded or joined to the shank so that this bottom ring will not turn or twist, then it is a part of the shank and must be included in the shank measurement.

Gag Bits:  They may be used but no bridle with ropes or cables will be allowed.

Curb Chains or Straps:  They must lie flat against the jaw and be at least 1/2 inch wide.

Prohibited Tack: Mechanical hackamore, draw reins, tie downs, running or other type martingales.

16. Dress Code for Participants:  Participants must wear western attire which includes the following:  jeans, western pants, western skirts, show chaps, western hat, long sleeved western shirt, western jackets, optional, as well as string and bolero ties.

  1. Shoes:  Entries shall be plain shod with no pads or plated welded inside nor on to the shoe.  The shoe may not exceed 1.5 inch wide by 1/2 inch thick with the exception of caulk, which shall not exceed one (1) inch.  The shoe cannot extend more than 1/4 inch beyond the hoof.  No additional weight shall be allowed on or in the hoof, other than the shoe and nails. 

Country Pleasure Shod: Entries shall be shod with a stamped cast keg shoe; a handmade shoe is illegal in this class.

Trail Pleasure Shod:  Entries shall be shod with shoes not to exceed 3/8” x 3/4”.

Show Pleasure Shod:  Entries shall be shod with shoes not to exceed 3/8” x 3/4”.

Use of Borum: Borum has been approved for use in the Keg Shod Classes.

Lite Shod:  Entries shall be plain shod with no pads or plates, welded inside nor onto the shoe.  The shoe may not exceed 3/8” x 1”.

Open Shod:  Entries shall be plain shod with no pads or plates, welded inside nor onto the shoe.  The shoe may no exceed ½” x 1 1/2".

Hoof Repair:  When a hoof has broken edges   that doesn’t meet the shoe and has been repaired, repairs must be uniform in the appearance of a natural hoof.

18. Hoof Bands:  Are permitted, however must be 1/2 inch from bottom of coronary band.

Clips: 1/2 inch beat on clip drawn from the shoe, with no welding.  Limit of three (3) clips to a shoe.  One (1) on toe and one (1) on each side permitted.
Use of Chains Prohibited:  Use of chains are prohibited on any NSSHA horse entered into competition.  Chain use on the show grounds are basis for expulsion from the grounds.

19. Whips:  No item may be used inside or from outside the ring while showing a horse except one whip per handler.  No lashes or appendages or any other appliance of any kind are permitted to be attached to the whip.
20. Serviceable Soundness for Horse Show Purposes:  All horses shown must be serviceable sound for horse show purposes and must not show evidence of lameness, broken wind or complete loss of sight in eye, stallions and mares in breeding classes excepted.

  1. Artificial Markings and Appliances:  Any change in color of markings other than hoof is prohibited.  Only clear grooming materials are allowed on the hide and hair.   Materials may be used to remove stains.  All artificial appliances are prohibited.  There will be no chains or action devices used on any horse.  Chains on the show grounds are basis for expulsion from the show grounds.

22. Drugs and Medications:  No horse shall be shown in any class at a show recognized by the NSSHA if it has been administered in any manner any forbidden substance.  A forbidden substance is any stimulant, depressant, tranquilizer or local anesthetic which might affect the performance of a horse.  (Stimulants and depressants are defined as medications which stimulate or depress the circulatory, respiratory or central nervous systems.)  Also prohibited are any drugs regardless of how harmless or innocuous they might be, which by their very nature mask or screen the presence of the aforementioned prohibited drugs, or prevent or delay testing procedures.

Full use of modern therapeutic measures for the improvement and protection of the health of a horse including phenylbutazone is permitted, unless the drug given stimulates or depresses the circulatory, respiratory or central nervous system.  A horse given therapeutic treatment by a veterinarian to relieve pain, lameness or disability or to restore its normal gait shall not be considered sored.

Exhibitors are cautioned against the use of medical preparations and tonics of any kind, the ingredients and quantitative analysis of which are not specifically known, as many of them contain forbidden substances.

  1. Horse Names:  Horse must be named and the same name must be listed in all classes.  A Horse must be entered under its originally recorded name unless the name has been officially changed.  It must be entered under the name of the owner of record, or of the registered farm name.
  2. Gate Call:  An exhibitor has the responsibility to have his entry ready at the proper time, and must have passed through the DQP inspection prior to entering gate.  There shall be a 3 minute gate time, and all entries not appearing at gate during allotted time will be prohibited from entering class after gate is closed.
  3. Time Out:  There shall be no time out to replace a thrown shoe.  Minor adjustments to bridles and curbs which can be made by an exhibitor without dismounting gives an exhibitor a request for a time-out.   Give Ringmaster the request, while the horses on the rail go at ease. No more than 5 minutes should be allowed, and no more than 2 requests before being dismissed.
  4. Entry Fees:  All entry fees must be paid at time of entering class with cash or check.  There will be no refunds made on any entry fees once they are paid at Entry Desk.

Measure of Entries- Height:  Stand the animal on a smooth, level surface, in such a position that the front legs are vertical and the backs of the hocks are in a vertical line with the points of the horse’s quarters.  The head should be held low enough to reveal the highest point of the withers from the ground.  The arm of the Measuring Standards shall be placed over the highest point of the withers and no measurement taken at any other part of the horse’s body shall count.  The Standard must be a straight stiff, unbendable stick and should be provided with a plumb bob or spirit level to make sure the Standard is perpendicular from the withers to the ground and that the cross piece is parallel with the ground surface.

  1. Workouts:  In any classes that any of the Judges want a workout; one or more the three judging officials may agree to limit the number of horses each such Official may select for the workout and no Official may select more than the number agreed upon.

In all workouts in which the maximum number of horses allowed to be selected by any one Official is less than the number of places to be tied, the only horses eligible for such workout are those selected by two or more of said Officials.

All horses in a workout shall be placed consecutively insofar as the number of places will allow.

After horses are parked in, horses to be worked out are to be pulled to center of ring.  The remainder of horses will be worked on the rail in each direction in Flat Walk and Show Pleasure Gait.  After being worked both ways, horses not called in will be dismissed.  Past performance is not to be considered.

  1. Class Number Limit:  If there are more than 15 entries in any given class, there will be a mandatory workout.   Over 25 entries will constitute an A and B class, with the 5 tying horses in each class to show back at a later time on the same night for the 5 places to be given ribbons and money.

 30. Refusal of Entries

      A.  In addition to entries of persons suspended or expelled by NSSHA, Show Management may reserve the right to refuse the entry of an exhibitor who as demonstrated unsportsmanlike behavior at a show or has conducted himself in a manner which brings discredit to the show, its management, officials, or employees, provided that the exhibitor so excluded shall have the right to be heard on the issue by Show Management before the refusal of entry is made. The decision of the Show Management shall be reviewed by NSSHA and its decision will be final.

  1.  Gate to show ring will be closed when the Judge calls for the first gait, and no entry shall be admitted into the ring after the gate is closed.
  2.  A show may require a horse to qualify for entry in the show or may set a limit as the number of entries that will be accepted in any class or division, provided the method to be used is so stated in the prize list.
  3. Anyone with outstanding debts to NSSHA will not be allowed to participate in shows, until the debt is satisfied.

31. Use of Whips:  No item may be used inside or outside the ring while showing a horse, except one whip per handler.  Said whip shall be no longer that 4’, including the snapper.  Whips up to 6’ may be used in driving class.  No lashes or appendages of any kind are permitted.  A whip of this kind is not allowed in the warm-up area.
32. The NSSHA Judges System is licensed through the National Horse Show Commission.  Portions of the following rules and regulations apply to the National Horse Show Commission classes and portions apply to National Spotted Saddle Horse Association classes and shows.

*Un-sportsmanlike Conduct:  Acting, inciting, improper in temper, offensive or harassing Show Officials shall be considered un-sportsmanlike conduct.  Anyone found guilty of this violation will automatically be notified they are to appear before a hearing committee.  If, no show for hearing, individual will be barred for 30 days, and will be on probation for 60 days after the suspension.  The hearing committee will issue time lengths for being barred, and probation, depending on incident and information brought forth in such hearings.



Judging System
Pertaining to a 3-Judge Show:  The Judges draw before each class for the position of Call Judge, 1st Judge, 2nd Judge, and the Call Judge shall direct the presentation of horses throughout the class.

One Judge Show:  Must tie horses through number of places being given at such show.  (Ex. 1-5,1-7 or 1-10 places, depending on number of places tied).


Flat Walk:  A slow walk on a LOOSE rein.  The reins should not be so loose that the horse is not in control but should not be held so tight that the horse is fighting the bit and slinging its head.

Running Walk:  The gait will be faster than the Flat Walk.  There must be a distinct and recognizable difference between Flat Walk Running Walkt.  It may be a running walk, rack, stepping pace, or any easy saddle gait.  The horse should exhibit style with a comfortable way of going.  The rider should not be bouncing in the saddle.  The horse should not be on the bit but the horse and the rider should present a picture of comfort and style, pleasing to the eye.  Excessive speed will be penalized if it causes the horse to lose form. 

Canter:  The third natural gait of the National Spotted Saddle Horse is the Canter.  The horse will be expected to lead with the leg next to the Judge or the inside leg. A canter is slow and easy on a reasonably loose rein. EXCESSIVE SPEED at this gait will be cause for disqualification or severe penalty in the final judging.

The horse should execute the canter on a reasonably loose rein. The rider should not be pumping or bouncing in the saddle but should have close seat contact with the saddle.


Flat Walk:  The horse should be striding behind, breaking in front, with good head carriage, good style and conformation.

Show Pleasure:  As above, but with a noticeable increase in speed and flashiness.

Canter:  This is not a fast gallop.  The horse should be under control, and on the right lead.

Back in Line Up:  Only keg shod horses will back.


Age Classes:

  1. Youth Exhibitor:  For horse show purposes, a youth exhibitor is an individual who, on January 1st of the show year, has not yet reached his/her 18th birthday. If an exhibitor is seventeen (17) on January 1st and turns eighteen (18) on January 2nd, the exhibitor is still eligible to show as a youth exhibitor all that year however, that exhibitor MAY NOT also show in classes designated “18 and over.”  Juvenile exhibitors must purchase a juvenile card.
  2. Horses:  For horse show purposes, a horse shall be considered to be one year old on the first day of January following the date of foaling.  Exception:  Foals born in October, November, and December are eligible for classes along with foals born the following year.

Amateur Classes:
An Amateur Class is one in which every contestant enjoys amateur status.  All Amateur Riders must obtain an Amateur Card to be eligible to show.

  1.  Amateur Classes may be restricted to riders who are no longer eligible to compete as a Youth exhibitor, in which instance the prize list shall specify “18 and Over”.

Amateur Classes may be offered using the specifications as set forth in the respective rules.  If Amateur Classes are offered leading to a Championship Class, judging specifications employed shall be those governing Amateur Classes rather than those of the Championship Class.

Amateur Owned and Trained Classes:

  1.  An Amateur Owned and Trained Class is one in which every contestant is either an amateur who owns the entry being shown, or is an amateur member of the owner’s immediate family unless otherwise stated in the prize list.
  2. Amateur Owned and Trained Classes which specify “18 and Over” shall be limited to exhibitors who are no longer eligible to show in youth classes.
  3. Amateur Owned and Trained Classes may be offered in any division using the specifications as set forth in the respective Division Rules.  If Amateur Owned and Trained Classes are offered leading to an Amateur Owned and Trained Championship, judging specifications should follow those of the Amateur Owned and Trained Class rather than those of a Championship Class.
  4. Combined Ownership is permitted in Amateur Owned and Trained Classes.   Note:  Any horse which is jointly owned, and one owner received remuneration for training, is considered a customer’s horse.  The horse is ineligible to be shown in Amateur Owned and Trained classes by the owner (who is receiving remuneration) or his immediate family.
  5. Anytime there is question as to ownership of a horse, the owner in question, upon request, must provide sufficient proof of purchase to the satisfaction of NSSHA within the time specified.  This rule shall be strictly enforced.

Height and Sex Classes:

Sex:  Classes may be divided by sex into three groups, or a Show Committee may prefer to require mares and geldings or stallions and geldings to show together.  Championship Classes for a specific height or sex may be offered as set forth in the respective Rules.  Judging specifications shall follow those in the Open Championship Classes.
Model Classes:  Model Classes may be offered, they may be divided as to age, sex, or height as provided above. Model Classes do not qualify a horse for a Performance Championship Class.
Breeding or In-Hand Classes:  Breeding or In- Hand Classes may be offered.  For each class offered, the prize list shall specify the age, sex, manner of showing and points to be considered in the judging of the contestants.
Qualifying Classes:  An entry shall be deemed to have qualified for a Championship Class, if in an appropriate qualifying class:
1.  It is excused by a Judge after or during the initial line-up without request by the exhibitor to be excused.
2.   It has completed the class.

1.  A Show Committee must designate all qualifying classes and may require any and all winners in a qualifying class to compete in a Performance Championship Class provided it is so stated in the prize list.  Any exhibitor failing to comply shall forfeit all winnings in the qualifying class.  If an exhibitor qualifies more than one horse for a Championship Class, he may elect to show only one.
2. To be eligible to show in a Performance Championship Class, except in a one night show that does not require qualifying, a horse must have been properly entered, shown and judged in one qualifying class. No two and three year old horse that has qualified in a no canter class shall be eligible for a performance Championship Class requiring three gaits.
3.   To be “shown and judged” in any class in which horses compete together, an animal must perform all required gaits both ways of the ring in the original workout and must remain in the ring up to the point of being excused by the Judge.
4.  A horse showing in a Specialty NO Canter Class is not qualified to show in a Championship Class, which requires three gaits.



Show Horse Performance Classes (Open)
1. Conformation:  In general appearance, the Spotted Saddle Horse should have an intelligent look, neat head, well-shaped and pointed ear, clear and alert eyes, and a tapered muzzle.  The neck should be long and graceful and the shoulders muscular and well sloping.  The back should be short with good coupling at the loins.  The animal should be deep in the girth and well ribbed and the chest should be of good proportion and width.  The croup should be generally sloping and the hips well muscled with muscular development extending down toward the hock.  The legs should be flat and cordy.
2.   Qualifying Gaits: 
      A. Flat Walk:  The flat walk should be true, bold, and four cornered, with the forelegs moving straight forward, breaking at the knees, and reaching forward in an elevated arc.  The horse should nod the head with every stride and bring each forefoot to the ground a mere second before the diagonally opposite hind foot touches the ground.  The rear legs should follow through close to the ground, comfortable and overstriding the front tracks. Stiff legged front or rear leg animation and an irregular gait, especially when entering the ring, are not typical of the Spotted Saddle Horse and the Judge must immediately excuse any horse exhibiting this type of motion from the ring.
B.              Running Walk:  The running walk should be the same general motion as the flat walk, but with additional speed.  The horse shall exhibit a smooth, gliding, overstepping, four-cornered gait, with great stride and accelerated head motion.  The show pleasure gait should be a free and easy gait.  Horses exhibiting an exaggerated, hesitating way of going, with a tendency to point with the front feet, are not in form. Twisting of the hocks or stiff legged rear leg motion shall also be considered a deviation from the true running walk and horse exhibiting these ways of going should be penalized.
C. Canter:  The canter should be smooth and straight on both leads, not walking behind, but cantering on both ends with a rolling, rocking chair motion, comfortable in hand.  Exaggerating “pumping” of the horse at the canter is not considered good form.

  1. General:  The Spotted Saddle Horse should move freely in each gait and proceed in a smooth, fluid, rhythmic manner.  At all gaits the horse should be flexed at the poll with muzzle slightly tucked.  Stiff front or rear leg motion, stumbling, buckling knees, lack of rhythmic timing, pointing or favoring a particular leg, necessity for excessive pumping or bumping of the horse, or any tendency to rack, pace or other deviation from the true walk are not typical of the breed.  The preceding mannerisms are not considered form and shall be penalized in judging.
  2. Presentation: All entries should be presented clean, neatly trimmed, and in good flesh presenting a healthy appearance.  Each entry should be outfitted in clean and appropriate tack.  The exhibitor of each entry should be neat in appearance, attired in properly fitting attire and shall conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner at all times.

In all classes in which a horse is shown under saddle, the horse must perform all gaits in order to be judged in overall performance, presentation and conformation.  A horse that has not performed all required gaits shall not be placed over a horse that has performed all gaits.

General Judging Procedures
1.  The gate shall be closed upon a three (3) minute warning issued to the exhibitor by Show Management (emcee), and under no circumstances will horses be allowed to enter the ring once the three (3) minute warning has passed and the first performance gait has been called.
2.  All horses shall enter the ring at a flat walk, proceed counter clockwise in a flat walk until the gate is closed.   As the entries enter the ring, the Judge(s) will dismiss any entry deemed to be in violation of the 1976 Horse Protection Act as amended.  After the gate has been closed on the class, the Judge(s) shall then call for the performance gaits appropriate to the class.  (Two and Three Year Olds will not be required to canter, but will otherwise follow the same procedure as the other classes.)
3.  During the initial performance the order of the gaits will be the Flat Walk, Running Walk, Flat Walk and Canter.  (Exception:  Halter division class.)  Entries must perform all required gaits at least one time around the ring.  Immediately after the entries have worked all performance gaits required for a particular class, they will be asked to reverse the ring and the same procedure repeated.  The Flat Walk and Canter must be judged as gaits of major importance as well as the Running Walk.
4.  After the entries have been worked both ways of the ring, they shall be asked to line up for conformation judging.  Any entry found to have illegal equipment or whose pastern area shows evidence of abuse, shall be excused from the class.  When requested, one groom per entry will be allowed in the ring during Amateur and Youth division classes only. (Exception:  Championship Classes.)
5.  If a groom is called into the ring, or allowed in the ring by the rules pertaining to a particular class, such groom must not touch a horse below the knee unless and until so directed by the Judge.  A violation of this rule necessitates immediate disqualification of the entry.

  • Judges are required to give notification to the exhibitor at time of discovery of any reason for which he is going to excuse entry from the ring.
  • At the conclusion of the line up, the winners may be selected or a work out called at the discretion of the Judge(s).  Workouts may be called for any place or places.  Workouts shall be judged as a separate class and horses must be awarded in positions considered within the workouts.

8.  No entry shall be considered for a workout in which first place is a consideration unless said entry has performed all required gaits during the initial performance.

  • During a class, there shall be no changing of equipment after the entry has entered the ring, except in the event of breakage.
  • In the event of breakage of equipment, the timeout rule shall apply.  Only that portion of equipment, which is broken, may be replaced.
  • During a workout judges shall have the option of calling for any or all required gaits.  Each gait must be performed both ways of ring and shall be worked so as to be observed by all officiating judges (Exception:  Championship classes, where preliminary classes are required for qualification) if workouts are called for, all gaits are required both ways of ring.
  •  Riders of horses parked in prior to or during a workout may dismount and make such adjustments to equipment as they can do unassisted.
  • If a rider desires to excuse himself from the ring for any reason, he or she shall ask permission of the Judge or Ringmaster and shall remain in the ring until excused.

14.   If a rider voluntarily removes a horse from the ring before the end of the class without permission, the rider shall be disqualified from all future classes of the show by Show Management and shall forfeit all prize money and entry fees for the entire show.
15.   In any class where three Judges are officiating, a Call Judge and a Judge shall be selected by lot by Show Management.  The remaining Judge shall be the ”Second Judge.”  All three judges are required to submit workout numbers.
A.  The Call judge shall direct the presentation of the horses in the required gaits.
B. The Judge and Second Judge shall tie all horses under consideration for final judgment.
16.   For horses to be eligible for a workout, when a three Judge system is used, entry numbers are to appear on not less than two judges’ cards. Horses not included in the workout and placed back on the rail for further judging may be  placed in the workout on the decision of any one of the three Judges.
17.  All horses in a workout shall be placed consecutively insofar as the number of places will allow.

  • When three Judges are officiating, it shall require the consent of two (2) judges to excuse a horse from the ring for being unruly, or for otherwise being in violation of this Rule Book.
  • If a workout is called to decide ties for other than first place, then this should be announced at the beginning of the workout. 


Amateur and Professional Status
For the purpose of clarification as regards exhibition, the following definitions are made as regards “status” of an exhibitor, trainer, owner, novice or juvenile.

  • Amateur Status
    • A person is an amateur who, after his or her 18th birthday, does not engage in any activities which would cause him/her to be classified as a professional.
    • Any person who has not reached his/her 18th birthday is declared to be an amateur.  For horse show purposes, a youth exhibitor is an individual who, on January 1st of the show year has not yet reached his/her 18th birthday.  If an exhibitor is 17 on January 1st and turns 18 on January 2nd the individual is still eligible to show as a youth exhibitor all that year.
    • Standing a breeding stallion, buying, selling and boarding horses does not affect a person’s amateur status.
    • The following does not affect amateur status:
      • The writing of books or articles for horse      show purposes;
      • The acceptance of remuneration for judging or serving in the capacity of DQP at horse shows;
      • The reimbursement of exhibitor for expenses without profit;
      • The acceptance of a small token of appreciation, other than money for exhibiting.
    • If there is a question whether a person is a professional or an amateur, final determination is made by the NSSHA Hearing Committee.
    • Anyone who requests a person to exhibit in an Amateur Class and then pays or remunerates that person in excess of what is allowable shall be subject to disciplinary action by the NSSHA Hearing Committee.


2.  Professional Status:  (Refers to any breed of horse)

    • A Professional is any adult or adults who have the responsibility for the care, training, custody or performance of a horse.  Professionals are responsible for a horse’s condition, to know the bylaws and Rules of NHSC and NSSHA and the penalty provisions of said Rules and Regulations.
    • A person is a professional and must obtain a trainers’ card for horse show purposes if, after his/her 18th birthday, he/she accepts remuneration for any of the following activities, whether or not it is the principal means of his/her income, excluding Halter Professionals.
        • Accepts remuneration for employment in connection with horses in a show.
        • Accepts remuneration for exercising, schooling, riding or driving.  A person can retain their amateur status if they give riding lessons but do not train horses.
        • Exhibits in horse shows any horse for which he/she or a member of his/her immediate family accepts remuneration for training for a person outside of the immediate family. Exception: One may exhibit a customer’s horse in an open class.
        • Accepts remuneration for employment in any capacity, rides or shows at halter in horse shows, any horse which his/her employer or a member of the immediate family of such employer owns, boards or trains.

3.  Halter Professional:  A person who shows at       halter any horse for which he/she accepts       remuneration for training weanlings and year-   lings for a person outside of his /her immediate       family.  A person who holds a trainer’s license,       or is otherwise classified as a professional,       shall also be deemed a halter professional. A   halter professional is not precluded from having       amateur status in classes under saddle pro-      vided he/she meets the appropriate criteria.

4.  Juvenile Status:  All exhibitors age 17 and under are considered to be juvenile exhibitors and will remain so until they reach their 18th birthday.   At age 7 and upward to age 15, all exhibitors must purchase a juvenile exhibitors card.  Juvenile card holders may show only in classes designated as juvenile classes and may not cross over into amateur classes, or vice versa.

5.  Amateur Owned and Trained Division

  • In all cases, with no exception, originalregistration papers must be in the name of exhibitor or member of immediate family.
  • Ownership by a corporation or company is prohibited.
  • The horse may not have been in a professional training barn for any part of the 30consecutive days immediately prior to an exhibition.  The horse may not be assisted in a physical manner with the preparation, training or exhibition from a professional trainer or an agent thereof for a period of 30 consecutive days immediately prior to an exhibition.
  •  Transportation to and from an exhibition is not prohibited.
  •  Violation of any of the rules regarding the Amateur Owned and Trained Classes will apply to the exhibitor, professional trainer or an agent thereof, and horse involved.  These violations will carry a C Violation Penalty.
  • Any rider may show Amateur Owned and Trained horses in juvenile, amateur or open classes.


All exhibitors must declare themselves either as an amateur, professional, or juvenile by age, prior to participating in any NSSHA show. Cards are issued annually, good only for that year’s show season.  NSSHA does not accept cards from any other breed registry or licensing organization.  Cards are renewable in the same classification for future years (with the exception of juveniles moving into either the amateur or professional classification at age 18).  You will not be admitted to the class until the number is supplied

Fees for the exhibitor’s cards will be reviewed annually, and are subject to change, upon notification.  Fees for the amateur and juvenile exhibitor cards will be the same, and the professional card prices will be assessed at a higher fee.  Exhibitor card pricing subject to review and/ or increase.

Amateur and Juvenile Exhibitor Cards     $15.00
Professional/Trainer Exhibitor Cards         $25.00

Classes Limited to Amateurs and Juveniles

There are classes, which will be listed as juvenile classes or amateur classes only. Professional card holders may not exhibit in these classes. 

Open Classes

All classes specified on class sheets as “open” are open to both amateur and professional exhibitors.  Juvenile exhibitors may not show in these classes unless the age so specifies.


Once a person has determined himself/herself to be a “professional” for horse show purposes he/she shall retain this status until such time as an application is made to the NSSHA.  Any person who has been a professional and who desires to be reclassified as an amateur on the grounds that said person no longer engages in the activities which make him/her a professional must notify NSSHA Board in writing.

One-year after receipt of said notice he/she may become officially reclassified.  A person shall not change status more than one time in three years.


Description of NSSHA Classes

Model Classes:  Handlers must be 16 years of age or older.  Horses shall be led into the ring and parked for judging.

Physical structure will be stressed.  Conformation and conditioning paramount, color and markings are incidental and should not be considered a factor in the final judging.

Horses must stand quietly.  Unruly entries shall be dismissed from the ring.  Faults and unsoundness shall be strongly penalized in final judging.

Horses should be alert and under control; a model of a well broke animal, standing at attention, tall and proud, standing on all 4 feet.  

Pleasure Classes Under Saddle:  The horses will enter the ring at a Flat Walk and will proceed counter clockwise around the ring in a Flat Walk until the gate is closed and the Running Walk is called for.  The Running Walk should be a comfortable easy gait with style (short lope or hand gallop is NOT acceptable for the Running Walk and to do so may be cause for elimination).  Excessive speed at the Running Walk is cause for disqualification or subject to severe penalty in the final judging.  This is NOT A RACE.  Show your horse with style and pride.  Make a distinct difference between Flat Walk and Running Walk.  Running Walk is to be recognized as having same form and style as Flat Walk.

In specified classes after the horses have been shown in Flat Walk and Running Walk they will be asked to Canter.  Your horse is expected to lead with the inside leg, and go a slow easy Canter and with a reasonably loose rein.  After all three gaits have been performed the first way of the ring, you will be asked to reverse your horse and perform the three gaits in order of Flat Walk, Running Walk and Canter at the Judge’s discretion.

Horse and Rider should present a CLEAN, NEAT PICTURE to the Judge and spectators.   Correct tack and riding attire are discussed elsewhere in this Rule Book.  It is the RIDER’S responsibility to KNOW the rules for riding attire.  You will be penalized for improper attire. 

Lead Line Class:  Riders must be age 6 or under, with handler (leader) age 16 or older. NO Stallions allowed.  Rider’s feet must fit stirrups.   Entry will be lead around ring and parked for judging.

Riders Age 11 and Under:  Riders age 11 and under will ride mares and geldings, No stallions permitted.  Will perform Flat Walk and Running Walk only, no Canter.

Riders Age 12 - 17:  Riders age 12-17 may exhibit mares, stallions and geldings.  Will perform all gaits, Flat Walk, Running Walk and Canter at show’s discretion.

Juvenile Stake: Open to juveniles age 17 and under.  Stallions prohibited in 11 and under division, mares and geldings only allowed.  NoCanter.  Stallions, mares and geldings allowed in 12-17 division.All divisions must qualify in a like class. 

Age Classes:  2 and 3 year old horses will perform Flat Walk and Show Pleasure, No Canter.

4 Year Old and Older: Horses will perform all 3 gaits, Flat Walk, Running Walk, and Canter.

Colts Shown at Halter:  Colt classes may be shown at halter.  Classes will be divided as Weanling Fillies, Weanling Stallions, Yearling Fillies, and Yearling Stallions.  Must be exhibited by handlers age 12 and older. Shoes on weanlings are prohibited.

Mare and Colt at Halter:  Mare and Colt, weanling or suckling, will be shown as a pair at halter.  Will be judged as a pair, consists as one entry with one entry fee per pair.  Handlers age 16 and older.


  • Mares and stallions may be shown in a bridle or show halter.

2.  Weanlings and yearlings may be shown in a show halter, snaffle bit optional.
3.  In Model Classes, entries must wear a show bridle or show halter.

Get of Sire:  One stallion and at least 2 but no more than 5, of the year’s foals will be shown as group and counted as one entry.  The group will be judged together.  Handlers age 16 and older.  Will be shown at halter, bridles permitted for stallions.

Showmanship (Halter, Youth Age 17 and Under Only):  Judging shall be based on exhibitor’s ability, and no consideration shall be given to the horse except for grooming and fitting.  Exhibitors shall hold excess lengths of lead shank or reins with coils closed and hand around the coils.  Exhibitor shall be penalized for inserting fingers through the coils or any other unsafe practices while showing.  Stallions prohibited.

Novice Classes: Classes may be included for novice riders who have not won 3 blue ribbons at NSSHA shows during the particular show season. The same classes may be added for novice horses, which have not won 3 blue ribbons at NSSHA shows during the particular show season.

Amateur Classes: Amateur Classes may be divided by age division, as shows so dictate.  Amateurs may show in open classes, and also in amateur classes.  Amateur classes will not Canter, however, if the open class the amateur rider is exhibiting in requires a Canter the amateur exhibitor will be expected to Canter.  Canter classes may be added for amateur exhibitors, as per class sheet dictates.

Amateur Owned and Trained Classes:  Amateur, Owned and Trained Classes will not canter unless the exhibitor is showing in a class requiring a canter.  Amateur Owned and Trained horses may be shown in Open and Amateur Classes. Horses may be shown by any exhibitor in Open and Amateur classes.  Amateur Owned and Trained Canter classes may be added for Amateur Owned and Trained exhibitors as per class sheet dictates.

Speed Saddle:  Open to riders age 18 and older riding mares, stallions, and geldings.  Show at Flat Walk, then Running Walk with Speed.  Horses breaking gait will be penalized.  Do not Canter.  Judged:  50% on Speed, 50% on overall performance and Conformation.

14.2 Hands and Under:  Horses entered into this division will be measured for height.  Horses will perform Flat Walk and Running Walk.  Classes may be divided into Juvenile and Adult Divisions, as well as Amateur Divisions.

Lady Riders:  Open to Lady Riders age 18 and over riding mares, stallions and geldings.  Will perform Flat Walk and Running Walk, no Canter, unless so specified.

Riders Age 50 and Older:  Open to any rider age 50 and older riding mares, stallions and geldings.  Will perform Flat Walk and Running Walk, no Canter.

Country Pleasure:  Open to riders age 18 and older riding mares, stallions and geldings.  Will show at Flat Walk, Running Walk, NO Canter. Shoes shall be stamped cast keg shoes, handmade shoes are illegal.  Horse should have a natural headset, moderate amount of head shake and a nice smooth non animated gait.  4 Year Old and Older classes may be required to Canter, if so it will be designated on class listing.  This class will back in the line-up. 

Trail Pleasure Class:  Open to any rider age 18 and older riding mares, stallions and geldings.  Will show at Flat Walk, Running Walk, NO Canter.  Shoes shall be 3/8” x ¾”.  Horses should go with a natural headset, and lot of head motion.  Should be slightly animated in the front, with long stride behind without having its’ hock bent.  4 Year Old and Older Classes may be required to Canter, if so it will be designated on class listing.  This class will back in the line-up.

Show Pleasure Class:  Open to any rider age 18 and older riding mares, stallions and geldings.  Will show at Flat Walk, Running Walk, NO Canter. Shoes shall be 3/8” x 3/4”.  This horse will have its head up and set.  It should have a lot of head motion with animation in the front, hocks slightly bent with a good long stride behind.  4 Year Old and Older Classes may be required to Canter, if so it will be designated on class listing.  This class will back in the line-up.

Lite Shod Performance:  Open to any rider age 18 and older riding, mares, stallions and geldings.  Will show at Flat Walk, Running Walk, NO Canter.  Shoes will not exceed 3/8” x 1”.  This horse will have its head up and set, lots of head motion and animated in the front with hocks bent and long stride behind and driving off its backend.  4 Year Old and Older Classes may be required to Canter, if so it will be designated on class listing.  This class will NOT back in the line-up.



    • No ginger or any medication may be applied to the entry while it is in the ring.
    • Any trainer or handler who, in the opinion of the Judge, abuses an entry with a whip or other instrument shall be excused from the class.
    • If, in the opinion of the Judge, an entry poses a threat to other exhibitors by its behavior, or offers an obstacle to other exhibitors, it may be excused from competition.
    • Model entries may be shown as shod for show or pleasure use, so long as they conform to USDA regulations and show in their respective classes.


Equitation Classes:  The Spotted Horse’s unique center of gravity and gaits require an equitation seat of its own.  It is characterized by balance, grace and ease as the rider sits well back on the horse with legs directly under the body to facilitate the extreme collection of the Spotted Horse.

 General Rules

    • Spotted Horse Equitation should come under the Equitation Division in all shows, and must be officiated by a Judge licensed in Spotted Horse Equitation.


2. Horses used in this division should be well groomed and properly tacked.
3.  All riders in Equitation classes must conform to the rules for personal appointments or be severely penalized.
4.  Equitation classes are for riders 17 years old or younger and adults 18 and over.  The age of the individual on January 1st shall be maintained throughout the entire year.


  • Fall of the horse and/or rider will eliminate the entry.
  • Any rider not having his mount under sufficient control shall be dismissed from the ring.
  • No attendant shall be allowed in the ring except at the request of the Judge. 
  • When additional tests are desired, the Judge’s instructions to the riders shall be publicly announced.  Tests should be posted one hour before show time.
  • Riders should be familiar with various parts of the horse, tack and rules on Equitation.
  • Unsoundness of the mount shall not penalize a rider unless it is sufficient to impair the required performance, except such unsoundness that violates the HPA and other Rules mentioned elsewhere which shall disqualify both horse and rider.
  • Prize Money:  Offering of money in Equitation is forbidden, since under the rules covering international sport, a competitor accepting money prizes thereby becomes a professional. In Equitation Classes, the individual is the competitor and wins the award, whereas in other classes the horse is the competitor.
  • Judges shall penalize those contestants who do not conform to proper appointment.  Appointment requirements are based on good taste, which is always in style and always correct.


 Championship Stake Classes: Championship Stake Classes are offered in all divisions, if the length of the show so allows.  To compete in Stake Classes, in all divisions the horse must have qualified in a previous like class, as noted on showbill. 4 Year Old and Older Open classes will canter, unless otherwise specified on Class Sheet or Show Bill. 

Age requirements of both the horse and rider will be listed, pertaining to particular classes.  Stake Classes are normally offered in the following divisions:


2 year old
3 year old
4 year old
5 year old and older (World Grand Championship at the September Show)
Country Pleasure
Trail Pleasure
Show Pleasure
Lite Shod Performance
Juvenile, 11 and under
Juvenile 12- 17
Amateur (may be further divided by age of horse)
Amateur Owned and Trained
14.2 hand and Under


At the Championship Fall Show, the Open World Grand Championship Trail Pleasure, Shod, Open World Grand Championship Show Pleasure, Open World Grand Championship Lite Shod Performance and Open World Grand Championship Open Shod Performance classes will canter in qualifying and Championship Classes.  (unless indicated otherwise on class sheet)

 World Grand Championship Stake:  Saddles will be removed in this class for conformation judging.  Each exhibitor is allowed two grooms in the arena to assist him in preparing the horse for the conformation judging, and for tacking the horse back up, after judging.

 Grooms shall be neat and clean, containing no advertisements.

 All 3 gaits will be worked both ways of the ring prior to saddles being removed for conformation judging.  After conformation judging, 2 gaits will be worked both ways of the ring.  This is mandatory.  3 gaits to be worked is optional.


Flag Horses:  The Flag Horse at all NSSHA Shows can be any Spotted Saddle Horse. The horse is eligible to show at that night’s show.

Annual Shows:  NSSHA presents an annual Spring, Mid-Season and World Grand Championship Show.

One-night Shows:  One night, NSSHA affiliated shows are presented during the show season by sponsoring Civic and Community groups.

Retirement ceremonies:  Are available by request to the NSSHA office.

Retired Horses:  Retired horses are not permitted to compete in any class after retirement, with the exception of breeding classes such as Mare and Foal and Get of Sire, or Parade of Stallions.

Awards Banquet:  An annual awards banquet is held the last Saturday night in January at a designated location. Awards are given in all divisions, with each being titled “Horse of the Year” in the individual divisions.  Points are tallied, from all placings in said division, at all NSSHA shows during the season, and the horse with the tally of the most points is awarded the title Horse of the Year, for his division.

Outstanding Promoter Award:  Each year, at the Awards Banquet, NSSHA awards an award or trophy to one or more individuals who have contributed much to our organization during the year.  This award is decided upon by the NSSHA Board of Directors.

Advertising Award of Excellence:  This award is given to anyone securing $1000 or more in Corporate Sponsorships and will be presented with a trophy buckle at the Awards Banquet.

Distance Award:  This award is given to the person with the most miles logged in with NSSHA over the calendar year of trail riding, including dates, locations and miles.  The paperwork must be submitted by January 10 of the following year. The award will be presented at the Awards Banquet.

Supreme National Champion Award: The NSSHA offers a Supreme National Champion program for NSSHA registered horses. There are five categories in the Supreme National Champion Program.  The categories are Bronze National Champion (10 blue ribbons), Silver National Champion (25 blue ribbons), Golden National Champion (50 blue ribbons), Platinum National Champion (75 blue ribbons), and Diamond National Champion (100 blue ribbons).  The NSSHA will recognize the Supreme Champions at the Awards Banquet, which is held the last Saturday in January each year.

To obtain a title, the proceeding process must be followed:

        • It is the responsibility of the owner of the horse to keep track of the history of the winning blues for your horse;
        • The wins must come from affiliated or sanctioned NSSHA shows;
        • The horse must be registered with NSSHA and must be living (no posthumous Supreme National Champion Awards will be presented.)
        • The wins must be submitted to the NSSHA office by November 15th in order for the victory total to be confirmed and the award presented at the Annual Awards Banquet.
        • The owner must keep a record of the wins by logging the following information regarding the wins – name of show, year of show and class number.  The information must be supplied to NSSHA for the victory total to be confirmed.
        • Submit the form, along with a $10.00 processing fee.  A subsequent form and a $10.00 processing must be submitted for each category.  Example: if you submitted a form in 2003 for the Bronze National Champion and your horse earned 15 more blue ribbons during the 2004 show season, you must submit another form and $10.00 fee to obtain the Silver National Champion Award. 
        • Forms may be obtained from the NSSHA office.

 Hall of Fame:  The Spotted Saddle Horse Hall of Fame was formed to honor individuals and horses who have contributed much to the Spotted Saddle Horse Breed, and to the betterment of our organization.

 The horse must be NSSHA registered and must be deceased to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  The individual does not have to be deceased; it is our goal to honor these individuals while “they can smell the roses”.

 Horses and Individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame are nominated and elected to the honor by the NSSHA Shareholders.

 A photo of the horse and/or individual inducted into the Spotted Saddle Horse Hall of Fame is displayed in the NSSHA office.

 Trainer of the Year Award/Professional Division:  The Trainer of the Year Award Professional Division is awarded at the annual awards banquet to the trainer who has accumulated the tally of the most points from all placings of all horses at all NSSHA shows during the show season.  Trainers must list themselves as both the trainer and exhibitor of said horse and must sign the entry sheet as trainer, to receive the points from their placings.  (In a show paying 5 places, 1st place receives 5 points, etc. and down to 5th place receiving one point.  The same example applies to shows paying 1-7 places).

 Trainer of the Year/Amateur and Juvenile Divisions:  The Trainer of Year Award Amateur/Juvenile Division is awarded at the annual awards banquet to the trainer who has accumulated the tally of the most points from all the Amateur and Juvenile exhibited horses in their training program. The trainer must sign the entry sheets as the trainer of the said entry, in order to receive the points for that entry.  The overall tally of all points for all placings will be tallied for this honor, with the trainer with the highest number of points receiving the honor.

Challenge Trophies:  Challenge trophies may be awarded in any class by a stable, farm or individual.  These trophies will be retained by NSSHA after winner’s photo is made.  Each year’s winner’s name will be engraved on the trophy by NSSHA.  These trophies are on display in the NSSHA office for your viewing.

NSSHA Sales:  All entries into a National Spotted Saddle Horse Association sale must be registered NSSHA, or be registered in the identification only registry by NSSHA.  In the event, other entries are allowed to enter; the non-NSSHA registered horses are sold last.

NSSHA Journal:  The Association produces a breed Journal, which is published quarterly.  This publication carries news of horse shows, trail rides and articles and advertisement important to horse owners.  The Journal is a benefit of membership, free to paid member households, available also, by subscription to non-members. Advertising rates and subscription fees to the Journal are available from the office. The Journal is a benefit of membership, free to paid member households.  It is also available by subscription to non-members.

 Complaints and Suggestions:  All complaints and suggestions are to be directed to the NSSHA Board of Directors, in the form of a formal letter, stating complaints and/or suggestions and all information regarding the issue being addressed. 

All letters of complaint and suggestion must be dated and signed by the individual, who is presenting the issue to be resolved. All individuals who file letters of complaint and suggestion should be a current member of NSSHA and in good standing. 

Letters of complaint and suggestions should be mailed to the mailing address of the association office, and will be forwarded to the attention of the NSSHA Board of Directors. After presentation to the entire board, the individual who filed the complaint and/or suggestion will be notified, by letter, of any action taken on the issue.