Minnesota Saddlebred State Championship Rules

This program is for amateur riders and drivers.
For classes to count towards qualifying for the program, the horse must be ridden or driven by an amateur.


1. State Championships are earned by American Saddlebred (ASB) horses in performance classes and by riders in equitation classes (Exception: Any breed of horse is eligible to complete in the Open Pleasure classes).

2. For a horse to qualify, all owners must be members of the MSHA and must have paid the appropriate horse recording fee.

3. For an equitation rider to qualify, the rider must be a member of MSHA and must have paid the appropriate equitation rider recording fee.

4. If multiple riders show the same horse and want to qualify for the State Championship program, each rider must be a MSHA member and must have paid the appropriate horse recording fee.

5. To be eligible for the State Championships, the horse or rider must show in their respective class or classes at a minimum of three qualifying shows and show in the corresponding class at the Minnesota Saddlebred State Championship Horse Show. Shows for qualifying will be counted after the appropriate fees have been received by MSHA as noted in numbers 2 to 4 above.

6. Horse or rider may qualify by showing at a minimum of three qualifying shows. Qualifying shows are as follows:

Spring Tune-Up Horse Show

F.A.S.H. Inc. Spring Horse Show

Summerfest Horse Show

Tanbark Cavalcade of Roses Horse Show

The Capitol Classic I & II Horse Shows

North Star Americana Horse Show

Washington County Fair Horse Show

Octoberfest Horse Show

In the Five-Gaited, Three-Gaited, Fine Harness and Park classes, if an amateur class is not offered at a specific qualifying show, showing in the Open class will count as a qualifying class.

7. Riders receive a State Championship hat for each class qualified.

8. Awards will be given to the Top Five in each class. The Top Five will include the five highest placing eligible horses in the class at the Minnesota Saddlebred State Championship Horse Show, with the Champion being the highest placing and the Reserve Champion the second highest.

Example: In the Show Pleasure Diving division, six horses attended at least three of the qualifying shows. All six horses show in the class at the Minnesota Saddlebred State Championship Horse Show. Four of the horses receive a ribbon in the class and a fifth horse is placed seventh. Those five horses will be awarded the Top Five awards. The highest placing horse of that group will be named the Champion, not necessarily the winner of the actual class, but the highest placing of the eligible horses. Reserve Champion is awarded in the same manner.?

9. State Championships are offered in the following classes:

Five-Gaited Amateur

Three-Gaited Amateur

Park Amateur

Fine Harness Amateur

Park Pleasure Amateur

Show Pleasure 17 & under

Show Pleasure 18 & over

Show Pleasure Five-Gaited

Show Pleasure Driving

Open English Pleasure 17 & under

Open English Pleasure 18 & over

Open Western Pleasure

Saddlebred Model

Country Pleasure 17 & under

Country Pleasure 18 & over

Country Pleasure Driving

Country Pleasure Western

Country Pleasure Five-Gaited

Country Pleasure Hunter

Pleasure Equitation 17 & under

Saddle Seat Equitation 17 & under

Saddle Seat Equitation 18 & over

Open Walk & Trot Pleasure 12 & under

Walk & Trot Equitation 12 & under

Open Hunter Pleasure

Open Pleasure Driving

Open Breed Pleasure W/T Single Bit

Open Breed Pleasure W/T/C Single Bit

State Championships will be made in the corresponding class at the Minnesota Saddlebred State Championship Horse Show. For example, Five-Gaited Amateur will be presented in the Five-Gaited Amateur class, not the Five-Gaited Stake.

10. Horses in the Open English, Western and Hunter Pleasure classes must be ridden by an amateur. Horses driven in Open Pleasure Driving must be driven by an amateur. Any breed of horse is eligible to compete in the Open Pleasure classes.

Updated March 2022


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