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So you want to be an NCHA judge

The National Cutting Horse Association Judging Department is committed to providing well-trained judges for all NCHA-sanctioned cutting horse contests. Those NCHA members wishing to become judges must complete a rigorous training program and subsequent refresher clinics on the proper interpretation and application of the rules for judging cutting horse events in order to be considered a certified NCHA judge.

Certified judges are rated A, AA, AAA or AAAA, with the latter being the highest category. These ratings depend upon the number of events an individual has judged, evaluations of the individuals judging performance at judging clinics and scores received on bi-annual tests. 


The process to become a judge starts with asking yourself a few questions:

  1. Are you at least 19 years of age?
  2.  Have you been an active member of NCHA continuously for the last five (5) years?
  3.  During the last 3 years, you have NOT been suspended, put on probation or reprimanded by the Association?
  4.  During the last 3 years, have you been an active competitor in NCHA approve events?
  5.  Do you have at least $10,000 in lifetime earnings?

If you answered yes to all of the above, you can start the process of becoming an NCHA judge.

Download and read the Judge's Code of Ethics

Use your lifetime earnings and fill out the appropriate application, each of which includes an Open Book test on which you must score 80% as well as the other requirements for becoming a judge.

Send the application and all of the items required by the application to the NCHA Judging Department.

You're on your way!

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National Cutting Horse Association
260 Bailey Ave.
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Office Hours

Monday thru Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm CST