Merit Award Program
Certificate of Ability – A horse will be certified after winning a total of $500 in any NRCHA class or combination of classes. It is the intention of the NRCHA that the Certificate of Ability will be available to a great number of horses that do in fact show ability, earnings from Category 2 will not be counted toward this award.
Superior Cow Horse Award – This award will be given when a horse has earned $5,000 in any NRCHA class or combination of classes or events. All earnings from reined cow horse snaffle bit events can be added to the hackamore and bridle winnings to total $5,000 in order to receive this award. The NRCHA believes that any horse that wins $5,000 in a single class or combination of classes and events is certainly considered a Superior Cow Horse and should be recognized, earnings from Category 2 Events, Non Pro Limited Classes and Youth Limited classes will not be counted toward this award.
Supreme Reined Cow Horse – The NRCHA has reserved the Supreme Reined Cow Horse Award for the unique horse that has shown and won in all divisions and the horse has substantial earnings. A horse must meet the following criteria:
a. The horse must have been shown in approved Limited Age Events and earned at least $1,000 in these events. The horse must have been shown in the hackamore and have earned at least $1,000 in this event. Hackamore Classic LAE money can count toward either LAE money or Hackamore money so long as it is counted only once. Up to $20,000 of any monies won at these two types of events can be applied to the total earnings required.
b. The horse must win a total of $25,000. After considering the totals earned from Limited Age Events and the hackamore, with the limitations previously stated, the remaining balance must be won in the bridle division.
c. Money earned in Category 2 Events, Non Pro Limited classes and Youth Limited classes will not count towards the Supreme Reined Cow Horse Award.
d. To fulfill the hackamore requirement, earnings must come from NRCHA Horse Show Hackamore classes or Hackamore Classic LAE money can count toward either LAE money or Hackamore money so long as it is counted only once.
e. Money earned in the two rein class will count as bridle earnings for the merit award program.
f. Foals of 2000 and prior will be grandfathered into this program and are not required to have won the $1,000 in Limited Age Events and hackamore, but still must win a total of $25,000.
As of January 1, 2002 earnings which count toward the Merit Awards are all NRCHA Approved horse shows, LAE and Category 1 Special Events.
Per the Rules Committee Dec. 2007:
Horses foaled in 2000 or before, who earned money in the Hackamore Classic, may use that money to fulfill the Hackamore Division requirement. Money earned in the Hackamore Classic may be used as either Limited Aged or Hackamore Class earnings, whichever is in the best interest of the horse achieving the award, but can only be counted one time.