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Riders' Cup heats up as season winds down



By Sadie Fowler

The Riders’ Cup program, known and loved for its big money payouts at season’s end, is getting exciting. As the show season comes closer to the end anything can happen in the rankings, depending on who shows and where they chose to show.

The program is sponsored by the WHTA and administered by the Walking Horse Report. It was designed as an incentive to bring more trainers and their horses to the horse shows — trainers tend to bring their amateur riders along when they show as well. Riders’ Cup pays out to 25 places in the performance division and 15 places in the pleasure division rather than 10.

The program gives points for showing regardless of placing, which promotes participation.

Points can be earned in all open performance and pleasure classes across a total of 20 divisions. The Performance divisions are currently broken down into 13 categories and the pleasure divisions are broken down into seven categories.

Any show can participate, as the program is open to all HIOs, in all states. Shows can choose to participate in all divisions or pick and choose the divisions where they think Riders’ Cup can increase participation. Trainers want to come show their open horses to earn points (even if they don’t get a ribbon) in order to earn additional money.

Any trainers who are members and in good standing with the WHTA are eligible to participate at no additional charge.

The program works off of a point system, where a single judge show receives single points, and a multi-judge show receives double points with the exception of The Celebration, which is a triple point show, and the National Trainers’ Show, which is a 5x points show.

Any show that participates with the Riders’ Cup will receive the following point classification: Trainers will receive 50 points for participating in a class without receiving a ribbon. Other point totals include 200 for 1st, 190 for 2nd, 180 for 3rd, 170 for 4th, 160 for 5th, 150 for 6th, 140 for 7th, 130 for 8th, 120 for 9th and 110 for 10th place.

What’s LEFT?

Shows remaining on this year’s slate that will affect the Riders’ Cup standings include the Alabama Jubilee, a triple point show to be held Oct. 26-27; Tunica Fall Classic, also a triple point show scheduled for Nov. 1-3; WHTA Thanksgiving Classic, valued at five times the points, and Nov. 10 Walking For The Angels, a double point show.

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