The SHOW HIO has made several updates to its 2023 rulebook. A change previously announced was the change with how horses will be required to enter the show ring. That rule is found in both the general rulebook as well as in the judges’ section of the rulebook. The new rule reads:

(8) When horses enter the gate they must continue going the first way of the ring (counter clockwise) past the line of sight of the judge(s) proceeding towards the second turn of the ring. Horses must not pass in front of the gate in either direction until the class has been called. A horse is not to double back behind the gate or continue around the ring the first way and pass the gate area. An intentional violation of this rule by the exhibitor will result in the entry being excused from the class.

The new rulebook also broke out the All Day Pleasure division from the Gaited Pleasure division. The All Day Pleasure division requires all entries to be registered Tennessee Walking Horses and it explicitly states that it is necessary for entries to walk and shake. You can review the requirements of the entire All Day and Gaited Pleasure divisions here (

There is a new rule outlining the requirement for the Amateur/Amateur division and classes:

(3b) Amateur/Amateur Class

“Amateur/Amateur” is a performance or pleasure class with any age horse or amateur rider (if amateur is a juvenile, juvenile rider must be 12 years of age or older). One amateur will ride first way of the ring. The second amateur must ride second way of the ring (the same rider may not ride both ways of the ring on the same entry). When the line up is called, the amateur rider that rode first way of the ring will join their entry by standing beside the horse for the duration of the line up. This is a specialty class.

There was also a slight change to who qualifies to show an Amateur Owned & Trained entry:

Additionally, AOT horses must be owned, trained and shown by the owner of the horse or immediate family member of the horse’s owner. All persons involved must meet the requirements of amateur status. A leasee of a horse may not exhibit the horse being leased in an AOT class. 
Exception: If an owner of a horse co-lease’s said horse between his/herself and another individual(s), the owner can still exhibit said horse in AOT if he/she meets all other requirements of AOT.

The final two rule changes focused on the definition of Classic Horse and the Farrier/Groom classes:

(7) Classic Horse

“Classic Horse” class is a performance or pleasure class in which all horses must be 15 years of age and older to qualify. Each horse must be a minimum of 15 years of age based on the age of horse definition (Section 2, A).

(8) Farrier/Groom Class

Farrier/Groom class is a performance class for any farrier or persons qualifying as a groom. A person exhibiting in this class cannot hold a professional license. 

The SHOW HIO is currently reviewing the substantial comments received on the Amateur and Professional status rule. Currently, there has been no change from the 2022 rule.