Make the most of your show season

Showing is fun in many ways — the company of fellow horse lovers, getting dressed up in your show finery, and if all goes well, ribbons and glory for you and your equine partner.

There are also opportunities to maximize your show results to ribbons and rankings you may not have realized you also qualify for, or would qualify for with a little extra effort.

USEF Horse of the Year

To qualify: Register BEFORE show season starts.

If you’re already doing a registered USEF show (you’ll know if it’s a USEF show if you are required to have USEF membership to compete), and you own your horse, it may be worthwhile to you to register for Horse of the Year.

First, check and see if the horse has ever been registered:

Next, log into your USEF member account and go down to the Horse Options area. Choose the appropriate choice: Add New Horse (your horse has never been registered) or Transfer Horse (your horse has an ID, but its registration has expired).


Follow the form prompts. You can choose to do an annual registration or lifetime registration (prices will vary).

AHA Region 5 Year End High Point Awards

To qualify: Register your placings after you’ve shown

If you have shown in 3 or more Region 5 shows this year, you probably qualify for the Region 5 High Point Awards. They place out to 10th place in a wide variety of categories, so your chance to ribbon is pretty good and the awards banquet held in January is a lot of fun.

You don’t have to own your horse, and you don’t have to pre-register. You earn points by placing in classes or volunteering at Region 5 shows.

For rules and registration info, see here:

Bonus: If you also do schooling, open, or 4H shows, you may want to consider entering the Region 5 Open High Point Awards. The rules and registration info is here:

USDF All Breeds Awards

To qualify: Join as a participating member and register your horse BEFORE you show. After show season, fill out your declaration form and send it in.

If you show in dressage, you can qualify for the USDF All Breeds awards among other awards. Rules:

When you join the USDF, you will receive Member Guide, which will outline all the various awards they offer. They also have a link to the Member Guide on their website:

AHA Achievement Awards

To qualify: Annual enrollment for your horse. 

The Achievement Awards are best seen as part of your horse’s registered name. Horses with names like DA Tristen+// are indicating they’ve achieved a level of eminence in showing. The “+//” shows that he’s earned his Legion of Excellence. Two things happened here: He showed well, and he was actively enrolled in the Achievement Awards when he showed.

While this doesn’t necessarily result in anything annually, over time, as you show and place well, your horse accumulates achievement points. Active enrollment is required for your points to count toward awards, or the  purchase of enrollment for previous show seasons (more expensive).

To see more: