NZ Western Riding Federation services


The New Zealand Western Riding Federation administers the sport of western riding through affiliated clubs and breed associations throughout New Zealand. The Federation is a non-profit organisation which was accepted as a National Incorporated Society in 1985.

Representatives from affiliated Western Riding Clubs meet annually to elect the North and South Island Executives who in turn form the National Executive.

Each Island Executive meets regularly to support club activities and organise various programmes: youth training schools, rookie schools, junior horse futurity, Easter Show demonstration, Teams Show and more. 

NZWRF Rulebook

The Rulebook is reprinted annually prior to the commencement of the show season to include any rule changes. It is available from the National Secretary. It contains information on:

  • event descriptions and rules
  • set patterns for reining, western riding and cowhorse events
  • shows
  • duties of stewards, show managers, secretaries and judges
  • definitions of class divisions (junior, senior and open horse, youth, rookie and amateur)

The NZWRF rules committee meets annually to formulate any rule changes, taking into account the club recommendations and latest rules used internationally.

Show approvals

NZWRF approved shows are open to all horses and riders. Show approval is granted to western shows which offer facilities and a schedule of classes that meet NZWRF standards.

The application must be sent to the relevant Island Show Approver, at least 40 days before the event takes place to allow time for processing the application and updating the show calendar, which will reflect the approval status of each show applied for.

At the close of the Show, the Show Manager submits the official show results to the relevant Island Show Approver for scrutinising and forwarding to the National Secretary, for recording on the Points on Computer programme.  Competitors must enrol to be eligible for points recording. (no cost).

Competitor numbers

Competitors are allocated life time numbers for themselves and their horse by filling out an enrolment form and sending to the National Secretary.

Riders do not need to display their number, they only need to know their own number for show entry forms.

The only numbers displayed are the horse numbers, Halter, Showmanship at Halter, bareback horsemanship, etc, one horse number is to be worn on the handler’s back, ridden events the horses number to be displayed one on either side of the horse on the saddle blanket.


The Amateur division is designed for the non-professional exhibitor who owns and shows his/her own horse. It is not open to youth. Applications for Amateur status are made annually, and the NZWRF issues an Amateur cards to successful applicants. This card must be sighted by the Day Secretary/Show Manager before entering the arena to compete.


Western riders who are members of one of the affiliated clubs or breed associations have their achievements recognised annually by the presentation of awards and trophies. These annual and lifetime awards are awarded on the basis of points gained by placing in the top six in recognised competitive events. The annual National Awards are:

  • Hipoint Junior Performance Horse
  • Hipoint Senior Performance Horse
  • Hipoint Games Horse
  • Hipoint Junior Youth
  • Hipoint Senior Youth
  • Hipoint Amateur Rider
  • Hipoint Trekking Rider

Additionally, the North and South Islands have a range of Hipoint trophies which are keenly contested each year.

Master Stewards’ Certificate

This programme trains Ring and Gate Stewards for western riding shows. These stewards are vital to the smooth running of shows, and assist the judge and competitors by ensuring that the show schedule is adhered to. An important part of the Steward’s duties is recording the class results ready for the judge’s signature.

Any interested person is encouraged to sit the open book test. The applicant then stewards at two show, once in the ring and once on the gate, with each judge commenting on their performance. A NZWRF Rulebook is essential.

There is no charge for this programme, and it is a good stepping stone for anyone interested in becoming a judge. Contact the National Secretary for further information.  Email:


The NZWRF maintains a list of judges qualified to judge Appaloosa Halter, Quarterhorse Halter and Western Performance.

Judges are required to judge at least one show and attend one judges’ clinic in any two year period. Judges are issued with a judges’ card and the latest Rulebook updates after completing an annual questionnaire. Contact your club secretary if you are looking for a judge for your show.

Judges’ training: the minimum requirement for aspiring judges is the Master Stewards Certificate. The applicant must be 20 years of age and he/she must be a financial member of an affiliated club and/or breed association.

The Federation aims to provide at least one annual Judges’ Seminars for the training of new judges and as a refresher for existing judges.   For further information, contact the Judges’ Co-ordinator.


Trekking is a popular activity in most clubs. Hours spent riding at club treks are recorded and forwarded to the National Secretary annually. The following awards are granted:

  • Register of Merit 100 hours
  • Superior Awards 250 hours
  • Honour Roll 500 hours