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Everything Equine Expo
Trail Challenge

Please Note--this event is produced by The Everything Equine Expo. If you have any questions, please reach out to Everything Equine Expo or Rose Cushing.

2023 Ultimate Trail Challenge –

Please register online to help us get a headcount for our show and help speed up the registration process on show day. No payment due online. You can pay the day of the show!

The Ultimate Trail Challenge offers a fun opportunity for contestants to test their skills with obstacles in different ways.

1. Horsemanship – The obstacles in this course will emphasize the skill of the horse and rider to demonstrate a correct approach, navigation of the obstacle, and departure. Gaits between obstacles should be designated on the pattern sheet to include leads.

2. Gaits between obstacles should be designated on the pattern sheet to include correct leads. Scored on a scale of 1-10 (with 5 being considered an average score).

3. Precision – This segment of the challenge is designed to test the rider and horse on a much tighter course where touching poles, stepping out of an obstacle, etc. carries a penalty score. Scoring follows NRSHA and AQHA Versatility Ranch Trail rules. 70 is the starting point and with each obstacle, you can gain up to 1 ½ points or lose up to 1 ½ points. Penalties are deducted from -1/2 up to 5 points depending on severity. (See score sheet attached).

Competition Procedure –

1. All events must be pre-entered. Dates, prices, and deadlines for entries will be available several months ahead of time.

2. The Ultimate Trail Challenge is not affiliated with any other organization and is not governed by the rules of any other organization.

3. Every horse shall be treated with dignity and respect. Any action or treatment that is deemed to be cruel, abusive, or inhumane by either show management or the judge(s) will result in immediate disqualification from the event.

4. You may use your number (provided that your number has not been previously used during the competition year by another competitor), or one will be provided to you on the day of the competition. It must be visible to the judge(s) while you are on course. Failure to wear the correct number will result in disqualification for that class. If you are competing in multiple UTC competitions during the year. Please bring your number to each competition. It will be your number for the year.

5. There are 5 divisions: Youth, Beginner, Open, Green Horse, and In-hand. You may cross-enter divisions.

6. Courses will consist of 6-12 obstacles and no more than 30 seconds per obstacle or 3 tries is allowed. Ranch Trail will require an obstacle that you rope.

7. All disciplines and all breeds are welcome. If a gait is called for that your horse does not perform, please make sure the judge(s) are aware ahead of time. (Ex: Trot….and you are on a Paso Fino).

8. The judge(s) may disqualify any horse determined to be lame. A horse is considered lame if:

a. It shows consistent lameness at the trot.

b. There is obvious head nodding, hitching, and shortened stride.

c. There is minimal weight bearing while moving or standing still.

9. Patterns for the courses will be available before the Walk Through.

10. Walking the Course – The judge(s) and/or management will assign a time for all riders to meet. Riders can discuss the pattern with the judge(s), ask questions, and will walk the course with the judge(s). Judges should advise of any areas of concern and clarify for competitors how they wish the obstacles to be ridden. (Walk/Trot courses will have a separate walk-through.) All Walk-Throughs will be unmounted. There will be ample time for you to tack and or go to your stall to get your horse before your ride time.

11. Assigned Times – Show management may assign ride times for each class. If you miss your ride time you will be moved to the last ride of the class. Please make every effort to let show management know if you have conflicts that may affect your ride time or that you are coming if you have missed a time.

Equipment – We welcome all styles of riding and tack (no bareback pads). Bitless bridles and bosals are allowed. Snaffle bits may be used on horses of all ages. Curb straps or curb chains must be used with shank bits. If you have any questions about tack, please address the judge(s) during the Walk-Through. No tie-downs, martingales, or training equipment of any kind that will restrict head movement. Protective boots are permitted. You may be asked to throw a rope and you are encouraged to provide your lariat.

Attire – Long pants, and boots with heels are required. Long sleeve shirts are appreciated but not required. Riders shall wear a western-style hat or certified riding helmet. Ball caps are not permitted. Chaps, chinks, and spurs are optional.

Obstacles – The Ultimate Trail Challenge may use any safe obstacle. Our goal is a fun competitive event that allows riders and horses to give obstacle challenges a “try”. You may expect to have to demonstrate all gaits (except walk/trot divisions), a simple change of lead, 360-degree turns, stopping, backing, side-pass, dismount, and remount, trailer load, water obstacles, drags, gates, bridges, cowboy curtains, ground-tie and many more.

Scoring - The Speed and Horsemanship divisions are scored on a 1-10 scale with 5 being considered average. When there is more than one (1) judge, all scores will be combined and averaged.

1. Horses will lose points for backing away or side-stepping an obstacle.

2. Refinement will score higher than obvious cues.

3. Horses opening their mouths and arguing with their riders will receive a lower score.

4. Kicking out, bucking, and biting at the rider will be penalized.

5. Riders should appear balanced and in control.

6. Partial scores may be given for attempting an obstacle.

7. Going off course will result in a “zero” score.

8. Shank bits should be ridden one-handed. There will be a 3pt penalty for going to 2 hands.

9. In Horsemanship, and Precision horses should not rush obstacles. Calm horses will score higher than tense or nervous ones.

10. Dislodging an obstacle will result in 1-3 point deductions.

11. A natural headset is desirable.


We are very excited to announce we are going to have the Ultimate Trail Challenge Series 2023 at Cavietta Qyarter Horse and Cattle Company! This will be 5 challenges with a buckle per class at the end of the year! New obstacles at each challenge! Save the dates

April 1

May 20

June 17

Oct 7

Nov 4

We will have practice runs before Challenge $10 per run


In Hand




Green Horse (inexperienced or young horse)

$35 per class

To run for points there is a one time fee of $35.

Overall high point prize

Rules and applications to follow

Vendors and food on site

6131 Town Creek Rd, Elm City, NC 27822

Sponsors appreciated!

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