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Merit Awards Program

Merit Awards

Merit Award Certificate Earn a Register of Merit (ROM), Legion of Merit (LOM) or Superior Division Horse (SDH) Awards and you can order a certificate with horse's name, title earned (and class name, if applicable), date awarded, and owner's name.

Merit Award Plaque Earn a Superior Event Horse (SEH), Superior Halter Horse (SHH), Versatility Award (VA), Performance Versatility (PV) Awards, Halter Legacy Award (HLA), Performance Legacy Award (PLA), Halter Hall of Champions Award (HHCA), Performance Hall of Champions Award (PHCA), Versatility Hall of Champions Award (VHCA), Division Horse Hall of Champions Award (DHHCA), Supreme Halter Hall of Fame Award (SHHFA), Supreme Performance Hall of Fame Award (SPHFA), Supreme Versatility Award (SVA), or Supreme Performance Versatility Award (SPVA) and you can order a custom plaque with simple engraving with horse's name, title earned, date awarded, and owner's name. Actual horse head design may vary, cookies from recent years are typically used. You may also order the above certificate.


Mission Statement

The goal of the Merit Award Program is to reward models which consistently place well at NAMHSA member shows. This is entirely separate from, and may be in addition to, any NAN awards the model may win; attendance at any NAN is *not required* to earn a Merit Award. We also hope to encourage show holders to sponsor more NAMHSA member shows in regions where the opportunity to attend a NAN is less likely, as it will give showers an attainable goal to strive for, and a reason to continue supporting our member shows. In what follows, we set forth the rules for participation in the Merit Award Program.

Eligibility

Models earn NAN cards by placing first or second at NAMHSA member shows. These cards can be used to earn Merit Awards. The proper number of cards is mailed in with the application form and appropriate fee to the Merit Awards Coordinator.

  • Basic Award: Any horse earning any titled award may be processed for a $1 fee. Titles awarded in this manner will be recorded in the NAMHSA Merit Award database, announced on applicable NAMHSA email lists, and will appear on the NAMHSA Merit Award Gallery website. Horses earning titles in this manner may apply for future cumulative awards based on these titles, as may horses being awarded certificates and/or plaques.

  • ROM, LOM and SDH: Award certificates are available for $5 including postage, and include the above accolades.

  • SEH, SHH, VA, PVA, HLA, PLA, HHCA, PHCA, VHCA, DHHCA, SHHFA, SPHFA, SVA, or SPVA: Awards are available for $30 for a trophy plaque and certificate including postage, or $25 for the trophy plaque only, or $5 for the certificate only, including postage, and include the above accolades.

Award Levels

In order for a model to receive an award, the owner must submit the minimum number of NAN cards required to earn one of the following awards. The owner decides which award(s) they wish to strive for, and need not earn, for example, an ROM, LOM or SDH before working towards another award that requires a higher number of the same or similar cards.

Register of Merit Award (ROM)

A horse must earn a minimum of 6 NAN cards in a *single class* (in either the halter or performance division). For example, all 6 cards could be earned in a "Harness" class, or a "Saddlebred" halter class, or a "Repaint Only" or "Dilute Colors" workmanship class. If a model has earned cards in a grouped class, such as "Gaited Breeds," but has others earned in a "Saddlebred" class, all cards count towards an ROM in "Saddlebred Halter", as long as the cards are earned with the horse shown as the same breed, or in the case of performance, exhibiting the same activity.

2017 Register of Merit Gallery
2015 Register of Merit Gallery
2014 Register of Merit Gallery
2013 Register of Merit Gallery
2012 Register of Merit Gallery
2011 Register of Merit Gallery
2010 Register of Merit Gallery
2009 Register of Merit Gallery
2008 Register of Merit Gallery
2007 Register of Merit Gallery
2006 Register of Merit Gallery
2004-2005 Register of Merit Gallery
2003 and earlier Register of Merit Gallery

Legion of Merit Award (LOM)

A horse must earn a minimum of 8 NAN cards total in *any combination of classes,* with a minimum of 3 cards in halter classes and a minimum of 3 cards in performance classes. Breed halter, workmanship, and collectibility classes may all count toward the halter class requirement. For example, the horse may earn 3 cards in an "Arabian" halter class, 1 card in a "Chestnut Workmanship" class, 2 cards in "Western Pleasure," 1 card in "Arabian Costume," and 1 card in "Saddleseat," for a total of 8 cards.

2010 to Present Legion of Merit gallery
2006 to 2009 Legion of Merit gallery
2005 and Prior Legion of Merit gallery

Superior Division Horse (SDH)

A horse must earn a minimum of 16 NAN cards total in *one* performance subdivision (Western, English, or Other), with a minimum of 4 cards from 3 different classes within that single performance subdivision. For example, 5 cards in "Huntseat Pleasure," 4 cards in "Hunter over Fences," 4 cards in "English Trail," and 3 cards in "Dressage," for a total of 16 cards from the English Performance division. Western classes include Western Pleasure, Western Trail, Western Games, Stock Work, Cutting, Roping, Western Riding, Reining, and other Western. English classes include Huntseat/English Pleasure, English Trail, English Games, Hunter over Fences, Jumper, Cross Country, Dressage, and Other English. Other performance classes include Harness, Costume, Parade, Scene, Showmanship, Saddleseat, and other performance. The Merit Award Coordinator has final discretion over whether a particular card applies to English, Western, or Other Performance.

Superior Division Horse gallery

Superior Event Horse Award (SEH)

A horse must earn a minimum of 12 NAN cards in a *single class* (in either the halter or performance division). For example, a horse may earn all 12 cards in a "Costume" class, or all 12 cards in a "Thoroughbred" halter class. If a model earns some cards in a grouped class, such as "Hunter/Jumper," but has others earned in "Hunter Over Fences," all the cards can count towards an SEH in "Hunter Over Fences", as long as the cards are earned with the horse shown exhibiting the same activity, or in the case of halter classes, as the same breed.

2017 Superior Event Horse gallery
2015 Superior Event Horse gallery
2014 Superior Event Horse gallery
2013 Superior Event Horse gallery
2012 Superior Event Horse gallery
2011 Superior Event Horse gallery
2010 Superior Event Horse gallery
2009 Superior Event Horse gallery
2008 Superior Event Horse gallery
2007 Superior Event Horse gallery
2006 and prior Superior Event Horse gallery

Superior Halter Horse Award (SHH)

This title has been developed to recognize those horses that have excelled in both breed and workmanship/collectibility criteria in the show ring. In order to earn the title of "Superior Halter Horse," a horse must earn a minimum of 16 NAN cards in *a combination of breed (green card) and workmanship or collectibility (yellow card) halter classes,* with a minimum of 4 cards earned in breed halter and a minimum of 4 cards earned in collectibility (for OF models) or workmanship (for CM and AR models). Breed halter, workmanship, and collectibility classes may all count toward the halter class requirement. For example, earning 12 cards in an "Appaloosa" halter class, 1 card in "Leopard Pattern Workmanship," 1 card in "AR Finished by Owner" workmanship, and 2 cards in "Traditional Scale AR" workmanship, for a total of 16 cards.

2017 Superior Halter Horse gallery
2015 Superior Halter Horse gallery
2014 Superior Halter Horse gallery
2013 Superior Halter Horse gallery
2012 Superior Halter Horse gallery
2011 Superior Halter Horse gallery
2010 Superior Halter Horse gallery
2009 Superior Halter Horse gallery

Versatility Award (VA)

A horse must earn a minimum of 16 NAN cards in *a combination of halter and performance classes,* with a minimum of 6 cards earned in the halter division and a minimum of 6 cards earned in the performance division. Breed halter, workmanship, and collectibility classes may all count toward the halter class requirement. For example, earning 5 cards in an "Appaloosa" halter class, 1 card in "Leopard Pattern Workmanship," 1 card in "AR Finished by Owner" workmanship, 4 cards in "Cutting/Roping," 3 cards in "Western Games," and 2 cards in "Hunter/Jumper," for a total of 16 cards.

2008 to Present Versatility Award gallery
2006 to 2007 Versatility Award gallery
2005 and Prior Versatility Award gallery

Performance Versatility Award (PVA)

A horse must earn a minimum of 18 NAN cards in performance classes, with a minimum of 4 cards in Western classes (to include classes such as Western Pleasure, Western Trail, Western Games, Stock Work, Cutting, Roping, Western Riding, Reining, and Other Western), a minimum of 4 cards in English classes (to include classes such as Huntseat/English Pleasure, Jumper, Hunter over Fences, Cross Country, Dressage, English Trail, English Games, and Other English classes), and a minimum of 4 cards in Other Performance (to include classes such as Harness, Costume, Parade, Scene, Showmanship, Saddleseat, and Other Performance classes). The Merit Award Coordinator has final discretion over whether a particular card applies to English, Western, or Other Performance.

Performance Versatility Award gallery


The following Awards were implemented in October 2013. Galleries will be added as Awards are presented.

Halter Legacy Award (HLA)

This title has been developed for those horses that have excelled in both Breed and Workmanship/Collectibility Halter criteria in the show ring. In order to achieve this title, a horse must earn a minimum of 35 NAN cards in a combination of Breed (green card) and Workmanship/Collectibility (yellow card) Halter classes. A minimum of 15 NAN cards earned in Breed Halter and a minimum of 10 NAN cards earned in Workmanship (CM and AR models) or Collectibility (OF models) are required. The remaining 10 cards may be any combination of Breed or Workmanship/Collectibility Halter cards. Previous Halter awards earned in Breed or Workmanship/Collectibility may count toward this award requirement. This award is eligible for a certificate and trophy plaque.

2017 Halter Legacy Award gallery
2015 Halter Legacy Award gallery

Performance Legacy Award (PLA)

This title has been developed to recognize those horses that have excelled in Performance criteria in the show ring. In order to achieve this title a horse must earn a minimum of 35 NAN cards in any Performance class(es). A horse may earn cards in one or any combination of Performance divisions/classes for this award level. Any Performance awards previously earned may count toward this award requirement. This award is eligible for a certificate and trophy plaque.

2015 Performance Legacy Award gallery
2014 Performance Legacy Award gallery


Halter Hall of Champions Award (HHCA)

This title has been developed to recognize those horses that have achieved a higher level of excellence in both Halter Breed and Workmanship/Collectibility criteria in the show ring. In order to attain this title a horse must earn a minimum of 50 NAN cards in a combination of Breed (green card) and Workmanship/Collectibility (yellow card) Halter classes. A minimum of 20 cards earned in Breed Halter and a minimum of 15 cards earned in Workmanship (CM and AR models) or Collectibility (OF models) are required. The remaining 15 cards may be a combination of Breed Halter and/or Workmanship/Collectibility. Previous awards earned in these classes may all count toward this award requirement. This award is eligible for a certificate and trophy plaque.

2014 Halter Hall of Champions Award gallery


Performance Hall of Champions Award (PHCA)

This title has been developed to recognize those horses that have achieved a higher level of excellence in Performance criteria in the show ring. In order to attain this title a horse must earn a minimum of 50 NAN cards in Performance classes. A horse may earn cards in one or any combination of Performance divisions/classes for this award. Previous awards earned in Performance may count toward this award requirement. This award is eligible for a certificate and trophy plaque.

2015 Performance Hall of Champions Award gallery
2014 Performance Hall of Champions Award gallery


Versatility Hall of Champions Award (VHCA)

This title has been developed to recognize those horses that have achieved a higher level of excellence in both Halter and Performance criteria in the show ring. A horse must earn a minimum of 50 NAN cards in a combination of Halter and Performance classes. A minimum of 20 cards earned in the Halter division and 20 cards earned in the Performance division are required. The remaining 10 cards may be any combination of Halter and/or Performance cards. Breed, Workmanship/Collectibility Halter cards may all count toward the Halter card requirement, as well as cards from any one or more Performance divisions/classes. Previous awards earned with either or both Halter or Performance cards may count toward this award requirement. This award is eligible for a certificate and trophy plaque.

2014 Versatility Hall of Champions Award gallery


Division Horse Hall of Champions Award (DHHCA)

This title has been developed to recognize those horses that have achieved a higher level of excellence in a single performance division criteria in the show ring. In order to achieve this title, a horse must earn a minimum of 50 NAN cards in any *one* performance subdivision (Western, English, or Other Performance). A minimum of 15 cards each from 3 different classes within a single performance subdivision is required. The remaining 5 cards may be from any other class(es) within that same subdivision. For Example, 15 cards in "Huntseat Pleasure", 15 cards in "Hunter Over Fences", 15 cards in "English Trail", with the remaining 5 cards from a combination of any English class(es) for a total of 50 cards in the English Division. Previous awards earned from this same single division may count toward this award requirement. This award is eligible for a certificate and trophy plaque.

NOTE: Western classes include Western Pleasure, Western Trail, Western Games, Stock Work, Cutting, Roping, Western Riding, Reining, and Other Western. English classes include Huntseat/English Pleasure, English Trail, English Games, Hunter over Fences, Jumper, Cross Country, Dressage, and Other English. Other Performance classes include Harness, Costume, Parade, Scene, Showmanship, Saddleseat, and Other Performance. The Merit Award Coordinator has final discretion over whether a particular card applies to English, Western, or Other Performance. This award is eligible for a certificate and trophy plaque.

2015 Division Horse Hall of Champions Award gallery


Supreme Halter Hall of Fame Award (SHHFA)

This title has been developed to recognize those horses that have shown a phenomenal ability to excel to the highest level in both Breed and Workmanship/Collectibility criteria in the show ring. In order to achieve this award a horse must earn a minimum of 75 NAN cards in a combination of Breed (green card) and Workmanship/Collectibility (yellow card) Halter classes. A minimum of 40 cards earned in Breed Halter and a minimum of 20 cards earned in Workmanship (CM and AR models) or Collectibility (OF models) are required. The remaining 15 cards may be any combination of Breed or Workmanship/Collectibility Halter cards. Previous Halter awards earned may count toward this award requirement. This award is eligible for a certificate and trophy plaque.

Supreme Performance Hall of Fame Award (SPHFA)

This title has been developed to recognize those horses that have shown a phenomenal ability to excel to the highest level of Performance criteria in the show ring. In order to achieve this award a horse must earn a minimum of 75 NAN cards in the Performance division. Cards may be earned in one or any combination of any Performance division(s) (English, Western or Other Performance). Previous Performance awards earned may count toward this award requirement. This award is eligible for a certificate and trophy plaque.

2015 Supreme Performance Hall of Fame Award gallery
2014 Supreme Performance Hall of Fame Award gallery


Supreme Versatility Award (SVA)

This title has been developed to recognize those horses that have shown a phenomenal ability to excel to the highest level in both Halter and Performance criteria in the show ring. In order to achieve this award a horse must earn a minimum of 75 NAN cards in a combination of Halter and Performance classes. A minimum of 30 NAN cards earned in the Halter division, and a minimum of 30 NAN cards earned in the Performance Division are required. The remaining 15 cards may be any combination of Halter and/or Performance cards. Breed, Workmanship/Collectibility Halter cards may all count toward the Halter card requirement, as well as cards from any one or more Performance divisions/classes. Previous awards earned with either or both Halter and Performance cards may count toward this award requirement. This award is eligible for a certificate and trophy plaque.

Supreme Performance Versatility Award (SPVA)

This title has been developed to recognize those horses that have shown a phenomenal ability to excel to the highest level of Performance criteria in the show ring. In order to achieve this award a horse must earn a minimum of 75 NAN cards in a combination of *all* Performance subdivisions (Western, English, and Other Performance) A minimum of 20 NAN cards earned in the Western Division, a minimum of 20 NAN cards earned in the English Division, and a minimum of 20 NAN cards earned in the Other Performance Division are required. The remaining 15 cards may be earned in one or any combination of any Performance subdivision(s) (Western, English, or Other Performance). Previous Performance awards earned may count toward this award requirement. This award is eligible for a certificate and trophy plaque.

Rules and FAQs

Please note: Merit Awards processing is currently a bit back logged. Your awards will be processed and listed on the website, it is just taking a few months at this point. Thank you for your patience!

Valid Cards. Cards dating from October 1997 onward are valid toward Merit Awards. There is no "expiration date" on cards used towards a Merit Award. If you have a valid ticket (dated October 1997 or later), it can be used towards an award and will not expire.

EXCEPTIONS: NAMHSA maintains a list of shows whose NAN cards are not valid for entry to NAN or for Merit Awards. Please see our page of Invalid NAN cards.

Important rule change effective May 1, 2008!! A limit of TWO NAN cards earned by one horse in the same class (e.g., OF plastic Morgan - breed; OF UK China collectibility; OF Western Pleasure etc.) on any one DAY may be applied toward a Merit Award.
  • Note 1: A class is a collection of horses on a table that is being judged under one particular set of criteria. Concurrently judged OF breed halter and OF collectibility OR concurrently judged CM/AR breed halter and CM/AR workmanship are NOT one class, but rather are TWO, due to the application of two different sets of judging criteria. Therefore, two cards from OF breed halter and two cards from OF collectibility (for example) could be used toward Merit Awards.
  • Note 2: The ROM and SEH awards require that all cards submitted for the award be earned in the same class. Therefore, this rule indicates that a maximum of two cards earned by a horse on one day can be applied to a ROM *or* SEH award. Note, you would NOT be able to apply two cards from one class on one day toward a ROM, then two more cards from that same class/day toward the additional six needed for the SEH, as that would be four NAN cards from the same day/class put toward one Merit Award (the SEH).
  • Note 3: The number of judges or shows held on one day is not relevant to this rule.

What titles are earned for ROM and SEH awards? The owner can determine the actual ROM and SEH award title, based on the classes the model earns cards in and the specialty exhibited. For example, a horse earning 6 cards in "CM by Owner" can receive an ROM in "CM by Owner", or a model earning 12 cards in "Other English (Foxhunting)" can receive an SEH in "Foxhunting".

Rule Change Effective August 1, 2007! For Register of Merit (ROM) and Superior Event Horse (SEH) awards, which respectively require at least 6 (ROM) or 12 (SEH) NAN cards earned in ONE class: BREED HALTER and COLLECTIBILITY or BREED HALTER and WORKMANSHIP cards may * not* be combined and applied to the same one award. A horse may earn a ROM (or SEH) award in breed halter and a separate, second, award in collectibility or workmanship.

What about cards earned in "Other" classes? When a model receives a NAN card for placing in, for example, an "Other Performance" or "Other Pure Breed Halter" class, the owner should make a note on the card of what activity or breed the horse represented when it placed. For example, if a model receives a ticket in "Other English Performance" while performing part of a dressage test, the owner would write on the ticket "Other English Performance - Dressage." For cards won in "Other Breed Halter," the owner should make a note of what breed the horse is shown as after the class name. For example, if a model Paso Fino is shown in an "Other Breed" halter class, the owner would write "Other Breed Halter - Paso Fino" on the card.

It was so long ago ... If an exhibitor has cards from past shows but cannot recall what activity/breed the horse demonstrated when it pinned, it is recommended that these "unknown" cards be used towards an overall award such as the LOM or VA, instead of the class-specific ROM or SEH awards.

Foals: Foals may earn awards with NAN cards won in any division, including separate foal halter divisions, breed halter classes where models of all ages are shown, and performance divisions. As long as the foal has earned a valid NAN card, it may be used toward any of the Merit Awards.

Cumulative Awards: Each award can be used as a stepping stone for a future award if the owner so chooses, since the cards turned in for an earlier award can count towards future awards. For example, if Ibn Sham earns an ROM in Arabian Halter for owner Jane Doe, Jane has already submitted 6 Arabian Halter cards. Jane (or a future owner) can later submit 6 more cards that Ibn Sham earned in Arabian Halter (for a total of 12) for an SEH in Arabian Halter. Or, 3 of Ibn Sham's performance cards could be submitted to earn his LOM (which has a total of 8 cards required, from any classes, with a *minimum of 3 halter cards and 3 performance cards*).

Change of Ownership: A change of ownership of the model will not affect otherwise valid cards already earned. Cards may be transferred if the model is sold, and will count toward Merit Awards as long as the model's name is unchanged. The new owner of the model should write his or her name on the *back* of the card. Please do *not* cross out any of the information previously written on the card.

What if I want to change my horse's name? The NAN rules state that the horse must be shown under the same name under which it earned its NAN cards, since this is the only way to identify the model. If you change the horse's name, you need to earn new cards with the horse's new name. The model must have the same name on all submitted cards, but the owner's name listed may change as long as the *current* owner is applying for the Merit Award.

Will the cards I use for a Merit Award be returned to me? Cards submitted for use in earning Merit Awards are not returnable. If the owner wishes to show that model in an upcoming NAN, they must earn and retain enough cards to do so **in addition to** sending in the required number of cards to earn a Merit Award.

NAN Card Verification: The Merit Awards Coordinator will have access to NAMHSA member show results, which may be used to verify that horse nominated for an award did in fact earn the submitted cards in the stated classes. The Coordinator has final say on any cards counting towards an award, and whether a grouping of cards is allowable. For the ROM/SEH awards, a group of cards is considered valid if they have been earned in classes with similar class names and judging standards, such as in ASB/TWH Halter and Gaited Breed Halter; or Hunter over Fences and Hunter/Jumper; or Gymkhana, Western Games, and Barrel Racing.

Important notice about NAN card expiration dates: All NAN cards marked 2011-2012 are now good through 2014, NAN cards marked 2012-2013 are good through 2015, and so forth. Please do not cross out the qualifying dates on your NAN cards. The NAN Registrars for future years will know the extended years. You may make a small note next to the current qualifying years listed, such as 2011-2014 to help remind you of the extension. Starting in early 2013, NAN cards will be marked with the new range listed as "2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016".

Certificates and Trophy Plaques

In addition to being known as having earned the award, the model/owner can also receive (upon proper application):
  • ROM, LOM and SDH: A certificate with horse's name, title earned (and class name, if applicable), date awarded, and owner's name.
  • SEH, SHH, VA, PVA, HLA, PLA, HHCA, PHCA, VHCA, DHHCA, SHHFA, SPHFA, SVA, or SPVA: A certificate and/or trophy plaque with simple engraving with horse's name, title earned, date awarded, and owner's name.

Application Fee

The application fee for awards is based on the actual cost of providing the award and postage to the recipient:
  • ROM, LOM and SDH: Award certificates are available for $5.00 including postage.
  • SEH, SHH, VA, PVA, HLA, PLA, HHCA, PHCA, VHCA, DHHCA, SHHFA, SPHFA, SVA, or SPVA: Awards are available for $30.00 for a trophy plaque and certificate including postage, or $25.00 for the trophy plaque only, or $5.00 for the certificate only, including postage.


What if I would prefer NOT to receive a plaque or certificate? Exhibitors may apply for Merit Awards without receiving a certificate and/or plaque with a processing fee of $1 per horse per award. Exhibitors are limited to submitting a maximum of 10 of these types of applications every 60 calendar days. Titles awarded in this manner will be recorded in the NAMHSA Merit Award database, announced on applicable NAMHSA email lists, and will appear on the NAMHSA Merit Award Gallery website. Horses earning titles in this manner may apply for future cumulative awards based on these titles, as do horses being awarded certificates and/or plaques. The proper fee should be sent to the Merit Awards Coordinator with your completed application. You may apply for awards singly or in multiples, as long as the proper forms and fees are included for each award for which you are applying.

Please note that fees may be paid either by check or money order made payable to NAMHSA and mailed with your application, or by PayPal to treasurer@namhsa.org.

Photos of Winners

Photos of Merit Award winners will be available in a Merit Award Gallery on the NAMHSA website. If you would like to add your horse to the gallery, please e-mail the Merit Award Coordinator with a photo of your horse. Your e-mail must include the subject line "Merit Award Gallery Addition" and include 1) your name, 2) your horse's name, and 3) the title of the award won.

Application

The Merit Awards application is now available to be submitted online or in PDF form. Please note that NAMHSA encourages the use of delivery confirmation on all NAN cards sent, and that fees may be paid either by check or money order made payable to NAMHSA and mailed with your NAN cards, or by PayPal to treasurer@namhsa.org. Incomplete and/or incorrect cards used to apply for a Merit Award will delay your application until such time as a correctly filled out card is submitted.

Contact

Please address all Merit Award Program inquiries to the Merit Awards Coordinator, Mary Ann Snyder, at merit-awards@namhsa.org.

Please mail all NAN cards and paperwork to:
Mary Ann Snyder
14 Longstreet Drive
Carlisle, PA 17013


Last updated on February 5, 2017