The Western Semi-Finals represent the final step for IHSA Western teams and individuals on their quest to compete at Nationals .The IHSA is proud to have the NRHA as the official sponsor of the Semi-Finals. Three Semi-Finals are held during the third weekend in March; host sites are contracted a year in advance. Regions are assigned to a respective Semi-Final based upon a number of factors, including participation in hosting a Semi-Final, placement in the prior year’s National Championships, and travel-distance concerns.

western semis_alfred_EDIT copy_counting hoofbeats
Western-Semis at Alfred University in 2018. Photo by Counting Hoof Beats.

Semi-Final assignments are announced prior to the start of the competition year. Regions will send their regional champion Western team, plus the top two individuals in each division. Depending upon the level of participation, distribution of alumni qualifiers may be adjusted. From each Semi-Finals, the top four individuals per division and the top three teams will advance to Nationals.

March 18-20, 2022

Host sites:

Black Hawk College, Galva, IL - Judges: Kendra Weiss, Lisa Moden  - Click here for more information

West Virginia University, Reedsville, WV - Judges: Darin Wright, and Debbie Kail  - click here for more information

One more location and region assignment to be announced soon.



  • Each Region will send top two individuals from each class, including alumni, and the regional champion team
  • If all Western regions are shown, there will be 16 riders per individual class, eight riders per team class at Semi-Finals
  • Regional high-point riders go straight to Nationals, do not compete at Semi-Finals


  • Regional high-point riders go straight to Nationals, do not compete at Semis
  • From each Semi–Finals, top four individuals and top three teams will advance to Nationals
  • Maximum of 12 riders per individual class
  • Nine per team class at Nationals
  • High-Point Rider class excepted
  • Western committee reserves the right to adjust Alumni qualifiers to Nationals


  • All possible care will be taken to maintain equal quality of each show including awards
  • All Semis will be held over two days, with two qualified judges judging both days
  • All riders in each class will ride a pattern on their rail horse after the rail portion of the class is completed
  • Judges may ask riders for additional testing including changing horses after the patterns are run

Questions should be directed to your regional president or to abrzezic@bellsouth.net subject line: Semi-finals


Patterns used at IHSA Western Semi Finals and Nationals will come from this list which is updated prior to Semi-Finals. Please report any problems with pattern instruction or graphics to the IHSA Western Committee.