Equitation is considered a good teaching tool in preparation for the advanced classes in open divisions and also prepare future generations of horsemen to expect and achieve the best performance from any mount they may encounter during their riding careers. It helps riders to learn to position themselves and ride correctly, use planning and thinking to master difficult situations through use of patterns and/or rider tests. When equitation classes began to be offered in the United States in the 1930s, riders were awarded medals for their achievement in winning a class. The nickname for equitation classes as ‘Medal Classes’ has stuck almost 80 years later. Competing in equitation classes requires extensive training and practice with an equestrian professional. Many riders begin training in their youth, spending years in the saddle to gain the experience necessary to compete at any year-end final.

Equitation is the art or practice of horse riding or horsemanship 

Rules and Eligibility:

Any NWHA affiliated show that chooses to have a medallion class (any seat /
canter required), must send notification to the NWHA Office. NWHA Office will provide ribbons / medals to show management.  Top (3) placings in any medallion class during the current show season qualify for their respective age division at The National.  

The National Medallion Equitation Preliminary class structure. – top (5) placing of each Preliminary class will qualify for Medallion Grand Championship Final

  •  Medallion Equitation Youth 11&Under (any seat / no canter) *see note
  •  Medallion Equitation Youth 14Yrs & Under (any seat / canter) Preliminary
  • Medallion Equitation Youth 15 – 17Yrs (any seat / canter) Preliminary
  • Medallion Equitation Adult (any seat / canter) Preliminary
  • The National Medallion Grand Championship Equitation Class Finals

  •      Must have placed in top (3) of any class offered at an NWHA Affiliated show AND
  •      Must have placed in top (5) of their respective age division preliminary class at The National.

National Grand Championship Medallion Finals MUST have the following

  • Canter required
  • Rail work + pattern
  • Pattern will be posted no earlier than 1 hour before the final class.
  • All rules and judging criteria will be followed as per the current NWHA Versatility Rule Book.

The National Show Committee reserves the right to structure/offer any and all Equitation Medallion classes and rules as supported by current entries.

Note: Medallion Equitation Youth 11&Under may compete in either the 2-gait class or 14&Under 3-gait preliminary class – but not both.


The Equitation Medallion program was started in 2014  and was created to foster interest in the walking horse and its versatility.  The medallion program promotes excellence in Saddle Seat and Stock Seat Equitation, encourages sportsmanship and creates wholesome competition among walking horse exhibitors.

Promoting the sound and natural walking horse