Types/Divisions/Course Levels



Trail Rider Challenge “DIY” gives groups, clubs, barn owners and individuals the opportunity to host their own Trail Rider Challenge!

TRC supplies you with the support and information you need to hold a successful event.  Riders earn TRC points and year end awards.

You, as the Host, keep the proceeds!

For a only $98 per event (special intro rate for 2016), hosts can hold their own Licensed Trail Rider Challenge event. The Host may pick the format: the divisions, course levels and style. TRC provides the support.

To host a TRC:

  1. Fill out the Host Application form.
  2. Choose a date and location.
  3. Pay the $98 registration fee (special intro rate for 2016)
  4. Receive a packet with what you need to manage and plan your event. The packet will walk you through the rest of the process of holding an event.
  5. We will make your flyer (you can if you wish) and post it on this site and on the Facebook group page.



Trail Rider Challenge “Extreme” are often held at fairs and expos and usually are directed by Kelli Paulson, the founder of Trail Rider Challenge.

TRC Extreme courses are timed and have time points as part of the score.  The obstacles and course are designed to be more challenging then a Trail Rider course and entertaining while not sacrificing quality horsemanship.

Extreme courses may be in an arena or an open area.


Traditional Trail Rider Challenge

A traditional TRC is held at Kelli’s, Crannell Creek Horse Farm, Tekamah, NE, each summer.  A TRC has all divisions and more than one course type.



Kelli hosts the Trail Rider Challenge Finals the first weekend in November each year.  The finals features one course for each division, featuring obstacles and horsemanship elements,  designed to challenge each division.



Four divisions will have year-end prizes.

  1.  Youth Division: Riders 18 & under as of January 1. Advanced Youth riders are encouraged to ride in the Novice or Open Divisions.

2.  Novice (Amateur) Division: For beginner riders. Novices have never won a TRC, a trail class or a similar event with permission from Trail Rider Challenge. Novices have never been paid to ride, train or give lessons.

3.  Green Horse: A horse can show in this category one year and must meet one of the following requirements and have filled out a green horse application.

A registered horse who is three years or younger as of January 1 of show year and has not shown prior to November 1 of previous year.

A registered horse, grade horse or mustang who’s training has not began prior to June 1 of the previous year.

4.  Open Division: Open to all horses and riders.

 It is recommended that your event have all divisions.  There maybe be exceptions such as an all youth event.  Your event can offer one or more or all of these courses.



  1. In-Hand Course: Course is in the arena or contained area and consists of 10 or more obstacles to be completed while leading your horse. Suitable for horses of all ages and ponies.
  2. Basic Course: Course is in the arena and obstacles are basic. Suit for all ages of horses and riders. Walk-Trot.
  3. Trail Rider Challenge Course: is scored and has a time limit. 10-14 obstacles  worth 10 points each.  It can be in an arena or an open area, includes loping and challenging obstacles. Open to all ages and skill levels of horse and rider.
  4. Extreme Trail Challenge Course: is scored and timed. 10-15 obstacles are worth 10 points each. Time is worth 10 points. It is in an arena or an open area, includes loping and a higher level of difficulty and skill. This course is for Open riders and  youth riders with permission. Time Limit.
  5. Speed Class: Complete as many obstacles as possible in a set time without making mistakes or sacrificing horsemanship. Time penalties are assessed for mistakes and/or poor horsemanship.  See rules for more information.


Courses maybe in

  1. Arena
  2. Open Area – pasture or field with good footing
  3. Out and About – Riders have a map or instructions of how to get to obstacles located out on a trail. Obstacles are usually in groups of 2-5 obstacles along the way with a judge at each group of obstacles. At least 10 obstacle total are required to make a complete course.