It is part of the mission of the UPHA to encourage and promote educational activities and competition related to the sport of showing horses. Through our Challenge Cup programs, many juvenile and adult riders have increased their equine knowledge and athletic skills. In 1997, with Challenge Cup Championships offered in many different breeds (Saddlebred, Morgan, Arabian) and age divisions, former UPHA President, L.F. Lavery, felt that the program was incomplete without a division for the physical or mentally challenged rider. In 1998 the UPHA Equitation Committee and the National American Riding Handicap Association developed the UPHA Exceptional Challenge Cup.


In 1999, the American Royal, held in Kansas City, Missouri, and the UPHA hosted the first UPHA Exceptional Challenge Cup Championship. The championship is designed to give mentally and physically challenged riders the chance to compete and earn awards at a national level. The American Royal is an exciting venue for all riders to compete, and is a place where champions are made.


If you are interested in hosting a UPHA Exceptional Challenge Cup class to your horse show, please contact the UPHA office.

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