New Option for AOC Formats

Coming to an Arena Obstacle Challenge (AOC) Near You!

Optional feature to upcoming AOCs is the “Gambler’s Choice”.  Riders perform 8 obstacles in the covered or open arena, pasture or field.  Once all riders complete the course and are judged, “Gambler’s Choice” is called.  Riders have the option to PLAY or STAY.

If the rider approaching his obstacle the second round calls PLAY, their first scores are thrown out,
and the horse/rider are judged a second time.  Rider must use the second round scores.  Riders calling out STAY may perform the obstacles a second time for show and fun, their first scores will stay and they will not be judged the second round.  Spectators are encouraged to cheer riders about their decisions to PLAY or STAY!


What is an AOC? (Arena Obstacle Challenge)
ACTHA’s New Trail Challenge takes Events to the Arena

The American Competitive Trail Horse Association recently released a new format which allows events to be held in an arena (indoor, outdoor or covered), in order to protect riders from extreme weather conditions. The new  Arena Obstacle Challenges (AOCs ) will allow trail riders to enjoy the challenge of the trail obstacles, without having to stay out on the trail for an extended period of time.
An AOC may be held at any time when scheduled in conjunction with a CTC, or they may be scheduled as a stand-alone event during the extreme weather months of December, January, February, July and August.

ACTHA Arena Obstacle Challenges consist of eight ACTHA-approved obstacles. Riders have the option of entering various divisions which suit their skills and they will be competing for ribbons  just like ACTHA’s original format, the Competitive Trail Challenge (CTC). Unlike CTCs, which are usually between 6 to 8 miles, the obstacles of an AOC will be set up in one location in an arena or field, and riders will complete all of these obstacles consecutively, within an 8 minute time period. Riders will also have the option of being able to compete on multiple horses.

Hosting ACTHA CTCs and AOCs has proven to be a powerful fund raising tool for many nonprofits across the nation. Approximately 70% of ACTHA’s events are hosted by nonprofit organizations. In addition to ride proceeds, ACTHA donates an additional $3 per rider from every Competitive Trail Challenge to a charity selected by the Ride Host. This can be any local equine nonprofit of their choosing.

For more information on hosting an ACTHA AOC to benefit your ranch, club or charity, visit or please contact

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