What is LEAP?
LEAP (Levels of Excellence Award Program) is a "levels" program created in 1994 that allows youth members to accumulate LEAP points throughout their Youth career, earning awards and recognition as they climb the ladder of success. LEAP points are earned through participation in NYCHA, writing an article, giving a speech, or helping with fundraisers. Youth also earn points based on their performance in the cutting arena. The program was designed as a reference for youth participation overall in the NYCHA and to also recognize youth in the cutting horse family for participation in youth activities and even if they were not showing cutting horses.
LEAP awards are given for:
- Initial (1,000 points)
- Bronze (2,500 points)
- Silver (5,000 points)
- Gold (7,500 points)
- Platinum (10,000 points)
- Diamond (15,000 points)
These awards are presented individually to the youth during their NYCHA Awards Banquet held at the Summer Spectacular Cutting in Fort Worth, Texas, usually in July. A six-year-old member could potentially reach the first level of accomplishment (1,000 points) and accept a LEAP award without ever competing in the cutting arena.
It is mandatory for youth to participate in LEAP to reach the NYCHA Hall of Fame; in addition, LEAP gives all youth members a way to be recognized for their participation in the NCHA's youth organization. It gives youth from all levels of experience and ability a chance to reach the NYCHA Hall of Fame by participating in many activities. LEAP points also play an important role in selecting recipients of the NYCHA Scholarships.
How to Participate?
To participate in LEAP a youth must first become a member of NYCHA. Dues for the NYCHA are currently $25 a year per member. Youth may join NYCHA at any time during the year by filling out the Membership Form found in the Chatter Magazine or on the NCHA website. To participate in LEAP the youth member simply needs to fill out and submit a LEAP form each year. Youth may participate starting at any age once they become a member and start participating in educational clinics and fun events like horse anatomy clinics, belt-making clinics, contests, and other youth activities, such as the Easter Egg Hunt at the Super Stakes.
LEAP forms are mailed to all current NYCHA members during the second quarter of each year, so it is important to pay your dues early!
* Must be postmarked NO LATER than September 1st of each year. LEAP forms will NOT be accepted after this date.
Download 2017 LEAP Form HERE.
Download LEAP Information Packet HERE.
The Dogwood Foundation Scholarship
To reward NYCHA members who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, sportsmanship, and showmanship with their involvement in the National Youth Cutting Horse Association.
The scholarship is an annual $2,000 scholarship payable in equal shares in the fall and spring semesters. The amount awarded is paid to the college listing the student's name as beneficiary. The Dogwood Foundation supports these scholarships through the NCHA Charities Foundation. Four scholarships will be awarded each year.
- Applicant must have been a member of NYCHA for at least three years
- Applicant must have participated in the Levels of Excellence Award Program (LEAP)
- Applicant must have a GPA minimum of 3.0
- Applicant must submit an essay (not over 1000 words) addressing "What makes me an outstanding candidate for the leadership, sportsmanship and showmanship scholarship from the Dogwood Foundation".
- Applicant must submit one letter of recommendation.
* Applications MUST be postmarked by April 1st. NO EXCEPTIONS
Click here for APPLICATION.
NCHA Foundation Scholarship
The Foundation's top priorities are the education of our youth and assistance to the NCHA families in times of crisis. NCHA Charities has provided over $500,000 in scholarship funds to NYCHA members.
The scholarship varies depending on the applicant's financial need. Scholarship awards are payable in the fall and spring semesters in those increments per semester. Scholarships will be paid to the college or university in the student's name. Scholarships from the NCHA Foundation are for graduating high school seniors only. The NCHA Charities Foundation supports these scholarships through individual donations, fundraisers, and an anonymous donor.
Must be an active NYCHA member in good standing. Applications MUST be postmarked or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 1st. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Download the application here.
NYCHA Educational Grant ProgramNYCHA Educational Grant Program is for:
- Individual grants of $500-$1,000 to be awarded to NCHA areas or affiliates
- For the educational instruction of NYCHA members
- Maximum of $5,000 to be awarded annually
- Grants to be used for educational purposes only
- Speaker Fees
- Educational materials
- Use of facility
- Cattle fees (ONLY for a clinic or educational programs)
*Click here for Tips for Having a Successful Clinic.
NYCHA Regional Scholarship Grant Program
The NYCHA will award $2,000 for a regional youth scholarship cutting event based on first come-first serve to NCHA affiliates/show producers who meet the required qualifications. (Only one grant per region awarded each calendar year.)
A maximum of $4,000 to be awarded annually. Individual grants awarded in the amount of $2,000 to be used for regional scholarship cutting purposes only. Only one grant awarded to a region per year.
Grants are awarded to NCHA affiliate show producers holding a regional scholarship cutting event. The regional scholarship cutting entry must be open to all NCHA youth members who are eligible to show in an area within each region.
Click for full REQUIREMENTS and APPLICATION.
Youth Judging Program
NYCHA members, ages 16 through 18, are now eligible to apply for the honor of becoming an NCHA Youth Judge if they have won a minimum of $10,000 in NCHA lifetime earnings, or fifty youth points (worth $200 each), or a combination of both which equals $10,000.
This is a unique opportunity to train under the NCHA Director of Judges while earning LEAP points. LEAP points are valuable for obtaining Youth Scholarships and are vital for the Youth Hall of Fame.
All Youth Judging applicants are eligible to attend only after their application and paperwork is received by the NCHA office at least two weeks prior to each clinic date.
Click for full INSTRUCTIONS and APPLICATION.