Skip to main content


Giving all youth members a way to be recognized.

Levels of Excellence Award Program

NYCHA Levels of Excellence Award Program (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:

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.

Why Join?

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 educational, leadership and competition 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.

Forms & Resources

2023-2024 LEAP FORM

Due Date: July 1, 2024

The NYCHA Awards Program is dedicated to celebrating excellence, promoting sportsmanship, and fostering the continued growth and success of youth participants in the thrilling world of cutting horse competition.


NYCHA Hall of Fame
NYCHA Horse Hall of Fame
Levels of Excellence Award Program
Rafter P Hardship Award
A Friend of the NYCHA Award
Todd Drummond Memorial Award