Box Drive

Box Drive

Step Up Boxing is now called Box Drive! It’s the newest class at Gem State Stock Horse Association (and NRCHA!) shows and one of the most popular.
Box Drive is great way to help you and your horse transition from box-only classes to full-on fence work. You’ll get comfortable controlling a cow at high speeds without the challenge of turning or circling.

GSSHA shows are relaxed, accessible, and affordable, which make them a great place to try something new!

Photo credit: Rockin' Horse Photography

How does it work?

New for 2021: At NRCHA shows, Box Drive includes a rein work. Check back soon for information about how Gem State will be handling this change.

After your rein work ends, you’ll make sure to pause to show you’ve completed the pattern. Then you’ll wave to the cow help to say you’re ready for your cow.

There are four parts to Box Drive:

1: You’ll box your cow at the end of the arena where it came in. You’ll demonstrate control of the cow until you feel it’s ready to take down the fence.

2: Setting up and driving/rating the cow down the fence to the other end of the arena.

3: Boxing at the other end of the arena.

4: Setting up and driving/rating the cow down the fence past the middle marker, which will complete your work.

There is a 1:45 time limit on Step Up Boxing Classes. You’re not required to use the entire time. The announcer will say when 30 seconds are remaining.

Rating Defined

There’s no official NRCHA rulebook definition of “rating,” but it’s important in lots of western performance disciplines, including barrel racing and roping! A horse that rates well will track the cow, staying connected with minimal management from the rider. The horse will maintain its speed along with the cow and not attempt to pass it. The horse should be straight and square in its body. It shouldn’t lean towards or away from the cow. This is the most credit earning when done on a loose rein!


Only Non Pro Boxing (formerly Non Pro Limited) eligible riders can participate in Box Drive. In the NRCHA, if you’re a Non Pro that hasn’t won more than $750 in fence work classes and you’ve declared as a Non Pro Boxing rider, you can show in Box Drive.


Horses aged 5 and under can be shown in a snaffle or hackamore. Otherwise, you must show in an NRCHA legal bridle or two rein.

How is it judged?

The most important part of Step Up Boxing is remaining in control of your cow at all times.

Maintaining proper position on your cow is also essential.

Other credits on the judge’s sheet are: degree of difficulty, eye appeal, and working time.

Penalties include:

  • Changing sides of arena (1 point)
  • Failure to complete work within the 1:45 time limit (3 points)
  • Performing an intentional fence turn (5 points)
  • Running cow into back fence with force (5 points)