Speed Event

Barrel Racing


Barrel Racing


.      The Barrel Race is a timed event using three identical barrels set in a cloverleaf pattern. 55‑gallon metal barrels with closed ends should be used. District shows are not required to use metal barrels, however, barrels must be empty. They must not have any weights in them which will make it less likely for them to be knocked over.

       The starting gate or gates must remain the same throughout the entire event. A contestant may request that the gate be closed after they enter the arena. If an arena has more than one gate at the end where riders enter the arena, riders may be given a choice of starting gates as long as the choice is extended to all riders.

       The start/finish line and the barrel positions should be permanently marked and must remain the same throughout the entire event.

      The pattern at a show must meet the following conditions:

a) be a minimum of 15 feet between each of the first two barrels and the side fence.

b) be a minimum of 30 feet between the third barrel and the back fence.

c) be a minimum of 30 feet between the time line and the first barrel.

      Ground conditions

a) The ground conditions within the arena must remain consistent throughout the event. The ground around the barrels must be reworked and leveled after each 10 or fewer contestants have competed. An amount less than 10 may be set by the District Director.

b) The preferred method of working the ground is with a ground tool pulled by some type of motor vehicle. Hand raking is not acceptable.

      Any time a contestant crosses the starting line, time will begin.

      A contestant will be given a "no time" for missing the pattern.

      A contestant will be disqualified for running out of turn. It is the contestant's responsibility to know his/her draw position.

      A contestant will be given a "no time" for knocking over a barrel. A "no time" will also be given if a barrel is knocked over and it sets up again on either end. Touching a barrel, including keeping it from falling, is permitted without penalty.

      A contestant will be given a no time if the horse or rider falls during the run in such a manner as to break the pattern, or if the rider falls off the horse.

      If a barrel is moved off its marker during competition, the barrel must be reset prior to the next competitor's run.

      Contestants may ride any horse, regardless of ownership, and may ride as many horses as they choose in a class. However, a horse may not be shown by more than one person in a class, unless the following conditions are met:
a. Both contestants are members of the same immediate family who reside in the same household (husband, wife, children and grandchildren 21 and under). Children and grandchildren 21 and under who are attending school away from home, but who reside part of the year with their parents or grandparents are included under this rule.
b. Neither contestant is showing any other horse in that class.
c. In no case will the same horse be run more than twice in the same class.

      Entries for aclass will close when the first horse in that class runs, or at an earlier time as specified on the show bill. Under no circumstances will entries be taken for a class after the first horse in that class has entered the arena.

      At all shows; the draw shall be done in a random manner. Examples: a random computer draw, shuffling entry cards, or drawing numbered chips. Riders with multiple horses must specify a horse with each entry. Each draw position assigned to such riders will be assigned to a specific horse, and the rider must ride the specified horse in the specified position. Under no circumstances should a contestant be allowed to "pick out" their draw position. Once set, the draw may not be changed, except to accommodate entries with the same horse or rider, or entries involving members of the same immediate family, which has drawn up close to each other. What constitutes "close to each other" will be determined by Show Management; however, a consistent standard should be adhered to for the class. The draw may not be changed to give preference to any rider or to accommodate another commitment of a particular rider such as work or another barrel race.

      Only one horse may be in the arena at any time during competition.

      Reruns shall be granted if the timer fails to work properly or if the barrels are not placed properly on their markers. Any penalty incurred on the original run shall not be applied against the rerun; however, any penalty occurring on the rerun shall result in a " no time" .

      Contestants who are given a no-time, either for missing the pattern or knocking down a barrel, may complete the pattern. However, show management may, at its discretion, ask a rider who is taking excessive time to train to leave the arena immediately. If such request is not complied with, a $25 fine may be assessed, payable to the district awards fund.

      Officials have the right to disqualify any uncontrolled horse which does not begin performance within three minutes of the time the rider has been called. This rule does not apply to competitors who have not checked in with gate personnel.


At the starters signal, le contestant will run to barrel n°1, will go round by the left side and do an approx. 360° turn, run to barrel n° 2, go round by the right side a little more than 360 °, run to barrel n°3 go round by the right by 360° and sprint to the finishing line between barrels n° 1 and n° 2.


The race can also be run by the left. The contestants will run to barrel n°2, will go round by the right side and do an approx. 360° turn, run to barrel n° 1, go round by the left side a little more than 360 °, run to barrel n°3 go round again by the left by 360° and sprint to the finishing line between barrels n° 1 and n° 2.



barrel racing

barrel racing


English version