457. Barrel Racing
Refer to rule 441(c) for specific rules regarding inhumane treatment. Barrel racing is a timed event. If exhibitor shows in more than one barrel racing class and pays entry fees for each class, exhibitor may run once and carry over the time for the all classes.
(a) The course must be measured exactly according to diagram and cannot exceed these dimensions. However, if the course is too large for the available space, the pattern should be reduced five yards at a time until the pattern fits the arena. Adequate space must remain between barrels and any obstacle. The distance from barrel number three to the finish line need not be reduced five yards (4.6 meters) at a time if there is sufficient room for the horse to stop. When measuring the area for the barrel course, allow ample room for horses to complete their turns and stop at the finish. It is recommended there be at least 45 feet (13.5 meters) from the starting line to the end of the arena, at least 18 feet (5.4 meters) from barrels 1 and 2 to the fence and 36 feet (10.8 meters) from barrel 3 to the end of the arena.
(b) Brightly colored 55 gallon (200 liters) steel drums with both ends in must be used. There shall be no rubber or plastic barrels or barrel pads used.
(c) Starting line markers or electric timers, when possible, shall be placed against the arena fence. An electric timer or at least two watches shall be used, with the time indicated by the electric timer or average time of the watches used by official timers to be the official time.
(d) Timing shall begin as soon as the horse's nose reaches the starting line and will be stopped when the horse's nose passes over the finish line.
(e) The contestant is allowed a running start. At a signal from the starter, the contestant will run to barrel number 1, pass to the left of it, and complete an approximately 360 degree turn around it; then go to barrel number 2, pass to the right of it, and complete a slightly more than 360 degree turn around it; then go to barrel number 3, pass to the right of it, and do another approximately 360 degree turn around it; then sprint to the finish line, passing between barrel number 1 and 2. This barrel course may also be run to the left. For example, the contestants will start to barrel number 2, turning to left around this barrel, then to barrel number 1, turning to the right, then to barrel number 3, turning again to the right, followed by the final sprint to the finish line.
(f) Knocking over a barrel carries a five-second penalty. Failure to follow the course shall cause disqualification. A contestant may touch the barrel with his or her hands in barrel racing.
(g) Drags will be conducted every seven head. Show management may drag more frequently.
(h) The judge must disqualify any contestant for excessive use of a whip, rope, crop, bat or reins anywhere on the horse.
(i) If a tie occurs where points are involved, placing will be worked off if all tied exhibitors agree to participate in a run-off, if not, a coin toss will be used to separate the ties. The horse declared the winner in the runoff must rerun the pattern within two seconds of its original time or the runoff must be held again. Penalty time will not apply to the two-second rule but will apply to the final runoff time.