Western Games

Rodeo Cowboys

1. Rules of Western Games
2. Cloverleaf Barrel Racing
3. Pole Bending
4. Flag Race
5. Keyhole Race
6. Rescue Race
7. Sack Roping
8. Pick-Up Race

1. Rules of Western Games

The following procedures must be observed at any show affiliated to the BRCA

A Judge or an official with in-depth knowledge of speed classes must be in attendance and watching the event/competitors.

1.1. The Duties of the Referees

  1. The referees shall be responsible for the layout of equipment for the games.
  2. Ensure that timing is well conducted.
  3. Arrange the order of the competitors however they think best.
  4. Observe and inspect each horse and rider in accordance with the Rules of the BRCA.
  5. Unless electrical timing is in operation, two stopwatches must be used to time events.
  6. Address complaints about course layout if made before the commencement of the event.
  7. Competitors are allowed two runs at each event, unless the Committee and Referees agree otherwise.
  8. Horses are not allowed to run with different riders in the same event.
  9. Where possible, a competitor's time will be announced after each run.
  10. A Time Limit for each run may be allocated at the discretion of the Referees.
  11. In the event of a tie, a run-off will be held.
  12. Timing to start and finish as horse’s NOSE crosses the line.

1.2. Abuse Handling

Any abuse will be penalised as follows:
Once – taken to one side and warned
Twice – declare no run for that class
Thrice – disqualification from Show and possible disciplinary action

1.3. Prohibited Tack

No whips, bats, crops or quirts are allowed to be used during a run.  Also, no training aids, i.e. poll ropes, draw reins, etc.

1.4. Reins

Split, roping and reins with a Rommel are permitted

1.5. Saddles

Any style of western saddle is allowed providing it is correctly fitted.  Double rigged saddles and breast plates are not compulsory but are advised for events such as sack roping for safety reasons.

1.6. Barrel Race/Pole Bending

Arena must be checked and raked periodically or when the competitors advise, to ensure good, safe footing.  Judges or competitors can request raking.

2. Cloverleaf Barrel Racing

The course may be run left or right.  Knocking over a barrel shall result in a no-run.  A competitor may not touch the barrel with his or her hands.  Competitors shall be disqualified for not running the course correctly, i.e. circling the barrel and crossing the line of approach to each barrel.

The course sizes can be reduced 5 yards at a time until the course fits the arena, but the distance between barrels 1 & 2 must not fall below 15 yards.

3. Pole Bending

The pole bending pattern is to be run around six poles.  Each pole is to be 21 ft apart and the first pole is 21 ft from the starting line.  Poles shall be set on top of the ground, 6 ft in height and with a base of no more than 14" in diameter.  A horse may start either to the left or the right of the first pole and then run the remainder of the pattern accordingly.  Knocking over a pole shall result in a no-run.  Failure to follow the course shall also result in a no-run.  A competitor may not touch a pole with his or her hand in pole bending.

4. Flag Race

Two 45 gallon drums are required, one with an open end.  The flag pole should be approximately 5 ft long.  The flag shall be a pennant or four sided flag minimum 12 inches long.

The flag is placed in the open ended barrel.  The competitor crosses the start line, passing the first barrel, picking up the flag in the process, rides around the second barrel and back to the first barrel, placing the flag back in the first barrel, and then crossing the finishing line.

The competitors can run to either the left or right of the barrel.  Before the run is made, the flag may be placed leaning to the left or right, in order to suit the competitor.  For a valid run, the replaced flag must stay in the barrel, and all barrels must remain standing.

5. Keyhole Race

The competitor in the Keyhole race crosses the start line and enters the 4 ft wide lane into the 20 ft circle, turns and races back down the lane across the finish line.  If the entry line is difficult to see i.e. on grass or soft going indoor school surface, then the entrance only can be emphasised with cones at the Judge’s discretion.

The competitor is disqualified if he or she touches the line at any place.

6. Rescue Race

The person to be picked up (rescued) stands behind the barrel.  The competitor rides round the barrel either way, picking up the other person in the process, then rides back across the finish line.  BOTH riders must be astride the horse when they cross the finish line.  50 yards is the length of the run but this can be adjusted to suit the length of the arena.

7. Sack Roping

A suitable filled sack is placed 50 yards from start line.  The competitor races to the sack and ropes it in any way provided that he/she stays mounted.  Competitors must make one attempt to ‘throw’ the rope.  A two-second bonus will be awarded if the rope is thrown and the sack is successfully secured through to the finish.  Care must be taken not to place the sack too close to the arena fence.  Sack should be filled with sawdust or similar to ensure weight of approximately 20 lbs.

8. Pick-Up Race

The object to be picked up (stuffed sack or cone) to be placed on the barrel.  The competitor rides round the barrel either way picking up the object in the process and rides back across the finish line.  50 yards is the length of the run but this can be adjusted to suit the length of the arena.




All material Copyright ©British Rodeo Cowboys Association 2012