Ride & Tie Rules

Violation of any rule may result in disqualification.

  1. Each team will consist of two persons who are current members of the Ride and Tie Association and one horse. Throughout these Rules “horse” means “horse, pony or mule.”
  2. The horse must be at least five years old.
  3. No pregnant or lactating mares will be allowed to compete.
  4. No foreign substance or medication may be given or administered to any horse within 72 hours before starting the event or one hour after finishing the event. This includes ointments or solutions for topical use that contain local anesthetics All medications administered during the two weeks prior to the race must be declared in writing to the veterinarian conducting the pre-race examination.
  5. All horses must be submitted for a pre-race examination.
  6. There will be a predetermined number of vet checks where the horses will be observed and examined. There will be no mandatory time holds. Cut-off time limits for each check point may be established. Pulse, respiration, mucous membrane color and capillary refill, surface factors, attitude and soundness will be considered as part of the criteria for passing through to the next check. Vet check criteria will be announced prior to the races start and will be determined by the Head Veterinarian after consideration of weather, terrain, and other factors.
  7. All horses must be presented to the veterinarians for a post-race veterinary examination within one hour of finishing. Horses must pass this examination for any member of that team to be eligible for completion awards. No abuse of a horse will be tolerated.
  8. All decisions of the Veterinarian staff regarding the health and safety of the horse are final.
  9. Artificial ties are illegal. An artificial tie is anything that does not exist along the trail for
    all participants to tie to. For example, a contestant cannot carry a metal stake and hammer with them and create an “artificial tie” as they go. Hand ties may be allowed at the Race Director’s discretion. Any decision to allow hand ties will be announced at the pre-race briefing.
  10. Each team must tie its horse and switch from rider to runner and runner to rider at least six (6) times during an event. Teams may tie as many times as they desire anywhere along the trail as long as the ties do not obstruct the trail or are not made in designated “No Tie Areas.” A required tie will occur at each vet check. A team must exchange at least twice between vet checks. Where vet checks are so close that two exchanges may be impractical, the Race Director may allow one exchange between two specific vet checks. If a runner on a team has not been overtaken by his partner before the next vet check, then the runner must wait at the vet check for his/her partner to arrive in order to meet the required vet check tie.
  11. With the exception of securing a loose horse, no person other than the team members and designated race officials may handle a team’s horse on the trail during the race. Designated team crew may work with the horse at any vet check specified by race officials to be open to crews. Race officials may require crew to obtain a pass. Only contestants may take a horse through the vet checks during the race.
  12. It is not permissible for both members of a team to use their horse at the same time for forward movement. “Tailing” (meaning the rider dismounts, grips the horse’s tail and allows the horse to pull him/her) is allowed but it is not permissible for one team member to ride while another tails.
  13. No pacing by an un-entered horse or runner is allowed for any contestant.
  14. Riders shall be responsible for their horse’s behavior prior to and during the event. If, at the discretion of the race management, any horse becomes unruly or jeopardizes the safety of other competitors, the team may be disqualified from the event.
  15. Teams must pass and report to any trail marshals who are positioned along the course. Competitors inadvertently off course must return to the point at which they left the marked trail and complete the course correctly. Teams must stay on the marked trail.
  16. Any protest must be filed in writing with the Race Director within two hours of the completion of the race. Prior to the start of the awards ceremony, the Race Director shall decide on the protest. An appeal of his decisions must be filed in writing within seven days to the President of the Ride and Tie Association, whose final decision cannot be appealed.
  17. A team has not completed the race until both human teammates and their horse have reached the finish line.
  18. These rules apply to a sanctioned race. A race may be of any distance, but to be sanctioned there must be a Ride & Tie race of at least 20 miles in length included within the same event.
  19. Competitors less than 16 years of age must wear approved safety helmets while mounted during a race (helmet approval by AHSA, PCA, ANSIZ90.4, or Snell)

Revised January 21, 2020

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