This is a speedy event which is sure to get your heart racing. The quickest to race around three barrels wins.
The sight of horse and rider circling the barrels at high-speed is a sight to behold, and you may find yourself cheering vigorously. It is an event that women compete in at the rodeos in the U.S., but there are also associations just for barrel racing with their own competitions involving more complex rules than just 'fastest wins' in which both men and women compete.
You are allowed to touch the barrels, but will be penalized five seconds for loosing your hat and for every barrel you knock over. It may seem impossible to reach-out and keep a barrel from falling over after you have struck it when you are running at high speeds, but I have seen it done in the U.S.
It is a simple event, but just running fast is not enough to win.
First, one must run the course in the most expeditious manner, but the
speed adjustment when turning a barrel is quite difficult, and the horse
must be trained to obey even the most subtle commands immediately.
If you simply try to run your mount at top speed around the course, the
horse may feel he does not have enough room to work with, and become unresponsive
to commands, thus running wide around the barrels and creating a large
loss of time.
The clock is started once the horses nose crosses the line, and is stopped after horse and rider complete the pattern to the left, and cross the line once more. The course is run twice by all competitors, and the best time is used for placement.
One may also run the course opposite to the one shown to the left, and may choose which will be run even after your horse has crossed the line.
One will be penalized five seconds should their hat fly off or for every barrel they knock over.
If one strikes a barrel but is able to grab it and pull it upright before
it hits the ground, they will not be penalized.
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