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Ride for Fun, Ride to Learn

Trail Challenge Obstacle Course

Recreational Competition


ver. 01-16-2023

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    1. Equine Trail Sports (ETS) Management is directly responsible for the evaluation and review of violations within this rulebook.
    2. ETS Management reserves the right to disqualify, suspend, or expel participants via ETS's in-house Behavior Reporting system.
    3. If a disqualification status is incurred for equipment reasons, the rider is allowed to remedy this once if it does not cause the ride to be delayed (i.e. remove a martingale).
    4. All scores given during an ETS event are final and cannot be adjusted unless a data entry error occurred or a score of zero was given in violation of ETS Judging Standards. A rider can only receive zeroes at an obstacle if the rider passes on an obstacle, if the equine and/or rider fall during the obstacle, or the rider did not get past the start point.
    5. Protests must be submitted in writing to within 3 days after scores are available online for the protested event. Please include the contact information for 2 witnesses and the ETS Rule and/or ETS Standard that was allegedly violated.  
    6. If permitted by the ETS Event Manager and the event facility, dogs must be on a leash at all times. 
    7. Pets cannot accompany a rider during an ETS event, whether the pet is on horseback or on foot.
    8. Merchandise with the ETS logo cannot be printed for resale in any manner.
    1. A rider under the age of 18 is considered a minor.  Minors must wear a properly fitted SEI/ASTM approved riding helmet at all ETS Events (including In Hand events). Correct Helmet Fit 
    2. All riders assume the risk of horseback riding as participants in an ETS event. All riders must sign a waiver of liability either at the time of online registration or at the time of check-in at the ETS event acknowledging their assumption of risk in order to participate in an ETS event.   
    3. Riders must produce appropriate state required health papers for their equine to the ETS Event Manager (Coggins/Health Certificate).  It is the rider’s responsibility to be aware of what is required by their individual state.
    4. Proper equestrian attire must be worn. No shorts. Equestrian shoes must be worn and must have a half-inch heel, excluding In Hand events which requires any type of closed toe shoe.  
    5. Riders must be at least 7 years of age to participate. 
    6. Youth riders (7-15 years of age) must be accompanied by an adult as their guardian.
    7. To ensure fairness, participants may not ride the course to practice the obstacles that have been set up for the event prior to the start of the event.
    8. The obstacles used for a competition must be held in confidence. To ensure fairness, competitors cannot have knowledge of the obstacles chosen for an event.  
    9. For competitions that allow multiple entries, a rider may register multiple equines, but equines may not be registered by multiple riders. An equine can experience a competition one time only. Should this occur, secondary entries will be disqualified.
    10. Illegal drugs and alcohol are not allowed and will incur a disqualification if consumed during the competition.
    11. Riders must ride the entire course for the competition.  A rider cannot lead their equine in order to advance down the trail on foot.  This does not apply if a rider needs to dismount for health or safety reasons.  Any rider dismounting to lead their equine for health or safety reasons is subject to receiving 0s for the remainder of the course, if the act of walking would delay the competition.
    12. A rider cannot knowingly stray from the trail to cut off distance.  Intentional shortcuts will result in a disqualification. Trails should be well marked, so a rider is prevented from getting lost.  If a rider does get lost, they should return to the trail as soon as possible. 
    13. Outside of an obstacle, if a rider experiences a ‘fall’ (any involuntary dismount from their equine) during the event, the rider must report this to an ETS judge or the Event Manager. The rider may continue the competition if able and if they choose to do so. Subject to Ride Manager discretion, the rider may receive a penalty of 20 points from the rider’s total score. If a ‘fall’ occurs during an obstacle, the obstacle score will be zero.
    14. If an accompanying rider chooses to stay at the scene of an accident to assist an injured equine or rider, they accept the responsibilities that they may not be able to complete the event.
    15. A rider cannot interfere with another rider’s performance at an obstacle, this includes coaching from fellow riders. To do so will incur a disqualification from the event.  
    16. Riders are not allowed to bring extra equines to ‘pony’ along for the competition.
    17. Riders cannot ‘double up’ or ‘double ride’ an equine during an ETS event. 
    18. Participants will be disqualified if unsportsmanlike conduct is exhibited towards any participant, horse, judge, host, or spectator.
    1. Equine must not be tied to any unstable structures such as wire fences.  Equine may be tied to horse trailer or trees. 
    2. Participants may use portable electric fences or portable corrals if permitted by the facility.
    3. An equine which shows an obvious lameness will be disqualified from the Event.
    4. Outside of an obstacle, if your equine experiences a ‘fall’ (when an equine drops to the ground at a point above his knees), or lies down in water during the event, the rider must report this to an ETS judge or the Event Manager.  The rider may continue the competition if able (no injury) and if they choose to do so.  Subject to Ride Manager discretion, the rider may receive a penalty of 20 points from the rider’s total score. If a ‘fall’ occurs during an obstacle, the obstacle score will be zero.
    5. The use of any excessive force or harsh training methods to any equine present at an ETS event is not allowed and will incur a disqualification.
    6. Any performance enhancing equine pharmaceuticals that are not considered ‘over the counter’ are not allowed and will incur a disqualification.
    7. Equines that have a kicking tendency must be identified with a red ribbon in their tail.

a. Stallions are permitted at ETS events but cannot be shown by a minor rider (under the age of 18 years of age).

b. Stallions must be identified by securing a yellow ribbon to its forelock and tail.

c. When with other riders, a rider riding a stallion must give verbal notification to other surrounding participants that he/she is riding a stallion.

d. Stallion riders must make every effort to ensure the safety of their stallion and the safety of other equines, riders and spectators.

e. Stallions behaving in an unruly manner may be disqualified by the ETS Event Manager and asked to be removed from the event location.

f. Stallions will be disqualified from an ETS event if the stallion handler does not follow the ETS rules in regards to stallions at an ETS Event.

    1. Equines must wear some form of headgear with reins on each side of the equine's neck for ridden competitions. Equines cannot be shown in an ETS event bridleless. Riders are expected to provide appropriate tack for their equine to maintain control of their equine in a different setting among several other equines.  
    2. Equines must wear some type of saddle. Equines cannot be ridden bareback at an ETS event.  Bareback pads are not considered a type of saddle and cannot be used at any time during an ETS event.  Treeless saddles are permitted.   
    3. Training devices such as martingales (standing, running & German martingales) and tie-downs are not permitted during an ETS event.  No form of head training device other than a bridle is permitted.  
    4. If a Lead rope with a chain is used the chain cannot be touching the horse’s face.
    5. Equine protective equipment such as Sport Boots and Hoof Boots are permitted at any ETS event.