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Chapman Springs Skijoring Rules


The skiers and riders will be allowed to inspect and walk the track prior to race time at the discretion of the Race Organizer.  Riders will be allowed to ride or walk their horses down the track once prior to the start of the race.  In extenuating instances, safety/weather conditions may not allow for horses to be led down the track at all.

The race may be postponed at any time by CSR to allow for course inspection and/or maintenance. If the track is deemed unsafe at any time during the race, the race shall be suspended or declared finished for the day.  The race shall recommence where it left off as soon as track conditions return to a safe standard.  If the race is not able to be completed, teams nominating for points at that race will earn points only if more than 50% of teams have completed their runs.

Should a competitor wish to voice concern over the track conditions, they may do so in a professional and timely manner. CSR will take the complaint under review and determine how best to address the concern.  Every effort shall be made to make each competitor’s voice heard.

There will be a veterinarian on site with the authority to disqualify an animal for medical reasons. The veterinarian shall check in with the organizer prior to the race and be present for the competitors’ meeting.  Only CSR can require a horse to be examined by the veterinarian prior to racing.  Concerns must be brought directly to CSR, and a case presented before a veterinarian is engaged. The horse will be rolled until a determination can be made.  

Excessive alcohol consumption or use of drugs that may impair/enhance a rider or skier’s performance or cause a safety hazard to themselves or others is prohibited.  Event organizers have the final say in related matters and may disqualify competitors or remove staff if they are deemed under the influence during the event to the degree that safety becomes a factor and/or judgment is impaired. 

Sportsmanship is critical to the success of the event.  Upon entry, competitors agree to the humane treatment of their horse(s) and respectful conduct to all fellow competitors, volunteers, emergency and town personnel, race officials, organizers, spectators during the competition as well as before and after, for example, at race related events, in verbal or written correspondence or online. Failure to comply with this sportsmanship statute may result in the disqualification of your team without reimbursement. Warnings may be issued as well.



  • If a competitor verbally abuses a fellow competitor, a race organizer, a race official, a volunteer or another person affiliated with the production of the event, this person will be disqualified and removed from that day’s competition and banned from the following day’s competition, if applicable. Verbal abuse constitutes aggressive and/or inappropriate behavior which may or may not involve foul language or gestures. This applies to incidents on and off the race course. The incident will need to be reported to the race organizer as soon as possible, reviewed and documented accordingly before any action is taken. The action will be decisive and swift. Making these incidents part of social media or a topic during related events or future events will constitute a further infraction and also be penalized. If a competitor physically abuses a fellow competitor, a race organizer, a race official, a volunteer or another person affiliated with the production of the event, or if a competitor physically abuses his/her horse, this person will not only be disqualified or removed from the competition. This applies to incidents on and off the race course. The incident will need to be reported to the race organizer as soon as possible, reviewed and documented accordingly before any action is taken. The action will be decisive and swift. Making these incidents part of social media or a topic during related events or future events will constitute a further infraction and also be penalized.
  • If a competitor is noticeably inebriated or otherwise impaired by substances which may or may not include illicit drugs, this competitor will be disqualified and removed from that day’s competition for his/her own safety and the safety of others. If the race organizer approves, the competitor may return for the following day of competition, if applicable, once it is determined they are sober and fit to compete. Each instance needs to be documented. Making these incidents part of social media or a topic during related events or future events will constitute a further infraction and also be penalized.
  • Failure to pay registration or boarding fees is strictly prohibited. If a race organizer reports that a competitor has not paid required fees and/or has not satisfied the debt immediately upon request,
  • If a competitor is found to be using equipment that is not regulation, for example, a rope of a length other than what is required or a rope with multiple knots, this competitor and his team will be disqualified from that event’s competition.
  • If it becomes knows to CSR that a competitor is running a horse that has a medical condition that should have prevented it from running, or if a competitor refuses veterinary care when a horse is visibly hurt or struggling or undernourished, or if the horse is not able to be controlled by the rider, and the competitor refuses to engage with race organizers, officials and veterinary doctors, this competitor will be disqualified from competition at the event with that horse. A dialogue must be allowed to occur and a consensus reached. Such incidents must be documented. 



Rules are the same for all competitors.  All skiers must wear approved snow sport helmets and required bib.  Eye protection is recommended. If skier is under 18, parent/legal guardian must sign parental consent forms and be physically present during the event and wear a helmet and goggles. 

Helmets and protective vests are recommended for adult riders. If rider is under 18, parental consent form must be signed, parent/legal guardian must be physically present during the event and rider must wear helmet.  A protective vest is recommended, but not required.  Riders shall also adhere to safety equipment requirements for their horses.

A horse can run a maximum of two times in a day unless a rerun is approved. Horses must be given ample rest between runs.    

  1. A rider may compete up to two times on the same horse, but must have different skiers for each run.  
  2. A skier may compete up to four times in a day. A skier can run only once behind the same horse in a day.  If an extra run becomes available and a skier has already skied four times, another skier with less runs or less experience will be given priority.  A third ski run will be for exhibition only. 
  3. Substitutions: No substitutions are allowed for any team member (horse, skier or rider) once registration is complete without a Med-out or Vet-out.  If any team member cannot compete for any reason, and does not have an approved Med-out or Vet-out, the team will be disqualified from that day’s competition.  No refunds will be given unless extenuating circumstances exist, and then it will be the decision of CSR in regard to their respective purposes.  
  4. Staging between runs:  Each team is allowed four minutes to complete staging and begin their race. After this allotted time has expired, it is highly recommended that the competitors be asked to leave the staging area. It is up to the discretion of the Start Official and Race Committee to allow multiple staging attempts at two minute intervals.  If these are unsuccessful, the team will be allowed one more attempt to race at the end of the division. If the staging time is again exceeded, that team will be disqualified from that day’s competition. The allotted four-minute time period will begin with the declaration of a clear track.  Horses shall not be allowed “a running start” from outside the designated staging area, as this may present an unfair advantage and is also unsafe for start officials, volunteers and skiers. 
  5. Finishing the Race: the skier must finish in an upright or crouched position on at least one ski, be in control with the rope in hand and have no more than two points of their body touching the ground when crossing the finish line.  A hand may touch down briefly, but not be weight bearing.  Both skier boots must cross the finish line.  One can be elevated. 
  6. Gates: Both ski tips and both boots must go around a gate, or the gate is considered missed.
  7. A skier will be granted one re-start if he lets go of the tow rope before tripping the start gate.
  8. Horse and rider have a maximum of (4) four minutes from the time the ‘Course Clear’ signal is given from starter to cross the starting line with skier, otherwise team is disqualified. If rider chooses, they may leave the start area before the four minutes are up and calm their horse. Rider & skier will be allowed one restart when their name is called again.


A five (5) second penalty is assessed for each missed jump, a five (5) second penalty for each gate and a two (2) second penalty for each ring as well as for a dropped baton for races that require batons. 

A five (5) second penalty is assessed for any horse breaking the plane of any jump, or hitting a gate.

There is a two (2) second penalty for each ring that is missed or dropped. If a ring falls off of the standard prior to the approach, no penalty for a missed ring is assessed, or if ring comes apart or is broken, no penalty is assessed.  The competitor should finish the run.  Use of batons and number of rings shall be determined by the individual race committees. Rings shall be of a standard size 6” to 7” in diameter. 



  1. The on-site veterinarian will have the authority to scratch a horse for health reasons or concerns pertaining to the safety of the horse and the image of the sport. Only the Race Officials can require a horse to be examined by the veterinarian prior to racing.  Drug testing is at the discretion and expense of the local Race Committee.  Should a member race wish to incorporate Drug testing into their local rules and regulations, the Drug testing rules and regulations are to be fully disclosed and described in the local race rules at least two weeks prior to the race.
  2. Officials have the authority to disqualify horses at the start that pose a danger to the volunteer staff or to the rider or skier, especially at the start or staging area.  Riders shall warm up their horses in designated areas ONLY and away from spectators for the safety of other riders and all racing staff.  After a run, competitors and their horses much clear the runout area as soon as possible and return to the opposite end of the track or to their trailers. 
  3. EMT services will be on site. Service, if needed, will be charged to the benefactor.
  4. A veterinarian will be on site. Service, if needed, will be charged to the benefactor.
  5. We can’t guarantee that there will be any traction on the course due to weather conditions. Although we will not force racers to go out of their comfort zone with their horse, we do have recommendations for horseshoes. We recommend borium shoes on all 4 feet, however if you are unable to have borium shoes or you want to run with two fronts/two back or no shoes there is an additional waiver that the rider will need to sign prior to racing.



If a team member has a concern regarding the scoring of their run, that concern must be brought to the attention of the Arena Boss or Finish Line/Timing Judge (not the announcers or volunteers) immediately following their run.  All contestants should inquire about the scoring/time of their run prior to leaving the finish line area.  This committee may be comprised of a Starting Judge, a Timing Judge and a Race Organizer, for example, as long as that person is not competing.  Otherwise, a Finish Line or Arena Boss may be chosen.  This group should be declared by the Member Race Delegate prior to the race’s beginning. The decision of that committee is final, and all involved are asked to accept that decision in the spirit of friendly competition. Any unsportsmanlike conduct may result in elimination from the remainder of the competition weekend or future races.  


Length: Straight course:  approximately 700 to 900 feet from start to finish gates.  Curved tracks may be shorter, but their arc should be no less than the quarter turn radius on an half-mile oval horse racing track.  The horse’s track shall not be banked. 

Run Out: a horse run out shall be flat, have consistent footing, be without barriers or obstacles and be as long as possible and at least, if not more than, 2/3rd of the course length from start to finish.

Gates: breakaway style where skier goes right of red gates and left of blue gates.

Jumps: typically three jumps or rollers, approximately two to seven feet in height.  Tops shall be shaved down so as not to “launch” the skier dangerously.

Rollers and banked turns: Shall have safety fencing at the top and not “whip” the skier toward a gate so as to make the turn too dangerous.

Rings: 3/8” pneumatic polyurethane tubing 6” to 7” in diameter used on both curved and straight tracks in varying numbers and groupings.  Ring stands shall be made from light materials and extend as far as possible over the track, and bases must be padded.


Rope lengths are to be no longer than 33’ in length for straight courses, and 50’ for curved tracks.  3/8” or larger in diameter is recommended.  Cotton, hemp or synthetic are allowed.  Allowance of loops or knots at the skier end are up to the discretion of each individual race.  Please check with your race for their rules regarding loops or knots. Ropes brought to the race by individual competitors are subject to approval by the local race officials. They may not contain multiple knots or be of a length outside of the race’s normal parameters.

Attachment is to the saddle horn or cantle area. If the attachment is behind the saddle, it must be secured to the primary rigging rings of the saddle via a non-elastic means that does not affect the fit of the saddle so that the pulling rope/skier rope is within an approximate six inches of the cantle, carabineer included.  Prior to the race the Start Master or his designee must approve the pulling rope and any attachment to the saddle or saddle horn.


  1. The start area shall be cordoned off and guarded, if possible, to prevent spectators and/or unauthorized personnel from accessing the area.  
  2. Adequate fencing shall be provided to keep spectators in designated areas and safe.  If local liquor laws require additional fencing, this shall be in place and staffing provided.
  3. Drones will not be permitted unless specifically approved by the Race Committee as licensed and operated by professionals with media credentials. 
  4. Media shall abide by race organizers safety rules and directives.  If these are breached, that person may be asked to leave the premises.  Media requires credentials which must be visible at all times and individuals must sign a waiver. 
  5. Volunteers must sign waivers and attend training sessions prior to the race. They should be present for the Competitors’ Meeting before the race begins and wear credentials at all times. 


  1. Good sportsmanship is important to the success of our event and the image of the community.  Your registration signature pledges your word to the humane treatment of your horse (if applicable) and respectful relationships to all fellow competitors, race organizers, judges, staff, spectators and volunteers involved in the competition.  Racers who have comments or concerns regarding a race or another competitor shall follow procedures outlined above to file a complaint with a Race Organizer.



Race results shall be announced and posted, and prize money and awards distributed at a designated public location at a designated time.   The number of placements, payouts and distribution of added money will be determined by the individual race organizers.  If dollar amounts are not possible to post, a minimum of percentages of a minimum prize pot must be declared to give competitors a clear idea of what their winnings shall be at that race. Race organizers are then indebted to distribute these funds despite mitigating circumstances.  Race results shall be posted publicly within 24 hours of the race in a professional and easily readable format and all three team members shall be named.  Races shall announce every run time and updated placements as the race progresses from the announcer’s stand.  Radio contact is imperative to keep both competitors and spectators abreast of the competition results.