Barrel Racing


Horse and saddle, electric eye timer, and three 55-gallon drums


To have the fastest time in the event with no penalties. The barrel racer will enter the arena, usually at full speed and cross the start / finish line triggering an electronic eye that starts the clock. The contestant will direct her horse to complete a cloverleaf pattern (one right turn and two left turns OR one left turn and two right turns) around three barrels positioned in the arena, then race back across the start / finish line, tripping the eye and stopping the clock. You will usually see contestants beginning with the right barrel.

Disqualified When

  • The contestant deviates from the cloverleaf pattern in any form.


The contestant can touch or even move the barrels from their original position, but will receive a five second penalty for each barrel knocked over. Even one barrel overturned usually spells a long trip home with only your applause as consolation.