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Section A. Competition Rules

    1. An NBHA barrel race is an electronically timed event using three identical barrels set in a cloverleaf pattern.  Barrels may not be weighted (i.e., sand or water). Barrels must be metal or plastic and must be enclosed on both ends.
    2. The starting gate or gates must remain the same throughout the entire event. If more than one start gate is available, it must be offered or denied to all riders equally regardless of the direction they run.
    3. The start/finish line and the barrel positions should be permanently marked and must remain the same throughout the entire event.
    4. The pattern at an NBHA show must meet the following conditions:
      1. The first two barrels must be a minimum of 15 feet off the side fence.
      2. a minimum of 30 feet between the third barrel and the back fence.
      3. a minimum of 30 feet between the timeline and the first barrel.
    5. Ground Conditions:
      1. The ground conditions within the arena must remain consistent throughout the event. The ground around the barrels must be reworked and leveled after no more than each 5 contestants have competed. Drag intervals must be consistent. Example: After every 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 draw numbers. If scratches exist, the drag must still remain in the same position.
      2. The preferred method of working the ground is with a ground tool pulled by some type of motor vehicle. Hand raking is not acceptable.
    6. Any time a contestant crosses the starting line, time will begin and this will constitute an attempt at a run.
    7. Contestants must compete using a western saddle. Riding bareback in a sanctioned NBHA class will result in a disqualification. Additionally, no bareback riding is permitted at any Super Show or World Championship Show at any time, and can result in a fine or further action for repeat offenses.
    8. A contestant will be given a “no time” for any of the following reasons:
      1. Off Pattern
      2. Knocking over a barrel completely, regardless if it stands back up on either end. Touching the barrel is permitted, without penalty.
      3. Running out of turn and/or riding a horse other than the horse in the drawn position. It is the contestant’s responsibility to know their drawn position. In the case where the announcer clearly announces the wrong running order and can identify their mistake, a contestant shall be offered a rerun. At the completion of the “out-of-order” run, the ground shall be drug for those riders remaining in the drag, if any.
      4. If the rider falls off after crossing the starting timer. A rider who falls off a horse completely, before the starting line, regardless if the horse breaks the timer, a re-run will be offered in that moment in the same draw position, and not at a later time.
    9. If a barrel or timer is moved off its marker during competition, they must be reset prior to the next competitor’s run to the proper markers and all contestants who competed on the incorrect pattern must re-run at the end of the event, or else a no-time will be given. If the pattern is altered in any way during the running of a class, such that it cannot be restored to its original layout, all runs made to that point are void for the purpose of NBHA points. NBHA points may be awarded only if the entire class is rerun. (An altered pattern includes but is not limited to: Changes in the staked position of the barrels; a change in the position of the timing device, either vertically or horizontally; or a change in the position of the entry gate(s).
    10. Contestants may ride any horse, regardless of ownership, and may ride as many horses as they choose in a class unless otherwise approved by the NBHA Headquarters. However, a horse may not be shown by more than one person in a class, unless the following conditions are met:
      1. Both contestants are members of the same immediate family who also reside in the same household (husband, wife, siblings, children and grandchildren). Children and grandchildren who are attending school away from home, but who reside part of the year with their parents or grandparents are included under this rule.
      2. Neither contestant is showing any other horse in that class.
      3. In no case will the same horse be run more than twice in the same class.
    11. Entries for an NBHA class will close when the first horse in that class runs, unless otherwise stated on District communications.
    12. At all NBHA sanctioned shows, the draw shall be done in a random manner (computer, shuffling cards, drawing numbered chips, etc.). All horses in the draw must be named using registered names, when available.  Riders with multiple entries must ride their horses in the position in which they draw up.  Once set, the draw may not be changed, except to accommodate entries with the same horse or rider, or entries involving members of the same immediate family, as defined in Section A, Rule 9a, which have drawn up close to each other. What constitutes “close to each other” will be determined by Show Management; however, a consistent standard should be adhered to for the class. The draw may not be changed to give preference to any rider or to accommodate another commitment of a particular rider such as work or another barrel race.  Changes must be moved to the end.
    13. Only one horse may be in the competition arena at any time during competition.
    14. Reruns shall be granted if the official or back up electronic timer fails to work properly or if the barrels are not placed properly on their markers. Any penalty incurred on the original run shall not be applied against the rerun; however, any penalty occurring on the rerun shall result in a no time.
    15. Contestants who are given a no-time, either for missing the pattern or knocking down a barrel, may complete the pattern. However, show management may, at its discretion, ask a rider who is taking excessive time to train to leave the arena immediately. If such request is not complied with, a $25 fine may be assessed, payable to the district awards fund.
    16. NBHA Officials have the right to disqualify any uncontrolled horse which does not begin performance within two minutes of the time the rider has been called. This rule does not apply to competitors who have not checked in with gate personnel.