AMA Awards Program
Changes for AMA Hall of Fame
Section 701 B. 1. AMA Hall of Fame – Recognition for outstanding accomplishments of animals that are deceased, or retired from competition or breeding.
(Changed: mules to animals. Added:or breeding.)
Section 702 A. Purpose to establish an award for AMA registered animals that have shown an outstanding ability or accomplishments within the AMA, and that are now deceased, or retired from competition or breeding.
(Added: within the AMA. Changed: show ring to competition Added: breeding)
Section 702 B. 1. Their purpose shall be to nominate to the Board of Directors the animals that should be considered for the Hall of Fame.
(Deleted: to review the applications Changed: recommend to nominate)
Section 702 C. AMA Hall of Fame elections may be done at a regular meeting, or by an official phone or email poll by the Board of Directors.
(Changed: all after “elections”)
Section 702 D 1. Open to all mules and donkeys that have qualified through extensive AMA participation, or through outstanding produce of get within the AMA, and are nominated by the Committee and approved by the Board of Directors.
(Changed: mule to mules. Added: or through outstanding produce of get within the AMA, and are nominated by the Committee)
Section 702 D 5. All nominations shall be made on the approved form, by the Committee. The Committee may request records or information from other sources.
(Changed: all after All)
Changes for AMA Certificate Awards.
Section 703 Add D. The following Awards will be presented as staffing for compilation of points allows. Honor Roll, Register of Merit (ROM), Superior, Champion, Versatility Champion, Superior All-Around, and Supreme Champion.
Add D after C.11. e. (at the end of that entire section, and put it all in bold as above)
Section 500. Attire Add: Applies to Packers and Swampers
Section 501. C. 2. a. Add: See Scramble rules Section 510 C. 7. for time penalty exception
Section 501 C 2. b. One minute minimum penalty, per infraction, shall be accessed in the Packing Class. Stiffer penalties may be accessed by the judge.
(Added: minimum, and , after infraction, Added: Stiffer penalties may be accessed by judge)
Use this same change on Section 503 E & Section 507 E
Section 502 A 6. On all hitches the lash cinch must have open side of hook toward the rear of the animal. Rope cannot be in lash hook.
(Added: Rope cannot be in lash hook. Changed: mule for animal)
Section 503 D. Non-Pro packer may only compete in the Non-Pro division. Exception: If no Non-Pro class is offered a Non-Pro may compete in the Open classes. Points will be awarded to the Non-Pro Division.
(Changed: reworded for clearer interpretation)
Section 503 E Delete Five second penalties will be assessed for each infraction of the rules in the Hitch classes.
(This rule is obsolete and in conflict of Section 501)
Section 503 1 Change to One minute minimum penalty, per infraction, shall be accessed in the Packing Class. Stiffer penalties may be accessed by the judge.
Section 504 A 2. Youth may only compete in the Youth Division. Exception: If no Youth class is offered a Youth may compete in the Non-Pro Hitches, if they meet the criteria of a Non-Pro. If they do not meet Non-Pro criteria, they may compete in the Open Hitches. Points will be awarded to the Youth Division. Youth may not compete in the Non-Pro or Open Pack Contest or Scramble. (Changed so Youth may earn points where no Youth class is offered)
Section 504 A. 8. Youth cannot compete in Pack Trail outside an arena or outside a safe enclosed area. (Added for safety reasons)
Section 505 A 1. Add: Penalty DQ (add as last sentence)
Section 505 B 2. Add: Penalty DQ (add as last sentence)
Section 505 E The tail of the lash rope is to be thrown over the load, and cannot be purposely pulled off. (Added: over purposely off)
Section 507 E Change to One minute minimum penalty, per infraction, shall be accessed in the Packing Class. Stiffer penalties may be accessed by the judge.
Section 508 C 6. Delete and re-number 7 to 6, 8 to 7, 9 to 8
AMA PROPOSED RULE CHANGES FOR 2016
Existing rule: 51
Page: 38 Section: A
Rule currently reads:
#15 single driving
#16 team driving
Any single or team driving classes may be offered to the amateur driver.
Existing Rule: 51 (2 different submissions)
Page: 38 Working Performance
Using Mule/Ranch Mule
Change Bridled Reining to Western Performance.
Reining is a pattern class it’s about willfully guiding and control of the mule. It is not a cattle class, should be in the Western Performance division.
Page: 28 number 4 letter D
Any artificial hair, weights, etc. added to the tail will not be permitted. Entry will be prohibited….
New Rule to read:
Any weights, etc. added to the tail will not be permitted. Artificial tails are permitted, with their added weight, but with nothing added to make the artificial tail heavier. Entry will be prohibited….
Page: 39 section: 51 letter: A.13
The amateur class list.
Leave or remove the list and insert,
Any single entrant approved AMA class designated as an Amateur class can be used for Amateur points.
Existing Rule: The Driver
Page #:106 section: use of whip letter:A
Whip in hand is not required in obstacle, timed obstacle, gambler’s choice or hitch class.
Gambler’s choice attire”H” Driver must carry a whip in hand.
Which is correct?
Page #: 37 Section: 19 Letter: G
Points are based on the number of animals in a class as indicated on the judge’s card. It is the contestant’s responsibility to check their own points for errors.
New Rule to read:
Points are based on the number of entries performing in a class, as indicated on the judge’s card. An entry being a single or team signed up in the class. It is the contestant’s…..
New Rule: Breakaway Roping added to Roping/ Penning Division with the rules as follows.
(a) This event shall be performed following the same general rules as steer stopping.
(b) Horse must start from behind a barrier. A 10-second penalty will be added to the time for breaking the barrier.
(c) Two loops will be permitted. One or two ropes are to be tied to the saddle horn by a heavy string, in such a manner as to allow the rope to be released from the horn when the calf reaches the end of the rope. A visible cloth or flag must be attached to the end of the rope tied to the horn to make it easier for the flagger to see it break free.
(d) If the roper is carrying one rope and the roper desires to use a second loop, he/she may recoil provided the rope is still tied by a string to the saddle horn. If the rope is no longer attached to the saddle horn with the string after the roper has thrown the first loop, it cannot be rebuilt for a second throw. If the roper is carrying two loops he may use the second loop provided it is still attached to the saddle horn with a string. If the second loop falls loose, it cannot be rebuilt.
(e) The contestant may free his first rope from the horn after a miss, before getting his second loop ready if he wishes.
(f) The contestant shall receive no time should he break the rope from the horn by hand or touch the rope or string after the catch is made. If the rope dallies or will not break free when the calf reaches the end of it, the contestant will receive no time.
(g) Time will be called from drop of flag at barrier to the break of rope string from the saddle horn. A legal catch is a loop that passes over the head of the calf and then holds on any part of the calf to cause the string to break away from the saddle horn. Roping the calf without releasing the loop from the hand is not permitted.
(h) The contestant shall not attempt to rope the animal until the barrier flag has been dropped. Any attempt by a contestant to position his mule behind the barrier, enabling the contestant to rope the calf without leaving the barrier or box, shall be considered a disqualification.
(i) Rope may not pass through bridle, tie-down, neck rope or any other device.
(j) A judge may, at his discretion, use the ring steward, other show officials or approved AMA judges to assist as barrier judges and to help determine legal catches or any rule infractions.
(k) Flagger shall be mounted.
AMA General Rules and Information
19G (page 37)
Current: Points are based on the number of animals performing in a class, as indicated on the judge’s card. It is the contestant’s responsibility to check their own points for errors.
Proposed: Points are based on the number of entries performing in a class as indicated on the judge’s card. Teams (roping, sorting, penning, and driving) are considered one entry. AMA points will go the final official placing from total entries; separate points are not awarded to preliminary runs. If the final results are less than 10 placings, highest preliminary runs complete the placings. It is the contestant’s responsibility to check their own points for errors.
569 C1 (page 146)
2016 Proposed Rule Changes Page 4
Current: (last sentence) Only test 3 of each level will count for AMA year end points.
Proposed: Green may use any training level test , Bridled shall use training level test 3 or any first or second level test to count for AMA year end points.
320C (page 105)
Current: Where time is a consideration, teams may compete in the arena at the same time as singles but shall be judged separately.
Proposed: Where time is a consideration, teams may compete in the arena at the same time as singles but shall be judged separately if the show premium lists it as two separate classes. If it is listed as one class, they will be judged together and points assigned according to their designation; single or team.
Section 6 Suspension or Expulsion (page 23)
Current paragraph, last line: A suspended or expelled member shall not be entitled to exercise any of the voting rights set forth in these Bylaws.
Proposed: A suspended or expelled member shall not be entitled to exercise any of the voting rights set forth in these Bylaws nor are they entitled to points accumulated, year end awards or special awards. Members not in good standing with the AMA are barred from showing at AMA approved shows for the duration of the suspension or expulsion.
217 GAMBLER’S CHOICE TRAIL (page 51)
Current: To be shown in western equipment and attire. Mules to work over/through a course of un-numbered obstacles, each with its own point value.
A. All mules shall have the same amount of time to negotiate obstacles before “time is up” and double whistle sounds. No required gaits, may work at own pace.
Proposed: To be shown in western equipment and attire. Mules to work over/through a maximum of 8 obstacles in a course of un-numbered obstacles, each with its own point value.
A. All mules shall have the same amount of time to negotiate obstacles before “time is up” and double whistle sounds. May work at own pace between obstacles. Obstacles requiring a specific gait (such as lope over poles or jog over poles) will be adhered to. Failure to maintain required gait for obstacle will result in no points awarded.
215. Western Trail, Page 50, add “G”
G. Judges suggested scoring and penalty system for each obstacle:
Scoring will be on the basis of 0-infinity, with 70 denoting an average performance. Each obstacle will receive an obstacle score that should be added or subtracted from 70 and is subject to a penalty that should be subtracted. Each obstacle will be scored on the following basis, ranging from plus 1 1/2 to minus 1 1/2: -1 1/2 extremely poor, -1 very poor, -1/2 poor, 0 correct, +1/2 good, +1 very good, +1 1/2 excellent. Obstacle scores are to be determined and assessed independently of penalty points. Penalties should be assessed per occurrence as follows:
One-half (1/2) Point
- each tick or contact of a log, pole, cone, plant, or any component of an obstacle
- One (1) Point each hit, bite, or stepping on a log, cone, plant or any component of the obstacle
- incorrect or break of gait at walk or jog for two strides or less
- both front or hind feet in a single-strided slot or space at a walk or jog
- skipping over or failing to step into required space
- split pole in lope-over
- incorrect number of strides, if specified
Three (3) Point
- incorrect or break of gait at walk or jog for more than 2 strides
- out of lead or break of gait at lope (except when correcting an incorrect lead)
- knocking down an elevated pole, cone, barrel, planet, obstacle, or severely disturbing an obstacle
- falling or jumping off or out of a bridge or a water box with one foot once the mule has got onto or into that obstacle
- Stepping outside of the confines of an obstacle with designated boundaries (i.e. back through, 360 box, side pass) with one foot once the horse has entered the obstacle.
- Missing or evading a pole that is a part of a series of an obstacle with one foot
Five (5) Point
- dropping slicker or object required to be carried on course
- first or second cumulative refusal, balk, or evading an obstacle by shying or backing
- letting go of gate or dropping rope gate
- use of either hand to instill fear or praise
- falling or jumping off or out of a bridge or a water box with more than one foot once the mule has got onto or into that obstacle
- Stepping outside of the confines of an obstacle with designated boundaries (i.e. back through, 360 box, side pass) with more than one foot once the mule has entered the obstacle.
- Missing or evading a pole that is a part of a series of an obstacle with more than one foot
- blatant disobedience (including kicking out, bucking, rearing, striking)
- holding saddle with either hand
- faults, which occur on the line of travel between obstacles, scored according to severity: -head carried too high -head carried too low (tip of ear below the withers) -over-flexing or straining neck in head carriage so the nose is carried behind the vertical -excessive nosing out -opening mouth excessively
0 (Zero)– Score
- performing the obstacle incorrectly or other than in specified order
- no attempt to perform an obstacle
- excessively or repeatedly touching the horse on the neck to lower the head
- entering or exiting an obstacle from the incorrect side or direction
- working obstacle the incorrect direction; including overturns of more than ¼ turn
- riding outside designated boundary marker of the arena or course area
- third cumulative refusal, balk, or evading an obstacle by shying or backing
- failure to ever demonstrate correct gait between obstacle as designated
- failure to follow the correct line of travel between obstacles
- excessive schooling, pulling, turning, stepping or backing anywhere on course
- use of two hands (except green mules in snaffle bit or hackamore) or changing hands on reins; only one hand may be used on the reins, except that it is permissible to change hands to work an obstacle
- equipment failure that delays completion of pattern
219. PATTERN (Western Riding), Page 52
Proposed: Eliminate A. 1 & 2 Description of gate in pattern.
Current: 220. MULE TO WALK TO AND THROUGH THE GATE, then proceed on the course….
Proposed change: 22. Mule to proceed on the course as indicated by the pattern. Not following exact pattern causes elimination.
Suggested to remove gate requirement as it is not on the approved patterns, rule is ignored at most shows and when done, it slows the class down.
Current 220 A. It is important that the mule correctly change leads at the lope (flying changes). Simple lead changes shall be penalized.
Proposed 220 A. It is important that the mule correctly change leads at the lope (flying changes). Simple lead changes shall be penalized, but are not cause for elimination.
Propose addition of Western Dressage to Western Performance division.
A. Requirements for rider attire and mule equipment are the same as all western performance classes.
B. Judges shall follow current USEF/WDAA scoring and procedures.
C. Tests: Current WDAA tests shall be used. Show premium shall state which tests will be used for all classes. Novice shall use any Introductory test, Green mules shall use any Basic level test,
Bridled mules shall use Basic level test 3 or 4, or any Level 1 or 2 test. Amateur shall use Basic level test 3 or 4, or Level 1 test 1 or 2. Youth shall use any Basic level test.
D. Show management shall draw for ride time prior to show date and make them available to competitors.
E. Competitors may have a “reader”. Readers will only be allowed to read the instructions once, they are not allowed to repeat a directive or communicate with the rider.
F. Definition of gaits
1. The walk is a well-marked four time beat marching gait in a regular cadence and with equal intervals between each beat. This regularity combined with full relaxation must be maintained throughout all walk movements. The following walks are recognized: Collected walk, Working walk and Free walk. There should always be a clear difference in the attitude and tracking in these variations.
2. The jog is a two beat gait of alternate diagonal legs (left fore and right hind leg and vice versa) separated by a moment of suspension. Excessive speed or slowness will be penalized. The following jogs are recognized: Collected jog, Working jog, Lengthening of Strides and Free Jog.
3. The lope is a gait with three equal, regular beats with time of suspension after the third beat. One stride equals 3 beats, or three footfalls. This gait may be demonstrated on right or left lead. The following lopes are recognized: Collected lope, Working lope, Lengthening of Strides and Counter lope.
Rules committee – I will add more to this if adding Western Dressage is approved
Current rule: 216. Mandatory dimensions of Trail Obstacles
…B. Cavaletti Jog overs 3’ to 4’ apart (between)
Lope overs 7’ to 9’ apart (a 7’ average mule)
C. Jumps Mounted or lead over 18” max height allowed – 4’ min. between standards.
Combinations 18’ to 20’ for one stride. 9’ for no stride (bounce)….
…E. Side Passes Single pole Up to 24” high
Parallel poles Never closer than 20”
(NOTE: These changes adhere to the standard distances used in most major organizations. Since we have such a range in animal sizes we cannot accommodate every animal so we need to stick with the standard distances.)
Change to: 216. Mandatory Dimensions of Trail Obstacles
…B. Cavaletti Jog overs 3’ to 3’6” apart (between)
Lope overs 6’ to 7’ apart
C. Jumps Mounted or lead over 18” max height allowed – 4’ min. between standards.
Combinations 12’ for one stride. 6’ for no stride (bounce)…
…E. Side Passes Single pole Up to 24” high
Parallel poles Never closer than 24”
Current rule: 217. Gambler’s Choice Trail - To be shown in western equipment and attire. Mules to work over/through a course of un-numbered obstacles, each with its own point value.
(NOTE: Not quite sure how to word this rule change. It has been much more common the last few years that the Gambler’s Choice courses are the same course with the exact placement of obstacle’s used in the regular Trail classes. As well, the same course maps are used with directional arrows and gaits designated for all obstacles, this changes what the class is all about. Gambler’s Choice is not designed to be ridden at any gait, if you can get through a set of trot poles at a canter, for example, without disturbing them then it shouldn’t matter what gait you are in. Some obstacles are designed to be ridden at a particular gait and that is fine, but not all obstacles should be restricted to a certain gait.)
Change to read: 217. Gambler’s Choice Trail - To be shown in western equipment and attire. Mules to work over/through a course of un-numbered, un related obstacles, each with its own point value. Preferably the Gambler’s Choice course is different from the regular trail course. Ideally obstacles should be re-arranged. Example: Obstacles with higher or similar points should be arranged on opposite sides of the show area.
Current rule: 217. Gambler’s Choice Trail
…C. No points shall be awarded if an obstacle is disturbed (unless designed to be disturbed), or re-ridden after it is disturbed. Judge shall declare obstacle dead by means of a single whistle…
(NOTE: Many of our judges seem to be judging more like a regular trail class and not like a fault and out class (my description). They are giving a point value, but some have deducted points if you didn’t do it perfectly but still giving points. Example, a walk over with 4 poles worth 10 points, one pole is moved the judge awarded 8 points. It should have been dead for the rest of the class, not awarded any points. This is not a class judged on style so we should encourage the judging to be clear on this point.)
Change to read: 217 Gambler’s Choice Trail
…C. No points shall be awarded if an obstacle is disturbed in any way (unless designed to be disturbed), or re-ridden after it is disturbed. Judge shall declare obstacle dead by means of a single whistle. Show management is encouraged to use some measure to determine if the obstacle has been disturbed during the ride.
Add to: 217 Gambler’s Choice Trail
H. If a mule step’s out/off of an obstacle (i.e. Back through, box, or off the side of a bridge when entered on the end), a zero score for this attempt will be given and the contestant should move on. If undisturbed it can be worked again but only after another obstacle has been attempted.
Current rule: 311. Working Hunter, A – 2
Fences should simulate…exceed height of fence.
(NOTE: Mainly this is a problem when courses are being built by crews unfamiliar with jumping.)
Add to the end of 311. Working Hunter, A – 2
Square oxers are prohibited. A minimum 2” difference is required for the back element of an obstacle. A ground line on the take off side is required for all obstacles.
Current rule: 301 – A – 5 Dropped nosebands, hackamores, tie-downs, martingales, and draw reins are PROHIBITED.
NOTE: This rule change goes hand in hand with a change to rule 310 below)
Change to read: 301 – A – 5 Dropped, flash, and figure eight nosebands, hackamores, tie-downs, martingales (except in all hunter and jumper classes), and draw reins are PROHIBITED.
(NOTE: This came up at one of our shows this year and the judge could not find the ruling in the USEF rule book. It is there in a couple spots but not easily found.)
Add under General English Rules, 301 – A - 6
6. Whips are allowed in all english classes but must not exceed 30” for hunt seat and english classes and 47” including lash, for dressage. Only one whip can be carried when riding. Whips that are weighted are prohibited.
7. Maximum spur length is 1.5” with curve of the spur shank pointing down.
Add to 301 – C – 2
Current rule: 2. Exhibitors showing…in jodhpur boots.
Change rule to read: 2. Exhibitors showing…english boots mandatory. Gloves are optional. Exception: Youth…
Current rule: 304 – E – 1.
E. To be judged:
1. Flat work, manners and way of going 30%
2. Style over fences, even hunter pace 70%
(NOTE: Not a major issue but would point out the emphasis in the class as far as scoring. I recommend having the fences first since the class emphasis is on the jumps and the flat work should not be the major deciding factor in the class.)
Change to read: 304 – E – 1
E. To be judged with emphasis on fence work, with the recommendation that flat work be performed after fence work.
1. Style over fences, even hunter pace 70%
2. Flat work, manners and way of going 30%
Current rule: 310 General Rules …A: Martingales and Tiedowns are allowed in Hunter classes. (see appendix VI-B).
(NOTE: I feel that it is easier on the mules to go in a mild twisted wire where the rider gets more response, quicker, than to see a rider pulling on a smooth snaffle so hard at times it pulls it through their mouth. In the hunters and jumpers where there are multiple turns at a forward pace it makes more sense than seeing so much pulling going on.)
Change to read: 310 General Rules …A:
Martingales and Tiedowns are allowed in all Hunter and Jumper classes. (See appendix VI-B).
Hunter: Bridled mules to be shown in regulation snaffle, kimberwicks, pelham, and full bridles as described in appendix A III. Exception: Bridled mules may also show in hunter classes using a mild twisted wire snaffle. Green mules to be shown in a regulation snaffle. Exception: Green mules may also show in hunter classes using a mild twisted wire snaffle. (Exceptions described in appendix A – under approved snaffles for exceptions – rule 3).
Jumper: Bridled mules may be shown in any humane bit. Green mules may be shown in a regulation snaffle, mild twisted wire snaffle, or gag snaffle.
311. Working Hunters
A. Mules to be worked over a course of eight or more jumping efforts. Any approved course or set of courses may be used. Show manager shall choose the course(s). Courses are to be designated Bridled, Green, Bridled and Green (with different height requirements) and Open. Courses shall be found in Appendix B page 169. Course to be posted one hour prior to class.
(NOTE: I would be more than happy to head a committee that approves jump courses at the shows. Even with the courses in our book there were shows that did not think they were mandatory and did their own courses. Unfortunately the courses are usually done by people that don’t jump and some verge on being unsafe. We either need to make it clear that the courses in the book are mandatory or give a second option.)
Change to read:
311. Working Hunters
A. Mules to be worked over a course of eight or more jumping efforts. Approved courses must be used. Two options for approved courses may be used.
Option 1: Any approved course or set of courses may be used from Appendix B page ?.
Option 2: Management may choose to design the courses but must have them approved prior to the start of their show by the AMA course committee. If taken from the Appendix, the show manager shall choose the course(s). Courses are to be designated Bridled, Green, Bridled and Green (with different height requirements) and Open. Course to be posted one hour prior to class.
Current rule, 311, E
Faults – The following faults…Major – Refusals or circling while on course
(NOTE: Just updating the rules to be more consistent with the current hunter rules at major shows. I also added a line that pertains to simple changes while on course. It is something that has come up a number of times over the last few years)
Change 311, E: to read
1. Faults – The following faults are scored according to the judge’s opinion and depending on the severity of the fault or the division, may be considered minor or major.
a. Light touches or rubbing the jump
b. Swapping leads in a line or in front of a jump
c. Simple changes of lead
d. Late lead changes
f. Kicking up or out
f. Jumping out of form
g. Jumping off the center line of jump
h. Bucking and/or playing
i. Adding a stride in a line with a related distance
j. Eliminating a stride in a line with a related distance (Should take into consideration the size and stride of the mule competing as classes are not split according to height)
k. Striking off on a wrong lead on the courtesy circle. (May be corrected with either a simple or flying change of lead)
2. The following are considered major faults.
c. Refusal or stopping while on course, (any loss of forward motion anywhere on course).
d. Dangerous jumping
e. Addressing a jump - coming to a stop in front of a jump in order to show the jump to the mule.
f. Completely missing a lead change
g. Adding or eliminating a stride in an in and out.
h. Breaking stride, or Trotting while on course. (Exceptions-Where posted on the course diagram i.e. trot jumps, steep banks, etc, and also as outlined above in 311. E. 1 c.)
i. Bolting while on course
(NOTE: I have re written almost the entire jumper division, mainly to clarify rules and to give the shows class options. We had somehow taken all the different jumper classes and lumped them into one over the years. This gives shows options for having different classes and still stay within our rules.)
Current rules: (Entire Division)
313 Jumpers – Bridled and Green
….H. It is recommended that a time limit of no more than 45 seconds be used as to not over work the mules. A signal (single whistle) will be given to let the rider know they have 15 seconds left on course.
Change to read:
313. Jumpers – Bridled and Green
A. Martingales and Tiedowns are allowed. Bridled mules may be shown in any humane bit. Green mules may be shown in a regulation snaffle, mild twisted-wire snaffle or gag snaffle. (See rule 106) Draw reins are prohibited.
1. Protective boots are allowed.
B. Course(s) to be made of a minimum of four obstacles and require mule to make at least eight jumping efforts.
1. One spread fence consisting of two or more elements is mandatory. Spread of fence will not exceed height of fence.
2. First fence to be no more than the minimum height.
Green Mules 2’ to 2’6”
Bridled Mules 2’6” to 3’ (but at least 3” higher than green mules)
3. To jump post and rail at least twice, other fences are optional to type such as chicken coop, stone wall, triple bar, brush jump, etc.
4. Obstacles, other than combinations (see 311.A.4), to be set at 11 ½ foot increments, a minimum of 46 feet apart. (1) stride should be set at 22’ – 23’, (2) strides should be set at 34’ – 35’, depending on height.
5.Starting line at least 12 feet in front of first jump, and finish line at least 24 feet beyond last jump marked preferably by vertical poles. Markers must be at least 12 feet apart but can be as far as the width or length of the arena and they can be a common set of start/finish poles if warranted.
6. Mules must start by passing through the markers in the proper direction and finish the course by passing through the finish markers in the proper direction with the rider mounted. Passing through the starting markers in the improper direction before starting, does not incur penalty. Once a mule has started on course it may pass through the start/finish markers in either direction without penalty, while on course.
7. A bell or whistle will signal the course is ready for the mule to begin (jumpers only, no signal is used in hunter classes). Upon receiving the signal the rider has 60 seconds to pass through the markers and begin the course. The mule must not resist for 60 consecutive seconds or take more than 60 seconds to jump the first obstacle after the time of the round has begun or take more than 60 seconds to jump the next obstacle on course.
C. Jumpers are scored on penalties incurred between the start line and the finish line. To be SCORED MATHEMATICALLY with penalties for knockdowns, disobediences and falls. Touches not to count.
1. Knockdown of jump, standard, or timing marker by mule or rider: 4 faults
2. 1st disobedience-refusal, bolting, circling, stopping: 4 faults
3. Elimination will result from any of the following:
3rd cumulative disobedience anywhere on course
Fall of mule/rider
Jumping obstacles before it is reset
Starting before judge’s signal to proceed
Failure to enter arena within one minute of being called
Failure to begin course within one minute of signal
Jumping obstacle before crossing start line
Going of course
Deliberately addressing an obstacle any time in ring
Leaving arena before finishing the course
A mule resisting for 60 consecutive seconds
Taking more than 60 seconds to jump the first jump after the time on course has begun.
Taking more than 60 seconds to jump the next jump on course.
4. Broken Equipment. - In cases of broken equipment the rider may continue on with no penalty, or may retire.
5. Loss of shoe – May continue on with no penalty or be eliminated.
6. Mule must maintain forward movement, while on course at any gait (unless due to uncontrollable circumstances such as when an obstacle is being reset) or shall be penalized as a disobedience.
7. A refusal is when a mule loses forward motion (1 step backward) anywhere on course or in front of an obstacle to be jumped and whether or not it knocks it down or displaces it, is penalized as disobedience.
A. Stopping at an obstacle without knocking it down and without backing, followed immediately by jumping from a standstill, is not penalized. However, if the halt continues, or if the mule backs even a single step or circles to retake the course, a refusal is incurred.
B. in combinations, the faults committed at each element are scored separately. In case of refusal or run-out at one element of a combination (and upon the judge’s signal that the obstacle has been reset, if necessary), the competitor MUST re-jump the entire combination.
8. Run out occurs when the mule evades or passes obstacle to be jumped.
9. Any circling or crossing ones path between two consecutive jumps once on course.
10. If obstacle falls after the passing through finish markers, no penalty for knock down.
11. Use of Audible Signal. An audible signal (bell, horn, whistle, gong or buzzer) is sounded for the following purposes:
a. to give the signal to start;
b. to stop a competitor in the event of an unforeseen incident (which also designates a time-out);
c. to interrupt the 60-second period which a rider has to begin the course in the
event of an unforeseen incident;
d. to indicate that an obstacle has to be reset before being retaken after it has been knocked down during a refusal (designating a time-out);
e. to give the signal for a competitor to continue his round after an interruption.
f. to indicate by repeated and prolonged ringing that the competitor has been elim-inated; and
g. to indicate that the rider should not proceed to the jump-off round in a Table II Sec. 2. (c) class, or a Table IV(c) class
12. During rounds where time is a deciding factor, a re-jump of the entire course may only be considered as an option if there is no automatic or manual time due to very exceptional circumstances. In these cases a competitor may elect not to re-jump the course and instead be placed after competitors with equal faults. If a re-jump does take place, the original score will be void.
D. Jump offs to determine placing(s) of clean rounds shall be timed.
1. Shortened course of no less than one half original length.
2. Sequence of jumps in any order, but remain in original direction.
3. Increase of height and spread, of at least half of jumps, only in clean round ties for first place or when points involved.
a. Height increase 3” and spread at a maximum of 3’ wide, not to exceed height of jump
b. In case of ties with faults, fences shall not be raised.
4. When jump off is required, winner will be decided by fastest time only if faults are equal.
E. Time is to be taken as mule’s chest crosses start line and ends when chest crosses finish line.
1. Time will be stopped if knocked down rail must be reset to finish the course or jump must be reset after refusal. Time starts when judge blows whistle to indicate permission to continue.
2. To avoid above rule, jump off should be over each jump on shortened course one time.
314. Class Descriptions
A. Time First Round (Table II, Sec. 1)—The first round is decided by adding together the faults incurred over the course and any penalties for exceeding the Time Allowed. Mules with clean rounds or equal faults are classified according to their time taken to complete the course.
B. Time first jump-off
1. Table II, Sec. 2 (a/b)—The first round and first jump-off, if any, are decided by add-ing together the faults incurred over the course and any penalties for exceeding the Time Allowed. In the event of equality of faults after the first round, there will be one jump-off for first place only in which time will decide in the event of equality of faults. If a competitor has gone clean in the first round, the competitor will have the option to:
a. leave the arena and return for the jump off after all of the first round of mules has competed, or:
b. without leaving the ring, upon an audible signal, commence the designated jump-off course.
C. Table II, Sec. 2 (c)—Two Phase Competitions - The first phase to consist of 8 to 10 jumping efforts and the second phase (immediate jump-off) of 5 to 7 jumping efforts. Scores are decided by adding together the faults incurred over the course and any penalties for exceeding the Time Allowed if any. If a competitor has gone clean in the first round, he will, upon crossing the finish line, immediately start the designated jump-off course. Time starts as the mule crosses the finish line for the initial course. If there are no clean rounds and a tie exists for first place, there will be one jump-off, in which time will decide in the event of equality of faults. The use of a Time Allowed is optional in the first round.
D. Fault and Out – Competition is timed and takes place over single obstacles (no combinations/in-and-outs). The competitors round ends with the first fault incurred under Table II. Points are awarded instead of faults, two points will be awarded for each obstacle jumped cleanly, and one point for each obstacle knocked down. The winner is the competitor that scores the greatest number of points. Time will decide in the equality of points.
1. If the fixed time is reached at the moment when the horse is already taking off, this obstacle counts whether it is knocked down or not. If a fall or disobedience occurs after landing, the horse is scored as though the fault had occurred at the next obstacle. When the penalty of elimination is incurred, the rider is credited with obstacles cleared.
2. When an obstacle is knocked down or the Time Allowed, if there is one, has been reached, a signal is sounded. The competitor must then jump the next obstacle and the clock is stopped at the moment the horse’s forefeet touch the ground. No points are scored for obstacles jumped after the signal has been sounded.
c. When a fault constitutes a disobedience or fall, or when the rider is eliminated or does not jump the obstacle at which the clock should have been stopped, the signal is sounded, and the competitor is placed last of those gaining an equal number of points.
d. Fault and Out classes can be conducted in one of two ways: which must be designated on the course map as either: Once Around, in which case the maximum number of obstacles to be jumped is fixed, and the clock is stopped when the competitor crosses the finish line,
or; With a Fixed Time Allowed which must not be set at less than 50 seconds, nor more than 60 seconds. If the competitor has jumped all the obstacles before the expiration of the Time Allowed, he starts around the course again but is not required to go back through the start markers.
Gambler’s Choice Jumpers
A. To be ridden over a course of obstacles, in no particular order, with each jump assigned a specific point value according to its difficulty and each rider tries to amass as high a score as possible within the time allowed. Combination obstacles are not allowed. The obstacles must be built so that they can be jumped in both directions.
B. After passing through the starting line, the rider may ride the course in any order, from any direction. Each obstacle may be jumped twice but not in succession. If jumped a third time, no points will be awarded.
C. A whistle/ bell will signal the end of the round.
D. The competitor is credited with the number of points carried by each obstacle that was jumped correctly. No points are awarded for a knocked down obstacle (the height lowered). No obstacle may be jumped again once it is knocked down. A knocked down obstacle will not be rebuilt.
E. All disobediences are penalized by the time lost by the competitor. The competitor must retire after a fall; nevertheless he is placed according to the points obtained up to the moment of his fall, disregarding the time.
F. Each competitor has 45 (minimum) to 60 seconds (maximum), at show management’s discretion. 45 seconds is recommended as to not over work the mules. Time starts when the mule crosses through the start line and the time stops when the mule crosses back through the finish. The start and finish are the same line and can be crossed in either direction. The competitor who has accumulated the highest number of points will decide the winner. In the event of a tie in points, the fastest time taken between the starting line and the finish line will decide. In the event of equality of points and if he does not cross the finish line, he is placed last of the competitors with the same number of points.
G. In this class the circling rule does not apply. If a mule should refuse or run-out at a jump, the rider may elect to circle and re-attempt the jump. If it is jumped correctly appropriate points will be awarded. If the rider chooses not to attempt it he may ride to another obstacle without penalty. The jump may be attempted later, and if correctly jumped, the appropriate points will be recorded.
H. If the signal sounds when the competitor is committed to a jump the competitor may complete the jump and receive the appropriate points, then proceed through the finish markers for total time recorded. Whether or not the competitor was committed to the last obstacle at the signal will be left to the discretion of the judge.
I. Placing(s) are determined on a high score basis. Time decides ties. If a tie occurs in points and time, the winner will be decided by a jump-off. In the event of equality of points and time for first place, there will be a jump off according to the same formula with a fixed time of 40 seconds.
(NOTE: Here’s the biggy! I feel we should allow mild twisted wire snaffles to be used in the green classes, both western and english. It would be kinder to the mules to be able to use them throughout the classes than it is right now where they get harsher bits put on them to soften them up so the smooth snaffle is more effective. I know my mules know when they have a twist on and they require less correcting than when they are in a smooth snaffle. It’s the same way they know when you have spurs on or not. I feel you will have less abuse of use if it is allowed at all times than with the current ruling of smooth snaffles only.)
I propose we allow the use of MILD twisted wire snaffles in all classes, both green and bridled. (I don’t have an opinion on the donkeys, seems wise to me).
I didn’t put this under any one section since it will need to be changed in a number of places if it passes.
51. AMA APPROVED DIVISIONS
4. YOUTH PERFORMANCE
Add 10 & under walk jog division:
Western w/j pleasure
Western w/j equitation
Western w/j trail
For youth aged 10 and under. Western rules apply. Only shown at the walk and jog. Can show in other youth performance classes but can’t gain year end points. Gymkhana events can be shown and gain points. Show can have open walk/jog classes, but if competitor shows in lope/canter classes, points cannot be gained in the walk/jog classes. Judges would have to place the whole class to cover points down to the end just in case.
18. CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS SYSTEM AND STANDINGS
Add to B.
In the event of a tie for points in year-end awards for divisions and top 10, the mule (donkey or person depending on the division) who has won the most first place awards will receive the championship. If first place awards are equal, the tie is broken by the number of second place awards and so on until the tie is broken.
Currently all points count toward Top 10.
Proposed: The top points in 20 classes from all shows count for Top 10.
(This is proposed to avoid overuse and abuse of the mule or donkey, eliminating the need to enter all classes just to gain points. This would also mitigate the attitude that people are “buying” their year-end awards in that those who can afford to enter all classes get the most points.)