Cave Creek Saddle Club


Rules Chairperson/Designated Board Member

  1. An approved Board Member will be at all Cave Creek Saddle Club (CCSV) events. This designated person shall monitor arena safety, to include participant's equipment as deemed reasonable, according to the rules set by CCSV, and make recommendations. If any person or animal is behaving in a manner considered dangerous to the event participants, the person/animal may be asked to leave. The rulings are not open to challenge.
  2. By entering in a CCSV Gymkhana every participant agrees to ride and abide by CCSV Gymkhana rules. A copy of the CCSV rules will be posted at the announcer stand.
  3. The Gymkhana Chairperson or designated person’s decision is final with regards to Gymkhana organization.
  4. All Arena Location Rules are to be followed.

Events / Participants / Entries

  1. Each CCSV Gymkhana will consist of 4 pointed events to be chosen by CCSV from the list of events provided by the Gymkhana Committee. A fifth "Fun Event" will be offered at the discretion of the Board but no points will be awarded for the "Fun Event”.
  2. All entries must be made on forms approved by CCSV.
  3. All entries must be signed by participant and participant's birth date must be given. Proof of age must be given if requested by an official. In case of a minor (under 18 years), the entry form must be signed by a parent or guardian. Proof of guardianship will be required.
  4. Participant’s “Age of Entry” is determined by your age as of January 1st of the current gymkhana season.
  5. Age groups shall conform to the age divisions set by CCSV. Current age groups are as follows: Lead Line, 9 & Under, 10 - 13, 14 - 20, 21 - 39 and 40 & Over.
  6. All participants and volunteers, whether mounted or dismounted, will sign a Hold Harmless form before being allowed to participate in any CCSV event. This form will be provided by CCSV.
  7. To participate in CCSV awards, a participant must become a member of CCSV.
  8. A horse may be ridden by multiple riders with the following criteria:  Only 2 riders can run the horse at full speed. The other riders sharing the horse must do so in a trot or slow canter mode.  If at the discretion of the board this rule is broken and we feel the horse is being abused, all runs on the horse will be disqualified.    
  9. A participant may enter more than one horse for each event, however only one horse may be designated as the one to be used for points and must be the same horse for all events.  The second horse entered will be run in non-pointed Time Only rides.  All horses (point and non point) entered in the 5D Event will collect points in the 5D as long as you ride each horse in all 4 events on that day.  In the event of an injury to the designated point horse the rider may use another horse with Board Approval to complete the Gymkhana earning both daily and year end points.  As soon as an injury is discovered, it must be brought to the attention of the Board.  Any switching of horses without Board Approval will result in disqualification from the remainder of the day’s events with regards to awards and points.
  10. No refunds will be given once the Gymkhana has started.
  11. Refunds will not be given due to dropped patterns or disqualifications.
  12. Late entrants (after books close which is 1 hour after books open) will be assessed a $5.00 late fee per event, however, entrants will not be allowed to enter an event once it (participant's age group) has started.  
  13. If an event is canceled for any reason, entrants will either mail a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the CCSV Treasurer for a refund within 14 days or CCSV will accept those entry fees as donations. No refunds will be given at the gymkhanas. For any age group that has completed three events the fourth event will be forfeited with no credit or refund. High Point and Reserve will be determined based on the three events.


  1. Under no circumstances will anyone under the age of 18 be allowed to ride a stallion at any CCSV event.
  2. Boots with a clearly defined heel must be worn.
  3. Rider must have control of his/her horse from the time he/she enters the arena until he/she exits the arena. Violations of this rule are up to the Rules Chairperson/board members’ discretion.
  4. For safety and in fairness to the competitors, spectators shall be required to remain in authorized areas and away from the arena fences.
  5. Horses will be allowed some assistance when entering the arena, providing that it is accomplished in a safe manner. Excessive force will not be permitted.
  6. All riders are HIGHLY recommended to wear helmets for safety reasons. CCSV provides "loaner" helmets at the sign up table.
  7. Lead Line riders (under 18 years of age) MUST wear helmets.
  8. No tying horses to the main arena’s fence.
  9. No one under 18 will be allowed to work the Entry Gate.


  1. Should any questions or disputes arise not provided for in the governing rules the same shall be referred to the Rules Chairperson or designated Board Member, whose decision shall be final for the duration of the gymkhana. The Rules Chairperson or Board member’s recommendation shall be forwarded to the rules committee for further consideration.
  2. A participant lodging a protest must first deposit $15.00 cash or certified check with the Secretary of CCSV, which sum will be forfeited if protest is not sustained. Protest must be in writing and signed by the participant and filed with the Secretary within 24 hours after the occurrence of the alleged violation. All protests will be handled according to the CCSV rules.


  1. Disqualification shall result if after entering the arena the rider spurs, strikes, or beats the horse IN ANY MANNER DEEMED EXCESSIVE forward of the cinch, however, the judge may allow humane hand cues and a rewarding pat. Human hand cue or touching is allowed. No reaching out to slap, strike, or whip will be allowed. Judicious use of an over & under quirt will be allowed at the judges' discretion.
  2. Excessive punishment of a horse at any time shall result in disqualification for the duration of the gymkhana.
  3. Equipment used in such a way as to cause excessive pain or injury to an animal is prohibited. Such equipment may include, but is not limited to, wire aids, headache chains, cables or sharpened spurs. Violation will result in disqualification for the duration of the gymkhana.
  4. Any act of discourtesy or disobedience to any Gymkhana Official in or out of the arena will result in disqualification.
  5. Running horses through the entry/exit gate will not be allowed. Violators may or may not be given a warning before being disqualified depending on the severity of the violation.
  6. At the judge’s discretion, a rider may be disqualified and/or excused from the arena for abusing their horse, unsportsmanlike conduct, lack of control or unsafe situations.
  7. Any participant not following the pattern will be disqualified for that event.  The crossover rule will be enforced.
  8. The current rider must enter the arena within 30 seconds of being called or forfeit his/her turn.
  9. With the understanding that CCSV is encouraging a family atmosphere, it is expected that participants will use good judgment and restraint when it comes to profanity. Those abusing this privilege to self-govern may be disqualified from the current event and possibly asked to leave the premises.
  10. At the end of each disqualified run the announcer will provide the reason the disqualification was given per the Rules Chairperson/designated board member. Time for the run without the disqualification will be given if available. This is left up the Rules Chairperson/designated board member’s discretion. No re-rides will be given to a disqualified run regardless of whether or not the time was available.

Patterns & Penalties

  1. Knocking down any props will be assessed a 5 second penalty for each.
  2. Failure to run a pattern correctly will result in a disqualification (No Time) for that event.  To promote proper horsemanship when running a pattern the crossover rule will be enforced.  This can also be explained as running an extra circle when a prop is run by.  The pattern must be completed without making the extra circle in order to receive a time.  Click here for a diagram of the rule.  Number 1 is a normal pattern.  Number 2 is a properly executed correction.  Number 3 is an extra circle which will result in a No Time.

  3. A participant may, upon striking a pole or barrel, reach out and keep it from falling without being assessed a penalty.
  4. A rider may request that a jump be set on the ground, with an addition 5 second penalty added to their time.
  5. A standard sized pole will be placed at the end of each jump. If a pole is knocked down, the rider will be assessed a 5 second penalty for each occurrence.
  6. TIMER FAILURE: In the event of timer failure, the rider will be granted a re-ride. At the rider's preference, the re-ride will take place immediately or at the end of the class. If the original ride was clean and obstacles are knocked down during the re-ride, an additional re-ride will be offered.
  7. CCSV reserves the right to revise these rules.

Lead Line Class

  1. Lead Line riders (under 18years of age) MUST wear helmets.
  2. The horse must cross the line first (at the head), with the coach not to the rear of the horse's shoulder.
  3. The coach must be in control of the horse at all times.
  4. The lead line must be held within 24" of the snap at the halter.
  5. Lead Line Class will receive participation ribbons only; no trophies or year end awards.

Novice Class

  1. Must be 18 years or younger as of January 1st of the Gymkhana year.
  2. Rider can’t run faster than 25 seconds raw time in Barrels.  This excludes any downed Barrels.
  3. Rider can’t run faster than 20 seconds raw time in Straight Poles (weave straight up and straight back).  This excludes any downed Poles.
  4. Break Out Time for Third Event will be set by Board Member.  Raw time will be used for time and does not include any knocked down props.
  5. Riders must enter all three events to qualify for daily and year end awards.
  6. If at any point the rider decides to move into an Age Group, the rider’s Novice points will not transfer. Once the rider transfers out of Novice, the rider can’t transfer back.
  7. Must ride in over half of the Gymkhanas to qualify for Year End Awards.
  8. Novice is not eligible for the 5D Buckle Series.
  9. No trainers will be allowed to ride in the Novice Class.
  10. No personal timing or coaching to speed up or slow down throughout the pattern will be allowed.  If caught (inside or outside the arena) timing and coaching the rider to go faster or slower, the rider will be disqualified from the event and class.  Coaching for safety reasons will be allowed.  The Board’s decision will be final.
  11. All other rules for class participation remain in affect.


  1. No re-rides for broken equipment, lost horseshoes or your horse falling.
  2. Riders may purchase and run non consecutive (when other riders are waiting) Barrel time onlys.  Barrel time onlys are run prior to the Gymkhana start in the main arena. The number of time onlys and length of time run prior to the Gymkhana is dependant on time constraints and subject to change.
  3. Time only tickets can be redeemed at any Gymkhana during the same season and are the responsibility of the rider. CCSV is not responsible for lost tickets.
  4. No racing in the warm up arena will be allowed. Please ride counter-clockwise on the rail when other riders are present.
  5. Riders must ALWAYS walk their horses when outside of the arena.
  6. No horses are allowed directly in front of the announcers stand / snack wagon area.
  7. All City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation rules must be followed.
  8. The gymkhana committee will check out the arena prior to the event, provide for gate personnel to check the gear of the riders if possible and ensure that the rules are provided to gymkhana personnel.
  9. A sponsorship program will be in effect for every gymkhana. Anyone bringing in more than $100.00 worth of sponsorship will ride the gymkhana for free.

Points & Awards

  1. Only CCSV members will be eligible for year end awards.
  2. Points are earned from First through Tenth place in each event.
  3. Riders must enter at least 3 events at a Gymkhana in order to participate in Placings or Ribbons.  If less than 3 events are entered, the rider can ride in the age group but the ride will be considered a Time Only run.
  4. Riders must participate in more than half of the Gymkhanas throughout the season to be eligible for year end awards.  Example - If there are 10 Gymkhanas, you must ride in at least 6.
  5. In order to qualify for year end awards, each individual must meet the requirements of 12 hours of total service at CCSV. Each family membership must meet the requirements of 18 hours of total service at CCSV.  8 hours of the required 12 must be performed by the end of the November Gymkhana.  No more than 2 hours per Gymkhana per individual and 3 hours per family unless approved by a board member.  Volunteer time can be performed by family members.
  6. Riders must enter at least 3 events at a Gymkhana for their points to count towards year end awards.
  7. Riders must participate in a least 3 events at a Gymkhana to be eligible for High Point and Reserve honors and/or awards.
  8. High Point awards will be given in AGE CLASSES only if there are at least two riders in that division.
  9. Riders entering 3 events at a Gymkhana will earn 1 rider point towards year end awards.  Riders entering 4 events at a Gymkhana will earn 2 rider points toward year end awards.
  10. Points go to horse and rider team for each Gymkhana High Point award. The cumulative points, however, go with the rider during the entire Gymkhana season.
  11. The tie for High Point or Reserve will be determined by the cumulative of all four events with the lowest total time being declared the winner.
  12. Any protest regarding points must be made within 7 days of the results being posted on the CCSV website.