BAREBACK

Only one hand can be used in the rigging, throughout the ride the contestants must avoid touching any part of the horse or themselves with their free arm to avoid disqualification.

 

  • The Bareback contestants must, mark out, keep their free arm clear and ride for 8 seconds to complete this event.
  • Horses must be a minimum of 4 years of age and weigh a minimum of 350kg.
  • All equipment and how it is used must be in keeping with the NZRCA rules and regulations.
  • The Open Bareback event is open to Male contestants over 15yrs of age.
  • Aso available as a Second Division event to Male contestants over 15yrs of age. The same rules apply for both Open and Second Division contestants.

The rider must ‘mark out*' the horse as it first leaves the chute.
 
To maintain balance as the horse bucks the rider brings his knees up, and in doing this he rolls his spurs* up the horse's shoulders. As the horse comes down from its buck the rider returns his legs straight down ready for the next buck.
 

A bareback rider is judged on not only his actual ride, but also his spurring motion and technique. He is required to ride the animal for a full 8 seconds.


At the end of a successful 8 second ride the contestant removes their hand from the rigging and either jumps off the horse or are helped off the horse and to the ground by one of the two Pickup riders present in the arena. The Pickup riders then immediately remove the flank strap from the horse and the horse is escorted from the arena.

How a rider can be disqualified:

  • if he is bucked off before the required 8 seconds,
  • if he touches the animal or himself with his free arm,
  • if he misses his mark out
  • if the flank strap* comes off (note: the contestant may qualify for a re-ride if he otherwise completes a qualified ride)

Notes:


*Spurs: spurs used in the Bareback event must have no locked rowels i.e. rowel must rotate freely. The rowel of the spur must be dulled and not less than 3 mm in width at its narrowest part and there must be a minimum diameter of 2 cm to the point of the rowel. The serrated shape of the rowel ensures it rotates easily when it comes into contact with the horse.

*Mark Out: On the first buck out of the chute the rider must have both of his spurs touching the horse forward of the break of the shoulders, their spurs must stay there until the horse's feet have hit the ground from that first buck. If a rider fails to mark his horse out, on either or both sides, then he is disqualified.
The purpose of the "mark out" is to give the horse an advantage during its first buck (if it chooses to buck) as the contestants legs and feet are confined to one position therefore making it harder for them to maintain balance.
If the horse chooses not to buck as it leaves the chute or for the 8 second duration of the ride the rider must keep their spurs in the mark out position and remain on the horse for the 8 seconds in order to avoid disqualification and qualify for a re-ride.
*Flank strap: The flank strap used with horses is a wide strap of leather covered in sheepskin for comfort and protection, loosely placed around the flank area of the horse in preparation for the horse leaving the chute. Adjusted so it cannot over tighten, as the horse leaves the chute the strap is pulled up to its adjusted setting. This creates a more uniform bucking action.
The flank strap works on an ask and reward format similar to most training principles. When the horse kicks up behind the flank loosens. At the end of the ride, pickup riders release flank by pulling quick release catch and the flank falls to the ground.