Gymkhana’s Three Common Events

Gymkhana pic


Tom Redmond founded Aussie, a world-renowned hair care company, in 1979. The success of Aussie has allowed Tom Redmond to pursue other business ventures, including a Colorado-based ranch, where he breeds Arabian and half-Arabian horses to participate in equine shows. He’s also a regular supporter of the Wet Mountain Saddle Club, which hosts gymkhana competitions throughout the summer.

Gymkhana is a speed- and precision-based equestrian event in which children or people still learning the sport often participate. It can feature a variety of different activities, including the following three.

Pole bending: A rider trains his or her horse to obey leg aids and rein while navigating through a six pole course. The height of the poles should be 6 feet, and spaced 21 feet apart. A five second penalty is given to riders who miss a pole.

Barrel racing: Similar to pole bending, the horse and rider must work together to complete tight turns around three barrels placed in a clover-leaf pattern. A five second penalty is given to riders who knock down a barrel.

Keyhole race: Emphasizing close-quarter movements, the rider must rein his or her horse through a tightly marked keyhole design on the ground, completing a full 360 degree turn and galloping back to the start/finish. Contestants are disqualified for failing to stay within the 20-foot diameter of the keyhole.