What is Gymkhana? Gymkhana is an exciting sport which pits a horse and rider against the clock in various barrel racing and pole bending events. Places are determined based on the speed in which the rider and horse successfully complete the event course.
Gymkhana has often been considered the "black sheep" of the horse show circuit, but that attitude has changed. Gymkhana is now recognized as a sport which requires as much skill as any of the other equestrian disciplines and has become one of the most popular in the state.
The C.S.H.A. Region 4 Gymkhana Program is open to anyone who lives in the Central Valley. Riders must be a member of C.S.H.A. either as a direct member or as a member of an affiliated club. (Other C.S.H.A. Regions offer gymkhana programs for their areas, send an e-mail for a contact in your area.)
Although there are requirements for apparel (western shirt, pants, belt, & boots ) and tack (for safety purposes) no special expensive equipment is needed. Any type, size, or age of horse and rider can participate. The only other requirement is that you want to have fun and meet some great people!
While these are speed events, the safety of the horse and rider is first and foremost and the use of protective helmets is encouraged at all Region approved gymkhanas.
The C.S.H.A. Gymkhana program is by time divisions, so riders compete with riders and mounts of like ability providing a more equal level of competition. Riders can compete at the speed they feel most comfortable and beginners have the opportunity to place at the shows and advance as they progress and their skill increases.
A rider/horse combination is rated in a time division based upon averages of times ran for rating events at C.S.H.A. approved gymkhanas. A combination’s rating may change throughout the year based upon their improvement thereby insuring equitable competition.
Year-end places are determined based on the total of Bonus Points and Event Points for each rider/horse combination. Year-End Awards and ribbons are presented for 1st through 5th places and ribbons for 6th through 9th places in each division. Participation ribbons are awarded to all remaining high point participants.
The top five riders in each division are eligible to compete at the annual C.S.H.A. State Championship Show for state championships and awards.