Driving Division, Team Driving Division, and Youth Driving Division

  1. General & Safety(Rules 319-324)
  2. The Driver(Rules 325-337)
  3. Pleasure Driving(Rules 339 & 343-345)
  4. Drive & Ride(Rule 347)
  5. Obstacle Driving(Rules 349-360)
  6. Utility Driving or Trail Driving(Rule 361)
  7. Timed Obstacle Driving(Rule 362)
  8. Pick Your Route(Rule 363)
  9. Gambler’s Choice(Rule 364)
  10. Hitch Classes(Rules 366-371)

319. Driving Division – Driving division is for single mules pulling a vehicle or farm implement. It does not include racing or pulling.

320. Team Driving Division – Pairs Only

  1. Driving division is for two mules pulling a vehicle or farm implement. It does not include racing or pulling.
  2. Classes – Any class offered in the driving division may be offered.
  3. Where time is a consideration, teams may compete in the arena at the same time as singles but shall be judged separately only 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.

321. Multiple Hitch Division

  1. 3 or more mules pulling a vehicle or farm implement. Also includes tandem hitch.

322. General Driving Rules

  1. Definitions:
    • Mule – shall be inter-changeable with animal, hinny, or donkey.
    • Driver – Refers to the person controlling the lines/reins and whip.
    • Management – Person(s) responsible for organizing the competition.
    • Entry – The combination mule(s), and vehicle competing.
    • Junior Driver – Under 18 years of age. AMA age as of January 1st. All junior drivers must be accompanied by a knowledgeable adult driver. Junior drivers under the age of 11 may not compete outside a securely enclosed arena. Protective headgear must be worn.
    • Terms of “Prohibited” and “Mandatory”: When any competitor fails to comply with these terms when used in these rules MUST BE ELIMINATED by the judge, unless another penalty is stipulated.
    • Must and Shall – When used in these rules, any competitor failing to comply MUST BE SEVERELY PENALIZED by the judge.
    • Should – In these rules, failure to comply SHALL BE PENALIZED by the judge, unless another penalty is stipulated.
    • Headgear – Safety approved headgear.

323. Safety

  1. All persons involved in the competition (drivers, passengers, grooms, officials, and spectators, etc.) shall keep safety foremost in their minds. Having animal(s) under control at all times not only is a safeguard for a driver and his passenger, but for everyone involved in the sport.
  2. All officials and competition management should be constantly on the lookout for unsafe actions by a participant or unsafe harness or vehicles and report them to the judge. The judge MUST excuse from competition an unsafe vehicle, unruly animal, or driver clearly out of control.
  3. Junior driver must he accompanied by a knowledgeable adult driver or BE ELIMINATED.
  4. It is the responsibility of each driver to insure that harness and vehicle are in good repair and structurally sound.
  5. It is the responsibility of each driver to insure that his mule(s) are physically fit to fulfill the tasks required of them.
  6. The driver will always be the first person to enter the vehicle and the last to leave. Passengers must never be left on the vehicle while the driver is dismounted unless the passenger has taken control of the reins/lines.
  7. The driver should strive to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles both in the competition and in the warm up and parking areas.
  8. All rules of the roads shall he observed unless uniformed officials direct otherwise.
  9. The technical delegate should inspect obstacle course at a time early enough to allow for any changes or alterations to conform to the rules and directives for safety and drivability. The technical delegate must bear in mind the alterations to the course are only in order if the plan violates a specific rule or is clearly un-drivable or is not safe.
  10. When grooms are required, failure to comply requires ELIMINATION.

324. Responsibility Towards the Animal

  1. Bridles should fit snugly to prevent catching on a vehicle or other pieces of harness. UNDER NO CONDITION SHALL A BRIDLE BE REMOVED FROM AN ANIMAL WHILE THE ANIMAL IS STILL PUT TO A VEHICLE. Failure to comply will incur ELIMINATION FROM THE EVENT.
  2. The animal MUST NEVER BE LEFT UNATTENDED WHILE PUT TO A VEHICLE. Failure to comply will incur ELIMINATION FROM THE EVENT.

The Driver

325. Style of Driving

  1. The driver should be seated comfortably on the seat so as to be relaxed and effective.
  2. Either one or two handed method of driving is acceptable. Common to both methods, elbows and arms should be close to the body with an allowing, but steady hand enabling a consistent “feel” with the animals mouth. The driver shall not be penalized or rewarded for the use of one style over the other.
  3. When there are passengers, the driver will sit on the right side of the vehicle.
  4. Use of brakes shall he severely penalized.

326. Use of the Whip

  1. An APPROPRIATE driving whip shall be carried in the driver’s hand in Pleasure Driving classes when driving one(1) animal. Whip in hand is optional when driving pairs or more. Whip in hand is not required in Obstacle, Timed Obstacle, Gambler’s Choice, or Hitch classes.
  2. The tong of the whip should reach the shoulder of the farthest animal.

327. Outside Assistance

  1. Only the driver may handle the reins/lines, whip, and brake during competition. Penalty for non-compliance is elimination for that class.
  2. No change of driver is permitted, unless otherwise specified.
  3. Drivers receiving outside assistance after the judging has started will be disqualified unless that assistance has specifically been allowed (example: groom or passenger heading an animal in a line up).
  4. Outside assistance which requires ELIMINATION includes, but is not limited to:
    1. The use of communication devices of any kind between the driver and anyone else.
    2. The use of electrical devices of any kind intended to give the driver an advantage.
    3. Directing the driver in any way during a dressage test or on an obstacle course.

328. Dress of the Driver

  1. Drivers and passengers should be dressed to conform with the type of vehicle. Any attempts to introduce period costumes or gaudy trappings is discouraged. Ball caps and shorts are prohibited. Bare shoulders for women are prohibited.
    1. Dress of the driver should conform to the standards as described with each class; always neat and clean. Driver must wear gloves.
    2. Gentlemen to wear long pants, long sleeved shirts with sleeves rolled down and buttoned or snapped, vest , coat, or jacket, with a tie or neck scarf. When accepting awards, gentlemen are requested to remove their hats.
    3. Ladies are to wear a conservative dress, tailored suit, or slacks. Floppy hats are discouraged.
  2. The driver shall wear gloves and a hat appropriate to the class. Lap robe, apron, or knee rug is required for Pleasure Driving classes, unless specified in the individual class. Gloves, lap robe, apron or knee rugs are optional in all hitch classes.
  3. Western attire will be allowed for both men and women as long as it meets the above requirements.

329. Grooms

  1. A groom is optional for all driving classes. Except the Youth driver who must be accompanied by an able adult groom.

330. General Information on the Mule

  1. The driving mule may be any breed type, color or size. Must be serviceably sound and not show signs of lameness, broken wind, impairment of vision in BOTH eyes. Un-castrated mules and donkeys are prohibited in classes restricted to Juniors, Maiden, Novice, and Limit Drivers.
  2. In Pleasure Driving competitions, boots or wraps are prohibited.
  3. If shod, mules should he suitably shod for pleasure driving.
  4. Braiding of mane and tail is optional. Any trimming of mane, tail, or fetlocks may conform to breed standards.
  5. The application of artificial hair in mane or tail (except for costume classes) is prohibited. A tail set or use of any foreign substance to induce a high tail carriage is prohibited.

331. The Harness

  1. The driver is responsible to see that the harness is in good condition, is clean and fits properly.
  2. A throatlatch and noseband or cavesson is mandatory in Pleasure Driving classes. Noseband or cavesson is optional in all Hitch Classes.
  3. Black harness is considered appropriate for painted vehicles and natural wood vehicles having black trim (i.e. shaft coverings, ironwork, dash or upholstery). Brown or russet harness is considered appropriate with natural wood finish vehicles trimmed in brown.
  4. All metal furnishings should match, be secure and polished.
  5. Harness may be of Collar and hames type or Breast Collar type as is appropriate to the vehicle.
    1. Breast Collar is appropriate with lightweight vehicles.
    2. Full Collars are considered appropriate for heavy carriages (coaches, brakes, phaetons, dog carts, etc.) and wagons.
  6. A wider saddle is suggested for two wheel vehicles.
  7. Martingales and tiedowns only with appropriate vehicles. Martingales and overchecks are prohibited in dressage and obstacle classes for ALL vehicles. Failure to comply requires elimination. Sidechecks (below the ear) are optional.
  8. Snaffle bits and other types of traditional driving bits are allowed. Bits may be covered with rubber or leather. Twisted, burr, and wire bits of any type are prohibited. Tying down the tongue is prohibited.

332. Vehicles

  1. Drivers must strive to present an appropriate turnout. Appropriate indicates the balance and pleasing appearance of the combination of animal and vehicle.
    1. Factors determining this include compatible size, type and weight of animal and vehicle.
    2. The way of going of the animal may also affect the overall appearance, i.e. a mule with high action or animation is more suited for a formal vehicle; the low ground covering animal presents a more pleasing appearance for a road or country type vehicle.
  2. Wire wheeled and pneumatic tired vehicles are permitted if in good condition.
  3. Pleasure class vehicles MUST have a seat and floor.
  4. Obstacle class vehicles MUST have a seat.
  5. Chariot must not have a seat and must be driven while standing.

333. General Driving Rules

  1. If show management wishes to offer a class described in this division, the class must be conducted as described in these rules.
  2. If they wish to alter the class to fit “house rules” they must change the name of the class to avoid confusing it with the classes in this rulebook. This altered class will NOT receive AMA points.
  3. Such classes should be clearly stated in the show premium/class list along with the “house rules” and judging criteria. Must state no AMA points will be given.

334. Entry

  1. An entry is any combination of mule or mules and driver and will be assigned a specific entry number. (Points shall go to the Mule or Mules).
  2. A change in any part of the combination constitutes a different turnout and requires that a different number be assigned.

335. Large Classes

  1. Classes may be split by the judge or show management if conditions warrant. The judge has the discretion on how the class split is made, keeping in mind, when applicable:
    1. Multiple and single entries
    2. Miniature and larger animals
    3. Two and four wheeled vehicles.
  2. Management has the option to have final placing(s) determined by working off the leaders of each section or by awarding duplicate awards as if they were separate classes.

336. Verbal Cues

  1. Excessive use of loud voice, shouting or whistling to the mules, may be penalized by the judge. Discreet use of vocal aids shall be allowed.
  2. Grooms are encouraged to remain silent.

337. Leaving the Arena

  1. No entry may leave the arena after the judging has begun without the permission of the judge or ringmaster.
  2. If asked to leave by the judge or ringmaster, the turnout must do so as soon as possible.

339. Pleasure Driving Gaits

  1. WALK – A free, regular and unconstrained walk of moderate extension is required. The mule should walk energetically, but calmly, with an even and determined pace.
  2. SLOW TROT – Should maintain forward impulsion while showing submission to the bit. It is slower and more collected; however the mule should indicate a willingness to be driven on the bit while maintaining a steady cadence.
  3. WORKING TROT – This is between the slow and the strong trot. It’s more round than the strong trot. The mule goes forward freely and straight; engaging the hind legs with good hock action; on a taut, but light rein. The footsteps of the hind feet touch the ground in the foot prints of the fore feet.
  4. STRONG TROT (TROT ON) – SINGLE DRIVING ONLY- This is a clear, but not excessive, increase in pace and lengthening of stride while remaining well balanced and showing lateral flexing on turns. Excessive speed will be penalized. The term “TROT ON” should he used to call for this gait.
  5. HALT – Mules and vehicles should be brought to a complete square stop without abruptness or veering. At the halt, mules should stand attentive, motionless and straight with the weight evenly distributed over all four legs and be ready to move off at the command of the driver.
  6. REIN BACK – A backward movement in which the legs are raised and set down simultaneously in diagonal pairs with the hind legs remaining well in line. To be preformed in two parts:
    1. The mule must move backwards at least four steps in an unhurried manner with head flexed and straight, pushing the vehicle back evenly in a straight line. The driver should use quiet aids and light contact.
    2. Move forward willingly to the former position using the same quiet aids.
    1. NOTE: Road coaches and park drags should not be asked to back.

Class Specifications

343. Pleasure Driving Turnout

  1. Attire for this class will require a coat and appropriate hat and should conform to the style of turnout. Ladies are to wear a conservative dress, tailored suit, or slacks, no bare shoulders. Driver is required to wear gloves. Lap robe, apron or knee rug and whip are required. Gloves, lap robe, apron or knee rug are optional in all Hitch classes.
  2. Entries are judged primarily on the performance and quality of each turnout.
  3. To be shown both ways in the arena at a walk, slow trot, working trot and strong trot (single driving only). To stand quietly and rein back.
  4. Judge may request a workout of chosen entries at any gait, and may be asked to execute a figure of eight.
  5. Judged as follows:
    1. 40% performance, manners and way of go.
    2. 30% condition, fit and appropriateness of harness and vehicle.
    3. 15% neatness and appropriateness of attire.
    4. 15% overall impression.

344. Pleasure Driving Working

  1. Attire for this class will require a coat and appropriate hat and should conform to the style of turnout. Ladies are to wear a conservative dress, tailored suit or slacks, no bare shoulders. Driver must wear gloves. Lap robe, apron or knee rug and whip are required. Gloves, lap robe, apron or knee rug are optional in all Hitch classes.
  2. Judged primarily on the suitability of the mule to provide a pleasant drive.
  3. To be shown both ways in the arena at a walk, slow trot, working trot, and strong trot, to stand quietly, both on the rail and while lined up, and to rein back.
  4. Judge may request a workout on chosen entries at any gait and may ask to execute a figure of eight.
  5. Judged as follows:
    1. 70% performance, manners and way of go.
    2. 20% condition and fit of harness and vehicle.
    3. 10% neatness of attire.

345. Pleasure Driving-Reinsmanship

  1. Judged primarily on the ability of the driver.
  2. To be shown both ways in the arena at a walk, slow trot, working trot and strong trot (single driving only). Driver will be required to rein back.
  3. Dress requirements are the same as other Pleasure Classes. Gloves, lap robe, apron and knee rugs are optional for all Hitch classes.
  4. Drivers chosen for a workout may be worked at any gait requested by the judge and may be asked to execute a figure of eight and/or perform other appropriate test.
  5. Judged as follows:
    1. 75% handling of the reins and whip, posture and overall appearance of driver.
    2. 25% condition of harness and vehicle and neatness of attire.

347. Drive and Ride

  1. Single mule to be shown in two concurrent sections.
  2. Attire may be either English or Western but should be suitable for the vehicle and saddle used. Driver/rider will wear coat or vest, hat and gloves are optional. Footwear will conform to style of clothing.
  3. In Harness – to be shown to suitable pleasure driving vehicle, both ways in the arena at a walk, slow trot, working trot, and strong trot and to stand quietly and rein back.
  4. Under Saddle – both ways in the arena at a walk, jog / trot and lope/canter. To stand quietly and back.
  5. One or two attendants may assist with the un-harnessing and saddling.
  6. Removal of the bridle while mule is still put to the vehicle requires instant elimination.
  7. Judge may not request entries to be re-harnessed after performing under saddle.
  8. A mounting block may be used and put back into vehicle by attendant after mule is mounted. Judge must approve that mounting block is a size to be safe.
  9. The judge may allow vehicles to remain in the arena or request that they be removed. If they are to be removed, additional attendants may enter the arena to assist. If allowed to stay in the arena, a groom may attend the vehicle.
  10. Protective head gear must comply with current safety standards and be properly fit and in good condition.
  11. To be judged:
    1. 50% performance, manners way of go and suitability in harness.
    2. 50% performance, manners, way of go under saddle.

349. Obstacle Driving

  1. Obstacle driving vehicles are required to have a driver’s seat.
    1. A groom may stand behind the driver if the vehicle has a step and hand holds, and the vehicle is designed for the groom to stand while competing.
    2. A groom must sit behind the driver or obtain permission to sit next to the driver where vehicle does not allow sitting behind.
  2. A person who rides as a groom/passenger with one entry may not compete as a driver in any class using the same course. EXCEPTION: Person may ride as a passenger with a junior driver and not be eliminated from further competition as a driver in an adult class.
  3. Drivers shall wear a coat or vest and a hat appropriate for the style of dress. Driver must wear gloves, no bare shoulders. Ladies are to wear conservative attire consistent with pleasure driving rules, no bare shoulders. Lap robes or rugs are not required. Gloves are optional for all Hitch classes.
  4. Drivers must be allowed time to walk the course prior to the start of a class and to inspect each obstacle. While walking the course, drivers shall not alter, adjust or in anyway move an obstacle or any part thereof. Should a competitor have any question regarding a specific obstacle, he should call it to the attention of the technical delegate for clarification and/ or adjustment. The animal(s) must not be left unattended while put to vehicle. Failure to comply requires elimination from the event.
  5. Drivers are prohibited from driving, riding or leading mules or allowing mules to be driven, rode or led on course at a time prior to the competition. Failure to incurs ELIMINATION.
  6. A mule may be entered only once in the same obstacle class or in classes which use the same course. EXCEPTION: One mule in a team, may compete as a single.

350. The Course

  1. Made up of a series of individual and/or multiple obstacles.
  2. Obstacles must be clearly marked. Prescribed course, if numbered, must be clearly numbered and visible to the driver.
  3. Gamblers’ Choice class point values must be clearly displayed at each obstacle.
  4. Orange traffic cones are the preferred marker, are easy to obtain and set up quickly. Cones should be 22 inches with a hollow top to accommodate a ball or orange, or similar round object.
  5. A course diagram and applicable time allowed must be posted at least one hour before start of the class.

351. Width of Obstacles – The width of obstacles is generally determined by the width or tread of the vehicles, not the size of the animals.

  1. Width of wheel base of vehicle to be measured by show management.
    1. Obstacle spacing to be as follows:
      1. Wheelbase = Obstacle Spacing
      2. 60 inches or over = not over 14 feet
      3. 59 inches-44 inches = not over 12 feet
      4. Under 44 inches = not over 9 feet

353. Examples of Obstacles

354. Time Allowed

  1. All obstacle courses should be accurately measured with a measuring wheel, if possible, or tapeline.
  2. Time allowed is calculated by dividing the course measurement by the set speed for each class.
  3. Be sure to use a drivable line from obstacle to obstacle when measuring the course.
  4. Suggested Speeds:
    1. Singles and pairs / 800 ft. per minute
    2. 4-in-hand / 700 ft. per minute

356. Time Limits

  1. Timing with Stopwatches – Time is taken when first mule’s nose crosses line until the first mule’s nose crosses the finish line except where specifically noted in class rules, i.e. Fault and Out, etc.
  2. Timing with Electronic Timers shall be when beam is first broken by any part of turnout until beam is broken at the finish. AMA requires at least one back-up stopwatch
  3. Stopping Time – If time must be stopped for any reason (marker blown over, unauthorized animal on course, etc.) a signal will be given and time stopped.
    1. The driver is allowed to go back far enough to regain momentum and wait for signal.
    2. At a second signal, the driver must resume course.
    3. The timekeeper’s watch will be restarted when the competitor reaches the point at which time was stopped.

357. Disobedience – Penalized as stated in the individual class specifications. Defined as follows:

  1. Run-Out – Evading or passing an obstacle to be driven or the finish line.
  2. Refusal – Stopping or reining back before an obstacle.
    1. Stopping in front of obstacle without dislodging it and without backing up followed immediately by driving cleanly through is not penalized.
    2. If the halt is prolonged or if the mule backs even a single step, voluntarily or not, a refusal is incurred.
    3. If in the commission of the refusal any part of an obstacle is disturbed and class specifications require repair or resetting, the time will be stopped. (See Rule 356.C.)
  3. Circling – Any form of a circle which causes the driver to cross the original track between two consecutive obstacles except to retake an obstacle after a refusal or run-out

358. Other Penalties – Described below.

  1. Off Course – When driver deviates from the designated pattern shown on the diagram by consecutive number and drives an obstacle out of order before correcting the deviation.
    1. Any disobedience committed while correcting the deviation must be scored.
    2. Failure to follow a continuous line in a course diagram will not be considered off-course unless an obstacle is taken out of order.
  2. Outside Assistance – A driver shall be eliminated if a groom or passenger touches the reins/lines, whip or brake or if he receives assistance from any source.
  3. Starting Signal – Failure to cross the starting line within one minute of the signal to proceed or starting before the signal shall incur elimination.
  4. Equipment Failure – Breakage of either harness or vehicle which necessitates a halt for repairs shall incur elimination. This includes an overturned or damaged vehicle.

359. Break In Gait – Obstacle classes are usually driven at the trot.

  1. In Pleasure Driving classes, cantering is not allowed unless clearly stated to the contrary in the prize list. If cantering is not allowed, breaks in gait on the course will be penalized. Cantering will be allowed in Obstacle Driving Classes at Judge’s discretion.
  2. A break in gait is defined as any break from the prescribed gait in any or all mules of an entry (I.e. skip, hop, canter, etc.)

360. Ties In Placing – Ties for first place must be broken by a drive-off. Ties for lower placing(s) may be broken by coin-flip upon agreement of tied parties.

  1. If tied entries are under the same ownership, owner may designate placing.
  2. If competitor declines drive-off, they shall remain tied among themselves. Should there be only one remaining competitor, he is required to attempt at least the first obstacles to earn first placement in drive-off.
  3. Except in Fault-and-Out class: When two or more competitors incur elimination during drive-off, they remain tied regardless of the cause of elimination or point at which it occurred. A competitor who voluntarily withdraws must always be placed after a competitor who has been eliminated in the same drive-off.

361. Utility Driving or Trail Driving (AMA RULES)

  1. The purpose of this class is to demonstrate the general utility of the mule or donkey as a driving animal in everyday working situations.
  2. Judging shall be judged 100% on the manners and performance of the mule or donkey through the course, response to the driver, intelligence and manner of travel at the walk, collected trot, and working trot.
    1. The three gaits should be performed as the mule moves from one obstacle to the next, giving the judge an opportunity to evaluate all three gaits somewhere within the course.
  3. Course shall consist of three mandatory obstacles and two additional obstacles selected from the optional list.
    1. Mailbox – Exhibitor must open box, remove letter for judge’s approval and replace, then close box.
    2. Bridge – A flat 4’x8′ plywood may be used.
    3. Back Thru – Two poles on ground placed parallel, one foot apart. Driver must keep one wheel between the poles for the entire length.
  4. Optional obstacles shall be two of the following:
    1. Straight and Narrow – Two 50′ hoses placed parallel, one foot apart. Driver to keep one wheel between the hoses, driving forward for the entire length.
    2. Sheep Pen – Drive-by.
    3. Pylons – Driver makes figure eight, minimum of 10 feet.
    4. Box – A three rail box on the ground, the rails which are a minimum of ten feet long. Mule must be driven in, then pivoted out in either direction.
    5. Cowhide
    6. Simulated water hazard.
  5. Attire: Drivers will wear jacket and/or vest and a hat (no baseball type hats). Women may wear an appropriate dress (no floppy hats allowed). Drivers will wear gloves and carry a whip in hand. Lap robe or knee rug is optional. Gloves and whip in hand are optional in all Hitch classes.

362. Timed Obstacle Driving – To be driven over a prescribed course of obstacles at a trot. The number of obstacles to be proportionate to the dimensions of the arena. Not to exceed 20 obstacles

  1. After passing the starting line, the driver shall proceed through each obstacle in order to the designated finish line.
  2. Course faults are scored as penalty seconds and are added to the driver’s elapsed time. Pacing’s are determined on a low time basis. Ties for first place will be decided by a drive-off (unless otherwise stated in prize list.)
  3. Penalties:
    1. Exceeding time allowed(every commenced second) / 0.5 seconds
    2. Knocking over start or finish marker / 5 seconds
    3. Knocking down or dislodging obstacle / 5 seconds
    4. Break in gait (see Rule 359)
      • 1st break from trot / 5 seconds
      • 2nd break from trot / 5 seconds
      • 3rd break from trot / 5 seconds
      • 4th break from trot / Elimination
      • Prolonged canter or walk / Elimination
    5. Disobedience and/or groom dismounting (cumulative over course)
      • 1st incident / 5 seconds
      • 2nd incident / 10 seconds
      • 3rd incident / Elimination
    6. Starting before signal / Elimination
    7. Failure to cross starting line within one minute of signal / Elimination
    8. Off course / Elimination
    9. Exceeding Time Limit (2 X Time allowed) / Elimination
    10. Outside assistance / Elimination
    11. Failure to carry whip (Rule 326) / Elimination
    12. Breakage of harness or vehicle / Elimination
  4. Attire: Drivers will wear jacket and/or vest and a hat (no baseball type hats). Women may wear an appropriate dress (no floppy hats allowed). Drivers will wear gloves and carry a whip in hand. Lap robe or knee rug is optional.

363. Pick Your Route

  1. To be driven at a trot over a prescribed course of obstacles (paired markers) with no set route. The number of obstacles to be proportionate to the dimensions of the driving area. Not to exceed 20 obstacles.
  2. Typically obstacles in this type class are not measured for each entry, but are set at 2.5 meters or 8’3″ at the start of the competition, and only reset in the event of a knockdown.
  3. After passing the starting line, the driver shall proceed through each obstacles to the designated finish line, choosing his own route. Each obstacle is to be negotiated once and only once, but may be approached from either direction.
  4. Course faults are scored as penalty seconds and are added to the driver’s elapsed time. Placing(s) are determined on a low total time basis. Ties for first will be decided by a drive-off (unless otherwise stated in the prize list).
    1. Driving through an obstacle again / 10 seconds each time
    2. Missing an obstacle / Elimination
    3. Break in gait (see Rule 359)
      • 1st break from trot / 5 seconds
      • 2nd break from trot / 5 seconds
      • 3rd break from trot / 5 seconds
      • 4th break from trot / Elimination
      • Prolonged canter or walk / Elimination
    4. Disobedience and/or groom dismounting (cumulative over course)
      • 1st incident / 5 seconds
      • 2nd incident / 10 seconds
      • 3rd incident / Elimination
    5. Starting before signal / Elimination
    6. Failure to cross starting line within one minute of signal / Elimination
    7. Off course / Elimination
    8. Exceeding Time Limit (2 X Time allowed) / Elimination
    9. Failure to carry whip (Rule 326)(single driving only) / Elimination
    10. Use of a tie-down or over-check / Elimination
    11. Breakage of harness or vehicle / Elimination
  5. Attire: Drivers will wear jacket and/or vest and a hat (no baseball type hats). Women may wear an appropriate dress (no floppy hats allowed). Drivers will wear gloves. Lap robe or knee rug is required. Gloves, lap robe, or knee rugs are optional in all Hitch classes.

364. Gambler’s Choice – (Cantering will be allowed in Obstacle Driving Classes)

  1. To be driven over a course of un-numbered obstacles each carrying a specific point value. Each driver has the same amount of time to negotiate as many obstacles as possible. Each obstacle is assigned a point value according to its degree of difficulty and each driver tries to amass as high a score as possible within the time allowed.
  2. After passing through the starting line, the driver may drive through the obstacles in any order, from any direction. Each obstacle may be driven twice, but not in succession. If driven a third time, no points will be awarded.
  3. A signal shall be sounded if an obstacle is disturbed. No obstacle may be re-driven once it has been disturbed. (Exception: Obstacles which are designed to be knocked down). No points will be awarded for an incorrectly completed obstacle. If the obstacle is incorrectly driven, but not disturbed, it may be attempted again.
  4. In this class the circling rule does not apply. If a mule should refuse or run-out at an obstacle without disturbing it, the driver may elect not to attempt it and may drive to another obstacle without penalty. The obstacle may be attempted later, and if correctly driven, the appropriate points will be recorded.
  5. Time allowed shall be 2 minutes and 30 seconds. A warning signal will sound at two (2) minutes. All signals used need to be loud enough to be heard by all competitors.
  6. If the signal sounds when the competitor is committed to an obstacle, the competitor may complete the obstacle and receive the appropriate points, then proceed through the finish markers for total time to be recorded. Whether or not the competitor was committed to the last obstacle at the signal will be left to the discretion of the judge.
  7. 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 drive-off.
  8. Attire: Drivers may wear jacket or vest. Hat is required (no baseball type hats). Gloves and lap robe are optional. Driver not required a whip in hand. Whip in hand is optional for all Hitch classes.

366. Hitch Classes

  1. Hitch classes are open to teams of any size.
  2. Hitch classes are open to four wheeled vehicles only.
    1. Wagons in hitch pairs need not be fifth wheel type.
    2. All wagons in Hitch and Hitch competition must be fifth wheel type. Failure to comply will result in elimination from that class.
    3. Wagons may have rubber tires or wooden wheels with iron or rubber tires.
  3. Show harness is suggested in all hitch classes.
  4. All harness and equipment must be clean and in good repair. Any questions regarding safety of harness or equipment needs to be brought to the attention of the judge and ring steward as soon as possible. Uncorrectable problems need to be immediately excused from the class.
  5. Grooms are optional for all hitch classes. Except with Youth drivers an able adult groom is required.
  6. Dress for drivers and all passengers(grooms): See general driving rules section 328. A means should be devised to secure all hats during competition. English or formal attire allowed, women may wear pioneer style.
  7. Any use of brakes during Hitch classes shall be penalized by the judge.
  8. AT NO TIME SHALL THE BRIDLE BE REMOVED FROM ANY ANIMAL WHILE HOOKED TO A VEHICLE, NOR SHALL THE ANIMAL(S) BE LEFT UNATTENDED WHILE HOOKED TO A VEHICLE. FAILURE TO COMPLY WILL RESULT IN ELIMINATION FROM THE EVENT.

367. Hitch Pair

  1. This class is to show case the working hitch and wagon as well as the abilities of the driver. Wagons in this class need not be of the fifth wheel type.
  2. To be shown both directions in the arena at a walk, slow trot and working trot. To stand quietly and back freely.
  3. To show an ability to work as a unit with evenness of tugs. Use of brakes will be penalized by the judge.
  4. To be judged on performance, presence, quality, manners and match.
  5. Attire: See general driving rules section 328.
  6. Shall not be ask to fan except in the case of a work off, where other maneuvers may also he ask for.

368. Hitch Four, Six and Eight Up, Tandem, Unicorn, 3 and 4 Abreast

  1. These classes are to show case the working hitch and wagon as well as the abilities of the driver.
  2. The wagons in these classes are REQUIRED to be of the fifth wheel type. Any hitch not pulling the appropriate wagon will be eliminated and ask to leave the arena.
  3. To be shown both ways in the arena at a walk, slow trot, and working trot. To stand quietly and back freely.
  4. To show an ability to work as a unit with an evenness of tugs.
  5. To be judged on performance, quality, manners and match.
  6. Attire: See general driving rules section 328.
  7. In the case of a work off, hitches may be ask to fan as well as other maneuvers.

369. Hitch Driving Competition

  1. Open to teams of four (4), six (6), or eight (8) mules only. Teams of four (4) or six (6) donkeys will be judged separately, but may be in the arena at the same time.
  2. Class to be divided as follows:
    1. Teams of four and six (may be divided to teams of four and teams of six if entries warrant)
  3. Wagons are required to be fifth wheel wagons for all hitches in this class.
  4. Attire: See general driving rules section 328.
  5. Each entry shall drive a specific course, the order of go determined by draw. The course shall be at the discretion of the judge. However, at least two changes of direction and two different gaits shall be required. All hitches will be required to fan in both directions and back.
  6. Any use of brakes will be severely penalized by the judge.
  7. Any hitch unable to finish the course will be eliminated.
  8. All courses to be posted by show management at least 1 hour prior to the classes.
  9. To be judged on responsiveness and smoothness of hitches in completing the course. Match of team need not be taken into account.

370. Farm Class

  1. Attire to be Western style, bib overalls with long sleeve shirt. Women are NOT to wear a dress to avoid being caught in equipment. Work hats (no baseball type caps) are allowed.
  2. Open to rubber tired two or four wheel, home built or training vehicles or farm equipment in working condition, pulled by a single, pair, or team of four (4) or more, including Unicorn, 3 and 4 abreast.
  3. To be judged on the suitability of mule or donkey or team to pull and work the specific vehicle or equipment, with emphasis on manners and responsiveness to driver.
  4. Judged at a walk or any gait that is appropriate for the vehicle or equipment used.
  5. Judge may ask for any maneuvers which might be required while working specific equipment.
  6. Use of the brake will be severely penalized.

371. Team Halter

  1. AMA points to be awarded to the Team Driving division only.
  2. Team must be shown in harness in another class at the same show.
  3. Team to be driven in at a walk in harness. Judging to be based 50% on conformation and manners, 50% on matching in size, color, and traveling qualities.