Gymkhana General Information
Gymkhana is timed obstacle racing on horseback. It’s one of the most exciting family oriented equestrian sports in the world. California Gymkhana Association for more information about this fast growing sport that anyone can enjoy.
Gymkhana is the action packed, precision sport of the equestrian world. A good Gymkhana horse must have the speed of a race horse, the turning quickness and agility of a cutting horse and the control and responsiveness of the stock horse.
The word ‘Gymkhana’ is thought to have originated in India, probably meaning ‘games on horseback’ The English military, during the Colonial period, used horses for both transportation and military maneuvers. On Sunday afternoons, the cavalry would compete in horseback games to sharpen their horsemanship for war. Thus, Gymkhana had it’s beginning. Through the years different events have been added, some of which originated in Europe and others which were developed in this country. Ring Spearing, an event that is still part of Gymkhana in some areas, resembles the knight in medieval days riding full charge with his lance aimed at his enemy. The British Bengal Lancer engaged in Tent-Pegging, using his lance to unearth the tent pegs of the enemy, bringing down the tent on his adversaries. Pole Bending can easily be seen as good training for a Calvary charge through dense forest. The Rescue Race and Cowhide Race were originated by the Native American Indians as way to rescue their comrades in battle. Similarly, the Speedball Race may have derived from the Native American Indians counting “coup” in which they would touch their enemies without harming them. The Pony Express Race, of course, simulates the old time Pony Express rider who delivered the mail between St. Louis and Sacramento in the Old West.
In recent years Gymkhana has been steadily gaining in popularity. New events have been designed for competition between riders which bring into play the abilities of the rider and the speed and handiness of the horse. A number of events such as Barrel Racing, Pole bending, and the Keyhole Race, can be found at gymkhanas throughout the United States.
For more information check out California State Horsemans Association website.
Fullerton Recreational Riders run California State Horseman’s Association (CSHA) sanctioned gymkhana shows which follow official CSHA rules and regulations.
We run 7 time divisions with Division 1 being the fastest and Division 7 for the beginners, along with an Open division which is for un-rated riders. Note: Division 7 is split into two classes – Jr (13 and under) and Sr (14 and over) so the kids have a better chance to win daily high point awards. At the end of the year, Jr and Sr classes are combined to determine a single Division 7 overall High Point Champion.
If this is your first time trying Gymkhana and are not rated in a division, you start out by riding in the Open Division. This will give you a temporary horse/rider rating which will place you in a division for the next two shows or until you are given an official rating by the state rating secretary.
You need to run at least 4 of the 5 classes offered at a show for it to be considered a complete show. You need to ride in 5 of the 7 shows offered and be a FRR member to be eligible for the year end awards.
Gymkhana Show Schedule:
Second Saturday of each month March – September. Shows start @ 9:00 a.m. Day of Registration starts @ 7:30 a.m.
2018 Show Dates :
- March 10
- April 14
- May 12
- June 9
- July 14
- August 11
- September 8
Please write separate checks for Membership & Entrance Fees.