Athletes who compete in the equestrian events learn to develop sports skills and gain the self-confidence to direct and control a horse. Athletes are able to compete in a variety of individual English- and Western-style events and drill teams. For more information on the sport of equestrian visit the Special Olympics Minnesota equestrian page.

What do virtual equestrian events look like?

In order to participate in virtual equestrian events, you need access to your own horse. You’ll go to the place where you participate in riding lessons and follow Special Olympics Minnesota’s competition trails. A parent/household member should record you.

I don’t have a horse or I don’t have a stable I can attend for my lessons. Can I still compete?

Unfortunately not: Equestrian events require a horse and a stable.

Do you have any safety recommendations?

Athletes who wish to participate in virtual equestrian events can participate on their own if the stable at which they take riding lessons is open. Do not practice at a new or unfamiliar stable. Any coaching conducted by coaches who are not members of the athlete’s household must be conducted virtually.

Equestrian events, rules & scoring

  1. All typical equestrian gear must be worn while taking video (e.g., proper footwear and helmet). If you aren’t wearing appropriate apparel, your video won’t be scored.
  2. At beginning of the video, please include the participant’s name, age and the event taking place.
  3. Submit videos to via the results link at the top of the page. If your video file is too large to upload (over 10MB), please email [email protected] a copy of the file or share a cloud link of your file. The email attachment limit for video files is 25MB. If your file is larger than 25MB please email us a cloud link to your file instead (iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.)
  4. Videos will be judged by Special Olympics Minnesota’s equestrian event management team.

Events

Open to all classes, Western, English or Lead Line

Showmanship at Halter/Bridle/Lead Line

Athlete will lead horse by halter, bridle or lead line through a pattern—including walks, trots, stops, backing up and tight turns—while being judged on presentation and grooming.

View Showmanship pattern (PDF)

Set-up: Athlete will advance horse through pattern presenting horse to judge (best camera angle).

What to record and submit? Record and submit video of performance of showmanship presentation on the results page.

Obstacle Course/Working Trails

The obstacle course is designed with natural obstacles, enabling the athlete to lead horse through course and controlling the horse as it maneuvers through all obstacles. Athletes will be judged on riding qualities over obstacles, of gaits, change of lead and ability to control horse.

View Obstacle Course pattern (PDF)

Set-up: Begin at start line, lead horse to 1st obstacle, and repeat process until the athlete crosses finish line.

What to record and submit? Record the time it takes to maneuver the obstacle course and submit a video to support the correct running of the course.

Barrel Class

Set-up: Proceed to barrel #1, pass on left making 360 degree turn, go on to barrel #2, pass on right making 360 degree turn, go to barrel #3, pass on right making 360 degree turn, sprint to finish line.

View Barrel Racing pattern (PDF)

What to record and submit? Record the time it takes to do the barrel course and submit a video to support the correct running of the course.

Pole Weaving

Set-up: Start to right of first pole, weave through poles with alternating passes from right to left, round the last pole, repeat weaving process until rider crosses finish line.

View Pole Weaving pattern (PDF)

What to record and submit?Record the time it takes to run the pole course and submit a video to support the correct running of the course.

Prettiest Horse Class – Open Horse Class

Open to all. This is an optional non-traditional class for Virtual Summer Sports Classic only.

What to record and submit? Record and submit picture or video of your pretty horse.

Costume Class – Open Horse Class

Open to all. This is an optional non-traditional class for Virtual Summer Sports Classic only.

Set-up: Get dressed up in your favorite costume. You may include your horse, or only your horse. Costume options examples: best dressed cowboy, most creative, clown, etc.

What to record and submit? Record title of costume and submit picture or video of you and/or your horse in costume.

Regular physical activity is vital for good physical, social and emotional health. While there is a risk of injury with any type of physical activity, the benefits of staying active far outweigh the risks.

You can reduce your risk of exercise injury by:

  • wearing the right shoes
  • using the correct equipment
  • drinking water and staying hydrated
  • warming up and stretching properly
  • being aware of your surroundings – always exercise and compete in a safe and level area clear of any obstacles or items
  • maintaining social distancing rules (stay at least six feet away from others)

Stop exercising and seek medical help if you experience symptoms such as:

  • discomfort or pain
  • chest pain or other pain that could indicate a heart attack, including pain in the neck and jaw, pain travelling down the arm or pain between the shoulder blades
  • shortness of breath
  • a rapid or irregular heartbeat