SubscribeGift a Sub

Speed Events

Learn more about the following speed events, especially barrel racing; how to train for them and improve your skills; and read news and stories from competitors who compete in speed events with Horse Illustrated.

  • Barrel racing involves a horse speeding around barrels in a cloverleaf pattern. The fastest competitor who leaves all the barrels up is the winner.
  • Gymkhanas feature events with pattern races and timed games and is often featured at Pony Club events or through 4-H. It is sometimes called an O-Mok-See. In addition to racing barrels, events can include pole bending, keyhole race, keg race, ride and run, egg stomp, $1 bill race (aka, ride a buck), and sack race are often scheduled.
  • Pole bending involves a rider weaving in and out of poles set in a straight line.
  • Flag racing involves running a pattern created by markers placed in specific locations.

Brandon Cullins and Edwin Cameron Take Top Titles at the 2019 NBHA World Championships

Barrel racers from around the world gathered on October 26–November 2 for the 2019 NBHA Open and Senior World Championships…

9 months ago

Cowboy Swagger Named 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover Champion With Fallon Taylor

Champion barrel racer Fallon Taylor takes on a new challenge every year: in 2018, she took up show jumping. This…

10 months ago

Two Barrel Racing Exercises

If you have a finished horse that doesn’t need a lot of work on the barrel pattern, the last thing…

1 year ago

Meet Barrel Racing Champ Amberley Snyder

Sometimes all it takes is a moment—a glance down at a map, a slight miscalculation—to profoundly change your life forever.…

1 year ago

Western Lesson: Slow Your Horse Down

Is your horse a whiz at speed events, but tough to slow down when you want a calmer ride in…

2 years ago

Western Lesson: Better Barrel Turns

Barrel racing is all about seconds, and you’ll do anything to scrape off a tenth of a second here and…

2 years ago

Give Games a Go!

If you feel the need for speed and your horse is quite zippy when he wants to be, then you…

4 years ago

10 Tips for Barrel Racing Success!

A lot of work goes on behind the scenes before you gallop toward your first barrel. If you haven’t done…

4 years ago