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Updated on March 27, 2019
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Ms. Millar has been an online writer for over eight years. She is well versed in website development with several websites she has created.

Welcome to Gymkhana!

Gymkhana is an equestrian sporting event, not to be confused with gymkhana the auto racing sport. Gymkhana is enjoyed across the globe from the United States to the United Kingdom!

A gymkhana show involves several different set-ups. You can download all the rules and regulations, along with the measurements to exact specifications for the set-ups here. A set-up is a pattern laid out with poles, barrels or stakes that has very specific measurements. A horse and rider are timed when they run the individual set-ups. The winner is the horse and rider with the fastest time.

Every event has its own time you want to beat. For example a AAA rider (a top raking rider) might run the Figure 8 Flags with a time of 11.000 seconds and win. Yet, on the other hand, when that same rider runs the Poles II (that they may not be as good at) they might have a longer time which would not get first place for them.

The CGA (California Gymkhana Association) is made up of several Divisions throughout the state of California. You usually will join the division nearest your home or horse.


Within your division there a rankings. Depending on how fast you run the courses your time will indicate what rank you are. This way you race against other people in your rank instead of someone better or worse.

The ranks are the same for each division. So your rank follows you to which ever Gymkhana division you ride in. The ranks are as follows:

Future Champion or AAA Rider

Time Division W/Time for Barrel Racing
Lead line
A horse that is lead while the contestant is astride.
Leadline is for anyone that cannot finish the course without assistance, ie: young children, new riders. The times for these runs go anywhere from 60 secs to 2 minutes.
FC (Future Champion) 28.310>secs.
A novice or new rider usually.
FC is where everyone starts. If your times prove you are fast enough to move to the next level then you will automatically move up to A horse.
A Horse - 22.850 – 28.309 secs.
A rider that's not green but not seasoned yet.
The A horse is a FC that is starting to get to know the courses. The horse and rider are confident and run the course at a trot combined with a lope.
AA Horse - 20.540 – 22.849 secs.
A seasoned rider.
AA horse know's the course. Just a matter of learning how to run make it work for you before you'll see yourself in AAA horse!!
AAA Horse - 18.710 – 20.539 secs.-
The seasoned professional.
This horse and rider combination are fast. They run the course at a controlled gallop!
AAA+ 18.709 - 18.198
The seasoned pro cutting more time off the clock
This horse and rider work like one smooth running machine.
Supreme - <18.199 secs.
The Best of the Best
This pair works as one. At an all out gallop they run the course in lighting speed!
65 and over
The senior riders.
65 + are well seasoned veterans and some new comers to the gymkhana. There's more refined finesse than speed in this group, fun to watch.

Gymkhana Events

Event Name
How it's Run
Single Stake
Pass timing light, race to pole, turn the pole either direction, race back through light.
Speed Barrels
Starting either left or right, weave through barrels, turn the last barrel and weave back.
Speed Ball
With a golf ball in hand, race to the cone, turn the cone and drop the ball inside the cone hole, race back.
Quadrangle Stake
Starting on either side, turn the 1st pole on the inside, turn the 2nd pole in the same direction, turn the 3rd pole in the opposite direction, turn the fourth pole same as the 3rd, run through timing light.
Pole Bending I
Pass the timing light, starting either left or right, weave throught the poles, turn the last pole and weave back and pass through the timing light.
Pole Bending II
Pass timing light, either side, run to the last pole, weave back through poles, turn the last pole and weave back again, race back through timing light.
Pass timing light, run between keyhole lines to end circle, spin on the heel and race back through the timing light.
Hurry Scurry
Starting either side, jump the jumps, turn the pole at the end and jump the jump on the way back and pass the timing light.
Figure 8 Stake
Starting in the middle, turn the 1st barrel either left or right from the inside, race through timing light to the other barrel and turn it the opposite of the first, run back through timing light.
Figure 8 Flag
Same as figure 8 stake but you have a flag in hand, at the 1st turn exchange flags, at the 2nd turn exchange flags again.
Either left or right barrel first turn the barrel from the inside, race to the other barrel and turn it the same direction, race back through timing light.
Big T
Weave through the poles to the barrels, turn the barrel to the left or right, which ever is from the inside, race to other barrel turn same direction as first, race back through timing light.
Pass timing light, either side turn the barrels left, right, right or right, left, left, race back through timing light.
Course Layouts Below

Course Layouts

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Single Stake RaceSpeed BarrelsSpeed BallQuadrangle Stake RacePole Bending IPole Bending IIKeyholeHurry ScurryFigure 8 StakeBirangleBig TBarrel Racing
Single Stake Race
Single Stake Race | Source
Speed Barrels
Speed Barrels | Source
Speed Ball
Speed Ball | Source
Quadrangle Stake Race
Quadrangle Stake Race | Source
Pole Bending I
Pole Bending I | Source
Pole Bending II
Pole Bending II | Source
Keyhole | Source
Hurry Scurry
Hurry Scurry | Source
Figure 8 Stake
Figure 8 Stake | Source
Birangle | Source
Big T
Big T | Source
Barrel Racing
Barrel Racing | Source

Year End Awards!!

Through the year your times are recorded and stored by the gymkhana club. At the end of the year there's an awards dinner or barbeque with awards ceremony held for the winners of their division. Saddles, engraved stirrups, beautiful bridles and various tack and photography are awarded. It's a fun way to end the season for everyone.


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