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California Gymkhana Association

About CGA :

Rule Book & Information Book

The Rule Book defines the 13 events, their dimensions, and all gymkhana show information. The Information Book defines all of the CGA Awards programs and more! Both books are available for download under 'Downloads, Etc.'

CGA believed that the sport of Gymkhana could not develop to the status it deserved until Gymkhana rules were standardized.

About the Rule Book & Information Book

CGA developed a Gymkhana Rule Book in 1973 that has become the primary standard over the years for Gymkhana throughout California. Each year we receive requests for our Rule Book and Information Book from all over the United States and several foreign countries. The Rule Book is all about the CGA events and rules for the shows. The Information Book is about everything else, including the awards programs, general information, etc.

  The Gymkhana rules in existence in 1972 were contained within the rule books of large equestrian organizations who were primarily concerned with the English and Western shows. The Gymkhana rules within these books were, in general, different from one organization to another, even for some of the same events, and they were not necessarily designed with the needs of the Gymkhana rider in mind. CGA believed that the sport of Gymkhana could not develop to the status it deserved until Gymkhana rules were standardized.

CGA embarked on an effort to review all Gymkhana rules that were available in 1972. The intent was to maintain as many of these rules as possible so that an orderly transition could be made to a standardized rule book. This rule book was written by Gymkhana people for Gymkhana people. To accomplish this objective, the following six general guidelines were established:

  1. Keep the number of rules to a minimum.
  2. Design rules, when possible, to eliminate penalties when the penalties are based on value judgments of judges. However, in all cases where a value judgment is required by a judge, instruct the judge to rule in the favor of the contestant when there is any doubt as to the circumstances.
  3. Provide an equal number of speed and skill events.
  4. Design rules to ensure one or more of the following criteria:

    a. Ensure equal opportunity for the contestants.
    b. Maximize the safety of the horse and rider.
    c. Provide a reasonable code of dress and conduct.
    d. Ensure humane treatment of the animals.

  5. Recommend procedures to:

    a. Assure that the judge has an opportunity to evaluate whether a rider can complete the course safely.
    b. Improve horsemanship practices,
    c. Provide procedures to be followed so that Gymkhana shows will run smoothly.

  6. The rule book should contain only the rules and guidelines required for judging a show. It does not contain information about other activities or programs of CGA such as the CGA Year-End Awards Program. This information, along with CGA regulations, are found in the Information Book.

These general guidelines have enabled CGA to make changes and additions to the Gymkhana rules that existed in 1972 to arrive at the rules that currently exist in the CGA rule book.

  CGA’s rules and recommended general procedures are continuously being monitored by show management and CGA judges for possible improvements. If any changes are felt to be needed, recommendations are made to the CGA Rules Committee. The CGA Rules Committee discusses the proposed change and makes a formal recommendation to the General Membership, to be voted on at the General Meeting. Under normal circumstances, these changes are voted on at the annual CGA Convention that is held on or near Thanksgiving weekend. However, the Board of Directors has the power to make a change at any time if circumstances, such as safety considerations, warrant such change.
  The Rule Book is reprinted approximately every two years. Changes are usually fairly small. Each membership may receive a new Rule Book when they are reprinted. In addition, each CGA Judge receives a new Rule Book when they renew their membership.
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