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California Gymkhana Association

Frequently Asked Questions

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Membership Year End Awards Shows
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Membership Questions

Do I have to be a member to ride at CGA shows?

Yes. But you can sign up at the show when you enter.


If my child is a member, does this entitle me to vote at General Meetings?

No. You must be a member and at least 12 years of age to vote at CGA General Meetings.


What does CGA membership entitle me to?

It entitles you to ride at any CGA approved event, regardless of where it is held or if/what local district is hosting the event. If a local district is sponsoring the event, then you must follow CGA rules and the rules of the local district. The local district's rules must not conflict with CGA rules.

As a CGA member, you will receive the World of Gymkhana™ newspaper, generally published monthly, which advises you of all CGA happenings, including upcoming shows. Membership also entitles you to sign-up for a variety of Year End Awards. You may ride at State Show, as long as you have achieved at least a Future Champion rating on a horse that season. And, you may vote on issues or vote for board members if you are at least 12 years of age.


Can a 4 year old child be a CGA member and ride at CGA shows?

Yes. CGA places no discriminatory boundaries on membership or riding at CGA approved events. If a child cannot safely navigate a CGA course on their own, then the Lead Line class is an option at most CGA shows. In Lead Line, the rider's horse is lead through the events by a parent or other responsible party. For safety reasons, the Lead Liner's horse may not go faster than a trot, and Lead Liners cannot enter Hurry Scurry. Lead Liners may sign up for and receive Year End Awards by meeting the Future Champion requirements.


Year End Award Questions

If I'm signed up for a CGA Year End Award and my horse gets hurt, can I transfer my Year End Award to a different horse?

Yes, you may transfer the award registration to another designated horse, but you cannot transfer one horse's times to another horse. That means, although your mount has been exchanged, you must start over with earning the Award. Get more information on Year End Awards by clicking on the 'Awards Program' button.


What does it take to win a Top Rating Award jacket?

First, you must sign up for the Top Rating Award. Then, you must become 'rated' in at least 7 of the 13 events in a specific division. The 'Top Rating' term refers to being rated in more than half of the CGA events. The rating embroidered on the jacket you earn will be the highest division where you became rated in more than half of the CGA events. Read more about Top Rating Awards and All awards by clicking on the 'Awards Program' button.


What does 'being rated' mean and how does one become rated?

'Being rated' refers to achieving at least three times in a particular event at or above a CGA division. Your rating for each event will be based on the highest division with three or more times at or above that division. Read more about what it takes to be rated by clicking on the 'Awards Program' button.


Show Questions

I'm new to CGA. Do I have to pre-enter shows?

Generally, no. Most shows have a sign-up time that is approximately an hour before the show actually starts. Read the World of Gymkhana™ CGA newspaper where the local shows are listed or go to 'District Shows' on the website. Most local districts publish their sign-up times and ride times. Be sure to take your CGA membership card with you to shows. If you signed up for CGA membership at a show and are now attending a second show but have not yet received your CGA membership card, bring a copy of your membership receipt or rider's 'pink sheet' showing membership was paid.

You will find helpful information on preparing your horse for Gymkhana by clicking on the 'About CGA' button, then select the 'About Training for Gymkhana' link.


How will I know when it's almost my time to go in the arena?

The announcer calls each rider into the arena, and at the same time announces the next two riders due in the arena. This is done to give each rider time to get to the arena. When a rider is called into the arena, they are expected to be waiting at the gate to go in.


How long do I have to enter the arena after my name is announced to go in the arena?

One minute. It is up to the Judge to call for a one minute timer. If your horse is not in the arena after the one minute call is complete, then you will be disqualified from that event.


When I enter the arena, do I just start running the course?

No. You must wait for the Judge to release you after you have crossed the 80 foot foul line, if one exists. If you start the course before being released, then you are subject to disqualification from that event. After you are released, you have one minute to begin the course.


My horse has problems going into the arena. Can I have someone help me through the gate?

Yes, but you must remain mounted on your horse. Your assistant may be on foot or on another horse. However, if your horse acts up in such a manner that it becomes a danger to those around, then you are subject to being disqualified from that event. Safety is always a primary CGA concern.


After entering the arena, can I circle my horse more than once during warm-up prior to running the event?

Yes, provided you do not go around any obstacle in your path more than once in a close, tight turn. Such action will result in disqualification. If you circle your horse more than once during warm-up, be sure to stay away from any obstacles.


Is it okay to wear a baseball cap or visor into the arena?

No. You will get a one second penalty for improper attire if you do.


What if I forget to tuck in my shirt when I go into the arena?

You will be subject to a one second penalty added to your time.


I saw a photographer at State Show and I'd like to see and/or purchase any pictures taken of me and my horse. How can I view the photos?

Visit the site of our official State Show photographer, Jack Upton Photography. They shoot the CGA State Championship Finals, as well as many other CGA shows and many other events. Just scroll through the shows on their website until you find the one(s) you attended, then view the photos. All photos are available for purchase through the Jack Upton Photography website or directly through Jack and Dwayne Upton.


Questions? Concerns? Send email to:
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