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Mettle Relays

Mettle Relays: Let The Games Begin!


Mettle: What is it?

  • Equine and Rider Teams
  • Distances the same as a typical distance ride (50 to 100m)
  • Only one equine/rider team on the trail at a time

Mettle: Define it

1a: Vigor and strength of spirit or temperament
b: Staying quality: stamina

2 : Quality of temperament or disposition



  • All equine/rider teams must ride at least 25 miles
  • All exchanges in camp
  • All equines must pass a vet check at the end of their leg
    • Even if that equine is not doing another leg
    • Vet criteria is “capable of carrying on” (see distance rules)
  • Rider must have the “TOKEN”  at all times
  • If the same equine is being ridden on the next leg, the equine must follow ride criteria (pass vet check and if there is a hold, must hold; if stop and go, etc.)
  • If the equine is not being ridden again on the next leg, the next equine can leave as soon as first equine pulses down
  • If a equine fails the vet check, the team is disqualified, UNLESS other team member repeats loop of disqualified member
    • Encourages people to not override their mounts
  • Time is the elapsed riding time: Total time minus holds


Open Category

  • Multiple people, multiple mounts
  • Must have at least two equine/rider teams
  • Two teams trade off riding legs in any order
  • Order must be given to the ride manager ahead of the start, but may be switched on race day
  • If rider is pulled, other rider may volunteer to go out and repeat his/her loop in addition to their own
  • All loops must be completed for the team to receive a completion
  • Entry fee will be for relay distance (not separate distances in case of 2 equine/rider teams)
  • Amount for entry fee is at ride manager’s discretion


  • Top 3 per distance will “Podium”
    • 1st, 2nd and 3rd place are awarded per race; same extra points as in distance riding
  • Each equine/rider team gets one point for every mile ridden
  • Points and awards will be calculated in separate “relay” category but miles will accrue for equine and rider upon successful completion of their leg in lifetime mileage count
  • Two end-of-year relay awards (top 3)
    • Top 3 Mettle Team: Top 3 teams with most relay miles. In event of a tie, team with fastest overall time wins
    • Top 3 Mettle Individual: Top 3 individuals with most points regardless of team. Example: Sandy does 50 mile relay. Her team wins, so full points (150). Two team members, so each get 75 points. Team member at end of season with most points is High Point Mettle Individual.



Ride Layout

  • Mettle Relay Distances: 50 or 100
    • ORANGE leg = 25 miles
    • PINK leg = 14 miles
    • YELLOW leg = 11 miles
  • 50 does order once (3 legs)
  • 100 does order twice (6 legs)
  • All equine/rider teams must do at least 25 miles
  • All holds in camp


  • Layne/Harley and Jenny/Mickey choose to do 100 with two equines, which is 6 legs total
    • Legs could be:
      • Layne rides first 50, Jenny rides second 50
      • Layne rides first two legs, Jenny rides second two legs, Layne rides last two legs
      • Layne rides first leg, Jenny second, and so on….
      • Or any combination as long as each equine/rider team rides at least 25 miles
    • Equine/rider team and order are decided ahead of time
  • Layne/Harley ride 25 mile loop and pass Vet Check
    • If Layne is continuing on, must have normal hold
    • If this is a transition point to the next rider, once equine pulses down, Jenny gets TOKEN and can begin her leg
  • And so on…..
  • DONE!

This gives Jenny a chance to experience night riding!