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Rules 2019

Equine Distance Riding Association Rules

  1. All participants are responsible for knowing and following the rules governing EDRA events.
  1. Distance Rides are 25-100 miles in length and are reported in multiples of 5-mile increments. Distances must be verified by GPS and submitted to EDRA at the time of ride endorsement or up to 2 weeks before the event.
    Although the time allowed to complete a ride begins at the official ride start time established by the ride manager, participants may choose to leave within 30 minutes after the official start time. Maximum times to complete the ride include holds and are listed below. REPORTED ride result times are MINUS the holds. For example: On a 50-mile ride the maximum time allowed to complete the event is 12 hours, including holds of (for example) 90 minutes. If a rider finishes within 12 hours and meets all veterinary and other event rules and requirements, the reported ride completion time is 10 hours, 30 minutes (12 hours minus 90 minutes of holds). Minimum ride times are not mandated. Miles, completions and points are accrued upon successful completion by an EDRA member and EDRA registered equine and count toward the rider’s and equine’s lifetime miles and season awards.
  1. Test Your Mettle Relays: The same distance, maximum ride time and minimum ride time requirements outlined in Distance Ride events apply to relays. Miles on relays may not always be reported in 5-mile increments. Points are not allocated for relay placings or completions. However, when the rider is an active EDRA member and/or the equine has an active EDRA Logbook, miles and completions from relays are recorded and reported on their comparable lifetime record and count toward lifetime awards. Both rider and equine must be an active EDRA member and have an active EDRA Logbook in order to be eligible for the ride-season relay award. For more details, see Test Your Mettle Rules and Information, Appendix A and the 2019 Awards Descriptions Appendix E.

    Ride & Tie Events: When a Ride & Tie of 25 or more miles is held at an EDRA endorsed event, an equine with an active EDRA Logbook successfully completing the event will have miles and completions added to their lifetime record, which will also apply toward lifetime awards. Because multiple riders use the equine during a Ride & Tie, miles and completions are not applied toward the rider’s lifetime record. For more details, see the 2019 Awards Descriptions Appendix E. Ride & Tie Association rules apply and may be found on the association’s website at .
  1. Maximum Ride Times – Hours:Minutes, including vet check hold times (4.16 mph average)
Ride Length (Miles) Maximum Time (Hr:Min)
25 6
30 7:12
35 8:23
40 9:35
45 10:48
50 12
55 13:15
60 14:30
65 15:30
70 16:45
75 18
80 19:15
85 20:30
90 21:30
95 22:45
100 24
  1. Equine participants must be 5 years old (60 months) to enter 25-70 mile events and 7 years (84 months) or older to participate in 75-100 miles events.
  1. All riders must wear a helmet at all times when mounted at the ride site.
  1. Mileage for rides must be verified by electronic GPS sources within 5% of the requested endorsed distance. EDRA will provide technical support for verifying ride mileages.
  1. Ride managers can make changes in the course for emergencies and/or safety reasons.
  1. To achieve a completion for the ride, competitors must follow the designated course and equine participants must pass inspections by a designated veterinarian before, during, and after the ride and the pair must complete the course within the designated time allowed.
  1. Participant’s ride time stops when the equine participant’s heart rate meets criteria for 25-49 mile rides and determines their finish position in the ride. Participant’s ride time stops and placing is determined when rider and equine cross the finish line in 50 -100 mile events, provided the equine’s heart rate meets criteria within 30 minutes. All distances must pass the final veterinarian inspection within 60 minutes of finishing to earn a completion in the ride.
  1. All EDRA rides must award placings to horses that have successfully completed the designated course. Note: “Completion only” may be awarded (no placing) if the Ride Manager, in conjunction with the Steward, has determined that for specific reasons the rider has completed the equivalent course but not in the designated manner (e.g., doing a loop backwards). This is at the discretion of the Ride Manager and is NOT required.
  1. All EDRA rides must provide judging for Best in Class (BC). If no horses are deemed to be eligible, the veterinarian may elect to not award BC.
  1. Points per mile are earned as follows:
  • 25-49 mile events accumulate 1.0 point per mile
  • 50-74 mile events accumulate 1.5 points per mile
  • 75-99 miles events accumulate 2.0 points per mile
  • 100 mile events accumulate 2.5 points per mile

Bonus points are awarded for top ten finishers using the multipliers on the chart below:

  11+ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
1st 3 2.9 2.8 2.7 2.6 2.4 2.2 2 1.8 1.5 1
2nd  2.5 2.4 2.3 2.2 2.1 1.9 1.7 1.5 1.3 1  
3rd  2.2 2.1 2 1.9 1.8 1.6 1.4 1.2 1    
4th  2 1.9 1.8 1.7 1.6 1.4 1.2 1      
5th  1.8 1.7 1.6 1.5 1.4 1.2 1        
6th  1.6 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.2 1          
7th  1.4 1.3 1.2 1.1 1            
8th  1.3 1.2 1.1 1              
9th  1.2 1.1 1                
10th  1.1 1                  
11th  1                    
  1. Riders who declare a weight classification (I, II, III defined below) upon ride registration are eligible for year-end weight class awards. Weight includes rider and tack.
  • Weight class I:   up to 170 lbs.
  • Weight class II: 171-200 lbs.
  • Weight class III: 201+ lbs.
  1. Youth riders are 17 years and younger as of January 1st in the year in which they are riding. A youth rider must be accompanied by an adult rider during the event. Youth riders with 1,000 miles of documented distance riding with an approved organization and written parent permission may petition to ride without an adult during the event.
  1. Dues must be paid to the EDRA Treasurer/Membership Secretary in full, prior to ride miles or points accumulating for the award year. For 2018, online registration and associated dues are $77.50 for an adult, $26.00 for a corresponding spouse or domestic partner, and $10.50 per youth. Payment by check is $75.00 for an adult, $25.00 for a corresponding spouse or domestic partner, and $10.00 per youth. Lifetime memberships are $750.00 for an adult and $1,000.00 for a couple or family. Dues pricing may be changed upon resolution of the Board of Directors.
  1. EDRA Logbooks for each equine owned by an EDRA member will be supplied by EDRA and are required for equines ridden by EDRA members. See Logbook Protocols, Appendix B rules and guidelines. To be eligible for yearend awards, equines must have a logbook.
  1. Welfare of the Horse (Equine)
    a.  All equines will be presented to a veterinarian prior to the ride as well as at veterinary checks (vet checks or vet exams) during and upon completion of the ride. The equine will be evaluated using metabolic and mechanical criteria (see below). Information will be recorded on ride exam cards during the course of the event and upon completion, in EDRA logbooks for each EDRA equine.
    b.   All rides will include mandatory vet checks with hold times determined by the ride manager and veterinarian, taking into account course difficulty, weather and other factors.
    c.   A recommended pulse criterion is 60 beats per minute (bpm) reached within 30 minutes at all holds and upon completion. At the discretion of the veterinarian up to 64 bpm is allowed at an event.
    d.   Equines must be presented to the veterinarian for completion exams within 60 minutes of the finish time.
    e.   Evaluation of metabolic factors may include but is not limited to pulse, respiration, cardiac recovery, and temperature.
    f.   Evaluation of mechanical factors includes but is not limited to gait analysis and body observation. Gait analysis will be conducted at a trot or equivalent, straight out and back. Gait aberrations such as consistent shortness of stride/stiffness as well as consistent observable lameness at any gait are reasons for elimination from an event. Body evaluation consists of but is not limited to examination for wounds or observable consistent pain and sensitivity anywhere on the limbs and body. The degree and nature of such factors should be noted on the vet card. If the veterinarian determines such factors are serious enough to limit the equine’s ability to carry on without further damage, this will result in elimination from the event.
    g.   An equine must be judged to be metabolically and physically sound and demonstrate ability to carry on.
    h.   Any equine judged as unable to carry on will be eliminated. If treatment is required, this must be done under the supervision of the veterinarian, noted in the logbook and vet card, and at the rider’s expense.
    i.   In the event of medical treatment or an equine fatality, a report by the veterinarian will be turned into EDRA with ride results.
    j.   Any equine that presents clear danger to other equines and/or humans may be disqualified or forbidden to enter the event and asked to leave the ride site premises.
  1. Veterinary Oversight
    a.   All EDRA rides will have a designated Head veterinarian. The following criteria apply for this position:
    *Accredited Veterinarian (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, DVM)
    *Responsible for setting final criteria for ride (hold times and pulse criteria)
    *Responsible for Best in Class examinations unless they specifically designate another veterinarian to perform the task
    b.   All EDRA rides will have a designated treatment veterinarian. This vet will provide and be able to administer fluids, IV supplies, and drugs most likely to be utilized at a distance riding event.
    c.   EDRA rides will have established pulse criteria as well as ‘ability to carry on’ criteria (see Welfare of the Horse). Placing in distances 25-49 miles will be according to the time taken to reach established pulse criteria. Distances 50 miles and up will place according to when the horse crosses the finish line. In these instances equines have 30 minutes to reach pulse criteria or they will be eliminated from the event.
    d.   When eliminated due to a metabolic or mechanical issue with the equine, pull codes will be noted on the vet card and in the EDRA logbook. Both will be signed by the ride manager and veterinarian. Pull code options are as follows (see Welfare of the Horse section) for details:
  • Lameness/gait aberration
  • Metabolic
  • Body Condition
  • Overtime
  1. Drugs and Medications Policies and Procedures: Please see separate documents entitled “Drug and Medication Rule, Appendix C” and “Drug Sample Protocols, Appendix D” for details on which drug may not be used in competitions and how the drug testing process will be handled at EDRA events.
  1. The EDRA Service Program is designed to maximize educational opportunities for members, and provide service to the distance riding community.
    ✓ EDRA members will be strongly encouraged to participate in some type of service experience during the ride season.
    ✓ Riders with limited or no distance riding experience should contact the Service Coordinator to assist them in selecting their first service experience. EDRA members are asked to report their service experiences to the EDRA Service Coordinator and will be listed on the website as EDRA Service Champions.
    ✓ An EDRA Service Champion of the Year will be awarded.

Opportunities at rides

Manage a ride

          • Help mark/maintain trail
          • Help unmark trail
          • Work at finish line (e.g., timer, ride secretary)
          • Work in pulse box (taking pulse)
          • Scribe for vet
          • Help with mapping trail before ride
          • Assist ride manager

Other Opportunities

          • Serve on an EDRA Committee
          • Organize, present, or assist with an educational clinic
          • Mentor other EDRA members through the mentor program
          • Write an educational article for the website
          • Make an educational webinar for the website
          • Provide other ideas for member volunteers
          • Connect members with limited or no distance riding experience to an experienced mentor
          • Connect members who want to participate in the Mentor program with mentors or mentees
          • Recruit mentors

22.  THE EDRA Mentor Program is designed to provide riders of  all levels of experience the opportunity to teach and learn from others’ experiences. The EDRA Mentor program will:
Connect members with limited or no distance riding experience to an experienced mentor
Connect members who want to participate in the Mentor program with mentors or menses
Recruit mentors

23.  2019 Awards Descriptions Appendix E.

24.  Ride managers may refuse entry with due cause. If this action is taken, it must be reported to the Steward and included in the Steward’s ride report.


25. Individuals at an EDRA event shall demonstrate ethical and sportsmanlike behavior, whether rider, volunteer, rider crew, observer.

26. The EDRA BOD will assign an EDRA Steward to each EDRA endorsed ride to address and manage conflicts which arise, support and advise the ride manager on other issues that may arise


 27.  Appropriate behavior that promotes safety, fairness and good sportsmanship is expected at EDRA events. The Steward, ride manager and fellow EDRA members are expected to support other riders in exhibiting these qualities. As a guide, please see Discipline Matrix, Appendix  F” 

28. EDRA Conflict Resolution procedures are based on the founding principle that conflicts are best dealt with in a constructive, direct manner. In the event of a conflict, aggrieved parties must make every effort to achieve resolution with one another. If no resolution is reached after initial conversations between the two parties, the following procedures shall be initiated:
a.   The principle parties (those directly involved) shall meet with the ride manager and Steward (appointed by the BOD for each EDRA ride) and attempt to resolve the issue at the ride. If one party refuses to meet, they will be banned from attending or participating in an EDRA event for six-months.   If the conflict emerges after the ride, the principle party shall contact the Steward appointed to that ride within seven days to schedule a meeting for conflict resolution. The Steward will contact involved parties to set up a meeting for resolution. Again, refusal to attend will result in a six-month suspension.
b.   If no resolution is reached, principle parties may file their complaint with the Conflict Resolution committee. The Conflict Resolution committee will consider the complaint and the response and determine culpability and consequences. Filing a complaint with the Conflict Resolution committee must be accompanied by a $100 filing fee which will be reimbursed if the principle party’s complaint is upheld.
c.   Principle parties must initiate a solution through the Conflict Resolution committee within 14 days of the meeting with the Steward.