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Ask the Steward: Who Gets A Re-Ride?

As an IEA and USEF Steward I am often asked to explain the process of the “Re-Ride.” In this article I try explain the most often asked questions like Who Can Get A Re-Ride? And Why Can’t I Get One Too?

A re-ride is when a rider is asked to dismount their originally drawn horse that they are currently competing on because through no fault of the rider, a horse performs so poorly that it is impossible for the judge to fairly access the rider’s ability. The rider is then given a different horse to show as if the original performance never occurred and is judged accordingly.

Here is a general warning; “Stewards must make judgment calls on case-by-case bases. Each situation is likely to be very different and many factors go into making these decisions such as: horse behavior, rider skill level, the weather, external noises, shadows, etc. So remember just because a re-ride was granted on one day, at one show, does not mean that what appears to be a similar situation at another show will likely result in a re-ride being granted!”

What MIGHT warrant a re-ride:

Safety: horses bucking, rearing, spinning, spooking for no apparent reason and repeatedly. Repeatedly is a key word here, and again not caused by a rider error (such as a rider riding too close to another horse or a rider using spurs inappropriately).

Falls: Re-rides can be granted if horse or rider has fallen, the medical person has deemed the rider fit to remount and compete, and the fall was of no fault of the rider.

Competitive Evaluation of Rider: If a horse has noticeable, reoccurring disobediences such as multiple refusals, backing up, a horse is mentally or physically shutting down, then a judge may feel that he or she could not judge the rider accurately, then a re-ride could be requested and granted.

Who can Request a re-ride:

Coaches and judges are the ONLY individuals that may request a re-ride and it must be done before the class has been completed and judged. A re-ride must be requested prior to the lineup in a flat class or the last horse leaves the ring in an over fences class. Once the results are announced re-rides cannot be considered.

What DOES NOT warrant a re-ride:

Minor Disobediences: If a horse kicks out or bucks and the judge can tell that it “clearly” was not caused by a rider error then a re-ride will not be granted.

Riding Errors: If a horse refuses because the rider goes off course or off pattern, does not steer or does not put a genuine effort into making it over the jump.

Falls: If a rider falls because of inexperience or rider error

Who can Grant a re-ride:

Re-rides can only be granted by the official show steward. Although the steward may confer with show management and the judge, only the show stewards may grant or deny a re-ride.

How does a re-ride work:

If a re-ride is granted in a class in which riders compete individually such as jumping or reining, the re-ride shall take place after all other rides in that class have been completed. If a re-ride is granted in a class in which riders compete together such as a flat or horsemanship then the class must be restarted

What if a re-ride is not granted and the coach feels that there is imminent danger?

If a coach feels that a rider has drawn a horse that the rider is not capable of safely riding, the show steward will determine whether or not the rider can re-draw be moved to the designated alternate. If the steward decides not to grant the re-ride request, then the coach has the right to withdraw the rider from the competition, and that rider’s entry fee will be returned, and that class does not count in the show limits for that rider.

About the Steward: Sloane Milstein is current an IEA and USEF steward. Ms. Milstein is a also a former NCAA and IHSA College Coach, High School Coach and the author of The High School Equestrian’s Guide To College Riding. To purchase the book or seek additional guidance go to

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