"Promoting Racing Under Saddle and the versatility of the Standardbred breed."

Rules & Regulations 

(we have not made any decisions as far as rules for 2019 yet. These could be modified)

A number of changes concerning the rules of racing (list available here) have been approved at the recent United States Trotting Association (USTA) and are effective May 1, 2019. Two changes have direct impact to racing under saddle (RUS) and are listed below:

§Rule 9.07 Horses 15 years of Age or Older. - No horse that is 15 years of age or older is eligible to perform in any race except matinees, county fair races, races exclusively for amateur or club drivers as sanctioned by USTA, or non-betting racing under saddle events and no electronic eligibility shall be issued for such a horse except for a performance in such races.

§Rule 19.04 Age and Gait of Horse. - No horse under the age of three (3) and no older than fourteen (14) years of age shall be eligible to start, except in the case of non-betting events as per Rule 9.07. Racing Under Saddle Races may be raced on the trot or pace.

Rules will apply for both gates and we hope to plan some pace races this season. However it should be noted the fair series is just for trotters and those wanting to partake should see fair series conditions. 


Pacers will not be able to qualify until the May 1 rules go in affect. For more info on pace races click here. 

Rider Requirements


 All riders must hold a current active RUS license with the USTA. Riders must wear an approved helmet, safety vest, silk tops (colors) with white pants and a dark boot (with minimum heal of at least 1/2 inch) or half chaps reaching to below the knee. Crops cannot exceed 30 inches. Spurs are prohibited. 


​* All riders need at least one qualified ride per annual calendar year. 

      - Riders who have 2 plus years experience riding and who have ridden in the past year need one qualifying ride in a time necessary to qualify to race. (can go behind gate alone but having more than one horse behind the gate is preferred and may be a requirement of certain race conditions).

    - Those who do not have 2 plus years experience and did not ride last year will need to participate in two qualified rides in a time of 2:20 or better preferably once with other horses behind the gate. 


*Riders are required to raise $500 to participate in any RUS NY event.


* Riders should expect to sing a waiver form and take a breathalyzer before races.  

Forms Required




Purse Authorization 


Rider Waiver 


​Required Equipment


 (a)  Bridle with bit and overcheck with bit.

(b)  Rubber racing, Ladder reins or Double “French” reins.

(c)  Crupper.

(d)  English, monte, or jockey saddle. Overgirth on saddle with only one billet.

(e)  Breast collar or buxton.

(f)  Appropriate saddle pad.

(g)  Head numbers, head poles, line poles, line burrs and two-ring martingales are prohibited.

(h)  Securing the rider to the saddle and/or the legs or feet of the rider in the stirrups, including but not limited to tying the stirrups to the girth, banding the feet in the stirrups is prohibited. 

*** hobbles are allowed 


Horse Eligibility Requirements

Races can be held at a pace or trot. All horses participating in RUS events must be registered with either the United States Trotting Association or Standardbred Canada in the name of the current owner. No horse under the age of three shall be eligible to start, however horses over the age of 14 will be permitted.  Horses used in the  Fair Series races must show a charted mile in 2:20 or faster under saddle. 


​Horses that plan on racing under saddle must have RUS electronic eligibilities activated prior to entering for any RUS event. This is in addition to the eligibility they hold for regular harness events.


Riding Violations


A rider that does any of the following things shall be in violation of the riding rule:


(a)   Jostle, strike or interfere with another horse or rider.

(b)  Cross sharply in front of a horse or field of horses or otherwise ride in a reckless manner.

(c)  Swerve in or out or pull up quickly.

(d)  Crowd another horse or rider.

(e)  Cause confusion or interference among trailing horses.

(f)  Carry a horse out.

(g)  Commit any act that shall impede another horse or rider.

(h)  Change course in the stretch so as to interfere with another horse or rider.

(i)  Ride in a careless or reckless manner.


Placing, Disqualification of Horses


The offending horse may be disqualified, if in the opinion of the judges, the foul altered the finish of the race, regardless of whether the foul was accidental, willful or the result of careless riding. 


Qualifying Standards

 A horse shall be considered qualified for Racing Under Saddle races if it meets the following standards at the track where the horse is qualifying: 1/2 mile track – 2:16; 5/8 mile track – 2:14; 7/8 mile or larger track – 2:12.  
(*** horses with clean lines may be given preference and clean lines may be an added condition to certain races). 


Race Weigh-In / Weigh-Out of Rider and Equipment 


​RUS NY does not feel the need to enforce this rule until there is actual wagering on races, but is posting because it is at the discretion of each track. 


a) Following the race, all riders must immediately proceed to the scales and dismount. A rider shall be permitted to dismount under the direct supervision of a track official in the winner’s circle for the purpose of being interviewed.

(b)  The saddle and all other equipment used or worn by the horse, excluding the bridle,shall be weighed immediately following the race along with the rider. Unless otherwise authorized by the judges, no person shall assist in the removal or possession of the saddle and other equipment other than the rider until the weigh- out procedure is completed.

(c)  Any rider and their clothing (including gloves, safety vest, helmet, whip, goggles and saddle with fittings, as well as saddle pad, weighted saddle pad, corrective or sheepskin pad) that weighs in under 140 lbs. or refuses to be weighed will be disqualified from the race.

(d)  No race shall be made “official” until all riders have dismounted and weighed-out.