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. 


​* Riders must have at least 2 charted lines (staying flat with one being in the time needed to race) each year to participate in RUS NY events. This is to ensure fitness and safety. There must be at least two horses behind the gate. 


*Riders must participate in at least 2 fundraisers with a minimum of $200 raised or get $200 in sponsors to participate in any RUS NY events.


* 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. 


Horse Eligibility Requirements


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 for the RUS NY Fair Series, 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) Horses must show at least one clean charted line (meaning no breaks) under saddle on a trotting gait each year. Horse does not have to go behind gait with more than one horse. 


(b) 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. (horse needs to have a clean line)  

(c) A horse that makes two consecutive breaks at any parimutuel track will be required to qualify again otherwise a horse will not need to re-qualify unless required to do so by the Judges. 



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. 

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

Rules & Regulations