Rules for Junior, Young Rider, Pony Field Master Chase Conditions

Maryland Governor’s Cup Series
Established 1975
2016 Junior and Young Rider,
Pony and Field Master Chase Conditions

  1. General Conditions: All General Conditions apply, except to the extent preempted by a specific Condition here – e.g., points.
  2. Under 16: No one under the age of 16 will be permitted to race, except in a Junior, Pony, or Young Rider race, a Team or Field Master’s Chase.
  3. Junior Rider Defined: A Junior rider, except where noted otherwise by individual race conditions, is a rider who has not reached his/her 16th birthday as of the first of the current year. Junior races are restricted to riders who are not licensed to ride under the Rules of the National Steeplechase Association (the “Rules”). Junior riders who have raced a horse will not be eligible to race a small pony.
  4. Young Rider Defined: A Young Rider, except where otherwise noted by individual race conditions, is a rider who has reached his or her sixteenth birthday as of the first day of the current year, but who has not reached his or her twenty-first birthday by the same date.
  5. Pony Sizes: A small pony shall not exceed 12.2 hands. A medium pony shall be over 12.2 hands but shall not exceed 13.2 hands. A large pony shall be over 13.2 hands but shall not exceed 14.2 hands.
  6. Pony Measuring: Owners must present a Pony Size Certification issued by the Maryland Steeplechasing Association (the “MSA”) at the time they check in for a race. Pony measuring sessions will be scheduled on or before the date of the first point-to-point of the current year. Ponies will be measured by an individual trained and qualified to measure horses and ponies. A Pony Size Certification will be issued, and the verified size will determine the pony’s division going forward. The ponies’ names and sizes will be posted on the MSA website. At the discretion of the MSA, additional pony measuring days may be scheduled for later dates. Otherwise, if an owner is not able to present a pony on the specific measuring day, he or she must arrange to have the pony measured by the same individual as used on the official pony measuring days.   Any measurement appeals must be made to the MSA Chief Steward within thirty (30) days of the date of the subject Pony Size Certification.
  7. Junior Field Master’s Chase Qualification Card: Juniors who wish to enter a Junior Field Master’s Chase must qualify. Where required by an individual race meet’s Conditions:

(a)   Foxhunting Qualification. During the 12 months prior to their first entry of the season, any rider who wishes to enter a Junior Field Master’s Chase may first hunt the entry at least four times for at least 1.5 hours each time. A qualification card issued by MSA must then be signed by the current Master of Foxhounds or Field Secretary of each recognized or unrecognized hunt with whom the entry hunts.* Riders may download the MSA qualification card from the MSA web site, or request a copy from the MSA Secretary.

*The MSA has reached out to recognized and unrecognized hunts in this region, and made them aware of this condition. The MSA recognizes that not all Juniors who wish to ride in these races belong to a hunt. Regional hunts have been encouraged to assist those Juniors in meeting this Condition by permitting them to hunt at a no-cap, or low-cap rate, and pairing them with a mentor while that requirement is met. Inquiries regarding this opportunity should be directed to the hunt contacts listed on the qualification card.

Where (a) is not required by the individual race meet, the following alternatives are available:
(b)  Clinic Qualification. A rider who wishes to place an entry in a Junior Field Master’s Clinic may be certified to race the entry by a member of the Maryland Steeplechase Association Board of Directors based on attendance at a clinic approved by the Maryland Steeplechase Association for these purposes; or
(c)   “Grandfather” Qualification. A rider who wishes to enter a Junior Field Master’s Chase may seek the consent of the MSA Chief Steward to enter based on his/her past performance(s) in Junior Field Master’s Chases with the same horse or pony.

  1. Points for Junior and Pony Races: Junior Races and Pony Races will be treated separately for rider points and rider awards. There will be rider awards for each of the three separate pony divisions, and an overall pony rider of the year award to the Junior Rider who accumulates the most points in all three pony divisions. Points for pony races can be earned in Flat Races and Field Master Chases. For Jump Races, first earns 6 points, second earns 3 points, and third earns 1 point. For Flat Races, first earns 3 points, second earns 1.5 points, and third earns .5 points. Riders must race at least twice (in division qualifying races), and win at least once, to be eligible for year-end Junior and Pony Awards.
  2. Points for the Foxhall Farm Cup Team Chase: In a year when this event is hosted by a Maryland hunt, one point will be awarded to each of the three winning riders of the fast time event, toward awards that include this event. All horses and ponies completing the fast time event will receive .5 points toward awards that include this event.
  3. Field Master Chases: Riders will follow the Field Master over a flagged course. The field will be released by the Field Master to race for the finish after the last jump. The Field Master may ask the field to circle or queue at any point. Any rider passing the Field Master before the field is released will be eliminated. That rider may either pull up, or circle back and rejoin the field, but will not be placed or earn points. Riders must jump all fences. If a refusal occurs, that rider may circle and re-try without interference to other riders. Fallen riders may not remount and continue. The Field Master or the Outrider at their discretion may ask a rider to retire, if the Master believes that safety may be a concern.   Proper hunting or racing attire is required. Non-Thoroughbreds should be declared at time of entry. All riders must meet the qualifications of “fairly hunted” in Condition No. 7, above.
  4. Mandatory Course Walk in Jump Races: All riders in Junior races that involve jumping must walk the course with his/her trainer before the race. Course maps will be available on the MSA website and at the course. When checking in for the race, the rider must present a copy of the course map signed by the trainer to represent that this course walk has occurred.
  5. Whips/Blinkers/Spurs: In a Junior event, no Junior Rider may carry a whip or wear spurs, and no horse or pony may wear blinkers.
  6. Equine Age: All ponies and horses in any Junior Race, Young Rider Race, Pony Race, or Field Master Chase must be at least five years of age.
  7. Mares in Foal: No mare more than five months in foal may be entered in any Junior Race, Young Rider Race, Pony Race, or Field Master’s Chase.
  8. Stallions: No stallion may be entered in any Junior Race, Young Rider Race, Pony Race, or Field Master’s Chase.
  9. Certification: All riders in a Junior Race, Young Rider Race, Pony Race, or a Field Master’s Chase must sign a Certification Form available at the MSA website certifying that they have read both this set of Conditions and the accompanying General Conditions before they will be allowed to ride. The Certification Sheet will designate where the signed forms are to be sent.