General Rules and Conditions

Maryland Governor’s Cup Series
Established 1975
General Conditions

for non-sanctioned races only
(sanctioned races run under NSA rules)

  1. Acceptability to Committee: All owners, riders, trainers, and horses must be acceptable to the Race Committees.
  2. Release Forms: All riders (parents or guardians for anyone under eighteen (18) years old) must file signed release forms complete with insurance information with the Racing Secretaries PRIOR to participating in any races. Proof of insurance will be required.
  3. Equipment: All riders must furnish their own weight pads, weights, and tack. Overgirths must be used in all races, except where noted.
  4. Protective Equipment: All riders must wear protective headgear and protective vests, except where noted.
  5. Check-In: All owners (or owner’s representatives) and riders must report to the Racing Secretary one (1) hour before post time or they will be scratched, except where noted.
  6. Paddock Time: Entries that are not in the paddock at least ten (10) minutes prior to post time will be scratched automatically, except where noted.
  7. Split/Combine/Cancel: The Race Committees reserve the right to split, combine, or cancel any race.
  8. Fairly Hunted: Where required that a horse “must have been regularly and fairly hunted during the current season,” the Race Committees may request certification from the Master of the Hunt(s) involved. “Fairly hunted” shall mean that the horse must have been hunted a minimum of six (6) times during the preceding twelve months.
  9. Coggins: A current (within one year) Coggins test is required and must be available for inspection on race day.
  10. Filly/Mare Allowances: Except in races that expressly provide otherwise, fillies and mares may be allowed ten (10) pounds before September 1 and eight (8) pounds thereafter in steeplechase races when competing against male horses. Except in “catch weight” races, a minimum of 150 pounds must be carried in all timber races, allowances notwithstanding. All allowances must be claimed at time of entry.
  11. Drug Testing: Drug testing may be required at Race Meets not governed by the testing provisions of the NSA, at the discretion of the individual Race Committees.
  12. Race Officials Decision: In non-sanctioned races, appeals for review of official decisions during MSA scheduled meets must be lodged with the MSA Chief Steward within seven (7) days.
  13. MSA Chief Steward Decisions Final: All decisions of the MSA Chief Steward shall be
  14. Amateur Defined: Amateur Riders must 1) neither have been licensed and/or paid as a professional steeplechase jockey for the prior two (2) years, nor as a professional flat racing jockey for the prior five (5) years; and 2) the Amateur Rider must agree not to accept compensation or remuneration for riding in any race during the current season.
  15. Novice Timber Horse Defined: Novice timber horse means non-winners over timber at sanctioned and non- sanctioned races as of the first of the current year. Winners since the first of the current year add 5 lbs. for each
  16. No Entries At Post: Entries close at noon on the Monday prior to race days; post-deadline entries may be accepted only at the discretion of the Race Committees.
  17. Release of Committees, Sponsors, Landowners: The Race Committees, the Race and/or Series Sponsors, the Hunt Clubs, and the owners of the properties on which the races are held assume no responsibility for injury or loss that may be incurred by participants or spectators, and entries are accepted only under the condition that the participants release all the aforesaid parties from any and all liability.
  18. Points for Horses and Riders (Except Junior, Young Rider, and Pony Races): For jump races, first earns six points, second earns three points, and third earns one point. For flat races, first earns three points, second earns 1.5 points, and third earns .5 points. To any points earned in a Jump Race sanctioned by the NSA, two additional points will be added to the points otherwise awarded. Riders and horses must race at least twice (in division qualifying races), and win at least once, in order to be eligible for year-end awards. Presuming all qualifications for awards are met, in the event of a tie, two awards will be
    (a)  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 completing the fast time event will receive .5 points toward awards that include this event.
  19. Consult Individual Race Meet Conditions: Please see conditions of individual MSA Race Meets for other rules that may prevail.
  20. 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 at his or her discretion may ask a rider to retire, if the Master believes that safety may be a concern. Proper hunting attire is required. Non-Thoroughbreds should be declared at time of entry. All riders and horses must meet the qualifications of “fairly hunted” in Condition No. 9, above.
  21. One Start: All horses or ponies may start in only one race per MSA Race Meet, including all traditional races (flat and over fences) as well as any Foxhunter race and Field Master’s or team chase.
  22. Scratch Fee: Unless otherwise stipulated [e.g., Hunt Cup] $25 scratch fee, payable to the race meet, if not scratched one hour prior to post time of first horse race.
  23. Late Fees: Any late fees, e.g., entry or scratch fees, that are in arrears may cause owners or trainers to be denied entries until all late fees are paid in full.
  24. Trainer Age: Trainers, including trainers for Junior and Young Rider entries, must be at least 18 years of age.
  25. Protests: Point standings will be updated and posted on marylandsteeplechasing.com by the Thursday following all MSA Series Race Meets; questions, disputes, or protests regarding points must be submitted in writing to the Governor’s Cup Chief Steward by 5 p.m. on the following day — Friday.