Equestrian Event Handbook
Edited and resubmitted this day, 7 July 97 ASXXXI of the Common Era 1997,Countess
Iseult nicElam, SCA Deputy for Equestrian Activities.
The Equestrian Event Handbook 1st Edition, 1992, Academy of Equestrian
Arts, Kingdom of Caid. Edited by Baroness Emmaline Marie Chandelle, written
under the direction of Duke Sir Armand de Sevigny and with safety and equipment
contributions by Lady Donwenna Beast Healer of Hawksheye. Quoted with permission
from Lord Agelos Evienece, Minister of the Caid AEA 1993-1996. Special
appreciation to Duke Armand and Lord Agelos for their help with formulating
the SCA Equestrian Regulations.
I. RIDER REGULATIONS
1. Equestrians are not permitted to use alcohol, intoxicants, or
medications that affect judgement coordination, etc. in the Equestrian
a. Equestrians are not permitted to participate in Equestrian Activities
when under the influence of any of the aforementioned items.
b. Riders are encouraged to conduct themselves in a courteous manner particularly
c. Riders are expected to maintain a chivalrous demeanor, especially as
the word chivalry comes from the root word chevalier. which is French for
2. Equestrians are not permitted to ride through encampments.Riding on
roads used by pedestrians is permitted if it can be accomplished in a manner
safe to pedestrians. The rider must be in control of his/her mount at ALL
a. It is required that foot attendants lead beginner riders.
b. The perimeter must secured by one or more Foot Attendants for riders
of all levels.
3. Equestrian Participants must assume all risks inherent in equestrian
activities and sign all appropriate waivers.
SCA participants under the age of majority within the state where the
event is held; Emancipated Minors are treated as Adults. In the event of
a rule conflict between General Regulations and Minor Regulations, The
Minor Regulation shall have precedence.
4. An adult is required to wear protective headgear when jumping
a. Protective headgear is recommended for all mounted activities.
b. All Participants in equestrian activities must wear closed-toed footwear
while engaged in said activities, whether mounted or not. Participants
are encouraged to wear heeled footwear while mounted.
In addition to the General Rider Regulations:
1. Minors must have a Legal Guardian within view at all times while they
participate in any Equestrian activity at an SCA event.
a. the Legal Guardian must sign all waivers pertaining to a minor's participation
in any Equestrian activity at an SCA event.
b. Said waiver must be signed prior to allowingthe minor to mount. Said
waiver must include a list of known risks inherent in equestrian activities.
2. Minors must be at least 5 years of age AND able to stay in the saddle
UNASSISTED and control their mount unassisted to be eligible for a minors'
"permit to ride".
a. A 'permit to ride' shall be analogous to established adult authorization
levels (Beginner,Intermediate and Advanced) with the following stipulations:
1. 'Permitted' minors may participate in Equestrian Activities at all riding
levels upon being 'permitted' at that level at the discretion of their
Kingdom including but not limited to Trail Rides, Quadrilles, Mounted Gaming,
2. will authorize on the horse they will use in the Equestrian Activity,
3. and with the specific equipment they will use in the Equestrian Activity.
3. For purposes of these rules, minors will be divided into two age groups,
so that age-appropriate safety standards can be instituted.
a. These age groups will be ages 5-11 and 12-18.
4. All minors must always wear ASTM or Snell Equestrian Riding Helmets,
with chin strap fastened, when mounted.
5. Minors are prohibited from using steel-tipped lances. A minor may use
any length lance, as long it can be safely handled by that minor. Any equestrian
lance being used by a minor must comply with the standards for minors'
equestrian gaming equipment construction as set forth in Appendix? of this
6. 'Permitted' minors aged 5-11 years may compete in a scaled down version
of the adult mounted gaming so long as all of the equipment is constructed
and sized so as to be age appropriate and safe. (See appendix ? on minor's
7. 'Permitted' minors aged 12 to 18 years may compete in the Equestrian
mounted gaming against adults or in their own age category and must use
equestrian gaming equipment of a size so as to be safely handled by the
minor, but must be constructed as per current minors' equestrian gaming
equipment construction standards. Equipment must be safe and age appropriate.
8. Minors cannot be EMs. Only minors age 12 or over will be allowed to
act as foot attendants, pages, or to lead a horse for a mounted individual.
Minors acting in such a capacity must have a waiver signed by their legal
guardian as stipulated in Rule B.1 above.
a. An adult, authorized as an EM, must be specifically charged with overseeing
the safe conduct of minors involved in these auxiliary activities and shall
have that as their sole responsibility while minors are serving these functions.
b. Additionally, minors leading a horse for a mounted individual must be
c. Minors may be EMITs and upon reaching the age of majority in their kingdom
may utilize previous experience to qualify them to be authorized as an
II. HORSE REGULATIONS
1. Owners are ultimately responsible for:
a. the actions and well-being of their horses. b. the maintenance and condition
of the tack and equipment they use.
2. All horse owners must retain a set of the appropriate transport papers
required by their state of destination and must present them to the EM-In-Charge
of the event upon request.
3. No horse may be left unattended. Minimal supervision by personnel designated
as 'horse monitors may include but is not limited to, visual inspection
at hourly intervals or horses continually monitored by sight or sound within
the same camping area. Protocol for the supervision of horses to be at
the discretion of the individual Kingdoms.
a. Each Kingdom will be responsible for developing and maintaining this
4. A horse must be securely restrained by a means such as but not limited
to stable, pen, or by trailer tie and hitching post.
a. use of barbed wire enclosures to restrain a horse is prohibited.
1. Horses or horse drawn wagons cannot be rented by the SCA, INC or SCA
sub-chapters directly to SCA participants or SCA sub-chapters.
2. Individual SCA members must rent horses directly from the rental agent.
3. SCA. INC or SCA sub-chapters are permitted to keep track of rental horse
reservations for SCA participants by holding only checks or money orders
a. Such checks or money orders written for rental horses must be written
out only as paid to the order of the rental agency.
1. The EMIC is charged with assuring that every horse shall, at all times,
be treated humanely. and with dignity, respect and compassion. a. The standard
by which conduct or treatment will be measured is that which a reasonable
person, informed and experienced in generally accepted equine training
or veterinary procedures would determine to be cruel, abusive or inhumane.
2. The horse owner or their agent will decide how many different riders,
up to a maximum of 4, their horse can humanely carry through out the day.
Suggested number of riders per horse are as follows: a. Walking activities:
maximum of 4 riders/day
b. Trotting activities: maximum of 2 riders/day
c. Trotting/Cantering as in competitions: maximum 2 riders per day
III. RIDER AUTHORIZATIONS
1. Every rider must be authorized to ride prior to participating in any
SCA Equestrian Activity, except for purposes of practice, Processionals(i.e.,
including trail rides, progresses, etc) , and the authorization process
itself. a. The rider is expected to use common sense and caution when riding
any mount at any level,
b. and must be authorized to ride at their level on the horse they will
be using that day.
1. Minimal procedure for Rider Authorization Level shall be determined
by having the rider demonstrate their ability to maintain their seat and
control of their mount while holding a baton in one hand and correctly
reining their mount in the maneuvers for completing the beheading the enemy
pattern. The designated Rider Levels and criteria are:
a. Beginner Level: can turn, stop, and control their mount at the walk.
A beginner is allowed to ride only at the walk.
b. Intermediate Level: can turn, stop, and control their mounts while at
the walk and trot. An Intermediate rider is allowed to ride at the walk
and trot only.
c. Advanced Level: can turn stop and control their mount at the walk, trot,
canter, and hand gallop. An advanced rider may ride at all gaits.
d. Special Level: for every Rider Level that participates as a(n) 1. Accoutered
Rider--- demonstrates mounted military exercises when accoutered at their
authorized Riding Level (i.e., hold shield, weapons and/or armored at those
2. Mounted Archer- must comply with Archery regulations as well as Equestrian
Regulations of the SCA and their kingdom. In addition:
a. regular tipped arrows are prohibited: Markland golf tube and bird blunt
arrows are allowed.
b. Beginner and Intermediate Riders must have an EM lead their mounts past
the archery target and have their reins within reach.
3. Drivers of carriages, carts, chariots, wagons shall be authorized with
their driving horses as one unit and at the same Rider Levels and criteria
as listed above for III B a-c
a. Professional teamsters on site being used for passenger or gear haulage
are exempted from authorization criteria. They are expected, however, to
perform their tasks in a safe manner.
1. Pony rides, Pageantry, mounted processional. or Progress--rider shall
proceed only at a walk and should know how to stop and turn his mount.
a. An Advanced level rider should act as a Foot Attendant and may be needed
to lead the horse to ensure control particularly if the rider is a Minor,
a Beginner rider, or carrying a weapon/banner.
b. Riders are not permitted to proceed faster than walk throughout the
2. Trail Rides --at the discretion of the EMIC, the Rider must demonstrate
how to stop and turn his mount at the level he will be riding.
3. Mounted Gaming Tournaments, Quadrilles, Arts and Sciences Competitions
(i.e., riding, garb, etc.) SCA Demos, Quests, or Medieval Theme Games (i.e.
squire rescue, banner race, cup carry, etc) - rider must be authorized
at the Level at which they are participating.
IV. MISCELLANEOUS AUTHORIZATIONS
1. It is suggested that each Kingdom train individuals who will serve as
Ground Crew, Pages, Score Keepers, Foot Attendants, and Lists.v 1. Authorization
cards may be issued for these individuals as determined by each kingdom.
1. A minor may be an EMIT for up to 4 years and then upon reaching age
of Majority must fulfill the regular requirements to become an authorized
2. The EMIT must always be under the supervision of an EM.
(waived if no events conducted in your Kingdom, but sufficient experience
in SCA Equestrian Activities has been gained and demonstrated during official
or unofficial SCA equestrian practices in the mounted military training
exercises within the past two years, OR. if it can be verified that an
otherwise knowledgeable horseman is no longer physically able to ride.)
3. An Equestrian Marshal (EM) must:
a. be an authorized Advanced level rider, and
b. have ridden as an Advanced level rider in a minimum of three Mounted
Events within the past two years.
EMs will only work along side authorized EMs and must demonstrate a knowledge
of SCA equestrian activities as well as general equestrian safety issues
to the appointed EM observers. EM observers will give a written assessment
of the probationary EMs work at that event. This will e sent to the KEO
within 10 days of the event. Upon completion of 3 events with at least
four satisfactory assessments, the KEO may elevate a probationary EM to
full EM status.
c. demonstrate that they have sufficient experience and knowledge of horses
by acting as a probationary EM for 3 different equestrian events under
at least four different authorized EMs.
4. in addition, ALL EM candidates must have sufficient experience with
horses to demonstrate competency and knowledge thereof to two authorized
Equestrian Marshals (or in lieu thereof, to the SCA Deputy for Equestrian
Activities or the designated EM-at-Large at the event),
a. on the ground, as pertains to safety, handling, tack, health and
b. mounted, as pertains to SCA Mounted Martial activities and weaponry,
c. pass a written quiz (with a minimum 70 %) on SCA Equestrian rules as
pertains to their Kingdom's, or in lieu thereof, to the authorizing Kingdom's
Equestrian Regulations and/or the SCA-wide Equestrian Regulations. **videotaped
footage ofthe riding demonstration is permitted.**
5. Mounted Equestrian Marshal. Any event that will take place
outside an arena (i.e., a Processional) must have at least one Equestrian
Marshal mounted on a horse and ready to assist any rider.
6. An Equestrian Marshal must maintain their warrant by Marshaling
at a minimum of one official equestrian event every 2 years.
VI. EQUESTRIAN EVENT REQUIREMENTS
1. An SCA Equestrian event is defined as any event whereat equine(s) are
present. For purposes of regulation, carriage/cart horses are regarded
as 'horses' and their drivers are subjected to the same regulations as
2. Any autocrat that will have horse(s) at an SCA event must inform the
KEO in writing a minimum of thirty days prior to the event. This will ensure
that an EMIC will be provided and available for the event as well as provide
mandatory statistical data for insurance purposes.
a. Notification of an Equestrian event and payment of fees must be submitted
to SCA Corporate Office a minimum of thirty days prior to any event at
which any equine will be present.
1. The amount of US funds shall be designated by the SCA Corporate Office
and the fees shall be sent to SCA, INC P.0. BOX 360789, Milipitas, CA 95036-0789
3. A clear means of demarcation like flagging or fence line, must exist
between equestrians and spectators during mounted games or speed events.
4. Use of live steel edged weapons for demonstration on objects and actual
live mounted combat is prohibited.
a. Jousting is expressly prohibited.
b. Live steel lance tips are permitted except for minors
5. Vaulting, polo, rodeo type events(bronco&bull riding, etc.), hunts(chasing
real animal prey) and mounted combat (including jousting and Boffer melees)
a. mock hunts and non combat battle scenarios are permitted.
b. new Equestrian Activities are permitted on a case by case basis for
trial experimentation and subject to the approval of the SCA Deputy for
6. It is the responsibility of the Horse Autocrat to ensure that
a Veterinarian is on call and available during the entire time that the
horses will be present on site.
a. The veterinary contact phone number will be posted and/or distributed
in informational hand outs to each horse owner upon arrival at the site.
Foot attendant---someone qualified to lead a horse.
Hand Gallop---a controlled gallop.
a. any liability and/or medical situation whereby a person or animal is
injured such that they have received Medical attention from a doctor and/or
property is damaged such that it needs repair.
b. an infraction/violation of the SCA-wide and/or Kingdom Equestrian Regulations
Mounted Gaming---those activities such as ringtilt, quintain, pigsticking,
and Behead the Enemy.
Quadrille---a predetermined course ridden to music done solo or by a group
Progress--- mounted Procession, usually involving Royalty.
Vaulting---Gymnastics on horseback. A sport wherein the riders mount and
dismount a moving horse, usually on a lunge line, performing gymnastic
figures while mounted.
These descriptions are based on those from 'The Caidan Equestrian Marshall's
DESCRIPTIONS OF COMMON MOUNTED GAMES
1. Ring Tilt.: Rings of various sizes are suspended from an arm, and the
riders attempt to spear them on the tip of their lance. Normally run in
a straight line.
2. Quintain: A contest of lancework against a simulated opponent. A shield
is attached to a horizontal arm that rotates around an upright post.
3. Behead the Enemy: Simulated heads are set on poles at predetermined
intervals. Riders weave between the poles, striking the heads from the
poles with a baton.
4. Tent Pegging or Pig Sticking: Targets are placed upon the ground. Riders
attempt to spear targets with lance or spear.
5. Mounted Archery: Shooting at a static target while mounted. See Appendix
III for in-depth rules.
8. Javelin Toss: Throwing a javelin through a ring or into a target as
the rider goes by.
(this is for both mounted and chariot archery. Many thanks to Lady Isabeau
Pferdebandiger for developing these regs.)
MINIMUM REGS FOR MOUNTED ARCHERY
This is an unofficial SCA publication. In case of conflict with printed
material, the printed material takes precedence.
1. Archery equipment (bows, arrows, targets) and range must be inspected
by a warranted SCA archery marshal. It is acceptable and encouraged that
the Equestrian Marshal may also serve as the archery marshal if they hold
the appropriate qualifications.
a. Beginner and Intermediate Riders must have an EM lead their mounts past
the archery target and have their reins within reach. Advanced Riders must
have an EM lunge their mounts past the target and have their reins within
b. For Chariot archery, the horse and driver must have met any required
authorizations for driving, but non-equestrian archers shooting from a
chariot driven by an authorized equestrian is permitted. These non-equestrian
archers must have signed an equestrian waiver to signify that they are
aware of the risks involved in equestrian sports.
3. Only blunt types of arrows are to be used for any form of equestrian
archery. These may include: golf tube arrows, HTM blunts, small game blunts
and Markland type arrows. Any type of live target arrow, judo points or
other types of tipped arrows are NOT permitted.
4. Bow poundage is not to exceed 35 lbs for use with small game blunts
and not to exceed 50 lbs for all other types of blunts.
5. There should be a barrier of some type that will not allow the horse
and rider or horse and chariot to pass closer that 10 yards (30 feet) to
any target to prevent danger from the 'bounce back' of arrows. Beyond the
target area there must either be a wall of archery-proof net or a clear
area a minimum of 100 feet long and 120 feet wide (60 feet on either side
of target). The Clear area for targets used 'in motion' shooting may be
6. Equestrian Archery is to be done with inanimate targets only. Both stationary
and in-motion shooting is permitted. For stationary shooting a footman
or page may hold the horse from the off-side.
a. Stationary shooting-The rider/archer shoots while mounted on his horse,
but with the horse standing still. Because it is only possible to shoot
in a 180 degree arc while mounted, (Ex.: a right handed archer can only
shoot objects to the left of his horse.) it is safe for an experienced
horseperson to hold a stationary horse from the off side (in this case,
the right). If a left handed archer then the safe zone would be on the
b. In-motion Shooting-The rider/archer shoots while the horse or chariot
is in motion, usually at a trot or a canter/hand gallop.
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