Rule Book

 ABCRA Rulebook updated December 2020


ABCRA Rulebook Sections

Arena Surface Guidelines

Preparing Arena & Surface for Campdraft & Rodeo

  • Rodeo arena size – Minimum 35 metres from bucking chutes to opposite fence and a minimum of 70 metres from time event box to opposite fence.
  • Rodeo arena fence – Minimum 1.8 metres
  • Campdraft arena fence – Minimum 1.6 metres

Preparing Your Ground for an ABCRA Affiliated Event

The information provided is a guide for you to meet the requirements of the ABCRA insurance which in place will provide the safety of competitors and horses.

You will need a tractor with an attachment i.e. (disc plough, scarifier, ripper) the type of implement will, of course, depend on what you have available and the type of ground you have to work with.

What Type of Ground Do You Have?

The first question is determining what type of ground you have to work with, some examples: - clay, natural sand and sandy loam.

Clay-based soils have a tendency to pack this will make it difficult for horses to find any grip in the turns. We are not talking about what the top of the ground looks like we need to get down to the hard base. A scarifier or ripper should be used to break up that hard surface underneath, down about 152mm or 178mm. The arena should be worked in both directions in order to bust up the ridges that have been left from the first rip. Once your arena has been worked both ways a set of harrows or some sort of drag implement should be used to level the surface safe from any ruts made from the tractor, rocks or clods.

Natural Sand

This type of surface does not have a hard base so would not require the use of a plough etc, it will require water to hold the sand together. The amount of water will depend on the type of sand. The surface may need to be levelled out.

Sandy Loam

This type of surface will require the use of an implement to break up the ground but to a depth of about 127mm to 152mm as long as there is not a hard pan underneath. The sandy loam should offer enough support to livestock.

Barrel Racing Event

You will be required to drag/work your barrel race pattern during your event in order to give each contestant an equal opportunity at the same ground. This will also depend on what type of ground you have. The result you are looking for is to keep furrows around the barrels as minimal as possible the deeper the furrows there is more chance for injury and slower times. We suggest you work your pattern on clay-based soils after every 5 to 10 contestants, sandy loam 5 to 10 and natural sand after 5 as the track will get heavy on natural sand.

Indoor Arena's

As with all arena's you need to find out what is underneath. With a lot of indoor arenas they are set up to host a wide variety of events. The base of the arena is usually set very hard sometimes even concrete. This can still be made into a good surface it requires a lot more effort on the part of the organizers. For hard based surfaces that cannot be ripped with an implement, enough clay type soil dampened will need to be laid over the hard surface followed by loam or sand to add cushioning for livestock. For those arenas that have a wooden or concrete base at least 300mm of dampened clay followed by sandy loam, the clay would need to be packed while damp to hold its position, sand bags are found to work well followed by dampened clay then sandy loam.

Bareback Cut Out Guidelines

  • Competitors to be 13 years of age and older
  • First Aid /Ambulance must be in attendance
  • Cut Out is complete when the beast leaves the camp
  • Competitors must not chase the beast into the arena
  • Maximum of five cattle in the camp
  • Members Code of Conduct will apply 

Rodeo Points Criteria (Dec 2015)

Full Points Award Rodeo

Is to have a minimum of ten (10) standard events, being - Saddle Bronc Ride, Bareback Ride, Bull Ride, Steer Wrestling, Rope and Tie, Team Roping, Juvenile Steer Ride, Juvenile Barrel Race, Ladies Barrel Race - plus at least one (1) other Ladies Event, either Steer Undecorating or Breakaway Roping.
If a Committee conducts a full Junior Rodeo, they are not required to run the mandatory Junior events at their Senior rodeo if held in the same points year.

A committee that runs a full event rodeo may run another program with the events of their choice within the same points year with full points (event, not all round) being allocated.
In the event that a committee applies to run a full points award rodeo they will be entitled to run a jackpot or lesser event rodeo within the same points year and will be awarded full points (dollars only – not all-round points)

Dollars Only Rodeo

A minimum program of 2 Open rough stock events, 2 timed events, 1 ladies event, 1 Junior event. (No All Round points) Prize Money as per current rodeo rules.

Percentage Rodeo

A committee that does not meet the full points or dollars only criteria will be entitled to run a percentage rodeo. One open event will be awarded 30%, additional open events will each attract an extra 10% however, capped at 60%. Percentage awarded will be credited to event standings but will not attract all-round points.

Jackpot Rodeo

A committee may run a jackpot rodeo event. Minimum added entry is set at $50 per open event. Points award criteria will be as per percentage rodeos.
Junior events that are run as a jackpot, the added entry will be a minimum of $10 and a maximum of $20 plus any levies.
When a Junior event is a Jackpot event, the committee must advertise the amount of entry contributed to the Jackpot Pool.
NOTE: That Jackpot rodeos must be advertised and employ ABCRA approved personnel.

Junior & Novice Rodeo

This type of rodeo will not affect junior points as long as the events are advertised. They will still receive national and circuit points as normal. Novice Events will still go towards breaking your novice status if you place.

Rodeo all Round Junior Events

If a committee runs all the below listed junior events then the fixture will be eligible for Junior All Round points.

  • Under 11 Junior Barrels
  • 11 - Under 14 Junior Barrels
  • 14 - Under 18 Juvenile Barrels
  • 8 - Under 18 Junior Breakaway
  • 8 - Under 11 Junior Steer Ride
  • 11 - Under 14 Junior Steer Ride
  • 14 - Under 18 Juvenile Steer

Rules for Mini Bareback Riding (Mar 2010)

  • All Bareback riggings must be made of leather only (handhold must be loose and no rawhide to be used).
  • Flank straps to be correctly fitted and able to be adjusted to suit ponies.
  • Bareback riding gloves to be made of thin soft leather and must not have any chocks in them. Benzoin is not to be used on gloves. No finger tucks.
  • All contestants must ride in correctly fitted helmets and vests.
  • Restricted to 11-14 age group.
  • The contestant will not be disqualified for a missed mark out.
  • The event will be a 6 second contest.
  • All stock in Junior Bareback bronc ride must be handled and tried out before going to a rodeo.
  • Ponies must be at least 4 years of age or more.
  • Minimum weight 200kg.
  • Stock to be removed from arena before the next in is bucked.
  • All ponies to be cross-tied in chute by experienced person.
  • Contestant and pony to be matched up according to size. Bigger contestants are not permitted to ride small ponies. (Judges to rule on suitability of match up).
  • Due to the necessity to match contestants with in stock this will remain a non-points events.
  • All stock must be supplied by an approved ABCRA stock contractor and the board reserves the right to ban any stock they deem as unsuitable.
  • All other ABCRA rules and conditions including animal welfare standards must be strictly adhered to. 

Rules for Roping Device (May 2013)

  • Rope sizes to be 10.25, 10.5 or 10.75.
  • Rope to be threaded through the device as shown in instructional photos.
  • No ropes to be connected to the saddle horn.
  • The device can only be tied on to horn using either a leather strap or nylon rope.
  • Knot to be tied in one end of the rope and then rope dyed with red dye, 400mm length from the knot, so it will be clearly visible for the barrier judge to check.
  • No ropes to be joined. The rope being used must be the rope running through the device with 400mm of tail clearly hanging out of the device.
  • In the unfortunate incident of a jerk down (jerk down rules still apply) competitor will be directed by the judges to wait in a position within full view of the barrier judge or a director until the round finishes. At this time a judge will check competitor’s rope and device. If the device is found to have been changed in any way the competitor will face a fine of $500 and a suspension.


ABCRA Rulebook Changes


1.8 A member needs to be 18 years of age to judge a campdraft event.

Status of Horses and Rider at a Fixture
9.9 At a fixture, the rider and the horse’s status will be as at the beginning of each event at that fixture.

RRG.5 Rodeo Round Preference (Dec 2019)

  • Competitors can run earlier than drawn in the program only if they are attending another equine or rodeo event.
  • Barrel racers may only compete earlier than drawn if they run once a junior or novice event has been conducted.
  • Approval is required from the Committee and official personnel for a competitor to be run up early.

ABCRA Timed Event Rules (2a) (Dec 2019)

An Open catch pen is to be adopted for all calf roping events.

RRG.12 Non-Stock Drawn Events (Oct 2019)

Non-stock drawn events must be run as per draw order.

Com.14. Campdrafting (Oct 2019)

8. Points awarded events

A Campdraft will be a point awarded event providing that a committee’s event is approved by the ABCRA and is advertised (as per ABCRA guidelines) in the ABCRA magazine and/or Website with appropriate social media coverage.

The advertising period to be a minimum of 7 days prior to the entries being open. Any additional events added to a program without approved advertising methods and after entries have been closed will be non-point awarded. A program that advertises that an event may be run subject to cattle availability with entries taken on the day will be a point award event

9. Youth age divisions

All regular Campdraft events are to conduct standard age group divisions for the Junior and Juvenile events. Youth only campdraft fixtures can split age groups.

Junior Campdraft A Junior campdraft will be inclusive of all riders 8 to under 13 years of age. In the event that a committee would like to split the age group further (eg 8 to u11, 11 to u13) then approval will need to be applied for through the ABCRA. This only applies to general campdrafts, not Youth exclusive events.

Juvenile Campdraft A Juvenile campdraft will be inclusive of all riders 13 to under 17 years of age. In the event that a committee would like to split the age group further (eg 13 to u15, 15 to u17) then approval will need to be applied for through the ABCRA. This only applies to general campdrafts, not Youth exclusive events.

10. Additional cattle available

Once entries have closed for a Campdraft and extra cattle become available. Committees are to give Waitlisted competitors the opportunity to enter before such time as accepted competitors' first-round run limits are increased. This will not negate the opportunity for a committee to run a jackpot draft if cattle are available on the day.

 12. Encouragement Campdrafts

Where a committee does not hold a separate Encouragement Campdraft they may run an Encouragement Campdraft in conjunction with a Maiden, Novice or Open Campdraft. Should the Encouragement Campdraft be run over more than one event a final must be conducted, all finalists start with a zero score. If the Encouragement Campdraft is conducted in conjunction with a split pool event, there is to be winners awarded from each pool unless a final is performed at the committee’s discretion.

New Facilities (July 2019)

The Board recommends for all new erected facilities that gates with frames around the top at the time event end, cannot be used as they are a safety hazard.

CD.12. Fines (Sep 2018)

Should a competitor intentionally force a beast into the camp yard or arena fence then they will be subject to a minimum fine of $50.00. This infringement and the amount of the fine will be determined by the Judge or a Campdraft MRC member or a Director, in consultation with the committee.

Com.33. Added Back (Sep 2018)

The following scale is to be used when calculating entry fees and added back;

  • Prize money of $300 -$599 = $30 added back
  • $600- $999 = $40 added back
  • $1000-$1999 = maximum of $70 added back
  • Over $2,000 = maximum of $70 added back, unless the committee applies for a higher added back fee through Head Office, and approved by the Rodeo MRC.
  • Committees have the option of including $5 added back on junior events.

CD.9. Campdraft Pre-paid Entries (Dec 2017)

All Campdraft Committees may present competitor cheques up to four (4) business days prior to the commencement of their event.

CD.6 Scratching’s (Dec 2017)

Competitors placing entries and not turning up at the draft and who have not notified the committee four (4) business days prior to the commencement of the program, will be subject to payment of the advertised stock levy and a fine. 

RRSR.3. Bull Ride Rules (Dec 2017)

To be eligible to enter an Open Bull ride a competitor must be a minimum of 18 years of age and have won $1000 in Novice bull riding events.


National Campdraft Council Australia (NCCA)


1.8 A member needs to be 18 years of age to judge a campdraft event.

Status of Horses and Rider at a Fixture
9.9 At a fixture, the rider and the horse’s status will be as at the beginning of each event at that fixture.

NCCA Changes (Nov 2016)

Rule 4.12 

A horse that clips a beast when changing sides shall be penalized; however, a horse that badly hits a beast over the hocks or runs up the rump of a beast will be disqualified.

11.2 Stallion Containment Requirements 

  • Minimum Stallion Containment Requirements.
    • Stallions to be double tied.
    • Stallions to have an exclusion perimeter erected around the animal by way of electrified tape around the horse and area they are tied to exclude any possible interaction between the stallion and another horse or human.
    • At night:
      • The same rules apply to daylight hours with the addition for a stallion that is in panels must have an additional form of restraint e.g.: tied up, hobbles, sideline.
      • Individual associations affiliated with the NCCA may impose additional containment rules.


  • Stallion Containment
    • During daylight: Stallions to be enclosed by panels of all campdraft grounds.
    • Stallions can be free to roam inside panel area when an exclusion permitter is erected by way of electrified tape around the panelled area to exclude any possible interactions between the stallion and another horse or human.
    • Only 1 horse is allowed per enclosure.
    • Panels must be a min if 1500mm in height.
    • Panels must be constructed using an equivalent of 4 bars of 25mm box or pipe equivalent as a minimum.
    • Panels must be anchored securely to a solid object i.e. truck, post or tree. 





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