Region 5 Trail Trials Chair
Region 5 Trail Trials: for fellowship, enjoyment of our sport, and the pursuit of Trail Trials excellence!
Trail Trials provides an opportunity for a horse and rider team to enjoy a trail ride and to be judged and compete on their skills and abilities riding through a natural obstacle course. On clearly marked trails in parks or private lands, typical rides last several miles and feature about ten naturally occurring obstacles which might involve stepping over logs, crossing a stream, opening and closing a gate, or other natural trail riding challenges. Obstacle judges observe how the rider and horse team execute each obstacle against a standard of performance and points are assigned accordingly.
Trail Trial horses often enjoy the trail rides and like executing the obstacles during competition as much as their riders do. All horse breeds are welcome. Mules and Ponies have been very successful in Trial Trials.
Trail Trials is casual in nature and is not a timed event. Riders may ride as individuals or groups and friends and family may ride together. Helmet use is required for all junior riders and recommended for all riders. Prizes are awarded to the horse and rider teams with the lowest scores. The Trail Trial season climax is the annual two day State Championship Event in which qualified riders in the various age and capability categories compete for buckles and other prizes.
To learn more about Trail Trials, please visit www.trailtrials.com which features the Calendar schedule of events listing all sanctioned Trail Trials in California, the latest rules and required equipment, competition levels and age groups, State Program and Region Contacts, forms, and other important information. In addition, interested trail riders who are considering trying Trail Trials can use our informational links at www.trailtrials.com to several websites providing details about Trail Trials, our Region 5 Trail Trials group, the California State Horseman’s Association (CSHA) and CSHA member clubs.
If you live in Alameda or Contra Costa County, you are in Region 5. We also welcome horse and rider teams who live in other regions in counties that do not have active Trail Trial programs such as Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, and Monterey County. Region 5 Trail Trials Members live throughout the state of California – 75% of our members live outside the Region 5 boundaries – from Chico to Bakersfield and from Fresno to the Beaches of Santa Cruz – choosing our group for fellowship, enjoyment of our sport, and the pursuit of Trail Trials excellence!
Region 5 Trail Trials has an active annual regional awards program and is affiliated with the California State Horseman’s Association (CSHA). Contact our Region 5 Trail Trials Chair or Membership Chair either by email or phone for more information.
Requirements to Qualify for Region 5 Trail Trials Year-End Awards
- Complete and submit Region 5 Trail Trial registration form along with a $25.00 annual fee to our Membership Chair.
- Be a Member in good standing of CSHA as an individual or part of a family or club.
- Volunteer for a minimum of one shift at the Spring Stampede Wine Ride.
- Volunteer or Judge during both days of our group sponsored Region 5 Trail Trial (Juniors will assist obstacle judges)
- Horse and Rider team must complete a minimum of (3) sanctioned Trail Trial events.
Competing in a CSHA Trail Trial consists of the combination of one horse and one rider, and that same horse and rider make up your Trail Trials team. If you, the rider, plan on competing during the Trail Trial season on multiple horses, please submit a separate membership registration and program fee for each horse and rider team combination.
As a member of Region 5 Trail Trials and CSHA, your team may accumulate points toward our year end Regional Awards program each time your team competes and successfully completes a sanctioned Trail Trial event. Our program counts your best five placings during the regular Trail Trials season, but a minimum of three completed Trail Trials is required to participate in Regional Awards.
All Trail Trials groups are especially welcoming to Junior members who are 17 years of age or younger. Region 5 Trail Trials now waives all fees for competing Junior teams at our annual Region 5 Trail Trial to encourage youth trail riders to come enjoy our sport. Some Regions have established a fund to help reduce the fees for Junior teams. Fees are typically reduced for Junior teams at the State Championship Event. There are only four rule differences for Junior Rider Teams:
1.) At all CSHA Trail Trials an ASTM/SEI certified equestrian helmet is required for all riders under the age of 18 when they are mounted.
2.) Any person under eighteen  years must have written consent of a parent or guardian in order to participate in Trail Trials and that Junior rider must be accompanied by an adult rider throughout the ride. The adult team may choose to ride as a competing team in their own age group and category or simply ride along on the Trail as a companion.
3.) Though adult competing riders are required to carry a knife capable of cutting a lead rope or tack, Junior riders 17 and under shall not be asked to carry or use a knife. This does not mean the Junior cannot carry a knife, it just means they are not required to carry one and will not be asked to use one.
4.) While adult teams that have placed first or second place at the State Championship Event for more than two (2) years in the novice or intermediate divisions must move up to the next higher level, junior teams 13 & under may continue to compete in either the novice or intermediate divisions and are not required to move up unless approved by a parent.
Other than these rule differences, Junior Riders get the same Trail Trails experience as the Adults. For meeting the Judging volunteer requirement, Junior Riders are given roles as readers or obstacle helpers and are not asked to participate in making judging decisions on obstacles.
The success of Trail Trials throughout the state is completely dependent on volunteers, so all our Regional Awards participants complete volunteer requirements including helping at fundraisers and at Trail Trials. We actually have a great deal of fun volunteering and many members chose to do more than the minimum.
To qualify for the annual State Championship Event (SCE), the rider must be registered in a Region Trail Trial Program, be a member of CSHA, and the qualifying team must complete (3) sanctioned Trail Trials. To learn more about CSHA Trail Trials including the Calendar schedule of events, the current year Rulebook, and access to Trail Trial state officers and region chair contacts, forms, and other Trail Trial information please visit www.trailtrials.com.