Spear Ring is a Working Equitation obstacle that is a crowd favorite! It may be included on an Ease of Handling and/or Speed course. The obstacle is used in conjunction with Remove Pole and Replace Pole and may be placed between these obstacles in the course, but may have additional obstacles in between.
Often, the ring is affixed atop the cutout of a bull as a test of the horse’s confidence and to honor the tradition of working cattle off of horseback.
The obstacle consists of a pole and a ring. The pole is taken from the Remove Pole obstacle. If using multiple rings, the rings should be set at varying heights. It is traditional for the base to be in the shape of a bull with the ring placed on top. The rings can be made out of wood, metal, or plastic and should be approximately 15 cm (6 in.) in diameter.
It is not required that the ring be attached to the top of a wooden bull, but it is commonly done that way.
Here’s a video from Beomor Farm describing one method for building a wooden bull:
Posted by Working Equitation Wisconsin on Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Execution – The competitor must skewer the ring(s) with the tip of the pole. The horse must maintain gait as prescribed for the level of competition.
If the pole is dropped, a member of the ground crew will hand the pole to the riders competing at Children and Introductory levels. Novice level riders must dismount, retrieve the pole, and remount with the pole in hand or receive a 0 for the obstacle. Intermediate through Masters riders must dismount, retrieve the pole, and remount with the pole in hand. Failure to do so will result in disqualification.
During the Speed trial, horses and riders may approach the ring at any speed and may even halt if desired.
There is no penalty to riders for failing to spear the ring during the Speed trial. However, if the rider successfully spears the ring, they will receive a bonus of 10 seconds subtracted from their final time. In competitive classes,this bonus may be the difference between winning the Speed trial or finishing farther down in the placings.
For complete details about this obstacle and its requirements, reference the U.S. Working Equitation Rules, here.
* Last update 12/31/2018