10 Unusual Horse Sports

Ride and Tie

A highly popular endurance sport, ride and tie was created in the US in 1971 by Bud Johns who was the public relations director at Levi Strauss & Co. at the time. Levi’s wanted a rugged sport to promote a new line of outdoor clothing. Bud, a keen historian, remembered reading a historical record of the sport and thought it would be perfect for Levi’s. He organized the first event the same year and the sport has grown from there with many countries holding their own events.

Ride and tie involves a team of two riders and one horse. Both set out at the same time with the rider deciding when to tie the horse up and then carry on with the race on foot. When the first runner reaches the horse they then ride the next section of the race, again they’ll decide when to tie the horse up for the first rider to continue on horseback again. The horse must be tied up at least six times and will also have to pass vet checks along the course. The course can be any distance from 32km (20miles) to 160km (100miles) but is generally 32 to 64km (20 to 40 miles) and will have between 10 and 50 teams.

You can find out more about ride and tie from the Ride & Tie Association.

Ride & Tie combines the grit and determination of ultrarunning with the challenge and excitement of endurance riding, all in one sport.  When it all comes together, and you have run your best race, and the two humans and their equine partner all cross the finish line in good shape, it’s the greatest feeling in the world. Placing is less important in this sport than just having everything go well. Competitors of all ages from 8 to 80 have discovered the exhilaration of ride & tie. It changed my life when I discovered it over 30 years ago. Give it a try!

Annette Parsons Ride & Tie Association
2000 Big Springs RnT Archives © 2019 Ride and Tie Association archives

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