Barrel Racing Division Formats

Here we are going to discuss the Barrel Racing Division Formats.  Barrel Racing Format Explained

Why do Barrel races have division formats such as 4D & 5D format?

 At a traditional Rodeo  the top 5 – 6 barrel racers are the only ones to win the money and prizes.

Basically there are a no other barrel racing division formats other than the top placing barrel racers at a Rodeo.  

So clubs such as National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) introduced the 4 Division and 5 Division format to enable one or both — new riders or young horses — to develop and grow with the sport of barrel racing as well as give them the opportunity to win money and prizes too.

So, essentially a new barrel racer can start clocking in the 5D and eventually clock in the 1D. This is also a great way for the sport of barrel racing to grow and allow the new barrel racer to excel or to allow a new horse and rider barrel racing team to measure their success over time.

Most Barrel Races or Jackpots are set up in a 4 Division or 5 Division format or commonly called 4D and 5D. At the barrel races the infrared timer the timer clocks the races to one thousandth of a second.

The divisions are based on the times of which the barrel racers race on the barrel pattern at the day of the race.

4D Barrel Racing Formats Explained

The 1st Division (1D) is based off of the fastest time of the day. Typically the 2nd Division (2D) is .5 seconds slower than the fastest time of the race. The 3rd Division (3D) is 1 second slower than the fastest time of the race and the 4th Division (4D) is 2 seconds slower than the fastest time.

4D Barrel Racing Formats Example

17.000 1D – 1D First Place – Fastest Time

17.500 2D – 2D First Place – Fastest Time plus .5 of a second

18.000 3D –  3D First Place – Fastest Time plus 1 second

19.000   4D – 4D First Place – Fastest Time plus 2 seconds

5D Barrel Racing Formats Explained

The 1st Division (1D) is based off of the fastest time of the day. Typically the 2nd Division (2D) is .5 seconds slower than the fastest time of the race. The 3rd Division (3D) is 1 second slower than the fastest time of the race and the 4th Division (4D) is 1.5 seconds slower than the fastest time. The 5th Division (5D) is 2.0 seconds slower than the fastest time.

5D Barrel Racing Formats Example

17.000 1D – 1D First Place – Fastest Time

17.500 2D – 2D First Place – Fastest Time plus .5 of a second

18.000 3D – 3D First Place – Fastest Time plus 1 second

18.500 4D – 4D First Place – Fastest Time plus 1.5 seconds

19.000 5D – 5D First Place – Fastest Time plus 2.0 seconds

Barrel Racing Tip Alert 📣

If you are competing at a new race be sure to check out how the divisions are split. Don not be afraid to ask about the barrel racing formats for shows. Also note that sometimes with your smaller barrel races the splits for the barrel racing formats are different than the formats indicated above.

Check out other articles in our blog for more information about barrel racing. 

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