Can you win money at Barrel Racing?
Can you win money at Barrel Racing? Yes.
You can win money at barrel racing. It is commonly referred to as winning “a check”.
Traditionally the races have what is called added money. This is where the show/race producer or person that is putting on the show raises money or contributes money to be won at the race. In smaller shows such as a Jackpot or a club race the added money ranges from $200.00 to $500.00 , but in the larger shows the added money can be several thousands of dollars.
In addition to the added money a portion of the contestant entry fees go into the pot as well. Most barrel racing horse show fliers or websites indicate the percentage of the entry fees that are going into the pot to be won by the contestants. Most shows have at least 60% – 100% of entry fees going towards the payout.
The percentage of monies not going towards the payout are used to help the producer of the show pay for expenses to put on the barrel race such as arena fees, labor, equipment fees such as the tractor and insurance. Some producers of a series of shows called a buckle series use some of the entry fee for prizes at the end of the series of shows/races.
At most barrel races you have at least 4 to 5 divisions. They are commonly referred to as 1D, 2D, 3D 4D and 5D. You can find a more detailed explanation of the barrel Racing Division Format here.
A portion of contestant fees along with the added money is split amongst the divisions. Some shows split the added money among the divisions evenly. Meaning each division in a 4D race would get 25% of the total pot.
Other shows do what is called a progressive payout. The progressive payout is where the 1D gets the highest percentage of the pot then the 2D gets the second highest percentage of the pot and so on.
Want to find out how much money you could win at a barrel race?
If so, first start by calculating the total money in the pot.
Total Money in the Pot Example
At a 5D race with $1000 in added money and entry fees of $40 per barrel racing contestant with a total of 100 barrel racing contestants the total money in the pot would be $4200.
Calculation of Money in the Pot
$1000 Added Money
$3200 Entry Fee Money in the Pot ( $40 Entry Fee x 100 Riders = 4000 x 80% Payout)
$4200 Total amount of Money in the pot
Then you find out what the total of each division payout is – split evenly or a progressive payout. The percentages to all of the divisions added up should total to 100%.
Split Evenly Example
1D 20% 2D 20% 3D 20% 4D 20% 5D 20%
Progressive Payout Example for 4D
1D 35% 2D 30% 3D 20% 4D 15%
Progressive Payout Example for 5D
1D 30% 2D 25% 3D 20% 4D 15% 5D 10%
Now back to our example Barrel Race Flier. We can see that the total money in the pot is $4200 and the barrel race in a 5D format with a progressive payout. So the payout per division would be the following based on these progressive payout percentages of 1D 30% 2D 25% 3D 20% 4D 15% 5D 10% .
1D $1260 is 30% of $4200
2D $1050 is 25% of $4200
3D $840 is 20% of $4200
4D $630 is 15% of $4200
5D $420 is 10% of $4200
The Division Totals equal to $4200
With the placing payout in each division the monies won are calculated on a progressive payout as well and the total amount should equal to the progressive payout total of each division. Using the flier as an example there are 100 barrel racers so each division should be paid out 5 places.
1st Place 30%
2nd Place 25%
3rd Place 20%
4th Place 15%
5th Place 10%
So for example if you placed 5th in the 5D you would have won $42 bucks and paid for your entry fee.
5th Place in the 5D Calculation
$420 Division Payout Total x 10% 5th Place = $42 Money Won!
Barrel Racing Tip
Most Barrel Races that have a website indicate their payout under a payout section or in their rules section detailing the event. Pay attention if there are any notes about the splits and number of divisions for the show. If you are uncertain you can politely ask if the show is being operated under the NBHA payout and rules or ask for an explanation. Considering that most results are posted you can always know with a little math that you can you can check your check.