Arena Surface Guidelines
PREPARING ARENA AND SURFACE FOR CAMPDRAFT AND RODEO
Rodeo arena size – Minimum 35 metres from bucking chutes to opposite fence and a minimum of 70 metres from time event box to opposite fence.
Rodeo arena fence – Minimum 1.8 metres
Campdraft arena fence – Minimum 1.6 metres
PREPARING YOUR GROUND FOR AN ABCRA AFFILIATED EVENT
The information provided is a guide for you to meet the requirements of the ABCRA insurance which in place will provide the safety of competitors and horses.
You will need a tractor with an attachment i.e. (disc plough, scarifier, ripper) the type of implement will of course depend on what you have available and the type of ground you have to work with.
WHAT TYPE OF GROUND DO YOU HAVE?
The first question is determining what type of ground you have to work with, some examples: - clay, natural sand and sandy loam.
Clay based soils have a tendency to pack this will make it difficult for a horses to find any grip in the turns. We are not talking about what the top of the ground looks like we need to get down to the hard base. A scarifier or ripper should be used to break up that hard surface underneath, down about 152mm or 178mm. The arena should be worked in both directions in order to bust up the ridges that have been left from the first rip. Once your arena has been worked both ways a set of harrows or some sort of drag implement should be used to level the surface safe from any ruts made from the tractor, rocks or clods.
This type of surface does not have a hard base so would not require the use of a plough etc, it will require water to hold the sand together. The amount of water will depend on the type of sand. Surface may need to be levelled out.
This type of surface will require the use of an implement to break up the ground but to a depth of about 127mm to 152mm as long as there is not a hard pan underneath. The sandy loam should offer enough support to livestock.
BARREL RACING EVENT
You will be required to drag/work your barrel race pattern during your event in order to give each contestant an equal opportunity at the same ground. This will also depend on what type of ground you have. The result you are looking for is to keep furrows around the barrels as minimal as possible the deeper the furrows there is more chance for injury and slower times. We suggest you work your pattern on clay based soils after every 5 to 10 contestants, sandy loam 5 to 10 and natural sand after 5 as the track will get heavy on natural sand.
As with all arena's you need to find out what is underneath. With a lot of indoor arenas they are set up to host a wide variety of events. The base of the arena is usually set very hard sometimes even concrete. This can still be made into a good surface it requires a lot more effort on the part of the organizers. For hard based surfaces that cannot be ripped with an implement, enough clay type soil dampened will need to be laid over the hard surface followed by loam or sand to add cushioning for livestock.. For those arenas that have a wooden or concrete base at least 300mm of dampened clay followed by sandy loam, the clay would need to be packed while damp to hold its position, sand bags are found to work well followed by dampened clay then sandy loam.