Keyhole Race

Graham & Ace - courtesy A Clark
 
Keyhole Race – another favourite

The Keyhole Race is another favourite, not only with competitors but the audience too. It’s fast (a good time is about 8 seconds), it requires accuracy to within fractions of an inch and it’s showy.

You need to gallop your horse down a track that’s only four feet wide And at about 40 mph, that’s narrow!. At the end of the track it’s a ring that’s only twenty feet in diameter. So you must stop your horse in that circle, turn him and gallop back out the way you came. One touch on the sawdust marking the keyhole and you’re out.

I just love it. No-one ever believed that a boy as big as George could do it. But he could and he won on a few occasions too. Sad to say it’s one of the few western games classes that probably wouldn’t suit a reining horse. His sliding shoes would just shoot him clear through the other side of the turning circle!

The Rule

Dead simple this – but easier said than done!

The competitor in the Keyhole race crosses the start line and enters the 4 ft wide lane into the 20 ft circle, turns and races back down the lane across the finish line. If the entry line is difficult to see i.e. on grass or soft going indoor school surface, then the entrance only can be emphasised with cones at the Judge’s discretion. 

The competitor is disqualified if he touches the line at any place.

Keyhole Race