The Old Dominion 100 Mile Cavalry Award

The OD Cavalry Award is presented to the horse and rider team which successfully completes the 100-mile ride without any assistance and which is judged in the best condition on Sunday morning, based on a formula similar to that used for the Old Dominion Trophy. This is a tremendous accomplishment and conveys serious bragging rights on the rider. You must declare your intention to compete for the award before the ride starts. Acceptance of any type of unauthorized assistance disqualifies the team from this award. This Award is only for those horse/rider teams who are entered in the 100 mile division of the Old Dominion Endurance Ride.

Cavalry Rules - (1993 Edition, Amended 1999)

The concept of the cavalry is to mimic the rigors and primitive conditions a lone calvary rider would have faced in crossing the wilds of uninhabited territory far from human intervention. The modern test of a solitary horse and rider is to compete on their own, without help, across 100 miles of natural countryside.
  1. No outside assistance, either in personnel or equipment, is allowed from the starting line to the finish line. Whatever is used during the ride must be carried with the rider from the starting line or found in natural state on the trail, e.g. grass and water. Hay or other feed left on the grounds by prior riders may not be consumed. The rider is responsible for the total care of himself/herself and his/her horse during the entire ride.
  2. No supplies may be added or deleted during the race; the cavalry rider must start with all that is needed and no item may be left behind during the race, though trash may be left at the Vet Check. Prior stashing of supplies on the trail or at Vet Checks is prohibited.
  3. The Cavalry rider will be required to carry all their own personal food and liquid refreshment, other than water, from the start, as well as clothing, first aid supplies, etc... The Cavalry rider will be required to carry all additional food for their horse from the start, i.e. grain, bran, electrolytes, etc..., as well as equipment, i.e. halter, Easyboots, etc...
  4. Prior to the ride start, cavalry riders will be allowed to place a bucket, hay and one (1) blanket in the area of the Post-ride Vet Check, to be used after crossing the finish line.
  5. Management will provide at every Vet Check rider and equine drinking water specifically marked for use by the Cavalry rider alone. Management will also provide buckets, designated for the Cavalry rider, at the water source, which is a service to prevent fouling the water source with sponges used on the horses. These are the only items offered to the Cavalry rider. The Cavalry rider can offer the horse water from any natural or permanent, i.e., water trough, source on the trail, but may not take water from other pit crews at any time on the trail.
  6. Cavalry horses will be marked with a letter on each hip to differentiate them from the other competitors who are marked with numbers.
  7. A Cavalry rider may drop out of the Cavalry competition during the race, have their horse and Vet Card marked with a "1" preceding the letter, and continue within the ride under the regular ride rules.
  8. Cavalry riders will be informed during Pre-Ride Briefing as to the availability of natural grazing at each Vet Check. If a Vet Check has no natural grazing and the rider feels it important to plan on feeding at this point, they should make efforts to stop along the trail prior to, or after, the Vet Check to graze their horse.
  9. Medical assistance for the rider or horse is not permitted while riding cavalry.
  10. If a horse loses a shoe, the rider must personally replace it with equipment they have carried with them, i.e. farrier equipment, shoes, Easyboots, etc...
  11. Loose Cavalry horses caught by anyone besides itís rider will result in disqualification from the Cavalry competition, though continuation under the regular ride rules is permitted.
  12. A cavalry rider may tie their horse to a permanent structure, i.e. tree, fence, building, etc., but not to a temporary structure, i.e. vehicle, trailer, etc.
  13. A cavalry rider may go anywhere within a Vet Check but may not use anything unnatural, i.e. sit in a chair or vehicle, etc. Restroom facilities are an exception, though horse must be tied to a permanent structure or held through the door.
  14. Any violation of the rules for the Cavalry competition will result in the rider and horse being disqualified from the Cavalry competition, with the option of continuing in the regular ride.
  15. After crossing the finish line and completing any required rider weigh-in, the Cavalry restrictions on supplies cease. Restrictions on assistance end with completion of the post-ride examination, i.e., rider must present horse for final examination.

The cavalry rider who completes the course and passes the final vet check will receive a specially-designated completion award. Other awards for which they may be immediately eligible are:

  • First to Finish
  • First to Finish in Cavalry Division Top Ten
  • AERC Best Condition

These awards are all associated entirely with the successful completion of the course on the day of the ride.

Special judging for the Old Dominion Cavalry Award will be held along with judging for the Old Dominion Trophy and other awards, on the morning (time to be announced) following the end of the 24-hour time limit.

All horses who completed the ride in Cavalry Division are eligible to stand for the Old Dominion Cavalry Award, regardless of finishing position. The method for judging is identical to that used for judging the Old Dominion Trophy.