Ride Schedules
Ride Results
Official Rules
Contact CMO
Rider's View


Meadow Muffin

New Jersey/
New York
N. Carolina/

membership forms
entry forms

National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
NACMO Official Rules | By-laws
R-1.All Riders welcome
R-2.Riders under 18 years of age are considered junior riders.

a. Junior riders must have written permission from a parent or guardian if riding with other members.

b. Junior riders must ride with a sponsoring adult. Juniors between 14-17 years of age may ride with other juniors upon special permission from ride manager.

c: An adult who sponsors a junior must not leave that junior during a ride without permission from ride management.

R-3.Only registered Annual Members, registered Lifetime Members, or registered Day Members (Day membership is required by NACMO for insurance purposes) may participate in a NACMO Sanctioned Ride.
R-4.Competitors may ride alone (as individuals), as a declared team of two to six, or as an undeclared group of two or more, (larger groups at the ride manager's discretion) and are considered herein as competitor(s) or teams for rules clarification.

a. All individuals and declared teams that complete a minimum of 5 sanctioned rides will be eligible for state and national high point awards. Individuals and declared teams will consist only of registered annual or lifetime NACMO members. Day members that ride alone are welcome to do so however, they are not eligible for state and national awards.

b. An undeclared group is defined as any group of two or more competitors not declared as a team but riding together for any ride, and may consist of any registered riders. Undeclared groups are not eligible for state and national team awards.

c. NACMO members and any Day members may ride with a declared team and will receive that ride's points, but are not a part of the declared team for state or national high point team awards.

d. Individuals, declared teams, and groups shall indicate their status as such on their entry forms during pre-ride registration at sanctioned rides.

e. All annual or lifetime members, declared or undeclared, earn daily points which are credited towards lifetime awards.

f. Teams should be officially declared before competing as such to expedite point accumulation.

R-5.A team shall not split up to find more than one Objective Station at a time. No artificial "gun shot" signal communication. Team must regroup before going to next Station.
R-6.No competitor may tamper with Objective Station markers, landmarks or clues.
R-7.Competitors may not intentionally interfere with another rider or his horse.
R-8.Any inhumane treatment of a horse, or violation of the rules is grounds for disqualification.
R-9.An individual or team may be barred from future competition as a disciplinary action for violations of the rules and will be notified in writing following such action.
R-10.If unsportsmanlike conduct occurs during his ride, the Ride Manager may bring it before the Board of Directors for action.
R-11.The use of electronic navigational or communication devices is strictly prohibited. (See CLARIFICATION OF RULE R-11 below.)
R-12.If a rider finds an Objective Station for a following day's ride, he must report it to the ride manager upon returning to camp, and that Objective Station will be awarded to all participants on that day's ride.
R-13.Once a team, group or individual has selected either long or short course and has left the starting line to commence their ride, they are not allowed to change their selection of which course they are competing on for that day.

H-1.All breeds of equines are eligible for competition.
H-2.Minimum age for the animal is three (3) years old
H-3.There shall be no changing horses during a single ride except between members of the same team.

S-1.The time starts when a competitor or first member of a team gets a map.
S-2.a. The time stops when an individual competitor or last member of a team completing the ride returns across the finish line, unless that person has declared himself out, due to a horse or personal injury, etc.

b. One team member must present the Objective Station letters, written or verbalized, to Ride Manager immediately after crossing the finish line.

C: No Station points will be awarded for that Station if the Station letters are incorrect.

S-3.a. To figure time points, start with teams who have found the most Objective Stations.

b. Of those teams, the one to finish the course in the least time gets 6 time points, the second place competitor(s) 5 time points, etc.

S-4.A team member will acquire, in addition to the time points, a total of 10 points if all 10 Objective Stations are found. If the ride consists of less than 10 Objective Stations, the value of each Objective Station will be adjusted accordingly using 10 points as a total if all Objective Stations are found.
S-5.a. The team acquiring the highest number of total points (Objective Station points plus time points) places first, second highest number of points places second, etc.

b. If no one finds a particular Objective Station, points will be awarded to everyone.

S-6.A team member not completing the ride will still be considered part of the team; however, only Objective Stations found by him and his horse will count toward cumulative awards.
S-7.At least two members of a declared team must participate in a ride for the points earned to count toward year end awards for that team.
S-8.Only annual and lifetime members of NACMO will have their results tallied to accumulate points. Accumulation of points will begin with the first ride after submitting their annual membership application. An application received on ride day qualifies as a submitted application.
S-9.Day member points are valid for ride day only, for determining day awards, and will not be accumulated, nor processed for any rides prior to submitting an annual membership application. Day members may ride member horses, and horse points will accumulate accordingly.
O-1.Any protest must first be brought to the attention of ride management. The ride manager may initiate an action including reducing points, disqualification, or other remedy as deemed fit. The Ride Manager may consult with the State Director for advice and rule clarifications. A rider may protest the action of a ride manager under this rule, subject to O-2
O-2.All protests sent to NACMO require a $20.00 filing fee and must be mailed and postmarked within eight (8) days of the ride. Protests should be sent through the state director of the state where the ride was held. If sending to the state director is not appropriate, protests may be sent to the national board president. The fee will be returned if the protest is upheld.
O-3.Riders may send comments and concerns to the Executive Director and/or Board Members at any time.
O-4.Any state may enact additional rules they deem necessary for their areas. Ride managers may enact additional rules they deem necessary for their specific rides. These rules must be presented to all riders before they begin their ride.

M-1.The Ride Manager must be a current annual or lifetime member of NACMO for a ride to be approved as a sanctioned ride.
M-2.NACMO must receive ride sanction request at least 30 days prior to date of ride. The ride sanction fee must accompany each date requested for ride.
M-3.The ride must have 5 to 10 Objective Stations.
M-4.Objective Stations must be on a minimum size of 9 inch water resistant white paper plate and marked with the Objective Station number in black waterproof ink, at least two code letters and the date of the ride.
M-5.a. Objective Stations must be placed where they can be read from horseback.

b. To receive credit towards Ride Manager awards, Objective Stations and access trails must be ridden and safely evaluated from horseback.

M-6.The Ride Manager will furnish an example Objective Station for competitors to locate if they wish to do so. No points will be given for this example Objective Station.
M-7.The clues to find the example Objective Station must be on a separate piece of paper from the clues for the other Objective Stations.
M-8.Ride Managers can have assistance in setting up the ride. Anyone helping set up the ride or Objective Stations shall not compete on the ride. The Ride Manager and 1 Assistant Ride Manager will be credited with 1 point each for Ride Manager awards for each ride they administer.
M-9.The diameter of the circle on the map must encompass the exact location of the Objective Station and must not exceed 3/4 mile. The circle does not need to be centered on the Objective Station. Some clues may be located outside the circle.
M-10.a. At least two compass bearing landmark clues must intersect for each Objective Station.

b. Additional directional clues may be used.

M-11.Magnetic north and a distance scale must be indicated on the map.
M-12.Each competitor will receive a map that is an exact copy of the map given to other competitors.
M-13.No competitors shall have access to the ride map before the day of the ride or before their time starts. Ride management shall not provide information on the Station locations to competitors after the ride has begun until the last rider is in.
M-14.Competitors will draw numbers for starting order. Only one member of the team may draw for the team.
M-15.Ride management must record start and finish times to the nearest second.
M-16.Ride management must start competitors out at intervals several minutes apart. Ride management determines exact time interval dependant on number of entries and terrain.
M-17.The Ride Manager may provide a non-competitor to spot check on competitors for violations of the rules.
M-18.Ride management must record finish time as the competitors cross the finish line, then verify the Objective Stations.
M-19.A start/finish line or place shall be clearly marked.
M-20.Ride Manager will send the fee per rider, a copy of the actual ride map, the score sheet and the rider release forms to NACMO within ten (10) days after the ride.
M-21.A sanctioned ride should be planned for approximately 2 hours duration. There is no penalty for a rider or team finishing earlier. In the event a ride is so short that it clearly violates the intent of the 2 hour rule, the matter will be referred to the board for review and possible warning and/or decertification.
M-22.Only sanctioned rides will be counted for state and national points. Non sanctioned rides, fun rides, or rides not fitting the qualifications of the rules, shall not be considered for points or awards, except as provided locally for that specific ride. Ride Managers are required to advise riders on flyers and other promotional material that the ride is sanctioned or non-sanctioned.
M-23.Any member whose membership is not paid up and current for two consecutive years will have their names dropped from the active membership roles. All accumulated points for rider and horses will be archived. A member dropped from the membership roles for nonpayment may petition the state director to be reinstated with their points, and horse points. The state director will request reinstatement on behalf of the member from the National Pointskeeper, who will determine just cause. A new NACMO ID will be assigned in this case.

SC-1.There will be a National Short Course Division.

a. The Short Course Division is not designed or designated as a novice division.

b. When available, the Short Course Division can be selected by any rider(s).

SC-2.The Short Course will consist of:
a. A shorter distance and a reduced number of the long course Objective Stations as designated by the Ride Manager.
b. Or, because of terrain, route, and /or difficulty constraints, a separate shorter course with a reduced number of objective stations at the discretion of the Ride manager.
SC-3.a. To figure time points, start with competitors who have found the most designated Objective Stations.

b. A competitor(s) finishing the course in the least time gets 3 time points, the second place competitor(s) 2 time points, and third place gets 1 time point.

SC-4.In addition to time points, a total of 5 Objective Station points will be awarded if all Short Course Objective Stations are found. If the ride consists of less than 5 Objective Stations, the value of each Objective Station will be adjusted accordingly using 5 points as a total if all Objective Stations are found.

This is a clarification by the NACMO Board of Rule No. 11: The use of electronic navigational or communication devices is strictly prohibited.

We understand the need for safety for all of our riders and horses during our competition and will continue to allow cell phones to be carried on and during the competitions strictly for emergency use only. We also realize that a lot of these cell phones have GPS and mapping capabilities. We have heard from many members who like to know how many miles they have totaled during their competitive ride. Per rule the use of electronic equipment is prohibited. However, we will allow the riders to carry these devices for emergency purposes (the same as the cell phone allowance). They must be left in a backpack or saddle bag and not used for any reason to effectively map and route any part of the ride and any subsequent (for instance, the following day) ride. Viewing the mileage at the ride's conclusion is the only information that is allowed. Any map, either electronic or printed, from data obtained via personal electronic devices cannot be used for our competitions. The only maps allowed are the ones that are prepared by the Ride Managers for their specific ride.

Stand alone cameras are permitted as they are not navigational or communication devices, but cell phone use, as a camera or for any other purpose is prohibited.

Updated at December 6, 2014 meeting
MI-1. There will be a six (6) hour maximum time for competitors to be out on a ride, after which no time points will count, however Objective Stations will still count.
MI-2.Participants may ride as an individual or as part of a team of up to 6 riders. (NACMO R-4)
MI-3.Start times will not be drawn; riders will start on a first come, first out basis. (NACMO M-14)
MI-4.Sunday riders must be signed in and prepared to ride by 12:00 p.m. unless otherwise stated on the schedule.
MI-5.To be eligible for team placing, the individual must be a MiCMO member and ride in at least 50% of the team's rides for that season.
MI-6.A horse does not receive double points when ridden double.

M-NJPANY.5 (mgmt)A ride may be advertised as a "ride-n-tie" due to the restrictions of a trail system that does not allow for horses off trail. Objective clues must be placed where they are easily seen from horseback and the trail must be safe to tie a horse while the rider dismounts to search for the objective.

S-WA.1 (scoring)There will be a set maximum time for competitors to be out on a ride, after which no time points will count, however Objective Stations will still count. If ride management does not set a specific time it will be six (6) hours.
M-WA.1 (mgmt)The ride should be designed to be completed in not less than two hours.
M-WA.2 (mgmt)At least three (3) compass bearing clues must intersect for each Objective Station.
M-WA.3 (mgmt)No preriding an area 2 weeks prior to a competition.

Membership in the IN/IL chapter of CMO is open to all residents of IN and IL. Residents of other states may become members of the IN/IL chapter by invitation or by annual application to the chapter board. Membership in the IN/IL chapter may be revoked for nonpayment of dues or behavior deemed unsportsmanlike or harmful to the sport.

The best rule for CMO is the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

It would be nice if that was the only rule we need, but in order to have fair competition and a fun campfire afterwards, some additional rules are needed to clarify how the sport works. The NACMO rules that apply to all our national chapters are here above. However, each individual chapter occasionally runs into unique situations that may call for local additions.

IN/IL is no exception. We have some wonderful parks in Indiana and Illinois and more and more people are riding, hiking, biking, etc. on our trails. In order to be good practitioners of the Golden Rule with our fellow park users we have found some additional requirements are helpful.

1. CMO is a true family sport. In keeping with the NACMO recommendation, the fee for junior riders (under 18) will be one half of the adult rider fee. For each junior rider, the RM will send one half of the adult fee to NACMO.

2. Don't go off the trails in public parks. Our ride managers have found creative ways to make a fun and challenging ride while placing plates in such a way that riders can stay on the trail and still go through hell finding them. What's Golden about that? If we tramp down the foliage or cut new erodible trails, other people can't enjoy the ambiance and it makes park managers very cranky, and they are the people who mow campsites, set up hitch rails, haul out the manure, keep the hot water working in the shower, etc., so we really want to be Golden for them.

3. When meeting anyone on the trail, slow to a walk, greet them, and say something like "we are in a timed competitive event. May we pass you at a walk?" Then pass safely and thank them for letting you go by. This is as Golden as the Rule gets and we have had received many compliments from other park users after emphasizing this behavior.

4. Horses will be marked with a visible number in grease paint. So, what's Golden about this rule? Well, sometimes the grease paint is kind of goldish, but that's not it. The purpose is to give a way for other park users to identify each individual horse (and, we hope, rider). This has helped keep us from being blamed for other riders who aren't using the Golden Rule and go blasting past startled pedestrians or scared riders. It also helps other people on the trail see that we are involved in an event and, using the Golden Rule, they will courteously move aside and cheer us on. Also, park managers appreciate knowing that we are identified. If they get a complaint about a rider, they can ask what was the horse's number? If there wasn't a number, it wasn't us. That's Golden.

5. Manure Happens. This is Golden??? No, it's also not a rule, it's a fact - sometimes a coon pulls the plate off the stump, the azimuth was backwards, a tree came down across the trail, a bunch of speedbumps decided to take a break right where the lines crossed, somebody removed the pink tape on the landmark, one of your competitors lied to you and you believed her, etc. The playing field is never level. Sometimes it tips in your direction and sometimes it doesn't. "Tailed Whit" - That is an anagram of "Deal With It" and it means "Tell your ride manager who spent many hours setting it up 'Thank you for the great ride', go fix your stuff for the pitch in supper, bring a stick of firewood, get ready to tell lies with the best of them at the post-ride campfire, and don't sweat the small stuff." Be Golden.



© 2019 National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering