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All Riders welcome


Riders under 18 years of age on January 1 are considered junior riders for the full ride year.

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

b. Junior riders must ride with a sponsoring adult.

c. Juniors between 14-1years of age may ride alone or with other juniors upon special permission from ride manager.

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


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.


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 and their horses, declared or undeclared, earn daily points which are credited towards lifetime awards.

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


A team shall not split up to find more than one Objective Station at a time. No artificial signal communication including but not limited to gunshots, whistles, walkie-talkies, or cell phones. The team must regroup before going to the next station.    


No competitor may tamper with Objective Station markers, landmarks or clues.


Competitors may not intentionally interfere with another rider or his horse.


Any inhumane treatment of a horse, or violation of the rules is grounds for disqualification.


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.


If unsportsmanlike conduct occurs during his ride, the Ride Manager may bring it before the Board of Directors for action.


The use of electronic navigational or communication devices is strictly prohibited.

Safety for riders and horses is paramount. Cell phones may be carried during competitions strictly for emergency use. GPS and mapping devices or capabilities are not permitted. Devices for recording mileage, mapping trails or marking tracks may be carried stowed only and not used to map or route any part of the ride or subsequent (ex. the next day's) 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 by competitors. 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.  


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. Ride Manager has the option of:

a. replacing the Objective Station

b. awarding it to all riders on the subsequent day’s ride.  


A team, group or individual may only compete in one course (long course or short course) per ride day at any given ride-event. 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.



All breeds of equines are eligible for competition.


Minimum age for the animal is three (3) years old


There shall be no changing horses during a single ride except between members of the same team.



Riders times out and in will be recorded to the nearest second.

a. The time starts when a competitor or first member of a team gets a map or at the Ride Manager's direction.

b. The time stops when an individual competitor or last member of a team

       1) crosses the finish line

       2) declares themselves done and presents the Station letters to the Ride Manager.

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

d. a team member can declare themselves "Out", due to a horse or personal injury, etc. The team's finish time will not be affected by the return time of a team member that has declared themselves "Out".

e. Once a team or an individual has completed their ride and turned in their maps they are done and cannot go back out and continue to look for un-found objectives. 


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.

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


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.


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.


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 each rider and horse.


A team member not completing the ride will still be considered part of the team.  Objective Stations found by the rider and the rider's horse will count toward their cumulative awards. The team member that did not complete the ride will not get the time points for the ride.


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.


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.


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.



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


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.


Riders may send comments and concerns to the Executive Director and/or Board Members at any time.


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.



The Ride Managers must be current annual or lifetime members of NACMO for a ride to be approved as a sanctioned ride.


Regional Directors must receive ride sanction requests from ride managers at least 30 days prior to the date of the ride.

a. The ride sanction information must be forwarded to NACMO upon receipt

b. The ride sanctioning fee can be paid as part of the final paperwork

c. NACMO must be notified of ride cancellations within 3 days.


The Long Course ride will have 10 Objective Stations. The number of Stations may be reduced if necessary. Total Objective Points will add up to 10. 


Objective Stations Requirements:

Must be on a minimum size of 9 inch water-resistant white paper plate

Marked on the plate in legible waterproof ink, must be:

a. Objective Station number

b. at least two code letters

c. date of the ride.


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.


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.


The clues to find the example Objective Station must be on a separate piece of paper from the clues for the other Objective Stations.


A ride can have two Ride Managers who will receive one point each for Ride Manager awards. Those ride manager(s) may have assistants, however, those assistants will not be awarded any points. Anyone helping set up the ride or Objective Stations shall not compete on the ride.


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.


a. At least two compass bearing landmark clues must intersect for each Objective Station.

b. Additional directional clues may be used.


Magnetic north and a distance scale must be indicated on the map.


Each competitor will receive a map that is an exact copy of the map given to other competitors.


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.


Competitors may draw numbers for starting order. Only one member of the team may draw for the team.


Ride management must record start and finish times to the nearest second.


Ride management must start competitors out at intervals several minutes apart. Ride management determines exact time interval dependent on number of entries and terrain.


The Ride Manager may provide a non-competitor to spot check on competitors for violations of the rules.


Ride management must record finish time as the competitors cross the finish line, then verify the Objective Stations.


A start/finish line or place shall be clearly marked.


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.


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.


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.


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 Points keeper, who will determine just cause. A new NACMO ID will be assigned in this case.



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).

c. A Short Course ride should be planned for approximately 1 hour minimum duration. There is no penalty for a rider or team finishing earlier. 


The SC will have 5 objective stations that are 5 of the LC objective stations.

a. The number of stations may be reduced due to exigent circumstances. Total points will add up to 5.

b. Because of terrain, route, and /or difficulty constraints, a separate Short Course that is not part of the Long Course can be set at the discretion of the Ride Manager.


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.


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.

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.

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.