What Does 4D Barrel Racing Mean?

Barrel racing is a popular rodeo event where the horse and a rider should race according to the special pattern around barrels. It is quite possible that you are completely new to barrel racing, or it may just have not yet finished to figure out what the actual 4D barrel racing is. And in fact, this system is much simpler than it might seem at first glance.

4d barrel racing

So What Does 4D Barrel Racing Mean? The 4D barrel racing format means that in the same race we have 4 divisions. All riders, regardless of ability, run in the same barrel race. The four divisions are then determined by time brackets. The fastest result determines all subsequent divisions and the distribution of places. Usually, this system splits the divisions into categories determined by 0.5 seconds. Thus, we got acquainted in general with such a concept as 4D barrel racing. Of course, this format requires more complex explanations and some clear examples.

4D Barrel Racing Format In Action

Now we will try to figure out how this system looks in action. The fastest time sets the divisions. And the first division looks like this: we take the fastest indicator, for example, let this result be 18.0” and add half a second to it. The second division will have results starting from 18.5” + 0.5 seconds. The third division is 19.0” + 0.5 seconds. A result which is more than 19.5” – this is the fourth division. So here we have these 4 divisions separated by time results and in each of these divisions, we have winners.

You may also wonder why do we have this system. In fact, it allows you to more conveniently organize competitions. This format brings benefits as to the organizers as to the competitors. In the race are able to compete, as professionals with great experience and beginners. This method allows everyone to equally enjoy the race and gives more opportunities to win it. System 4D is also a kind of indicative incentive for less experienced riders, gives them the opportunity to strive for the best results, and allows professionals to be proud of their achievements and strive to maintain their positions. Also, for horse owners who want to sell or buy them, this classification allows a more competent assessment of the horse’s professionalism and future prospects.

Related Questions

Is there any common-known time for each of the divisions?

All result is always a special case. Everything can depend on the level of the competition, on the difficulty of the track, on the weather conditions, on the preparedness of each of the participants individually. Thus, we cannot name any particular indicator that should be repelled.

What is a 5D barrel race?

In a 5D barrel horse race, not 4, but already 5 divisions are determined by time brackets. Sometimes for some reason, races can be held in 5D or even 6D format. In fact, the system does not change; it just adds another division, usually with the same time interval. This format may be due to a large number of participants, or due to the fact that a sufficient number of newcomers or young horses participate in the race or due to some other reasons when it is relevant.


4D racing is a fun format for a competition and its worth a try even if you are just a beginner. It is a nice way to get some motivation and to spend time riding the horse. The system is pretty clear, basically, we have 4 divisions 0.5 seconds away one from the other. No matter how professional or young you and your horse are, this competition might be a great way to have fun or even to win.



I have owned over 50 horses and currently own a small horse farm with 8 horses. I have competed on and off for over 25 years while doing mostly trail riding and cow sorting these days. I write these articles to help anyone out there if you love this article pin it to your Pinterest or Share on other social media platform. Thanks for visiting.

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