How Horse Races Work

Horse races are exciting events where players choose their favorite steeds and compete with other riders on a challenging course. A race course has a start line, one or more checkpoints, and a finish line. Riders line up at the start, wait for the /charge signal, pass each checkpoint in the proper direction, and try to be the first to cross the finish line.

Each checkpoint is a landmark or obstacle. Passing a checkpoint typically means going around it clockwise (with the landmark on your right) or counter-clockwise (on your left). Screenshots of checkpoints and a map of the race course are usually included with the event announcement, allowing participants to review the course before race day. Before the race begins, the race coordinator takes all riders on a pace lap. This gives the competitors a tour of the course and allows them to ask questions about rules or checkpoints.

Although all of the standard horses gallop at the same speed, two factors help separate them out. First, riders must find the best path between checkpoints. Finding a shorter path means crossing the finish line sooner. Second, riders often face numerous obstacles along the race route. These include stone walls, fences, cliffs, water crossings, stairs and hostile creatures. Missing a jump or spraining a leg during a fall can cost a rider the race.

Race judges monitor the riders, checkpoints and finish line to catch any cheaters.

After the race, all participants line up for screenshots. The winners also pose for their own photos. Race results are announced in the forums.

For tips on racing, read the Riding Club Newsletters.


Horse Race Rules

  • Riders must register to participate in the race by contacting the host. Registration closes at the event start time.
  • Registrations are accepted at the race host’s discretion. Players who have been barred from races for unsportsmanlike behavior may not register.
  • Riders must be at the start location at least 5 minutes before the race begins.
  • Riders must join a raid fellowship with the judges and remain in it until the race results are announced.
  • Riders must only use horses approved for the race. Some races only allow standard horses while others are for war steeds.
  • No store-purchased mount speed enhancers will be permitted. All buffs (temporary ability enhancements) must be cancelled before the race begins. War steed skills may be used.
  • Riders must only use their horse for transportation. Stables, milestones, wayfaring, camps, rally points, acorns, mustering horns, summons and all other non-mount forms of travel are forbidden.
  • Spamming fellow riders, giving a false start signal, having allies ride in the wrong direction to mislead riders, and all other forms of unsportsmanlike behavior will result in disqualification.
  • Riders must clear all checkpoints in the proper direction and order. Course judges are the final authority in determining if a checkpoint has been properly cleared. A decision can be appealed if screenshots or video can be presented immediately after the race.
  • If a rider falls from his horse, he may mount up again and continue the race. He will not be disqualified for swimming if he is dismounted at a water crossing.
  • The winner will be determined by the first rider to cross the finish line, not the first mount.

Championship Race Rules

A “championship” is a race in which only previous winners may participate, such as the Bree Cup. A “qualifier race” is an event which gives riders a chance to participate in a specific championship race. Riders have “finished top three” if they are among the first three to cross the finish line.

  • Riders who finish top three in a qualifier race are eligible for the championship race at the end of the race series.
  • Qualifier races are open to riders who have not already finished top three in a previous qualifier.
  • Qualifier and championship races may have a limited registration. In this situation, registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Alternates will be allowed into the race to replace any registrants who are not at the race site 5 minutes before post time.
  • If there is an entry fee to participate in a race, it must be paid to the event host before the race begins.
  • Race entry fees are not refundable. (Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis under special circumstances.)


Relay Race Rules

A relay is a race for teams of three riders. It is helpful for identification purposes if the team wears the same outfit or rides the same breed of horse. Before the race begins, the members of each team position themselves along the course. Rider #1 waits at the starting line, rider #2 waits at the first checkpoint, and rider #3 waits at the second checkpoint. At post time, the event host gives the first rider of each team a special item to carry while racing, called the baton. When the race starts, rider #1 gallops to the first checkpoint and gives the baton to rider #2 as quickly as possible. Rider #1 then waits at the first checkpoint. Once rider #2 has the baton, he gallops to the second checkpoint, gives the baton to rider #3, and then waits where he is. Carrying the baton, rider #3 races across the finish line and then immediately goes to wait by the verification judge. This judge will ask rider #3 to give him the baton, verifying that the race was completed properly.

  • Normal horse race rules apply in relay races.
  • The team must have three riders.
  • All three riders must go to the proper starting positions before the race begins and remain there until it is time to run their portion of the race.
  • Riders must wait at the proper checkpoint after completing their portion of the race. If one rider on a team approaches another when it is not time to pass a baton, the team will be disqualified.
  • Riders must pass the baton to their teammate at the appropriate checkpoint.
  • The third rider of the team must present their baton to the verification judge. If he does not have the baton, he has not successfully completed the race.
  • Specially crafted items will be used for batons. They will be given to the first rider of each team before the race begins by the event host. No other items can be used as batons.
  • The winning team is determined by the order in which riders cross the finish line. It does not matter who gives their baton to the verification judge first.


Types of Races

  • Challenge – A long-distance endurance race across the countryside with no entry fee.
  • Classic – A medium-length race for winners of previous races, with a Turbine Point code prize.
  • Cup – A race that qualifies the top three riders to participate in a championship race, with a 1 gold entry fee.
  • Derby/Chase – A medium-length race with no entry fee.
  • Fun Run – A race with no entry fee that does not affect rider standings.
  • Sprint – A race for fast (+68%) mounts.
  • Stakes – A race with an entry fee that goes towards prizes for the winners.
  • Steeplechase – A medium-length race with numerous jumps and obstacles.
  • Championship – Only riders who won top three in a qualifier race can participate in this event.

Racing Glossary

  • Checkpoint – A specific location that must be passed, turned around, or jumped over to properly complete the race. Checkpoints are usually large, stationary objects such as boulders, trees and buildings.
  • Fast Horse – A horse that moves at 168% (+68%) speed. This includes Bright Days, Cave-Claw Masked, Dusk Watch, Elf Ambassador, Eriador, Jester, Minas Ithil, Night, Noble Grey, Painted Skeleton (glowing green), Treasure Laden, class horses (Guardian, Hunter, Champion, Rune-keeper, etc.) and PvP horses (Dunedain, Isengard, Ost Dunhoth, Galadhrim, etc.)
  • Standard Horse – A horse that moves at 162% (+62%) speed. Most horses are standard.


Betting On Races

Windy Acres does not allow betting of real or game money on horse races that it sponsors. However, players can still place wagers. Each player can choose one rider whom they believe will win and /tell the rider’s name to the bookie. Everyone who wagered on the correct rider has their name entered into a drawing for a prize. The drawing happens right after the race winners are announced.

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