It's been around for years, it's what made barrel racing so big. Rodeos are still the fastests times only, but most associations are division based.
It gives everyone a chance. You don't have to be the best rider, have the fastest horse to place. You can take your just started horse to shows and still have a chance at placing while the horse is still getting seasoned.
1D is the fastest, 2D is a half second off, 3D is 1 second off, 4D is 2 seconds off. Sometimes it's only 3D where 2D starts at 1 second off. So if the fastest time is 14.05, that's 1Ds winner, 2D is 14.55, 3D is 15.05, 4D is 16.05. Obviously times aren't that perfect. The show depends on how many places in each division they pay back.
Really it's all just a gamble if your not running in the 1D times. There's no reason to be discouraged, if your horse performs well and has a good time I consider that a good day. It's all supposed to be for the joy of showing. Although bringing home a check is nice.
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