Minimus - Irish Pony Club

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Competitions & Activities
National Minimus 2015
At Kilquilkey House, Mallow, Co. Cork.

Minimus 2014

Photos below from the Minimus weekend at Kilguilkey House, Co. Cork
Congratulations to all who attended and took part!



Enjoy the Videos below created by member Ronan O'Driscoll.  Thank you Ronan!

Video 1 of 2
Video 2 of 2

Scoring Cross Country at Minimus

Positive Scoring
Positive scoring
was introduced at the Minimus 2008 in order to encourage those under 12 yrs. who may have a fall on the cross country.  They will not be eliminated (i.e. they retain their score for the swimming and running phases plus they will get points for any fences they have jumped.  The wording of the new rule is:

Fall of Rider:
Should a rider fall during the cross country phase they will incur 150 penalties at the fence at which they fall.  In addition to this they will incur 50 penalty points for every fence they have yet to jump.  Once they have fallen, the competitor must walk home.  If fit, the rider may remount but must walk home on a long rein.  

For example:
If a competitor jumped the first 3 fences, had a fall at fence 4, they would be scored as follows (20 fences on course):

17 fences not jumped x 50 penalties = 850 penalties, plus 150 penalties for fall   =  1,000 penalties   
1,400 (good points for clear round) minus 1,000 penalties  =  400 points for cross country.

It is important that Minimus parents and competitors understand this new rule regarding a fall on cross country, this has been introduced to ensure that children that are concussed do not remount and encounter a more serious injury.


Below will give you a quick reference but it's very important that you read and understand the current Tetrathlon/Minimus Rule Book

What is Minimus?

The Minimus is a triathlon competition.  It consists of swimming, running and riding. It takes place over a weekend. There are points awarded for each phase and the winner has the most points after the three phases.

What age do you have to be?

You must be Under 12 on the 1st of January of the current year to be eligible to take part.

When is it held?

It is held in June each year.

Where is it held?

It is held in a different venue each year.  The details of the current year's venues are published on this page.

Do boys and girls compete against each other?

The Minimus Championships are a team competition.   It consists of One Overall Competition for teams of four (3 scores count) made up of any combination of boys or girls.  Within the overall competition there are two competitions for the teams made up of all Boys and all Girls.  T

Is there an individual competition?

Yes, all boys and girls on a team are also placed individually.  The score they get as part of a team,  is also used to make an individual placing.  There is an individual boys competition for ALL the boys taking part and an individual girls competition for ALL the girls taking part.  There are also individual placings for the best in swimming and the best in running.

How far do you swim?

You swim for 2 minutes.  You get points according to the distance you can swim in this time.  You can use whatever style you wish and may change it during the swim.  For instance you can start swimming with the front crawl and then change to backstroke if you wish.  You swim in heats and you don't have to be able to dive, you can start in the water.

You score 8 points per metre you swim.   For instance if you  swim 125 metres (5 lengths of a 25m pool) in 2 minutes, you will score 1,000.

How far do you run?

Boys and girls in the Minimus triathlon run 1,000 metres.  The course usually takes takes advantage of the natural country, with some ups and downs, but not steep hills.   Competitors run in numerical order and are dispatched at 1 minute intervals and timed from the the moment they leave the start until they cross the finishing line.  The faster you run the 1,000 metres, the more points you get.  For instance if you run the distance in 4 minutes, you get 1,000 points (this would be a very fast run). If you time is 5 minutes, you would get 640 points. If you time is 7 minutes, you would get 211 points.  (The organisers have a special chart to know how many points are given for each time run).

What sort of riding is it?

The riding in the Minimus Championships is cross-country riding over solid fences.  There may also be ditches, banks and drops.  However, it is scored very differently from other cross country riding competitions such as horse trials or hunter trials.

The course will also include a gate and a slip-rail.  The rider must open the gate, go through it, and then close it, WHILST MOUNTED ON THEIR PONY.   At a Slip Rail, the rider dismounts, opens the rail, goes through, closes the rail and remounts.   You are given 60 seconds to negotiate each of these.  If you take longer or need assistance, you will be given penalties.

How high are the fences?

The fences are
Max height:-   0.75m,
Spread only:-   1.50m,
Height and spread:-   0.60 at highest point, 0.90m at base

Important things to note are:

If you FALL off you incur 150 penalties
If you leave out a fence or obstacle you are ELIMINATED
Only SIBLINGS may share a pony.

How is it scored?

If you have a clear round in the time allowed you score 1400 points.  However points are deducted from this if you have problems on the course.   You should read the information on Positive Scoring on this webpage. The following is a summary of some of the penalties.

First refusal, run out or circle at obstacle -  60 penalties
Second refusal, run out or circle of horse at obstacle 60 penalties
Third refusal, run out or circle of horse at obstacle 80 penalties
Therefore, if you have 3 refusals at one fence, you get 200 penalties, but can continue on.

Horse resisting rider anywhere on the course for 60 secs. 200 penalties
Failure to negotiate a hazard in 60 secs. (see rule 25). 200 Penalties
Every completed second in excess of time allowed 2 Penalties

Gate and Slip Rail:

  • Failure to open and pass through the gate mounted  within 60 secs ( see rule 22)    200 penalties

  • Failure to shut gate mounted, within the 60 secs  allowed, when it is otherwise correctly negotiated.  50 penalties

  • Failure to dismount, take down and pass through the  slip rail dismounted within 60 secs.   200 penalties

  • Failure to replace slip rail dismounted, when it is correctly negotiated.    50 penalties

  • Failure to attempt to complete negotiation of gate or slip rail (including shutting / replacing ) for 60 secs.  250 penalties

  • Receiving assistance to re-mount after the slip rail  80 penalties

  • Jumping the gate or slip rail.     80 penalties

  • Rider must go back and  negotiate properly or is eliminated)


  • A rider will be eliminated in the following circumstances:

  • Omission of obstacle or flag (If this is rectified before the next fence is jumped there is no elimination).

  • Jumping an obstacle in wrong order or backwards

  • Re-taking an obstacle already jumped (except part of a combination)

  • Going around an obstacle without attempting to jump it three times

  • Continuing the course without a hat

  • 3 refusals at 4 fences or at 3 fences plus failure at gate or slip rail

  • Failure to cross start line within 60 secs.

  • Failure to attempt to pass through a hazard for 60 secs

  • For misbehaviour

  • Receiving outside assistance

  • For going wrong side of flag (if this is corrected before the next fence is jumped there is no elimination)

  • Inspecting course before it is officially opened and or tampering with fences or flags on the course.

  • Riding a horse on, over or near any part of the course except when competing.

  • Jumping a fence which is not on the course on which the flags are crossed.

After three refusals, or after failure to negotiate the gate, slip rail or hazard (within 60 secs.), a competitor will be told by the fence judge to go round and pass on to the next obstacle.

At each obstacle an escape route must be provided to allow competitors to go round as described above.

If a competitor is unable to mount after the slip rail he may receive assistance to do so but will incur 80 penalties.

The above is just a summary of some of the rules. Children taking part in the Minimus Championships are quite young and should be very well briefed and instructed about the rules of this competition by their D.C. or instructor.

The current Tetrathlon Rule Book
should be read and has lots more information.  

See also the Current Country Tack Sheet  
and IPC Guide to Competitions

Last Updated: 04/11/2015
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