Rodeo riders ask Congress for driver’s license exception

FF Editor
Farm Forum

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Rodeo and equestrian competitors are asking the U.S. House of Representatives to make an exception for them as federal horse trailer regulations threaten their travel.

The Billings Gazette reported on Feb. 13 that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires a commercial driver’s license for anyone driving a truck and horse trailer with a combined weight of 26,000 pounds (11,793 kilograms) — if the trip involves compensation.

The compensation aspect is what worries competitors because rodeos typically offer prize money.

Twenty-seven representatives including some from Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota have asked the administration to clarify that an exemption for horse trailers still applies when the trip involves an event with prizes.

Montana State University’s rodeo coach, Andy Bolich, says few competitors actually profit from the sport.