Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.


How to Calculate 4-D Barrel Payouts

By Jennifer Banfield | Updated November 01, 2017

Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Items you will need

  • Timers

  • Calculator

  • Payout sheet

Barrel racing is a speed event, during which a horse and rider complete a clover-leaf pattern, while competing for the fastest time. A 4-D formatted race pays out in four divisions. All competitors, with all levels of ability, run in the same 4-D barrel race. Each of the divisions are determined by time brackets. The fastest time of the competition is the marker for the 1-D -- or first division -- and determines the next three divisions.

Determining Divisions


Add up the total purse to be paid to the competitors. Payout is based on 80 percent of the total amount collected. The remaining 20 percent is kept by the producer or association holding the barrel race.

Calculate how many people will receive money in each division. This calculation is usually based on the total number of entries, entry fees and added prize money. Some producers may want to pay less people more money. Others may prefer to pay more people less money.


Determine the fastest time. The overall fastest time is the winner of the first division. All competitors that run within a half-second of the fastest time, fall into the 1-D or first division. The typical amount allocated to the 1-D is 30 percent of the total payout. When paying four spots in each bracket, the breakdown would be 40 percent, 30 percent, 20 percent, 10 percent for first, second, third and fourth place.


Add half a second to the fastest time, to determine the 2-D or second division. 27 percent of the pot is allocated to the second division, following the same format as the first division. Four paid spots within the bracket are allocated at 40 percent for first, 30 percent for second, 20 percent for third and 10 percent for fourth.


Calculate the third division by adding one second to the fastest time. These division qualifiers run at least one second slower than the fastest time. The payout is figured with 23 percent of the total money. Out of this, first place will receive 40 percent, second will receive 30 percent, third will get 20 percent and fourth will be paid 10 percent.


Configure the fourth division by adding two seconds to the fastest time. These competitors run at least two seconds slower than the fastest time. Payout for the fourth division is calculated using 20 percent of the total pool of money. Four paid places would result in 40 percent to first, 30 percent to second, 20 percent to third and 10 percent for fourth place.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images