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Wed, 2017-01-04 11:08

Rules Refresher: Brush Up on Rule Changes for the 2017 Season

Authored By: USEA
USEA/Shelby Allen Photo.

With the first competition of 2017 kicking off this weekend, now is a great time to give yourself a refresher on the rule changes going into effect this season. As a reminder, all members are expected to be familiar with all USEF General Rules and USEF Rules for Eventing. These rule changes, which went into effect on December 1, 2016, are identified in italics.  Click here for the complete USEF Rules for Eventing. Good luck this season!

EV104 Participation [CHAPTER EV-1 General Rules For All Eventing Competitions]

See also EV123.1 for Tests, Appendix 3 for Horse Trials and Appendix 8 for Three-Day Events.

2. JUNIORS. An Organizer may offer a competition for Juniors at Tests, at Horse Trials at the Beginner Novice through Preliminary Levels and at One Star Events. Competitors in Beginner Novice, Novice, and Training and Modified Horse Trials shall compete as Juniors until the end of the calendar year in which they reach the age of 18. Competitors in Preliminary Horse Trials and One-Star Events shall compete as Juniors from the beginning of the calendar year in which they reach the age of 14 until the end of the calendar year in which they reach the age of 18.

EV106 Entries and Withdrawals [CHAPTER EV-1 General Rules For All Eventing Competitions]

3. OPENING DATE. The opening date for national entries for horse trials will be the Tuesday prior to the date that falls six weeks before the first day of the competition. The opening date must be published in the prize list for competition.

EV114 Dress

5. DRESSAGE TEST.

a. Horse Trials (Beginner Novice through Training)—protective headgear—predominantly black or dark blue; Coat—dark color or tweed, tail coats are not permitted; Shirt— of conservative color, with stock and pin, or choker, or tie; Gloves (if worn)—dark color, tan, beige or white; Jodhpurs, Britches—light color or white; Boots— black, brown, field, jodhpur or a black or brown full grain smooth leather leg piece and matching leather boots. Chaps and/or half-chaps are not allowed. Competitors may compete without a jacket. In such cases, shirt – long or short sleeved with collar and without neckwear, of a conservative color, neatly tucked into riding breeches.

EV115 Saddlery

2. DRESSAGE TEST.

a. The following are compulsory: an English type saddle and a permitted bridle.

b. A double bridle with cavesson noseband, i.e. bridoon and curb bits with curb chain (made of metal or leather or a combination) is permitted for some tests. Cover for curb chain can be made of leather, rubber or sheep skin.

EV132 Classification

b. In the event of equality between any two or more competitors, the classification is decided by:
1. The best Cross-Country score including penalties for faults at obstacles, time penalties and any other penalty that he/she may have incurred on the Cross-Country Test.

2. If there is still equality, the classification is decided in favor of the Competitor whose Cross-Country time was closest to the optimum time.

3. If there is still equality, the Competitor with the best Jumping score including penalties at obstacles and time penalties.

4. If there is still equality, the classification will be decided in favor of the Competitor with the best collective marks in the Dressage Test.

5. If there is still equality, the tie will remain in the final classification.

EV134 Dressage Rules

3) After the signal has been given, the Competitor must enter the arena at A within 45 seconds.

EV136 Dressage Scoring

1. MARKING

a. Judges will award good marks from 0-10 for each movement and for each collective mark, with 0 being the lowest mark and 10 being the highest. All half marks from 0.5 - 9.5 may be used both for movements and collective marks, at the discretion of the judge, and scores given must be recorded with a decimal

(e.g. as 6.0 instead of 6).

b. Errors of Course or Test will be penalized as follows:

1. 1st Time by 2 ponts

2. 2nd Time by 4 points

3. 3rd Time by Elimination

c. All of the following are considered errors, and two points will be deducted per error, but they are not cumulative and will not result in Elimination.

- Entering the space around the arena with a whip (when whips are forbidden) or with boots or bandages on the horse’s legs or with a discrepancy in dress (e.g. lack of gloves);

- Entering the arena with a whip (when they are forbidden) or with boots or bandages on started before the discrepancy has been noticed, the Judge at C stops the Competitor and if needed and possible, an assistant may enter the arena to remove the item(s). The Competitor then continues the test, either starting from the beginning (from inside the fence) or from the movement where he/she was stopped. The marks given before he/she was stopped are not changed;

- Entering the arena before the sound of the bell;

- Not entering the arena within 45 seconds after the bell, but within 90 seconds; gives the two-point penalty (not cumulative, not counted as an error) for over 45 seconds but less than 90 seconds

d. In the case of a fall of a horse and/or competitor, the competitor will not be eliminated. He will be penalized by the effect of the fall on the execution of

the movement concerned and in the collective marks

e. After elimination, a competitor may continue his performance to the end. The marks will be awarded in the ordinary way.

2. ADDITIONAL REASONS FOR ELIMINATION.

a. Elimination left to the discretion of the Ground Jury in the following cases:

1. Receiving unauthorized assistance, EV134.15.

2. Performing the test in incorrect dress, EV114.

b. Elimination must be applied in the following cases:

1. Competitor not entering the competition arena within 90 seconds after the signal. Except where a valid reason thereto has

been provided to the Judge at C (valid reason such as losing a shoe, etc.)

2. Performing a test with improper saddlery, EV115.3 115.2.

3. Marked lameness, EV134.8.

4. Leaving the arena between the time of the entry and the final salute, EV134.9

5. Resistance, EV134.10.

EV139 Cross-Country Courses [CHAPTER Ev-3 Rules For Horse Trials]

1. MARKING OF THE COURSE.

c. Numbers and Letters - Each obstacle shall be numbered. Obstacles with elements or options (see EV140.2) shall in addition be lettered (A, B, C, etc.). Each compulsory passage shall be marked with the first letter of the level and numbered consecutively. Numbers and letters shall be painted as follows:

National Levels: Advanced—white on a blue background, Intermediate—white on a red background, Preliminary— white on a green background, Modified – orange on blue background, Training—white on a black background, Novice— black on a white background, Beginner Novice—black on a yellow background or as designated by the organizer and printed on the course map. FEI Levels: CIC - Same as the equivalent National Level, but must include a white border around the edge of the flag, e.g. CIC1* white on green background with white border around the edge of the flag. CCI* - Same as the equivalent National Level, but the corners must be dog-eared (triangle in shape) in white, not less than one inch from the corner inward.

EV141 Cross-Country Scoring

1. FAULTS AT OBSTACLES:

a. Disobediences

5. Fourth penalized disobedience on the entire course at Beginner Novice, Novice, Training or Modified Elimination.

b. Falls

3. First fall of competitor (Training, Modified, Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced) Elimination (RF)

c. Willful Delay - (Beginner Novice, Novice, Training and Modified Levels).

EV149 Obstacles [CHAPTER EV-3 Rules For Horse Trials]

6. Within the limits shown in Appendix 2, at least one third of the obstacles shall be of maximum height, except for Beginner Novice and Novice Levels where there is no minimum requirements. The overall spread of an oxer may be no more than 20cm (8”) wider than the maximum height for that Division. The overall spread of a triple bar may be no more than 40cm (16”) wider than the maximum height for that Division. At Preliminary Championship Events, one vertical and one ascending oxer, not part of a combination, and preferably in the second part of the course, may be built 5cm higher than the maximum height allowed for that Division.

EV149 Obstacles [CHAPTER EV-3 Rules For Horse Trials]

7. However, if it should happen that a maximum dimension has been marginally exceeded as a result of the material used for construction and/or by the position of the obstacle on the ground, the maximum dimensions laid down will not be considered as having been exceeded, providing every effort has been made not to exceed the maximum dimensions specified in the Schedule with the material available. On obstacles with sloping rails, e.g. Swedish oxers, fans, etc. two thirds of the length of the top poles must be within the maximum height for the Division.

EV153 Faults

Second disobedience or other under rule EV154 at Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, and Modified 8 penalties.

Third disobedience or other under rule EV154 at Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, and Modified Elimination.

EV154 Eliminations

w. Third disobedience at Beginner Novice, Novice, Training and Modified level (EV153.4).

EV175 Course Designer

1. QUALIFICATIONS.

The Course Designer must be selected from the current roster of Eventing Course Designers of the Federation, or must have received training as a course designer. An individual recognized by the FEI or by another National Federation may serve as the course designer for a specific competition with the approval of the Federation Eventing Committee. A Senior (S) course designer is required for an Advanced Horse Trial. A Registered (R) or higher course designer is required for an Intermediate Horse Trial. A recorded (r) or higher course designer is required for Preliminary and Modified Horse Trials and National Three-Day Events. A license is not required for Beginner Novice, Novice and Training Horse Trials, however the course designer must have attended the USEA Training program on Course Design in the previous three years and every three years thereafter.

EV177 Additional Officials

5. FARRIER. At Horse Trials and Three-Day Events offering competition at the Preliminary Level and above, a qualified farrier shall be present on the grounds during the Cross-Country and Jumping Tests.

Appendix 1 – Level of Horse Trials

While the following is meant as a basic framework, please refer to Cross Country Guideline for more detailed and comprehensive details for the cross-country and jumping phases.

1. BEGINNER NOVICE: The Beginner Novice level is designed to introduce green horses and riders to Horse Trials, combining dressage, cross-country and Beginner jumping tests. It is designed for competitors and horses that have already had experience in schooling competitions in all three disciplines. The entire experience should be safe, inviting and educational to build confidence and a desire to progress. Competitors should be prepared to do a walk, trot and canter dressage test with 20-meter figures and a halt. The cross-country shall include simple, straightforward obstacles, solid in appearance, with true ground lines. The course should start with the simplest of jumps, such as a log with brush ground line, and gradually progress to bigger logs, coops and small tables with a sloping face, and other natural and inviting obstacles. Water crossings, if included, should be simple and inviting in nature with consideration for an alternate jump next to it (a simple log), when possible, which could provide an option to those not ready to cross water. There must be no jumps before or after a water crossing within six strides before and four strides after. A small step up but not down may be included. Ditches, if included, must be natural in appearance with a generous take off log along with consideration for an optional jump alongside the ditch for those not ready to jump a ditch. The track of the course must be devoid of sharp turns, be inviting in nature, and encourage horses and riders to learn to gallop across country in rhythm with confidence. The course may include one combination of 2 or 3 strides in a straight line. The jumping course should be inviting and straightforward, preferably with lines of six strides or more and may include one double of two strides which may include only one oxer.

2. NOVICE: The Novice Level is a continuing introduction to Horse Trials. It is designed for competitors and horses with some experience at lower levels or for experienced riders and horses new to the sport. The dressage will not differ greatly from Beginner Novice. The cross-country should invite bold, forward movement involving galloping in balance and jumping out of stride. Combinations may include: obstacles on a two stride line, and an obstacle after a ditch at no less than two strides. Steps in combination may include: a step up followed by a step down at two strides, two steps up at two strides, or an obstacle after a step up at two strides. Waters may incorporate a simple jump out of water. The obstacles will be more substantial and may include a drop, a double, and a simple obstacle out of water. At such water obstacles, the exit shall not be revetted. Individual obstacles may include: a simple log trakehner, a step down or a double brush. The jumping course should be inviting and straightforward, preferably with lines of six strides or more and shall include only one or two doubles a double of two strides, which may include only one oxer. Each combination may include only one oxer. 

3. TRAINING: The Training Level is an elementary examination of competitors and horses with some experience and training. The dressage test may ask for further development of the basic gaits, including lengthening at the trot and canter, as well as 10-meter trot and 15-meter canter figures. The cross-country should include questions that are becoming more sophisticated in nature, while remaining positive and inviting. Combinations may include: obstacles on a one stride line, a simple corner, and an obstacle before or after a ditch at two strides. Steps in combination may include: a step down followed by a step up at two strides, two steps down at one stride, two steps up at a one stride distance, or obstacle after a step up at one stride. Water may include a jump into water or a jump out of water. Individual obstacles may include: a simple obstacle jumped from water to water (provided this water jump does not include jumps into or out of water), a ditch/brush, a ditch/wall and a picture frame over a vertical. The jumping course must include either (i) two doubles; or (ii) simple triple combination in the second part of the course with only one oxer. If the oxer is at the “b” or “c” parts of any combination it should be set on two strides. The course should introduce simple technical questions with some related jumps on five strides or more. If a liverpool is used it must be built as a vertical over the center of the liverpool tray and a straight forward alternative jump must be offered.

4. MODIFIED - The Modified Level is for the training level horse with the intent on progressing to the Preliminary level. The dressage may include medium paces at trot and canter, as well as the introduction of leg yielding, and changes of lead through trot. The cross-country course should introduce tests of accuracy, agility and boldness, control, judgment and jumping ability. Combinations should be more complex then training but still be obvious and inviting to the horse. Obstacles should now involve angled lines, corners, varied terrain and combinations with water or narrow fences. The show jumping course shall include two doubles, or a double and a triple combination. If a triple combination is used, it should be in the second part of the course and with only one oxer. It should be more technical than the training level with any related jumps on five strides or more.

Participation In Horse Trials [CHAPTER Appendix 3]

APPENDIX 3 – PARTICIPATION IN HORSE TRIALS

2. LEVELS OF HORSE TRIALS AND EVENTS

2.1 BEGINNER NOVICE (B) - Open to competitors of any age, on horses four years of age and older.

2.2 NOVICE (N) - Open to competitors of any age, on horses four years of age or older.

2.3 TRAINING (T) - Open to competitors of any age, on horses four years of age or older.

2.4 MODIFIED (M) – Open to competitors of any age, on horses four years of age or older. The competitor must have obtained an NQR at two Horse Trials at the Training Level or higher.

Click here for the complete USEF Rules for Eventing.

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