The United States Eventing Association (USEA) recently announced that it was considering the idea of a new Beginner Novice – Assistance Allowed division. That idea was brought forward at the August meeting of the USEA Board of Governors and has generated a significant amount of input from the membership. That wasn’t the only idea for a new division put forward for consideration by the Board, meet DX Eventing.
If you are familiar with Eventing you understand that the sport is composed of three distinctly different phases: dressage, cross-country and show jumping. The USEA has established a Task Force to develop a proposal for the establishment of a recognized competition/test which would consist of two phases: dressage and a hybrid of show jumping and cross-country. A number of names for this proposed competition have been debated, but DX Eventing is the current title. The name is a nod to the inclusion of dressage (D), and a crossing (X) of both cross-country and show jumping. Some U.S. Events have featured hybrid competitions such as the The Event Derby™ created by Wendy Wergeles in California. These competitions are attempting to attract new riders and spectators to the sport.
The USEA Young Event Horse Program features a hybrid jumping section as a part of the competition that incorporates both show jumping and cross-country obstacles, as does the New Event Horse Program. While the USEA offers Organizers the option to register Combined Tests (CT) with the Association, those competitions only consist of dressage followed by show jumping thus not featuring the heart and soul of the sport, cross-country. In our ongoing effort to make the sport as inclusive as possible the USEA is looking into whether DX Eventing could be a worthwhile option.
How would this differ from Combined Tests?
A number of Organizers register their CTs with the USEA, and in cases such as the Riga Meadow Combined Test (Area I), Sporting Days Farm Combined Test (Area III), Carriage House Farm Combined Test (Area IV) and the Fresno County Horse Park Combined Test (Area VI) those competitions are listed in the USEA Omnibus. CTs have been used for facilities that wish to have competitive opportunities for riders when the weather would not be conducive for cross-country, the facility lacks the acreage required for a full cross-country course and for facilities that want to get their feet wet in the sport before hosting a full three-phase Event. Currently CTs do not offer riders the opportunity to acquire points for a national leaderboard, and as mentioned previously they lack cross-country.
In its initial proposal the Task Force has indicated that in order for the sport of Eventing to survive and thrive in the future, new, interesting and cost effective competitive opportunities need to be introduced. As proposed, a national leaderboard would be kept by the USEA with DX Organizers submitting results to the USEA. Like CTs and horse trials, DX Eventing could range in test and course difficulty from the Beginner Novice to Advanced level.
The Task Force has also suggested that DX Eventing could be a training ground for officials. Judges could include Federation Licensed Judges, participants or graduates of the USEA Judging Training Program, or ICP instructor of the appropriate level to that being judged. If the DX Eventing jumping phase offers any cross-country fences of Intermediate or Advanced level, the Federation Official would need to be selected from the “R” registered and “S” applicants Eventing Judges and/or Technical Delegate.
Would this be costly for Organizers and Competitors?
Currently to register a CT with the USEA an Organizer must fill out a one-page application for the USEA and pay $100 for a single day competition and $150 for a multiple day competition. With that single registration fee, the competition is registered with the USEA, insured by the USEA’s blanket million-dollar insurance policy for Eventing Tests and listed on the USEA’s online calendar. An additional fee is optional for the Organizer to have the competition listed in the USEA Omnibus. There are no additional fees required of the Organizer. It is anticipated that registered DX Eventing competitions would follow the same formula.
To compete in CTs membership in the USEA is not mandatory but there is a $25 cost for non-members to compete. The full year membership to become a competing USEA member is $85 for adults and $60 for juniors/young riders/college students. At this point it is unclear if or what a non-member fee would be to compete in a DX Eventing competition taking into consideration the cost of offering the program, providing a leaderboard, registering and insuring these events.
How would the Leaderboard for DX Eventing Work?
Points would be awarded based on the tables below and apply only for the current competition year.
10 Starter or Less
Members of the task force have also proposed for a half point bonus to be added for every cross-country obstacle on the jumping phase. As an example a rider who is a registered member who competes and wins a DX Event with 15 other starters would earn 6 points. However, if the competition included 4 cross-country jumps they would receive an additional 2 points bringing their total accumulated points to 8.
These points would not be included in the overall tabulation of points for the year end awards for three phase competitions.
When will the USEA determine whether they would move forward with DX Eventing?
The USEA will be discussing this proposal at the Annual Meeting and Convention at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C. on December 2-6, 2015.
So what do you think, does the idea of DX Eventing have merit?