USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Handbook


In 2014, the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors approved the creation of the Intercollegiate Eventing Program as an official program of the USEA. Originally proposed with input from the Intercollegiate Eventing League, the program was established to provide a framework on which eventing teams and individual competition could flourish at universities and colleges across the country. Collegiate athletic programs have been the training grounds for Olympians, amateur athletes and professional athletes for generations. Enabling students to train in the Olympic sport of eventing is a natural addition.

Since its establishment, the Intercollegiate Eventing Program has consistently realized its goals of expanding student involvement, retaining membership numbers for college students, growing the fan base, and encouraging event organizers to host Intercollegiate Team competitions. The program has experienced steady growth in both the number of students participating and in the number of colleges and universities that have joined as Affiliate members.

The annual USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship, held for the first time at Virginia Horse Trials in May 2016, is a year-end destination for collegiate teams. Participation is strongly encouraged. To be eligible for the Championship, a rider need only to be 1) enrolled in a college or university that is a current USEA Affiliate member and 2) a current USEA Collegiate member. At this time, there are no other qualifying criteria. Please read about future Championship dates and locations along with eligibility requirements for the Championship below.

The mission of the Intercollegiate Eventing Program is to bring together students with a common interest and provide a supportive community through which students can continue to pursue their riding interests throughout their collegiate years. Furthermore, the Intercollegiate program is ready-made to help bring in new faces to the sport. The college years remain an ideal time and place for those who have always been interested in horses to have exposure to equestrianism, and the welcoming culture of eventing provides easy access. The USEA is dedicated to growing Intercollegiate Eventing in every USEA Area to make it a truly national program.

University Affiliate

Any accredited college or university may register as an Affiliate Organization of the USEA. Once the institution is registered as an Affiliate Organization, all current undergraduate students of that school will be eligible for a discounted USEA membership. Moreover, as an affiliate of the USEA the University/College will be able to access all of the benefits offered to USEA Collegiate Memberships.

Collegiate Membership

Any individual who is a current undergraduate student at a university or college that is an affiliate of the USEA is eligible to receive a $25 discount on their annual USEA membership. In order for students to receive the USEA Collegiate Membership discounted rate, the official team rosters must be received by February 15 of each year. This policy is strictly related to receiving the USEA Collegiate Membership discount.

Collegiate students whose names are submitted after February 15 can still be considered ‘collegiate members’ and have their names appear on the Intercollegiate leaderboards and participate in team challenges and the Championship.

Undergraduate students are eligible to maintain a collegiate membership and receive the discount for a total of five school years, which may be nonconsecutive. There is no age restriction on eligibility for current undergraduate students.

The USEA reserves the right to fine or suspend an individual USEA member for violating the eligibility rule.

Team coaches are not eligible for a discounted membership unless the coach is also a student that meets the Collegiate Membership criteria.

Please send your rosters to USEA Senior Director or Membership Services Jennifer Hardwick at [email protected].

USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship

The USEA encourages all schools to send as many competitors as possible to the Intercollegiate Eventing Championship. All USEA-recognized and FEI levels offered by the event organizer are welcome to participate in the Championship. See scoring information for the Championship below.

Championship Guidelines

There are no qualifications necessary for the Championship, but schools represented must be registered Affiliates of the USEA.

Students must be enrolled as undergraduate students and be an active USEA Collegiate Member in good standing. * Exception: students may compete in the Championship up to 6 months after graduating, allowing December graduates to compete in the May Championship.

Students must have attended classes for at least one semester; incoming freshman, even if they are enrolled for the fall, are not eligible to compete.

A student may not compete more than one horse on a team. If a student has an additional horse(s) entered in the competition, they may compete on a school’s second team or a scramble team.

Participants must enter the team championship as individuals through the event’s designated entry system. A team representative from each institution must then submit a tentative team roster for the Championship to the event organizer or designated team coordinator no later than the closing date for the event.

Scramble or scratch teams (multiple schools represented on the same team) may participate in the Championship. Students may request to be on a specific scramble team and/or the organizer/team coordinator may design the scramble teams. A spot on a scramble team is dependent upon entries and not always guaranteed.

Teams may declare alternates with their tentative team roster. Alternates must be entered in the competition as an individual competitor and may serve as a substitute for a team rider in the event of a scratch or withdrawal prior to the naming of definite team rosters. Alternates will not be named to a scramble team until after definite team rosters are declared. Therefore, alternates are not guaranteed a spot on a scramble team.

Individual collegiate riders who are eligible to compete but are not named to a team (e.g. scramble riders or alternates who are not called up to a team) are permitted to participate in all collegiate activities during the Championship.

Definite team rosters must be provided by 12:00 p.m. ET the Monday prior to the start of the Championship. Any changes from the previously provided tentative roster may not affect another college or university team structure (e.g. moving a horse from a scratch team). This is to ensure that all eligible students who are entered in the event and expressed interest to participate in the Championships may do so.

Absolutely no substitutions or changes may be made to any team after the first horse inspection (for events including FEI divisions) or 3:00 p.m. ET the day prior to the first day of dressage if there is no horse inspection.

The Championship does not allow mixed levels (P/T, N/T, A/I).

Intercollegiate Team Challenges

Intercollegiate Team Challenges are popular additions to recognized horse trials in the United States. Teams competing in events identified as Intercollegiate Team Challenges are able to self-identify to the competition organizer, and will compete in the regular horse trial competition as individuals. Combining their individual scores, their team scores will be tabulated and matched against other teams. Please visit the USEA website for a current calendar of team challenges.

See additional information on hosting an intercollegiate team challenge in the Organizer Guide below.


Though there are no official requirements for scoring individual Intercollegiate Team Challenges, the USEA would like to encourage all hosting venues to use the following guidelines that are used at the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship. Teams can be made up of three or four riders. Teams can be made up of riders of different levels. To account for differences in level difficulty, each rider’s score is multiplied by a coefficient appropriate for their level, and then the individual scores are added together to determine the team score. Only the best three individual scores will count towards the team score, so teams of four will have one “drop” score.

The coefficient system that will be applied at the Championship is as follows:

  • Starter: 1.0
  • Beginner Novice: .99
  • Novice: 0.95
  • Training: 0.90
  • Modified: 0.85
  • Preliminary: 0.80
  • Intermediate: 0.75
  • Advanced: .65
  • CCI1*-L: 0.85
  • CCI2*-S: 0.80
  • CCI2*-L: 0.75
  • CCI3*-S: 0.70
  • CCI3*-L: 0.65
  • CCI4*-S: 0.60

If Modified is not offered at the Championship, a coefficient of 0.95 will apply to Training level. Coefficients for additional levels not listed here will be assigned as necessary.

The USEA has a scoring template in an Excel spreadsheet. Please email the USEA Director of Programs or the Intercollegiate Committee Chair to get a copy of the template.

Frequently Asked Question

Q: I want to sign up for the Intercollegiate Eventing Program, but I do not see my school listed?
If your school is not listed in the drop-down menu, please contact your college or university and have them contact the USEA office for more information on how to become an Affiliate of the USEA by calling (703) 779-0440 or emailing Jennifer Hardwick at [email protected] or Kaleigh Collett at [email protected].

Q. If my school has an equine program but is not a part of the Intercollegiate Eventing Program, how do we get our school to be included in the program?
A faculty or staff representative of your college or university (some institutions have an Equine Programs Director) needs to complete the USEA Eventing Affiliate Application Form. Have your faculty or staff representative submit the application to the USEA office to be included in the program. You can email the completed form to [email protected], fax your application to (703) 779-0550, or mail to the USEA office at 525 Old Waterford Rd., NW, Leesburg, VA 20176

Q: What does the school need to submit to be considered for this program?
A faculty or staff representative of your college or university will to complete the USEA Eventing Affiliate Application Form. The school must pay an Affiliate membership fee, which costs $75 per year (for less than 100 members). The school must renew this Affiliate membership each year.

Q: What documentation do I need to submit to receive the USEA Collegiate Membership discount?
Your school’s faculty or staff representative or team captain/coach must submit a full roster to Jennifer Hardwick at [email protected]. The USEA office will verify your participation in the equine programs at your school, at which time a discount of $25 will be issued to each member. Rosters must be submitted by February 15 of each year.

Q: If I do not submit proper identification do I still get a discount?
If the faculty or staff representative from your school verifies your participation in the program, the USEA will issue a refund of $25. Otherwise, no refund will be issued.

Q: Can alumni, post-undergraduate professional students, or graduate students participate in the Intercollegiate Eventing Program?
Since its inception, the focus of the Intercollegiate Eventing Program has been on undergraduate students. With that said, many schools offer graduate and professional students as well as alumni opportunities to be a part of the team. For this reason, organizers of Intercollegiate Challenges have typically opened them to all students, including graduate and professional students and alumni. Additionally, any student identified by their registered USEA Affiliate institution as currently enrolled will be eligible for the discounted membership rate. The USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship is only open to undergraduate students.

Q: Why do I have to pay the full $85 before I can get the discounted rate?
This is a USEA policy. The full payment must be submitted at the time of registration. Once your team submits a team roster and your credentials have been verified a refund will be issued. If identification cannot be verified, no refund will be issued.

Q: What do I get with a Collegiate Membership?
Please see the USEA website here for a list of member benefits.

For any other questions, please contact Kaleigh Collett at [email protected] or (703)-669-9994 ext. 3019.

Student Guide: Building an Intercollegiate Eventing Team

Since its inception in 2014, the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing program – aimed to enfranchise and maintain the participation in eventing by the college-student age group – has experienced a notable increase in the level of membership and in competition entries as well as welcome new faces to the sport of eventing.

We commend the students that have worked to create teams at their college or university and actively participate in educational activities and team building, providing a community of like-minded individuals interested in eventing and/or horse sports.

The USEA has formulated this document to assist students in forming eventing teams at their college or university and become a registered affiliate with the USEA making them eligible for earning points on the Intercollegiate Leaderboard and participating in the annual USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship.

Becoming Official with your School

  • Contact your student activities council or the group in charge of student organizations at your school
  • Find a faculty member willing to assist you in getting the team up and running. A faculty member can help you navigate all the ins and outs of school policies. A faculty or staff representative at your college is required to submit an application to become a USEA affiliate.
  • Make sure you check all of the requirements your school has for student organizations to be sure you are meeting those requirements.
  • Some schools have the option of making your team an intramural sport. Get in contact with your school’s Recreational Sports department.

Growing your Member Base

  • Talk to local trainers in your area (including different disciplines) and see if any of their students go to your school.
  • Participate in orientation week recruiting events your school puts on
  • Post advertisements at local feed and tack stores
  • Let academic departments in your school know about your team. Many schools have email lists and bulletin boards available for student organizations.
  • Advertise to potential students through prospective student days and high schools. Having an intercollegiate eventing team may encourage some prospective students to choose that college and provide you with an excited new member.
  • Each Intercollegiate team should strive to include non-riding participants by encouraging friends and other college students to learn about the riding program and include them in Intercollegiate activities such as meetings and Team Challenges as supporters, grooms, other support positions, or just as general enthusiasts. There are multiple USEA membership options, including a Supporting Membership with benefits for non-riders.
  • Consider how to connect the intercollegiate program to other sports’ “booster” programs, in order to help give Intercollegiate Eventing a consistent presence on campus as well as in the college sports roster.

Becoming Official with the USEA

  • Once you’ve become an official organization and have a solid member base, contact the USEA or go online to to register your school as a collegiate team/affiliate.

Participating in Team Challenges

  • Contact local event venues and see if they already host team challenges and if not talk to them about adding one to their next event. Volunteer your team to help them add and run it.
  • Use resources available through the USEA to help organize and run your challenge.
  • Get in contact with other Intercollegiate Teams and invite them to events.

Things to Consider When Transitioning Team Officers

  • Contact USEA with the new team president’s name and contact information. This way people can contact the team via the USEA website, and USEA can also communicate with the proper team member whenever necessary.
  • Remember, official team rosters are due to the USEA Membership Department by February 15 each year in order for students to receive the USEA Collegiate Membership discounted rate.
  • Update all social media accounts with the new team president’s and/or team officer contact information.
  • It is helpful for officers to have a binder for their role. They can add notes about the position to the binder that can be passed on year to year.
  • Keep up with document sharing, like Google docs for a team, that way it can be shared year to year.
  • Turn over logo files and PDFs to the new team officers.
  • Stay current on the individual school requirements for teams or club sports. Re-register the team as necessary, update contact information for team officers, and communicate with associated faculty when changes occur within the team.

Note: Guidelines and requirements for teams and clubs vary between schools. Please contact the USEA to view several examples of existing team constitutions.

Organizer Guide: USEA Intercollegiate Team Challenges

Since its inception in 2014, the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing program – aimed to enfranchise and maintain the participation in eventing by the college-student age group – has experienced a notable increase in the level of membership and in competition entries as well as welcome new faces to the sport of eventing.

We thank all the organizers who have helped host these important, sport-enhancing competitions, and hope that organizers in every Area will consider offering an Intercollegiate Team Challenge.

The USEA has formulated this document to assist organizers in easily incorporating a USEA Intercollegiate Team Challenge into a USEA horse trials. This “Organizer’s Guide” will help answer questions and provide solutions to many potential organizational challenges. This document covers event promotion, entries, team dynamics and scoring, awards, and affiliates.

What is Intercollegiate Eventing?

Intercollegiate Eventing is the USEA program, formulated in 2014, that is aimed uniquely at the college student who would like to continue to event or expand his/her eventing experience while enrolled in an accredited college or university.

The program is strongly based on a team competition – referred to as an Intercollegiate Team Challenge – between two or more teams of students from one or more colleges or universities and held under the auspices of a USEA/USEF-recognized Horse Trial. All rules of competition as put forth in the USEA and the USEF Rule Book apply to all Intercollegiate competitors.

Who may participate?

  • Any student enrolled part- or full-time at any college or university. The program is open to students of any age. It is the responsibility of the students and institutions to be in membership compliance.
  • A student must be a current individual member of the USEA, either as a “Full” or “Life” member or as an “Collegiate” member, which is a discounted membership for this category.
  • The institution is strongly encouraged, but not required, to be a current Affiliate member of the USEA. This is an annual membership.
  • Only students from colleges and universities that are registered as Affiliate Organizations may participate in the annual USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship.

Quick Tips

  • An organizer may choose to either 1) host an Intercollegiate Team Challenge or 2) accept the request of a college team or group of teams to host one at their event.
  • Levels of Competition: Levels to be included in an Intercollegiate Team Challenge are offered at the discretion of the organizer. Frequently, Starter through Preliminary are the levels offered.
  • Teams: Teams can consist of either three or four riders. Four-member teams may utilize a “drop score”; three-member teams may not do so.
  • Individual riders representing their college are greatly encouraged to participate by joining a “scramble” team.
  • Fees: No fees are required by the USEA for offering an Intercollegiate Team Challenge.
  • Scoring: There are no official requirements for scoring. However, the USEA encourages all host venues to utilize the scoring guidelines provided in this handbook.
  • Awards: While not required, organizers are encouraged to classify separately and award ribbons for the Intercollegiate Team Challenge competitors.
  • Communication: An organizer can expect to have all communications regarding the organization of an Intercollegiate Team Challenge with either a student liaison of the college or its Riding or Athletic Director. The organizer should not expect to communicate with the USEA, although the organizer is welcome to contact the USEA office at any time with questions regarding the Intercollegiate program.

**Please read all sections of this guide for a complete understanding of hosting an Intercollegiate Team Challenge**

Get the Word Out

Once an organizer has determined that they would like to host a USEA Intercollegiate Team Challenge at their event, the following promotional steps are recommended:

  • List your event on the Intercollegiate Team Challenge calendar found on the USEA website by emailing event information to Kaleigh Collett at [email protected]
  • Add Intercollegiate Team Challenge information to the host event’s USEA Omnibus listing by emailing USEA’s Director of Competitions Sharon Gallagher, [email protected].
  • Alert the students, colleges/universities and eventers in your Area. Share the announcement on your event’s website and social media pages. An organizer or event representative may also write a brief announcement for inclusion on the Association News section of the USEA website. When possible, alert the Athletics Director and/or Riding Director of colleges in your area and encourage their participation.


When listing a USEA Intercollegiate Team Challenge in the Omnibus, Intercollegiate Calendar or elsewhere, organizers should indicate:

  • The levels to be offered for the Intercollegiate Team Challenge
  • The preferred method (online, paper, etc.) for making a team entry

The following options are suggested for students/teams when signing up for an Intercollegiate Team Challenge:

  • When making an entry, include the college/university name on the stabling list and also email the organizer a team roster.
  • Make note of their college/university or team name on a paper entry.
  • Since team challenge participants are encouraged to stable together in order to promote team atmosphere and camaraderie, a team should indicate if it would like to avail itself of this stabling option.

The USEA is currently refining the entry process for team challenges, including working with online entry systems to incorporate a section for team challenge sign-ups.

Team Dynamics and Scoring

Although there are no official requirements for team dynamics or for scoring an Intercollegiate Team Challenge, the USEA would like to encourage all host venues to use the guidelines outlined in this handbook.


It is recommended that the organizer post the scores for an Intercollegiate Team Challenge separately from the horse trials divisions so that the teams may keep up with the team challenge standings.

Organizers may offer team ribbons and/or prizes and if possible, host an awards ceremony for the team challenge.

The USEA requests that final results of the team challenge be submitted to the Association at the conclusion of the competition

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