Feb 12, 2018

Charles Owen Technical Merit Award Returns for 2018

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff
Eleanor Leonard and Alvescot Moneymaker, 2017's highest scoring junior winner of the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award. Alison Green Photo.

In 2009, the Professional Horseman’s Council in partnership with Charles Owen founded the Charles Owen Technical Merit (COTM) Award to reward juniors and adult amateurs for demonstrating safe and appropriate cross-country riding technique and educate riders and trainers as to what constitutes safe cross-country riding.

New in 2018, the USEA has changed the eligibility of the COTM award to be judged at the Training level for adult amateurs and juniors who have not competed at the Intermediate level or above. This enables organizers to choose from two options. Organizers may either have a Training Rider division and judge only the juniors and adult amateurs competing in that group, OR if an organizer does not offer a Training Rider division they may still hold a Training Amateur division and the USEA will provide a list to the organizer of all eligible riders in that division who have not competed at the Intermediate level or above. 

The Charles Owen Technical Merit Award is now presented at one event in each USEA Area each year at the Training level to one junior rider and one adult amateur rider who have not competed at the Intermediate level or above. Every eligible rider at the Training level is automatically judged during their cross-country round on the five criteria listed below and receives a score sheet with written comments, providing valuable feedback on their cross-country riding technique. Level III and IV ICP instructors, USEF licensed eventing officials, and USET Senior Team riders are all qualified to judge the Award.

  1. Gallop: Appropriate speed for level, terrain, conditions, type of obstacle, and balance. 
  2. Preparation Period: Demonstrates change in balance appropriate for type of obstacle. Choice of line of direction/approach, riders demonstrates proper aids, horse responsive to aids. 
  3. Execution of Jump: Jumped in proper balance with no twisting or drifting. Safe negotiation by horse with no badly hanging legs, rider stays in balance. 
  4. Rider Position: Secure, effective position, use of upper body, fitness.
  5. General Impressions: Horse appropriate for level, rider in control, partnership of horse and rider, confidence of horse and rider, competence and preparation for level.

The winners of the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award at each event during the year receive a Charles Owen body protector and helmet bag, and then the overall highest scoring junior and adult amateur rider from all 10 events receives a voucher towards a Charles Owen helmet.

2018 Charles Owen Technical Merit Schedule

Pine Top Advanced H.T. | February 22-25, 2018 | Thomson, GA (Area III)

Golden Spike H.T. | June 16-17, 2018 | Ogden, UT  (Area IX)

Coconino Summer I H.T. | July 6-8, 2018 | Flagstaff, AZ (Area X)

The Event at Rebecca Farm | July 18-22, 2018 | Kalispell, MT (Area VII)

Fitch's Corner H.T. | July 21-22, 2018 | Millbrook, NY (Area I)

Cobblestone Farms H.T. | August 3-5, 2018 | Dexter, MI (Area VIII)

Shepherd Ranch SYVPC H.T. II | August 24-26, 2018 | Santa Ynez, CA (Area VI)

Seneca Valley Pony Club H.T. | September 8-9, 2018 | Poolesville, MD (Area II)

Otter Creek Fall H.T. | September 14-16, 2018 | Wheeler, WI (Area IV)

Texas Rose Horse Park | November 10-11, 2018 | Tyler, TX (Area V)

The USEA would like to thank Charles Owen for sponsoring the Technical Merit Award.

For more information on the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award, please contact Kate Lokey, (703) 779-9897, or visit the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award page.

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