Aug 17, 2011

Competitor Representative (Rider Rep) Rule Change – EV 119

I have had the privilege to serve as the chair of the Professional Horseman’s Council for the past three years. It has been a time consuming but exceptionally rewarding position. We, as a group, have worked on what we consider to be very important issues. Two years ago, we put forward a revision of how the warm-up should be changed for both cross-country and show jumping. The changes we requested were in fact not major. We as professionals in the sport simply wanted an extra show jump in the warm-up for both phases and a solid cross-country jump for that warm-up. At the time this rule was put forward there were some very concerned people. Many people wondered if this extra jump would be only for “pros” and their students. They also wondered if the requirement of a solid fence in the cross-country warm-up would be too much for smaller events to handle. While every concern brought forward was legitimate and deserved consideration, I must say that since the rule has been in place the warm-up for both jumping phases is in fact much improved. It allows for better, safer warm-ups for everyone.

Last year we asked for another revision of an existing rule. I state it this way because I think it is important to note that we did not add another rule to the already tedious rule book we all compete under. What we did was rewrite the existing competitor representative (rider rep) rule. There were two big problems we saw with the previous rider rep program. First, too often competitors would arrive at a competition ready to school their horse only to be asked to be rider rep at the last minute. Of course most people would say yes to the request, but were they really able to do a good job? If you show up to an event on Friday at three o’clock with a plan to ride your horse that evening and maybe even help out a student or two, how can you walk the courses and communicate with the officials properly? Not to mention giving the officials, organizers, and designers the time to consider your input. The second problem we saw with the program was accountability of the rider rep. Because there was a lack of structure to the program, and also because riders are generally no good at paper work, most reps would agree to the job and then not follow up on their end of the deal. We saw that an important part of the program was to create a form for the rep to fill out so that they could document their review of the event. This form will be added to the official paper work that is reviewed by the events committee. Believe me when I tell you that this is a very big step in the credibility of the program.

As we worked through the new proposal we consistently came back to one conclusion. The revised rule had to put more pressure on the rider reps. At the same time, it had to be a program that put little or no additional strain on organizers or officials. The paper work involved is 100 percent the representative’s responsibility to find and fill out. We hope that organizers will be willing to help out reminding reps to fill out the required paper work, but in the end it is the rider’s responsibility. After all, the form can be found on the USEA website and takes literally ten minutes to fill out. Even I can manage that! The officials do legitimately have one additional task which is to walk around with the reps. This sounds tough, but I have participated as a rider and an organizer with the new format this year. It really takes about thirty to forty five minutes to drive around the appropriate tracks with the officials.

There are those who have just realized that this rule has been rewritten. They have raised some very legitimate, but very late questions. The concerned parties are members of our association who know and understand the rules process. They were all given ample opportunity to review and comment on the proposal. The basic message the PHC wants to put out is this: We worked exceptionally hard on this program with as many different groups as we could. The rule was revised no less than 12 times. It truly was a collaborative effort. Add to the above due diligence the rule change process that was followed and it is hard to believe anyone can be surprised this rule will be coming into effect next year. Those who claim that they had no idea this rule was changed have simply not been paying attention. We must never forget that we are all in this sport because of our love of horses. It is this common passion that brings us all together. The riders have shown that they are willing to step up and take on more responsibility at the competitions. Now we are asking for our officials to respect our request and allow us the opportunity to make this rule work. We all have so much to gain by increasing our communication with each other.

Jul 21, 2024 Eventing News

Allison Springer: From Pony Club to Changing the Eventing World

Bribery can get you far, but for young Allison Springer, it led to a lifetime of horse-crazy pursuits at the highest level of the eventing sport. Raised in the outskirts of Chicago in Barrington, Illinois, Allison and her city-grown parents were enjoying their new life in the country when she had the opportunity to ride a neighbor’s pony one day after school—and, as she describes it, “that’s how the disease begins for a little girl.”

Jul 20, 2024 Competitions

Dressage Sets Stage for Exciting Cross-Country at Rebecca Farm

FEI dressage wrapped on Friday at The Event at Rebecca Farm leaving most of the standings tight at the top. In fact, there's a tie atop the CCI4*-L between two pairs with many similarities. Karen O'Neal and Clooney 14 and Jennie Brannigan and Pascal share the lead on a 33.8. Both have been bringing these horses along for several years and both horses are debuting at this level.

Jul 20, 2024 Eventing News

Road to the AEC: Telford Has Her Swan Song with a Special OTTB

As a young girl growing up in Connecticut, I had ponies and horses and was an active 4-Her. My family didn’t have a lot of money so my riding was primarily limited to 4-H and small sanctioned hunter shows. I was very fortunate that my parents supported my passion and my father, as a carpenter, built my barn and outdoor arena.

Jul 19, 2024 AEC

Ride iQ Renews Partnership with USEA for 2024

The United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) is happy to announce Ride iQ as an official “USEA Educational Collaborator,” as well as “Sponsor of the USEA Adult Team Championships (ATC)” held at the 20th Anniversary USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), and an “Official Contributing Sponsor of the USEA Emerging Athlete U21 Program (EA21).”

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA

Official Horse Boot of the USEA

Official Shockwave of the USEA

Official Horse Wear of the USEA