Sep 13, 2006

Competitors - Tell Us What You Think

By USEA

From the USEA Professional Horsemens' Council Welcome to the USEA Professional Horsemen's Council blog, where we will discuss ideas and address issues affecting all competitors. We look forward to your comments so please do not hesitate to get involved. We will be liaising with the organizers and officials in an attempt to improve the flow of information between all the parties that are so vital to the sport's success. So tell us what's impressed you, what infuriates you and do you have a solution. To get us started here are five topics that have emerged this year.

1. Some upper-level competitors have asked that the number of jumps in warm-up be increased by one or two. These would take the form of two additional oxers and could be called "trainer oxers". This would allow for trainers to use the standards and poles to set the jumps in different ways without interrupting the warm-up for other riders. 2. Can the scheduling be improved? More and more competitors are asking for one-days. This reduces costs and time away from home. Are there event organizers who are scheduling one-days successfully and would be willing to share their formats? Which format do you the riders like most? Some events have show jumping right before cross-country. Riders wear their body protectors etc. and the show jumping acts as the perfect warm-up for cross-country. Riders go straight from show jumping over to the cross-country start and can be on course in less than ten minutes. (USEF rules will have to be changed to allow for the dress rules to accommodate this.) 3. The issue of refunds still concerns many. Organizers need every penny to pay for the costs of putting on the event and we all understand how hard it is to make events profitable. But, if after closing date, the competition has a waiting list and you have a veterinary certificate (or a doctor's certificate) should you be able to get a refund? if not all of the entry and stabling fees then maybe some percentage of them? How do we know if there is a waiting list? Will the organizer notify us if our place has been filled or do we have to wait for a fellow competitor to 4. Do you know about the new amateur rule for eventing? As of December 1, anyone who earns more than $2,500 per annum for teaching, training and/or riding is ineligible for amateur divisions. This does not apply to grooms, farriers, etc. You have to notify the USEA of your amateur status so that it can be noted on the database. This is how your year-end points show up on the leaderboards. We hope that this will go a long way to giving the amateurs the recognition they deserve, we will be watching closely during the 2007 competition season. 5. Now that the Young Event Horse Series is up and running we have heard that competitors would like to see classes for five- and six-year-olds at the novice/training/prelim levels at horse trials. One or two are doing this at the prelim level already; Virginia HT offers a young horse class and Maui Jim Horse Trials have done this also. It would be nice to have a class for these young horses so that they can compete against their peers just as we do for juniors and young riders.
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