The first competitors of 2018 left the start box this past weekend, which makes this a perfect time to brush up on the changes to the USEF Rules for Eventing which went into effect on December 1, 2017. There were far fewer changes to the rulebook than in 2017, but the biggest change that will affect competitors is the introduction of Annex 1, which was released last week by the USEF and provides additional clarification on the bits that are legal for use in the dressage phase of national competition. This new Annex details over 50 unique bit variations, indicating whether they are acceptable for use either as a snaffle or as a bridoon or curb on a double bridle with a green checkmark or red "x". Any of the rings in the illustrations in Annex 1 can be paired with any of the permitted mouthpieces.
All changes are bolded and italicized. In the USEF Rules for Eventing, changes appear in red.
(SUBCHAPTER EV-1 GENERAL RULES FOR ALL EVENTING)
2. DRESSAGE TEST.
c. A rounded snaffle bit made of metal, leather, rubber or plastic material is permitted for all tests.
e. A breast plate may be used. For drawings of permitted bits and nosebands see Annex 1. Permitted bits for a particular test are specified on each test.
f. Martingales, bit guards, any kind of gadgets (such as bearing, side, running or balancing reins, etc.), reins with any loops or hand attachments, any kind of boots or leg bandages and any form of blinkers, including earmuffs, earplugs, hoods, and seat covers are, under penalty of elimination, strictly forbidden. Ear hoods are permitted for all Tests and may also provide noise reduction. However, ear hoods must not cover the horse’s eyes and ear plugs are not permitted. The ear hoods should be discreet in color and design.
(SUBCHAPTER EV-3 RULES FOR HORSE TRIALS)
EV139 Cross-Country Courses
1. MARKING OF THE COURSE
c. Numbers and Letters - Each obstacle shall be numbered. Obstacles with elements or options (see EV140.2) shall in addition be lettered (A, B, C, etc.). Each compulsory passage shall be marked with the first letter of the level and numbered consecutively. Numbers and letters shall be painted as follows: National Levels: Advanced—white on a blue background, Intermediate—white on a red background, Preliminary—white on a green background, Modified - orange on a blue background, Training—white on a black background, Novice— black on a white background, Beginner Novice—black on a yellow background or as designated by the organizer and printed on the course map. If an event is running FEI levels and National levels of the same height level, the National level must be differentiated from the FEI level(s).
EV141 Cross-Country Scoring
1. FAULTS AT OBSTACLES:
5. Fourth penalized disobedience on the entire course at Beginner Novice, Novice, Training or Modified Elimination.
EV142 Cross-Country—Definitions of Faults (Drawings, Appendix 7)
2. DISOBEDIENCES (REFUSALS and RUN-OUTS)
b. Runouts. A horse is considered to be disobedient if it runs-out, avoids the obstacle or element to be jumped in such a way that it has to be represented. A rider is permitted to change his mind as to where he jumps an obstacle or element at any time without penalty for a run-out, including as a result of a mistake at a previous obstacle or element.
(SUBCHAPTER EV-6 RULES FOR OFFICIALS)
EV171 Ground Jury
a. The Ground Jury is ultimately responsible for the judging of the event and for settling all problems that may arise during its jurisdiction. Together with the Technical Delegate, Course Designer and Organizing Committee, it shall endeavor to ensure that all arrangements for the event, including the arenas, courses and obstacles including deformable Cross-Country Jumps, are appropriate. If, after consultation with the Technical Delegate, the Ground Jury is not satisfied with the arrangements or courses, it is authorized to modify them.
EV172 Additional Judges
5. Guest Cards (see GR1011.16)
EV174 Course Advisors
a. A Cross Country Course Advisor shall be appointed by the Federation for certain Horse Trials and Three-Day Events as designated by the Federation Eventing Sport Committee. The Cross Country Course Advisor will approve the design of the proposed course, including: the distance covered, the terrain and the condition and quality of the track; and the number of obstacles, their construction and variety and marking or flagging, the number of combinations, and the appropriateness of the level to the competition. The Cross Country Course Advisor will provide the course designer (CD) and technical delegate (TD) with a report which indicates any changes, either recommended, priority, or essential, to be made to each fence on the course. After inspection of the Cross Country course and prior to the event, the TD will complete the Cross Country Course Advisor Report for return to the Federation with the TD report. All essential changes must be made or the fence shall be removed from the course for the competition. All priority changes must be addressed prior to use at the next event or removed from the course.
b. Eventing Show Jumping Course Advisor please refer to program details at www.usef.org/compete/disciplines/eventing. For Show Jumping courses, the TD shall include a copy of the Show Jumping Courses, as posted at the competition, with the TD report. All essential Show Jumping changes must be made.
EV175 Course Designer
The Course Designer must be selected from the current roster of Eventing Course Designers of the Federation, or must have received training as a course designer. An individual recognized by the FEI or by another National Federation may serve as the course designer for a specific competition with the approval of the Federation Eventing Committee. A Senior (S) course designer is required for an Advanced Horse Trial. A Registered (R) or higher course designer is required for an Intermediate Horse Trial. A recorded (r) or higher course designer is required for Preliminary Horse Trials and National Three-Day Events. A Certified Eventing Cross Country Course Designer is required for Beginner Novice, Novice and Training Horse Trials. See SUBCHAPTER 10-I LICENSE APPLICATIONS, ENROLLMENT, PROMOTION, AND MAINTENANCE for maintenance requirements for all licenses and certification.
APPENDIX 4 - EVENTING - PREMITTED SADDLERY FOR DRESSAGE
See Annex 1 for Approved Bits for National Competitions
If your farm has the space to set up a cross-country schooling course, it can be to your advantage to have cross-country jumps available for schooling purposes. Safety should be the number one priority when designing and building cross-country jumps, and an expert should be consulted whenever possible.
By this time I am sure that you have received the news that the 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds (AEC) has been canceled. I sincerely apologize for the difficulty this has caused everyone involved. I want to commend the USEA Board of Governors for making an extremely hard decision.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
The Whidbey Island Horse Trials take place in Oak Harbor, Washington (Area VII) in early July of each year and offer Beginner Novice through Advanced/Intermediate horse trials. The Whidbey Island Horse Trials lost their venue in 2019 but are working on finalizing a new venue for 2021.