Oct 19, 2020

How Strong Is Your Intermediate Game?

Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection had the lowest Intermediate dressage score and two of the 10 lowest finishing scores in 2019. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

How competitive have your Intermediate results been? What is a good final score? What is a good dressage score? How are the top placers scoring? As we continue this series on the USEA levels, EquiRatings offers some stats and graphs to help evaluate your Intermediate game.

How are People Scoring at Intermediate?

These graphs show Intermediate performance across the board, from sub-28 to DNF (Did Not Finish). Take a look to see what scores the Intermediate population has been earning. What scores do you usually get? We offer some of our takeaways to get you started.

The Show Jumping Zones and the Cross-Country Zones include time and jumping penalties.

The Big Picture at Intermediate

Finishing Score Zones

  • Sub-36 Zones: Only 1 in 10 Intermediate starters (10%) finish sub-36.
  • 60+ Zone: On the other end of the spectrum, over 1 in 4 Intermediate starters (26%) finish with 60 penalties or more.

Per-Phase Zones

  • Only around 1 in 20 Intermediate starters (6%) get a sub-28 dressage score.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Intermediate show jumping starters (63%) earn 4 or fewer show jumping penalties.
  • 1 in 10 Intermediate cross-country starters (10%) finish the phase clear and within the time.
  • Over 1 in 10 Intermediate cross-country starters (12%) do not finish the phase.

The Target Score for a Win at Intermediate

Eventing is about putting all three phases together to finish strong, but what is a strong finish at the Intermediate level? What are the top finishers scoring? The graphs and tables below show you what it takes to win.

Top Finishing Scores

  • Less than 1 in 10 Intermediate winners (9%) finish sub-28.
  • Over 2 in 5 Intermediate winners (41%) finish between 28 and 36.
  • Over 2 in 5 third-place finishers (42%) finish in the next two zones, between 36 and 45.

Dressage - What Does a Strong Start Look Like at Intermediate?

Final Position

Average Dressage Score

Started as Dressage Leader

Started 10 Marks or Less from Dressage Leader

Started more than 10 Marks from Dressage Leader

Winner

31.7

38.6%

58.6%

2.8%

Third Place

34.4

9.5%

73.4%

17.1%

Using 2017-2019 Intermediate data.

  • Intermediate winners average a dressage score of 31.7. This is the highest average of any U.S. national level.
  • Nearly 2 in 5 of Intermediate winners (38.6%) are leaders after the first phase.
  • Most Intermediate third-place finishers (nearly 3 in 4, 73.4%) are not the dressage leader but are within 10 marks after the first phase.

Show Jumping - Can You Afford to Knock a Pole at Intermediate?

Final Position

0 Show Jumping Penalties

1 to 4 Show Jumping Penalties

5 or More Show Jumping Penalties

Winner

66.6%

24.9%

8.5%

Third Place

48.7%

31.8%

19.5%

Using 2017-2019 Intermediate data. This table includes show jumping time penalties and jumping penalties.

  • A clean show jumping round is helpful for a win at Intermediate. Two-thirds of Intermediate winners (66.6%) keep all the rails up and finish under time.
  • Half of third-place finishers (51.3%) do have show jumping faults.

Cross-Country - Do You Need to be Clear Inside the Time at Intermediate?

Final Position

Clear Inside the Time

Average Cross-Country Time Penalties

Winner

29%

4.5

Third Place

18%

7.0

Using 2017-2019 Intermediate data.

  • A clean jumping cross-country round is critical to success, but a few time penalties won’t take you out the running. Only one-third of Intermediate winners (29%) finish clear and within the optimum time.
  • Only 1 out of every 5 third-place finishers (18%) complete cross-country clear and within the optimum time.

What are the 2019 Record Performances?

Lastly, we have pulled the 2019 record dressage scores and record finishing scores from the Intermediate level. All the top finishing scores are sub-28!

How Can You Use These Numbers?

Seeing these types of overall stats can help you gain clarity and set realistic targets. Of course, long-term goal-setting is not about comparison; you have to stay in your lane or risk being robbed of fulfilment. But these numbers can help you figure out where you stand. If you do want to be a bit more competitive, now you know what it takes. Be encouraged by hitting small, measurable targets every step of the way.

May 23, 2022 Eventing News

US Equestrian Announces Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for CHIO Aachen CCIO4*-S

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the CHIO Aachen CCIO4*-S at CHIO Aachen World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, from July 1-2, 2022. The team will be led by Chef d’Equipe Bobby Costello.

May 23, 2022 AEC

AEC Countdown: Less Than 100 Days!

The countdown is on for the 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds! This year, the USEA AEC moves to the beautiful Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana. The AEC will move back to the Kentucky Horse Park in 2023, so if you have ever dreamed of riding in the Flathead Valley of Montana with views of Glacier National Park, you won’t want to miss this year’s very special opportunity.

May 23, 2022 News

USEA Podcast #310: The Season So Far

USEA Podcast host Nicole Brown is joined by USEA CEO Rob Burk and USEA President Max Corcoran to look back on the highlights of the season so far. From the big five-stars to the road to Pratoni and what to look forward to this year.

May 22, 2022

Auburn University Demonstrates Talent and Spirit to Win 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships

When Auburn University’s Alayna Backel jumped the final jump on her cross-country course today you couldn’t even hear the announcer over the mob of Auburn students, fans, and family members standing at the finish flags. As the last member of the Auburn War Eagles team to compete at the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships, Backel’s double-clear cross-country round with Amy Dobbins’ 17-year-old Halflinger gelding Oliver Twist (Aurora x Ludora de Las Perlas) solidified Auburn’s first victory at the Intercollegiate Championships in three years on a cumulative team score of 79.23.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Real Estate Partner of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Horse Clothing of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA