Erin Kimmer is on a journey to obtain her USEF “r” Technical Delegate license and is taking us along with her through the Training Program for Eventing Officials. Click here to read her first installment and click here to read about her experience at the B&C Jumping/Course Design Training Program.
The next step for potential judges after attending the training sessions is your apprentice judging. Apprentice judging takes all of the important information learned during the training session and shows how to apply it in real-world situations. While shadowing licensed officials, you get a much better understanding of how to apply the rules and what circumstances to take into consideration.
For Technical Delegates (TD), the majority of the work is done the day before the show. All cross-country courses must be measured for distances and jump dimensions. All of this information is collected for safety analysis, especially in the case of falls. The TD then confers with the President of the Ground Jury about the cross-country course and any concerns they may have before your course is open to walk. Show jumping courses get measured as well as dressage rings and checked to make sure they are set correctly. Stabling is also checked for safety before competitors arrive.
The day of the competition, the TD’s main and most important job is briefing the volunteers. Making sure that they understand the importance of their jobs and the safety aspects that our sport requires is of utmost importance. TDs must be able to explain our sports complex rules quickly and efficiently to those who may have never been to an event before.
Once the TD has completed the volunteer briefing, their job is to observe and be ready in the event that something happens and questions of rules come into play. Really any time a competitor has a question about a rule, the TD is the first official they will communicate with. The TD will meet with the competitor and listen to the competitor and find out what the question/issue is and then find how the rules then apply to their situation. If this does not resolve the issue, the TD then gathers all of this information together to present to the President of the Ground Jury for the final decision.
At the end of every event, the TD must fill out forms documenting the details of the event, especially if there are falls. Every fall is documented and details recorded to provide insight on how to make competitions safer. Even if no falls happen, data is still collected on how many stops or run outs certain jumps caused and this can be brought to course designers attention and changes can be made. The TD can also make suggestions on improvements for events as well as any suggestions on how things could be run more smoothly and safely.
Apprenticing really helps potential judges get a feel for what it is like to really judge. It is very important to be ready for anything and to be able to think on your feet. Knowing the rules is one thing, but being able to think calmly in certain situations and how to talk to people is another crucial skill. All of these skills are difficult to teach from a textbook situation but are much better learned in real situations.
The Charles Owen Technical Merit Award visits each of the 10 USEA Areas each year, presenting one junior and one adult amateur rider at the Training level with an award based on safe and effective cross-country riding. The Area VIII leg of the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award took place at the Cobblestone Farms Horse Trials, August 2-4, 2019. Noah Stanlaske and Michelle Weeks earned the junior and adult amateur awards, respectively.
For those that compete in a Hylofit USEA Classic Series Three-Day Event, what truly sets the competition apart from a regular horse trials is endurance day, where, in addition to cross-country, riders have the chance to experience the two roads and tracks phases and the steeplechase phase.
“We need to back up and look at the gut,” said Dr. Maureen Kelleher before diving into an explanation of the many different oral joint supplements on the market. “Digestion begins in the mouth. Salivary secretion starts to break things down as the horse chews things up and then swallows, and it ends up in the stomach. We’ve got more digestion occurring in the stomach and the small intestine, and absorption starts to occur in the small intestine and continues in the large intestine.”
The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event (FHI) will host the U.S. Equestrian CCI4*-L and CCI3*-L Fall Eventing Championships along with the USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships presented by Dubarry, October 17-20 at the Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area. The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International will award $50,000 in prize money.