Jun 07, 2019

Official's Journal: Learning Outside the Classroom

Volunteers being briefed at the FEI World Equestrian Games. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

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.

Technical Delegates have to be ready to jump into action. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

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.

Feb 28, 2021 Profile

Now on Course: Heartbeats and Hoofbeats

My name is Tayah Fuller and I’m 14 years old. “On course” to me is a phrase that makes my heart pump fast and my excitement go wild. There is no better feeling than galloping through a field or flying over cross-country jumps with my heart thrumming along, especially when it is with my best friend. You see, I was born with a congenital heart murmur. While it has never really affected my athletic abilities, the one time that I notice it is when I am riding through a cross-country course with my horse.

Feb 27, 2021 Association News

Beware of Phishing Attempts and Other Types of Fraud

Please always remain vigilant when it comes to sending any personal communications via email or text. Every year we receive reports of members and leaders of our sport receiving phishing attempts both online and by phone. These are often communications disguised as being sent from USEA staff or other leaders. As the years go on, the phishing attempts appear to be more directed and tailored.

Feb 27, 2021 Education

Top 10 Tips for Leather Care with Bates Saddles

Tack cleaning is one of those barn chores that might not be our favorite but is certainly necessary for keeping our equipment in top shape. Aside from caring for your tack so it lasts for years to come, regular tack maintenance is important for safety. The last thing you want is the potential for a stitch, zipper, or buckle breaking while you're out on course.

Feb 26, 2021 Rules

Update on Appendix 3 Rule Change Proposal

Following feedback from our membership to the rule change proposal for the USEF Rules For Eventing: Appendix 3 – Participation In Horse Trials, the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors voted to modify the rule change proposal, but still to recommend the establishment of rider licenses and increase Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs) to the regulating authority of the sport US Equestrian (USEF).

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