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, click here to read about her experience at the B&C Jumping/Course Design Training Program, click here to read about her apprenticeship, and click here to read about her final exam preparation.
I was very excited that the final exam for licensed officials would be held at the Kentucky Horse Park. Having never been to one of our sport's most important venues, I was eager to get on grounds and check everything out. The first morning we were required to go out and walk cross-country and give an evaluation of the Preliminary cross-country course. The courses were designed very smartly, taking into consideration that the courses needed to ask championship level questions per level.
After the course evaluations, we met at the National Pony Club Office to meet with our examiners and go through some case studies. We divided into groups and met with the examiners and talked through the case studies individually. Afterward, we went out on cross-country to discuses specific elements on the Preliminary course. We met with each of the examiners and they each asked us our thoughts and opinions about each element. Two out of the three elements were pretty straightforward Preliminary questions but one lead to a great discussion! We were very curious to see how that specific question rode so we stayed and watched several riders negotiate the question.
After our cross-country discussion, I had to give my Technical Delegate jump judge briefing. I had studied other’s briefings in my exam prep and made an outline for myself on what I planned to cover in my briefing. I also had some practice beforehand with jump judge briefings when I was the TD at the Carolina Horse Park. Their seasoned jump judges had given me great feedback and support during my briefings so I felt very confident!
The next morning we met early at the Rolex Stadium to walk the Intermediate show jumping course. When the competition started, we teamed up with large letter judges to live judge some of the rounds. Afterward, we watched and discussed the judging of some of the rounds. We then went back out on cross-country to discuss frangible technologies that were being used on some of the fences. We then met back at the Rolex Stadium to discuss and watch the Preliminary level show jumping. The examiners asked us show jumping related rule questions and our opinions about handling certain situations that arise during show jump rounds. We also discussed the appropriateness of the course per the level.
We then had a break before meeting with the examiners for our exit interview and to find out if we had passed our exam or not. Since I had never been to KHP before, I took a little time and explored the park. Being a very big Man O’ War fan, I had to go and see the great big red horse’s final resting place!
Finally, it was my turn to meet with the examiners and to my relief, they told me that I had passed my exam! I have so thoroughly enjoyed my journey to gain my license. This process has shaped my eventing knowledge and has helped with my riding immensely. I highly suggest the licensed official's program to anyone who is considering becoming a licensed official and even to riders as well. It really helps to understand what the judges are looking for and what is going to be expected during each phase and level. I am extremely grateful to all of the judges that have allowed me to work alongside them and share their priceless knowledge and experience with me! Thank you so much and can’t wait to see everyone out having fun at your next show!
Conditioning makes the horse fit and increases his endurance performance with less wear and tear on feet and legs. The idea is to work his heart and lungs in short intervals, let him recover a bit, then work him again. The following schedule for Training level horse provides an introduction for the horse and rider at the lower levels to the principle of interval training.
Within their first few years of being born, young horses have the opportunity to get a taste of U.S. Eventing through the USEA’s young horse programs. The USEA Future Event Horse Program (FEH) evaluates the potential of yearlings, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, and 4-year-olds under saddle to become successful upper level event horses while the USEA Young Event Horse Program (YEH) evaluates the potential of 4-year-olds and 5-year-olds to become successful upper level event horses.
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.