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!
When the overnight leader cantered into the show jumping arena at the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International and had the first rail down, Erin Sylvester knew that she had just clinched the CCI4*-L win. It isn’t just another CCI4*-L win though – it is a truly historic one as she and Paddy The Caddy, Frank McEntee’s 12-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Azamore x Slamy), will be the final names inscribed on the Fair Hill trophy.
All horses who presented this morning at the final horse inspection at the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event were accepted, but one notable horse wasn’t presented. D.A. Duras, Jacqueline Mars and Debbie Adam’s 11-year-old KWPN gelding (Numero Uno x Medoc) was withdrawn by Lauren Kieffer before the horse inspection. The pair were sitting in third place in the CCI4*-L so their withdrawal moves up the majority of the division.
The scoreboard was kept working at full tilt on cross-country today at The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International as 24 of the 41 CCI4*-L starters picked up some sort of jump penalty on Derek di Grazia’s course. The leader position changed several times throughout the afternoon as 15 penalties were handed out by the ground jury, but Waylon Roberts and Lancaster kept their slate clean to take over the top spot.