As the season is picking up in our southern states, many competitors are getting ready to leave the startbox. If you are heading off to your first competition of the year, you have surely remembered to renew your USEA membership and sent in all the necessary paperwork, but have you checked that you are entered in an appropriate division?
A rider division is open to competitors who have not completed an event above the next highest level in the last five years. For example, if Suzy successfully completed a Preliminary event in 2014, she cannot enter the Novice Rider division this weekend.
A horse division is open to any competitors, but the horse cannot have completed an event above the next highest level. Notice there is no time mentioned here – once the horse completes a level they are ineligible to compete in the horse division two levels beneath. For example, Bob’s horse Blaze has completed events at the Training level, so Bob could not enter Blaze in the Beginner Novice Horse division at any competitions.
One of the most overlooked components of this rule in Appendix 3 is the role international FEI competitions play in divisional qualifications.
“For the purposes of this rule, FEI divisions are considered to be one level higher than the equivalent National division”
This means that the one-star level, for example, is considered two higher than Training level. So if Penny finished her first CIC* last year, then she could not compete in a Training Rider division.
Another important stipulation of this rule is that any rider who has completed an event at the Advanced level cannot compete in any Intermediate Rider division.
Remember to always double check the rulebook before a competition if you are unsure about your eligibility for a division. For questions on this rule, please reach out to the USEA Senior Director of Competitions Sharon Gallagher at [email protected].
The complete rules, as they appear in Appendix 3 of the USEF Rules for Eventing.
g. 1.5 RIDER (R) - Open to competitors who have not completed an event above the next highest level in the 5 years preceding the date of the competition, e.g. a Novice Rider may have completed an event at Training level, but not Preliminary level or higher in the 5 years preceding the date of the competition; a Training Rider may have completed an event at Preliminary level, but not Intermediate level or higher in the 5 years preceding the date of the competition.
h. 1.6 HORSE (H) - Open to competitors of any age, horse may not have completed an event above the next highest level. e.g. a Novice Horse may have completed an event at Training level, but not Preliminary level or higher; a Training Horse may have completed an event at Preliminary level, but not Intermediate level or higher.
i. 1.7 For the purposes of this rule, FEI divisions are considered to be one level higher than the equivalent National division, e.g. FEI One Star is one level higher than a Preliminary Horse Trial. A rider who has completed an event at the Advanced Level is not eligible to compete as an Intermediate rider.
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This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).