It is a common misconception that you must enter a popular event at midnight on the opening date to ensure your place on the entry list. All entries received from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on the opening date of the event are all treated as received at the same time. Therefore, it is not necessary to enter an event at midnight to secure your spot at the event, only that you enter online or by mail (postmarked) on the opening date.
To clarify the rules about entering events, we're taking a look at EV 106 which concerns entries and withdrawls. Text has been taken directly from the USEF Rules For Eventing with emphasis and clarification added by the USEA.
It is the responsibility of the competitor to enter a horse at the level that corresponds to its abilities. If the competitor is a minor, a specified adult must accept this responsibility. If a competitor starts a competition for which he is not qualified, the competitor may be fined up to $50 (Payable to the Organizing Committee), at the discretion of the Ground Jury. It is the responsibility of the competitor to know and comply with the local, state and interstate (where appropriate) health requirements for the shipment of horses.
a. Entry forms must be complete. All entry and stabling fees must accompany the entry form.
b. Mailed entries must be postmarked either on or after the opening date for entries and mailed to the appropriate Event Secretary. On-line entries must be time stamped by the designated collection agent on or after the opening date in the time zone of the relevant competition.
c. Those entries that are incomplete, or postmarked or time stamped before the opening date, will either be returned to the competitor or placed at the bottom of the list of entries.
d. Entries involving competitors or horses not yet qualified for the level of competition, but which are otherwise complete, will be accepted as complete pending qualification.
e. Entries must be received by the end of the day on the closing date. Qualifications must be fulfilled at least 10 days before the Cross Country Test of the competition for which it is needed if the MER has been achieved at a Horse Trial or CIC, or at least 24 days if the MER has been achieved at a CCI.
The opening date for national entries will be the Tuesday prior to the date that falls six weeks before the first day of the competition. The opening date must be published in the prize list for the competition.
(Entries received at any time on the opening date are treated as received at the same time. Therefore, it is not necessary to enter an event online at midnight to ensure that your entry is received on opening day.)
The closing date for entries will be four weeks after the opening date. This date must be published in the prize list of the competition. In the case of insufficient entries, the organizer may accept post-entries. If this is done, the organizer may charge an additional fee for the entries made after the original date, not to exceed an amount equal to the original entry fee. Entries received after this will not be accepted.
a. Organizers will accept all entries postmarked or time stamped on the opening date if space allows. In the event of over subscription at this stage, a draw will be made and a waiting list established.
b. Entries postmarked or time stamped after the opening date will be accepted or placed on a waiting list on a chronological basis.
c. At any time Organizers may fill any places that become available with entries from the waiting list, provided those entries were received between the opening and closing dates.
d. Entries placed on the waiting list that do not compete will have the full amount of their entry and stabling fees refunded.
Competitors may enter horses “hors concours” with the permission of the Organizer. They will pay the regular entry fee, will be judged in the normal manner, and will be participating in accordance with these rules, but they will not be counted in the final classification.
Except where stated contrary in the prize list, an entry for two horses may be made for a division in which only one is to compete, with an office fee for the second horse. The horse that will not compete must be declared when the competitor receives their number.
Notification of withdrawal must be given directly to the Event Secretary. If the horse is withdrawn prior to 9:00 p.m. on the closing date for entries, the entry and stabling fees will be refunded, less an office fee, if applicable, not to exceed $25.00. If the horse is withdrawn after the closing date and time, the entry and stabling fees may be refunded at the option of the Organizing Committee. If the horse is withdrawn after the closing date, and if the Organizer has replaced the withdrawn horse with one from the waiting list, the entry fee less an office charge will be refunded. If stabling for the withdrawn horse is occupied by another horse, the stabling fee will be refunded. The refund policy must be clearly stated in the prize list for the competition.
Substitution of an eligible horse is allowed after the closing date for entries provided a complete entry form for the substituted horse is given to the Event Secretary before the horse’s first Test. An eligible rider may be substituted after the closing date for reasons of illness, injury or the sale of the horse. The Event Secretary must be notified of the change before his first Test.
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