Sometimes things don't go according to plan while competing, and you and your horse may have to drop down a level and re-qualify for the level you wish to be competing at. The USEF Rules for Eventing outlines loss of qualifications for horses and athletes to make sure you know what you need to do to move back up safely.
Text has been taken directly from the USEF Rules for Eventing with emphasis added by the USEA.
EV109 Loss of Qualifications For certain levels, Horses and Athletes must meet qualifying requirements, which are detailed in Appendix 3. Loss of these qualifications is outlined below and pertains to any combination of Federation and FEI Events.
1. ESTABLISHMENT OF QUALIFICATION. When a Horse and/or Athlete obtains a Minimum Eligibility Requirement (MER) at a level, they are “established” (i.e., qualified to compete) at that level. This establishment does not expire; however, a Horse and/or Athlete who are established at a level but who have not competed for over 12-months must achieve an MER at the next lowest height level to renew their establishment at a level.
2. LOSS OF QUALIFICATION (Preliminary/CCI1* level and up) Loss of qualification will occur when penalties have been assessed during the Cross-Country phase of an Event as follows:
a. A Horse that is Eliminated, for Disobediences, three times within any 12-month period will lose its qualification to compete at the highest level at which an Elimination occurs.
b. A Horse that Falls two times in any 12-month period will lose its qualification to compete at the highest level at which a Fall occurs.
c. A Horse that incurs two consecutive Cross-Country Eliminations for Refusals, Dangerous Riding, Horse Falls, or Athlete Falls will lose its qualification to compete at the highest level at which an Elimination occurs.
d. An Athlete who falls from the same Horse three times in any 12-month period will cause the Horse to lose its qualification to compete at the highest level at which a Fall occurs.
e. Any combination of three total occurrences as outlined in a., b., c., or d. above will result in loss of qualification.
f. Having lost qualification, a Horse may be re-qualified by achieving two MERs at the next lower height level within any 6-month period and no sooner than 1-month following the loss of qualification.
g. An Athlete who is penalized two times in any 12-month period for Dangerous Riding will lose their qualification to compete at the highest level at which a penalty occurs.
h. Any combination of two total occurrences as outlined in e. and g. above will result in loss of qualification for the Athlete.
i. Having lost qualification, an Athlete may be re-qualified by achieving two MERs at the next lower height level within any 6-month period and no sooner than 10 days following the loss of qualification. At the Advanced, CCI4* and CCI5* levels, Athletes subject to the provisions of this rule may request, in writing, to have their or their Horse’s loss of qualifications reviewed by an Ad Hoc of the Eventing Sport Committee.
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