Eventing tests were created to offer a low-key and inviting introduction to the sport of eventing. Eventing tests typically consist of one or more of the three eventing phases – dressage, cross-country, and show jumping – and are designed to prepare competitors, horses, and officials for USEA recognized horse trials. Eventing tests can also be a hybrid version of two phases like the Young Event Horse classes or DX Eventing and can be held as a standalone event or in conjunction with a recognized horse trials. Organizers typically use the USEF Rules for Eventing as guidelines when conducting eventing tests of any kind.
Several examples of eventing tests include Young Event Horse, Future Event Horse, New Event Horse competitions, combined tests, cross-country test, coaching-allowed test, dressage fix-a-test, and Intro or Starter level horse trials. For more information on the different eventing tests offered by the USEA, click here.
Text has been taken directly from the USEF Rules for Eventing with emphasis added by the USEA.
Cross-Country Tests consist of distinct competitions involving various cross-country skills. The tests may include pace, taking your own line, following unknown course, top score competitions with obstacles of different values, clear round cross-country, etc. The conditions under which the Cross-Country Tests will be conducted will be printed in the prize list.
Combined Tests consist of two distinct tests during which a competitor rides the same horse throughout. The tests may include two of the following—dressage, cross-country, jumping; or may include one discipline (such as cross-country) repeated twice under different conditions. Combined Tests will be conducted under guidelines published by the USEA.
Open to riders of any age who have never competed in a horse trial, on any horse. The test shall involve a short dressage test (30%), jumping 6 or 7 fences in an arena (30%), and galloping in the open over 3 or 4 fences (40%). The fences will not exceed 2’6”. Each competitor will be judged on position, seat, and effective use of aids. The competitor must ride the same horse throughout.
Open to riders 14 to 18 years of age, on any horse. The test shall involve a short dressage test (40%), and jumping approximately 10 cross-country-type obstacles not to exceed 3’7” (60%). The jumping may be in an arena or on a short cross-country course. Each competitor will be judged on position, seat, and effective use of aids. The competitor must ride the same horse throughout.
Open to 4- and 5-year-old horses with any rider. The test shall involve a short dressage test, a jumping test that may involve cross-country obstacles of 8-12 fences up to 3’3” (4YO) or 3’7” (5YO) in height, and a final judging of horses shown in hand for conformation, suitability, and presence. The same competitor must ride or show the horse throughout.
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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.