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.
Want to catch up on past rule refreshers? Visit the links below:
The dressage test is the first of the three phases in eventing. Intended to demonstrate "the harmonious development of the physique and ability of the horse," the dressage test contains a prescribed list of movements to be carried out in front of a judge, or judges, and which is then given a penalty score that horse and rider carry through to the end of the competition.
On Sunday, June 16, Molly Sullivan and Kate Swain were named the two winners of the Charles Owen Technical Merit award for Area IX at Golden Spike Horse Trials.
Tim Price (NZL) won the Longines CCI5*-L with Ascona M in a nail-biting finish. He jumped clear, but didn’t quite make the time allowed; however, he had a cushion with Alex Bragg (GBR) and Zagreb dropping a pole.
One of the most highly respected event officials in the country, Wayne Quarles, will be judging Area IX’s USEA Charles Owen Technical Merit Award (COTM) at Golden Spike Horse Trials in Ogden, Utah on Sunday, June 16.