Welcome to the wild world of eventing where we ride when it rains, thank our volunteers, and always say, “have a good ride!” to our fellow competitors. Eventing is made up of three phases: dressage, cross-country, and show jumping. To help you prepare for your first horse trial, it is important that you review all of the rules outlined in the USEF Rules for Eventing, but it is especially important that you understand the purpose and intent of each of the three phases.
To make sure you had a chance to review, we are taking a look at EV 131 and 132 of Subchapter 3 – Rules for Horse Trials. Text has been taken directly from the USEF Rules for Eventing with emphasis added by the USEA.
1. DEFINITION. The Horse Trial comprises three distinct tests, usually taking place on one or two days, during which a competitor rides the same horse throughout, namely:
c. Show Jumping
d. The Dressage Test must be first. The Cross-Country and Jumping Tests may follow in either order.
2. RELATIVE INFLUENCE OF THE TESTS. In principle, the Cross-Country Test should be the most influential of the three tests of a Horse Trial. The Dressage Test, while less influential than the Cross-Country Test, should be slightly more influential than the Jumping Test.
3. LEVELS OF HORSE TRIALS. The following levels of competition may be offered at a Horse Trial:
g. Beginner Novice
4. INDIVIDUAL COMPETITION. There will always be an individual competition. Where there is a team competition, each member of a team will automatically be considered as an individual competitor.
5. TEAM COMPETITION. There may be a team competition. Teams will consist of three or four competitors.
1. CLASSIFICATION IN THE THREE TESTS.
a. In the Dressage Test, each Competitor’s good marks awarded by the judges are converted into penalty points. They are recorded for inclusion in the final classification and published.
b. In the Cross-Country Test, each competitor’s penalties for faults at obstacles are added to the penalties incurred for excess time. They are recorded for inclusion in the final classification and published.
c. In the Jumping Test, each competitor’s penalties for faults at obstacles are added to the penalties incurred for excess time. They are recorded for inclusion in the final classification and published.
2. INDIVIDUAL FINAL CLASSIFICATION.
a. The winning individual is the competitor with the lowest total of penalty points, after adding together for each competitor the penalty points incurred in the three tests.
b. In the event of equality between any two or more competitors, the classification is decided by:
1. The best Cross-Country score including penalties for faults at obstacles, time penalties and any other penalty that he/she may have incurred on the Cross-Country Test.
2. If there is still equality, the classification is decided in favor of the Competitor whose Cross-Country time was closest to the optimum time.
3. If there is still equality, the Competitor with the best Jumping score including penalties at obstacles and time penalties.
4. If there is still equality, the classification will be decided in favor of the Competitor with the best collective marks in the Dressage Test.
5. If there is still equality, the tie will remain in the final classification.
3. TEAM FINAL CLASSIFICATION.
a. The winning team is that with the lowest total of penalty points, after adding together the final scores of the three highest placed competitors in the team.
b. In the event of equality between any two or more teams, the winning team will be that whose third placed competitor has the best score.
4. DISQUALIFICATION OR ELIMINATION.
a. The disqualification or elimination from one of the tests entails disqualification or elimination from the final classification.
b. The Ground Jury, in consultation with the Organizing Committee, may, if requested, permit a competitor who has been eliminated in an earlier Test to take part in the subsequent Test(s). After elimination in any previous Test, any competitor who starts a subsequent Test without such permission will be liable to disciplinary action, including a reprimand and/or a fine of up to $100 payable to the Organizing Committee.
c. A competitor who withdraws or retires a horse is considered to have withdrawn or retired from the entire competition and will not be permitted to continue in subsequent tests with that horse, except with the expressed permission of the ground jury.
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One of my passions is continuing to be a good student, because I think no matter how old I get, there are multiple reasons learning new things inspires me. First and foremost, it helps me be a better rider and trainer, so my horses benefit. Second, it helps me be a better teacher by exposing me to different ways to have a relationship with a horse or a student.
This month we’re going to begin a three-part series on how to create positive riding experiences by making sure the words you say to yourself and the thoughts you think to yourself are positive. Referred to as self-talk, internal dialogue, or brain babble; the words you say to yourself can have a huge impact on your performance. In fact, your thoughts and voice are actually considered behaviors, and just like how positive physical behaviors (i.e. a balanced transition) can create success, your verbal behaviors can also accomplish the very same thing. So let's spend the next few months talking about how to talk to yourself!
Being spontaneous has paid off for Kevin Keane and Sportsfield Candy. “I bought him on a Wednesday and showed him on a Thursday,” Keane recalls about his first event with his Irish Sport Horse gelding, then 9 years old, at Plantation Field Horse Trials (Unionville, Pennsylvania) in September 2016. “I owned him for part of a day, and the next morning I showed up at a CCI and jogged him up for a two-star, and we went clean and clean and clean.”
THANK YOU to everyone who has already entered the USEF/USEA Recognized CDCTA Spring Horse Trials scheduled for Sunday, April 9 in Berryville, VA. We will continue to take late entries through Friday, March 24 using USEA’s Xentry system. If you still want to come compete, please enter! The late fee has been waived through Friday, March 24.