Jul 16, 2023

Rule Refresher: Wait...What Does that Flag Mean?

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff
USEA/Lindsay Berreth photo

There is no better feeling than galloping through your cross-country course feeling like you are hitting every distance right out of stride and making easy work of the time... and then you see a few jumps in close proximity to one another and think to yourself, "Wait, which jump is mine?" Knowing the different flags you might encounter on cross-country and what they mean is critical to your success in this phase of eventing. Thankfully, these flags are clearly outlined in the USEF Rules for Eventing, and we have included the applicable excerpt to help you better understand.

Text has been taken directly from the USEF Rules for Eventing with emphasis added by the USEA.

EV144 Cross-Country Phase Courses

1. MARKING OF THE COURSE.

a. Red or White Boundary Markers - These must be used to mark the start and finish lines,
to mark compulsory passages, and to define Obstacles
. Boundary markers must be placed
so the Athlete passes through with the red marker on their right and the white marker on
their left. In cases where courses for two or more levels are marked at the same time, only
markers which form the course for the relevant level are considered to be in effect at any
one time.

b. Yellow Directional Markers - These may be used to show the general direction of the
course.
Where necessary, they may be superimposed with the first letter or color of the
level. Passing close to them is not required.

c. Numbers and Letters - Each Obstacle must be numbered. Obstacles with elements (see
EV145.1) must also be lettered (e.g., A, B, C, etc.)
. Compulsory passages must be marked
with the first letter of the level and numbered consecutively. If an Event is running FEI levels
and national levels of the same height level, the national level must be differentiated from
the FEI level(s).

d. Numbers and letters must be colored as follows:


1. Advanced - white letters, blue background;
2. Intermediate - white letters, red background;
3. Preliminary - white letters, green background;
4. Modified - orange letters, blue background;
5. Training - white letters, black background;
6. Novice - black letters, white background;
7. Beginner Novice - black letters, yellow background;
8. Or as designated by the Organizer and printed on the course map.

d. Start and Finish Signs - In addition to the red and white boundary markers, the start and
finish lines must also be marked by distinct signs.


e. Stopping Points - These must be marked by a peg painted in a vivid color, surveyor’s
markers, or by a sign.

Want to catch up on past rule refreshers? Click here.

Jun 24, 2024 Classic Series

The Organizers of the USEA Classic Series: Sarah Broussard Champions Fun at The Event at Rebecca Farm

Anyone who has had the pleasure of competing at The Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana, will likely tell you that it is one of the most picturesque and inviting eventing venues in the country. The Broussard family, owners and operators of Rebecca Farm, have tirelessly supported the sport of eventing for decades, and that support has extended to the USEA Classic Series since its inception.

Jun 23, 2024 USEA Foundation

How the Wilton Fair Grant and Essex Horse Trial Grants are Helping Cosby Green's Eventing Dreams Come True

I was lucky enough to receive the Wilton Fair Grant and the Essex Horse Trials Grant in the tail end of 2023 to put towards my 2024 adventures with my horses. I moved over to England with three horses in March 2023 and towards the end of the year I had decided I wasn’t quite ready to travel back home to America just yet. Receiving these grants has made staying over an additional year possible, and I couldn’t be more thankful!

Jun 22, 2024 Eventing News

Team USA Complete Final Cross-Country Runs Before Paris

Eventing fans cheered on the Paris-bound Team USA riders as the mandatory outing wrapped up today with the cross-country phase at Stable View Horse Trials. The team riders and alternates competed in the Advanced division, using Capt. Mark Phillips’ course as a final run before heading to the Olympics next month.

Jun 21, 2024 Competitions

Paris-Bound Riders Reflect on Day 1 of Mandatory Outing

The first day of this weekend’s mandatory outing for the U.S. Olympic Eventing Team kicked off on Friday, June 21, as the team riders, including all the reserves, took part in the Advanced division at the Stable View Summer H.T. With legendary Ian Stark revving up the spectators’ team spirit as announcer, the riders are using this event as a final prep before the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA

Official Horse Boot of the USEA

Official Shockwave of the USEA

Official Horse Wear of the USEA