Apr 11, 2017

The Fork H.T. Hosts Inaugural Modified Division

By Leslie Mintz - USEA Staff
Allison Springer and Fairvoya S, winners of the Modified debut at the Fork H.T. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

This past weekend the Fork Horse Trials in Mill Spring, N.C. became the first venue to host a division held at the Modified level. The Modified level, designed as a stepping stone between the Training and Preliminary was added as a USEA recognized level for the 2017 competition season and while only a few venues will be offering it this year it was well-received at the Fork.

Fourteen pairs (seven junior/young riders, three amateurs and four professionals) entered in the division with 13 finishing all three phases. Allison Springer and Fairvoya S, a 7-year-old Warmblood mare (UB-40 x Clairvoya) owned by Natalie Epstein, led from start to finish adding nothing to her dressage score of 29.2.

“[Fairvoya S] is a really nice young horse and she needed a good confidence run, but Training level doesn’t really do it,” explained Springer. “There is such a gap between the Training and Preliminary. She just moved up to Prelim in the fall last year and did three really hard Prelims. This spring she had a bit of a slow start and she had a few stops at Pine Top and Stable View, so I wanted to give her a good confidence run and this was fantastic.”

Zara Flores-Kinney and Killiney Hill compete in the Modified division. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Tremaine Cooper and Capt. Mark Phillips designed all of the cross-country courses at the Tryon International Equestrian Center and when looking at building the first ever Modified course Cooper took a deductive approach.

“We basically said, is this a Training question? No this is a little hard for them. Is this a Preliminary question? No this is a bit easy for them. And those became Modfied. If the FEI does add the level as they are talking about then it all makes sense to add this level nationally,” said Cooper. 

After riding the course aboard both of her two Modified entries (Springer also rode Gustav Schickendanz’ 13-year-old Trakehner stallion, Songline II (Summertime x Schwalbenspiel)), Springer said, “I think all the questions were tough, like a corner out of water and a corner out of the coffin. Those were legit questions, closer to Prelim, but there were also some smaller fences in areas.”

Final scores for the Fork Modified division.

Other events offering the Modified level this year include:

• Heart of the Carolinas – Chesterfield, S.C. – May 3-7.
• Queeny Park H.T. – Ballwin, Mo. – June 10-11
• Otter Creek Summer H.T. – Wheeler, Wis. – August 11-13
• Otter Creek Fall H.T. – Wheeler, Wis. – September 15-17

Want to see more events offer the Modified level? Contact your local organizer and express your interest.

Modified Quick Facts:

  • The Modified level is open to horses 4-years-old and older.
  • Riders must achieve two NQRs at Training level to compete at Modified.
  • Max height of both cross-country and show jumping fences is 3’5”
  • Cross-country course distance will be: 2200m-3000m with 22-28 jumping efforts
  • The speed of cross-country will be 490mpm 
  • The speed of show jumping will be 325 mpm with 10-13 jumping efforts
  • Flags will be numbered with an orange number on a blue background
  • The fourth refusal on cross-country results in elimination
  • The third refusal on show jumping results in elimination
  • An ‘r’ course-designer is required for cross-country
  • Cross-country courses can include: angled lines, corners, varied terrain and combinations with water or narrow fences.
  • The show jumping course will include two doubles, or a double and a triple combination.
  • The dressage test will be held in a small ring and will include leg yield, medium gaits and changes of lead through the trot.

Full rules for the Modified division are available in the 2017 USEF Rules For Eventing

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