“It is not a lameness test, but more of an [assessment] to see if the horse is fit to compete,” Gretchen Butts said after she wrapped up the first horse inspection at the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (LRK3DE). Butts, the assistant Technical Delegate at the 2019 LRK3DE went into further detail by explaining, "The horse inspection is the first opportunity for riders to present their horses to the panel of Ground Jury who will examine each horse and assess whether if it’s fit to compete.”
The horse inspection also referred to as ‘the jog’ occurs at every FEI competition and at every level of the Hylofit USEA Classic Series Events – from Beginner Novice through Preliminary. To ace the jog requires practice, so read on to learn how to make the practice perfect.
During the horse inspection, the Ground Jury reviews each horse with one question in mind, “Is the horse fit to compete at the level they have entered?” explained Butts. A horse inspection determines whether the horse will move forward with the competition and it’s the first impression to the judges prior to dressage.
A horse and rider will experience one of three outcomes after presentation. The first (and most desired) outcome is that the horse will be accepted and move forward with the competition, the second outcome is the horse will be sent to the holding box and asked to represent, the third outcome is the horse is not accepted to continue with the competition. Before any of these three outcomes can happen, a horse and rider have to show up to the horse inspection, which means being on time.
“With the jogs, you have an assigned time that they start and today was 3:00 p.m.,” Talley said after jogging Unmarked Bills at the first horse inspection at the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day. “You jog in the order of go which for me was 25. Generally, you go in numerical order." To calculate what time you will need to be at the jog strip, estimate one minute per horse. For example, if you are number 25 and the jog starts at 3:00 p.m., at one minute per horse you would need to be ready to jog at 3:25 p.m. It's always better to be early than late, so plan on being a few minutes early to allow time to walk your horse before jogging for the judges.
"You stand on the left side of your horse, then you go down and turn right. You turn around some sort of obstacle, usually flowers,” said Talley. One of the difficulties with jogging a horse can be their exuberance down the jog strip. Talley explained, “The challenges with jogging a horse is keeping ahold of them. They are incredibly fit at this point in their career, but I’m fortunate mine stays right with me. I think some people hang onto the [reins] a little too tight and that makes them a bit worse. I try to jog mine with a bit of loop in the reins,” said Talley.
Talley, who’s known for his inspiring outfits at horse inspections explains, “I like to bring my own unique style to the jogs but to keep it classy and respectable. I think it’s great for people to add their own flair in and complement your horse. Ideally, no open-toed shoes and something that holds your foot in place, so you don’t pull a shoe.”
Lara Chance, a five-star groom and winner of the best turnout award at the 2011 Waredaca Training Three-Day event explained, “I always try to match my outfit to the color of my horse. My mare was a little chestnut with white legs—I didn’t want to be too bright or colorful so I wore a dark green and dark grey dress. It was plain but it brought out her coloring. What you wear should complement your horse and add to them.”
Chance was also responsible for the standout braids on Congo Brazzaville C at the first horse inspection of the 2019 LRK3DE, and originally shared her horse turnout tips in the Eventing USA article, How to Present For Horse Inspections. “I use baby oil on their nose, ears, and also on the reins by the bit. I wipe the [horse] off with fly spray and a sheepskin mitt to get all the dust off and that gives them an extra sheen. I will put baby powder on my horse’s legs if they’re white to make them look whiter. The number of braids you put on your horse should depend on its build. If you have a big horse, having 50 small braids won’t look as good. My horse was little and lean so she had about 25 small braids. It’s important to braid the whole mane all the way down.”
Additional Jog Tips:
For more information on how to present a horse at the horse inspection, click here.
The Hylofit USEA Classic Series keeps the spirit of the classic long format three-day events alive for Beginner Novice through the Preliminary levels. Competitors can experience the rush of endurance day, including roads and tracks, steeplechase, the vet box, and cross-country, as well as participate in formal veterinary inspections and educational activities with experts on the ins and outs of competing in a long format three-day event. Riders who compete in a Hylofit USEA Classic Series event during the year will have the chance to win a variety of prizes at the events from USEA sponsors. Click here to learn more about the Hylofit USEA Classic Series.
Now available to purchase, the Hylofit system hit the marketplace in 2018. The Hylofit system is the only equine wearable to offer in-ride feedback for horse and rider. Hylofit’s state-of-the-art product is designed to maximize communication between horse and rider, improve training results, and promote the overall health and well-being of the horse. Hylofit unique features include real-time feedback, post-ride insights, rider insights, overall well-being of the horse and rider, zone training, sharing features, video features, weather impact features, and more. The Hylofit system that tracks both horse and rider’s heart rate is comprised of four hardware components, an app for iOS or Android, and an optional app for the iWatch.
Hylofit is generously providing a 10 percent discount for Hylofit products to all USEA Classic Series competitors! Hylofit will also provide 11 Hylofit systems to the high scorers of each USEA Classic Series event at the 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.
The spring eventing season in the Midwest is always a toss-up due to unpredictable weather. Will it rain, will it be sunny, or will it be a snowstorm? No one knows! Mid-America Combined Training Association’s (MACTA) first cross-country schooling of the season was cancelled in March due to extremely muddy footing conditions and by the time our April dates came around, COVID-19 was in full force and we were unable to host our cross-country schooling and schooling show.
The FEI has published its Policy for Enhanced Competition Safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, aimed at assisting organizers and national federations with the safe resumption of international equestrian events in line with national and local restrictions.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has approved additional modifications to the qualification period for the 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. The AEC is scheduled to take place August 25-30, 2020 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, and the USEA is doing everything possible to ensure a safe and successful Championship, while also ensuring fair opportunities for all.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).