Apr 01, 2021

USEA to Offer Western Eventing

By USEA
Taylor Pence/US Equestrian Photo.

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce a new parallel set of levels offering western eventing in the United States. To be held in conjunction with existing national levels up through Advanced, competitors will compete over the same course and tests offered at the traditional competition but will be able to do so while competing in western attire and western stock saddles.

“We have seen the success of western dressage in recent years, and we thought, why not eventing?” said USEA President Max Corcoran. “We all remember how well David O’Connor, Sinead Halpin, Allison Springer, and others have done crossing over for the Kentucky Reining Cup held during the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, so we said why not give it a go!”

The new national levels will be introduced in 2023. Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MER) will mimic their English-style counterparts. Riders previously qualified to compete in a given level will be able to transfer to the new western levels. Additionally, the 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships will also offer the option of competing in Western or English divisions once qualified.

“Many of us dreamed of riding like cowgirls and cowboys as kids and now everyone will have the opportunity,” said USEA CEO Rob Burk. “I can’t wait to see champions like Liz Halliday-Sharp, Benjamin Noonan, Arden Wildasin, Tamie Smith, Lauren Nicholson, and others competing out there in full western attire! This has also opened up an entirely new set of potential sponsors for our events and we are in early talks with well-known brands like Wrangler apparel and Justin boots to fill the needs of our western competitors.”

Guidelines for the new attire and tack requirements are being outlined and the following rule proposals are currently in draft form awaiting USEA Board of Governors' approval:

EV190 Tack

1. Any Western type headstall without noseband in conjunction with any standard Western bit shall be allowed.

2. Bits: A standard Western bit is one that has a shank with a maximum overall length of 8 1/2 inches. The mouthpiece shall consist of a metal bar which is from 3/8 inch to 3/4 inch in diameter, varying from the straight bar to a full spade. Jointed mouthpieces are permitted. Flat leather chinstrap, other than the buckle(s), which must be at least 1/2 inch in width. Any device made of wire, metal or rawhide used in conjunction with or as part of leather chinstrap is prohibited. Curb chains are also allowed and must be at least 1/2 inch in width and lie flat against the jaw. Hackamore or snaffle bits (smooth mouth) will be permitted for use by Junior riders and Adult amateurs. Mechanical Hackamores are prohibited. Junior riders and Adult amateurs are permitted to compete in all Western levels with a snaffle bit or hackamore and riders may use two hands. Once a Junior rider or Adult amateur has shown with a standard Western bit, they may not go back and show in a snaffle bit or hackamore in the Western level. A hackamore includes a bosal rounded in shape and constructed of braided rawhide or leather and must have a flexible non-metallic core attached to a suitable headstall.

3. Split reins or closed reins with romal are equally acceptable. Only one hand may be used on reins and hands must not be changed except to negotiate an obstacle in show jumping and cross-country tests. When split reins are used and the ends fall on the side of the reining hand, one finger between the reins is permitted. When using Romal or if the split reins fall on the opposite side of the reining hand, no finger is allowed in between the reins. Rider may hold romal or ends of split reins to keep them from swinging and to adjust the position of the reins provided they are held with at least 16 inches of rein between the hands. When a hackamore is used, attached reins may be of hair, rope or leather.

4. Martingales or tie downs are prohibited.

5. Horses shall be shown with a stock saddle; silver equipment will be less preferred over a good working outfit. Sidesaddles are also permitted with proper attire.

6. Whips are not allowed other than with a sidesaddle.

EV191 Attire

1. Riders shall wear a Western hat, long-sleeved shirt with any type collar, trousers, or pants (one-piece long-sleeved equitation suit is acceptable provided it includes a collar). Chaps, shotgun chaps, and boots are required. A vest, jacket, coat, and/or sweater may also be worn. Protective headgear may be worn without penalty. (See GR801)

2. Spurs are optional.

3. For cross-country and show jumping tests rodeo/bull/bronc riding protective vests certified by the ASTM/SEI shall be worn as well as a certified helmet with a face cage.

. . . and in honor of April Fool's Day, this is just a joke. Happy April Fools!

Apr 12, 2021 Competitions

Inaugural McKinlaigh Cup and Twin Rivers CCI4*-L Title Goes to Amber Levine and Cinzano

"Too plain" is not a description that fits today's wire-to-wire winner of the Twin Rivers Spring International's inaugural CCI4*-L. But that's what Amber Levine heard five years ago after importing the now 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Classe VDL x Walta) as a sales prospect. So, she kept him. His long-delayed debut at the CCI4*-L level proved the wisdom of that decision.

Apr 12, 2021 Competitions

USEA Podcast #281: Giddy Over Kentucky

This year’s pre-Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event USEA Official Podcast isn’t a traditional preview show, but rather Host Nicole Brown and the team of Max Corcoran, Rob Burk, and Diarm Byrne are discussing their favorite Kentucky memories as everyone gets giddy for the 2021 event!

Apr 11, 2021 Competitions

Cinzano Keeps Twin Rivers CCI4*-L Top Spot Secure

At the second-to-last of 40 efforts, "I thought, 'This is actually happening,'" said Amber Levine of a faultless finish with Cellar Farm's Cinzano today to stay on their 31.5 lead going into show jumping tomorrow morning in the Twin Rivers Spring International CCI4*-L. The Jeffs Hot Tub Waves complex at 19 a/b was the awkward exception to a Hugh Lochore-designed course that otherwise "rode great" for the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Classe VDL x Walta) in his long-delayed debut at the level. An entirely new portion of the course around the racetrack featured a series of bright-white painted obstacles, but nothing distracted Cinzano's "tunnel vision for those flags." Levine expects a similar game attitude tomorrow and has a rail to spare.

Apr 10, 2021 Competitions

Cinzano Captures Inaugural Twin Rivers CCI4*-L Dressage Lead

Black stallion antics after the CCI4*-L jog inspection yesterday were not a preview of Cinzano's dressage test today. "When you are riding and working him, he's all into what you are doing," says Amber Levine, who owns the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Classe VDL x Walta) through her Cellar Farm. A 31.5 dressage test puts them atop a field of four, three of which, including Cinzano, are first-timers in the division in Paso Robles, California.

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