The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has approved additional modifications to the USEF Rules For Eventing in accordance with a resolution approved by the Board of Directors to address issues related to the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The full listing of rule modifications related to COVID-19 impacts can be viewed by clicking here.
The first eventing rule modification extends the validity of Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs) already earned from 12 months to 18 months to allow U.S. athlete/horse combinations to compete as planned for in early summer 2020. Those who do not achieve an MER during the remainder of the 2020 competition year will be required to move down one height level in 2021 before resuming completion at the next highest height level. The second modification extends the period of time for site and course inspections for the cross-country test of horse trials from 12 months to 18 months prior to the competition.
Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs) – Eventing
USEF COVID-19 Rule Modifications – updated 5/21/20
EV105 – Loss of Qualifications
For certain levels of competition, horses and riders must meet qualifying requirements. Those requirements are detailed in Appendix 3. Loss of these requirements (qualifications) is outlined below and pertains to any combination of USEF and FEI Events.
1. ESTABLISHMENT OF QUALIFICATION. When a horse and/or rider obtains a Minimum Eligibility Requirement (MER) at a level, then they are “established” (qualified to compete) at that level. This “establishment” does not expire; however, it is important to remember that in all cases, when entering an Event at the CCI1* level or above, at least one MER must be obtained in the
12 18 month period prior to the competition.
APPENDIX 3 - PARTICIPATION IN HORSE TRIALS – (Eventing)
A competitor and/or a horse may be entered in a Horse Trial without having fulfilled the qualifications noted below, provided the qualifications have been fulfilled at least 10 days before the Cross-Country Test of the competition for which it is needed if the MER has been achieved at a Horse Trial or CCI-S or at least 24 days if the MER has been achieved at a CCI-L. For Preliminary and Training Classic Three-Day Events, qualifying competitions must be completed within a 24-month period of the start of the competition. At the CCI* level and above, at least one MER must be obtained in the
twelve eighteen-month period prior to the competition. e.g. a horse and/or rider who have achieved a MER at a CCI4* level of competition and who have not competed for over twelve eighteen months must first achieve a MER at the next lowest height level
4. LEVELS OF INTERNATIONAL HORSE TRIALS AND EVENTS
4.1 UNCATEGORIZED RIDERS Listed below are the USEF requirements to compete in an FEI Competition. Additionally, all horses and riders must meet the minimum eligibility requirements (MER) published by the FEI which must be achieved by competitor and horse as a combination. Where FEI requirements refer to a “CCI” this may be satisfied by achieving an MER at a CCI-L or CCI-S of the level stated. When multiple MERs are required, one of the Minimum Eligibility Requirements can be achieved incurring 20 penalties at the obstacles of the Cross Country Test.
All USEF requirements do not need to be achieved as a combination. At the CCI1* level and
above, at least one MER must be obtained in the
twelve eighteen-month period prior to the competition (e.g., a horse and/or rider who have achieved a MER at a CCI4* level of competition and who have not competed for over twelve eighteen months must first achieve a MER at the next lowest height level).
4.2 CATEGORIZED RIDERS Listed below are the USEF requirements to compete in an FEI Competition. Additionally, all horses and riders must meet the minimum eligibility requirements (MER) published by the FEI. When multiple Minimum Eligibility Requirements are required, one of the Minimum Eligibility Requirements can be achieved incurring 20 penalties at the obstacles of the Cross Country Test. All USEF requirements do not need to be achieved as a combination. At the CCI1* level and above, at least one Qualifying Result must be obtained in the
twelve eighteen-month period prior to the competition (e.g., a horse and/or rider who have achieved a QR at a CCI4* level of competition and who have not competed for over twelve eighteen months must first achieve a QR at the next lowest height level).
The above rules require U.S. Athletes, competing at the CCI1* level and above, to achieve one of the required Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs) to compete within the
twelve eighteen-month period prior to the competition in question. This is a requirement in addition to those prescribed by the FEI; due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it will, in some cases, put U.S. Athletes, otherwise qualified and prepared to compete at a certain level, at a disadvantage.
Cross-Country Test of Horse Course Certification - Eventing
EV175 Cross Country Course Designer
a. The Cross Country Course Designer is responsible for the layout measurement,
preparation, and marking of the route for the Cross-Country Test of Horse Trials and Events,
including Phases A, B, and C of the latter. The Cross Country Course Designer is responsible
for the design and construction of all obstacles used in the Test.
b. In order to fulfill the responsibilities noted above, the Cross Country Course Designer must
visit the site and review changes to the courses or obstacles at least once within
months of a competition. The Cross Country Course Designer should be present during the
The FEI has announced that the Swiss horse Jet Set, ridden by Robin Godel has had to be euthanized after pulling up extremely lame on the Sea Forest Cross Country Course during Equestrian Eventing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on August 1, 2021.
In 2002, at the age of 15, I was at my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Maine while Tremaine Cooper was there building some cross-country jumps. I helped him build a trakehner, not realizing that this day would set the course for my future. A few weeks later he called asking if I could help him at Millbrook Horse Trials. From there I helped Tremaine during most of my school vacations and throughout the summers. After graduating high school I kept at it never looking back. I lived the gypsy lifestyle for about six years going from coast to coast and event to event. In 2013 my wife Kathryn and I settled down in Lexington, Kentucky. These days I spend roughly 60-75 percent of my time on the road preparing events or building private schooling areas. I’ve had the privilege of being involved with some really great events around the states and have cultivated many friendships all over the country. In 2019 I was asked to be a part of Team Evans Olympic cross-country building crew. As I write this I am on my third trip to Tokyo. Here’s a day in Tokyo . . .
The British team cemented their gold medal position at the Tokyo Olympics with three magnificent cross-country performances, all clear inside the time. Added to that, their first rider, Oliver Townend, holds pole position individually after the dressage leader, Germany’s Michael Jung, picked up 11 penalties for triggering a frangible device.
The 2012 and 2016 individual Olympic champion, Germany’s Michael Jung, blazed into first place after dressage at the Tokyo 2020 Games with a superb test on Chipmunk.
Deservedly scoring 21.1 - a record for both rider and his country at an Olympics, according to EquiRatings - it was a joy to watch. From the first extended trot, the pair looked secure, positive, and harmonious. The test was as accurate and as well-delivered as that of long-time leaders Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class (GBR), but with more expression and ease. Jung and the Contendro 13-year-old demonstrated all this specially-written, short Olympic test asks for and each movement flowed into the next.