A Friendly Reminder: Rule Changes for Cross Country Penalties in 2014

Full Gallop. Photo by Carrie Meehan.

Full Gallop. Photo by Carrie Meehan.

From my pain, let there be education for you, Eventing Nation! This week, I competed at Full Gallop in the Beginner Novice on a horse that had not yet competed. After a great dressage and a clear show jumping, we went out on cross country only to be thwarted at the second fence! The young horse misread the fence and scrambled over it, tripping on the landing side and popping me off the front. I landed on my feet, and while still in flight was yelling a certain amount of profanities. Needless to say, I was disappointed in myself and seriously embarrassed for the owner. I felt that I could have totally done a better job and at least stayed on! It was announced that I was eliminated, and I walked with shame off the course.

However, I wasn’t eliminated! I was informed after the fact that there was a mistake and they had forgotten the new 2014 rules, as had I! This year, for Beginner Novice and Novice levels, if you fall off and land on your feet on cross country, you are permitted to remount and continue on your not so merry way with 65 penalties. I could have gotten on and completed the course for an educational experience for the horse, and let me tell you I was ticked at myself for not remembering.

As per the USEA Eventing Rule Changes 2014:

EV141 Cross Country Scoring [CHAPTER EV-3 Rules for Horse Trials] change to read:

1. b) Falls-
(1) First fall of competitor Elimination (RF) in which the competitor lands on his/her feet and remains standing (Beginner Novice and Novice) 65 Penalties
(2) First fall of horse Mandatory retirement. Second fall of competitor (Beginner Novice and Novice) Elimination (RF)
(3) First fall of competitor (Training, Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced) Elimination (RF)
(4) First fall of horse Mandatory Retirement

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