Know Your Qualifications: CIC2* and CCI2*

Calvin Ramsay and Hoodwink.  Photo by Ivegotyourpicture.com. Calvin Ramsay and Hoodwink. Photo by Ivegotyourpicture.com.

Welcome back to our qualification series. Today we will be looking at the two star level qualifications. If you aren’t ready to compete at this level or need a refresher on all the ins and outs, check out our first post on CIC1* and CCI1* qualifications.

Two star is where the qualifications start to get interesting. All of a sudden you will have options on how to qualify and which type of one star you obtained will affect your path through the two star level.

As always, we will be referring to the USEF Eventing Rules and the FEI Rules for Eventing. To refresh everyone’s memory, MER (or NQR) are still in effect. To achieve either at a given show, you must:

  • Score 75.0 or below in dressage (50.0 for NQR)
  • No jump penalties on cross country
  • No more than 90 seconds over optimum time on cross country, which equates to 36.0 time penalties
  • Four rails or less in show jumping

Important things to remember when thinking about qualifications:

  • MER requirements must be obtained as a pair.
  • NQR requirements can be obtained separately.
  • One qualifying result (either MER or NQR) must be obtained within 12 months of the show you are entering.
  • One cross country jump penalty may appear in one of the MER results only if multiple MER qualifications are required.
  • All NQR results must be clear of cross country jump penalties unless otherwise specified.

Let’s break it down in the flow chart. Click for a downloadable PDF and a bigger view:

Two Star qualifications flow chart.

Click for a larger view and printable PDF

So what does that all mean?

CIC2*

  • Three NQR at Preliminary or above for both horse and rider.
  • One of the three Preliminary NQR may have 20 jump penalties on the cross country phase.
  • One NQR at Intermediate or above for both horse and rider.
  • Option One:
    • One MER at a CIC1*, achieved as a pair. Must be clear of XC jump penalties.
  • Option Two:
    • One MER at a CCI1*, achieved as a pair. Must be clear of XC jump penalties.
  • One of the five qualifications achieved within 12 months.

If a rider chooses to qualify via Option One, they will save money on the entry fee and prevent the additional wear and tear on the joints of their horse that would come from the additional conditioning needed for a CCI. A CIC is a good show to place in the middle of a season, as it is generally no more stress than a horse trial, so the horse could continue to show and move up if ready.

If they choose Option Two, the riders will more thoroughly understand how their horse reacts to a longer cross country course and will better understand how to stadium jump a tired horse. Additionally for Option Two, they will need one less show later on for qualifications.

CCI2*

  • Two NQR at Intermediate or above for both horse and rider. Both must be clear of XC jump penalties.
  • Option One:
    • Two MER at CIC2*, achieved as a pair.
    • One of the two MER may have 20 cross country jump penalties.
  • Option Two:
    • One MER at CCI1*, achieved as a pair.
    • One MER at CIC2*, achieved as a pair.
    • One of the two MER may have 20 cross country jump penalties.
  • One of the four qualifications achieved within 12 months.

If a rider chooses Option One to qualify for a CIC2*, they will theoretically save money on the entry, as any CIC is almost always less expensive than a CCI, regardless of level. However, if they choose this path, they must have taken Option One to qualify for a CIC2* to begin with, which means they will need three FEI shows to qualify for a CCI2* instead of two FEI shows. At this point, it becomes a toss-up as to which is the more expensive route.

Additionally, CIC2*, like CIC1*, can be obtained in the middle of a season as they are similar, if not identical, in exertion level to horse trials. If the end goal of the season is a CCI2*, then the CIC2* should be used to avoid unnecessary stress on the horse by completing a CCI1* in the middle of a season. When time is a factor, Option One is the better route.

The advantages of Option Two are the same as above. Experience at a CCI1* will stand the rider in good stead at a CCI2*, which is significantly longer. One less FEI show needed may also be a factor in the decision. However, Option Two is better followed when the pair has obtained a CCI1* as a natural part of their progression through Preliminary. CCI are almost always used as the culmination of a season, and usually horses are given a long break afterwards.

Any questions? Post them in the comments below!

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