USEF Rule Changes Would Increase Speed, Height at Lower Levels

Emerson Gotcher and Kurious in the Junior Training division at AECs. Photo by Sally Spickard. Emerson Gotcher and Kurious in the Junior Training division at AECs. Photo by Sally Spickard.

The USEA Board of Governors has proposed a change to USEF rule EV140 that would increase cross country speeds and show jumping heights at the Beginner Novice, Novice and Training levels. The #291-14 rule change proposal, which you can click here to view, gives the following intent for the changes:

  • The changes for the cross-country speeds is to better relate the speed required to the jumping effort required. It has been observed that horses moving forward at a reasonable pace for these levels have either had to slow down and circle or have gained speed faults.
  • The change of speed at which speed faults are calculated is to have one meaningful speed that competitors can learn and remember.
  • The change of heights of two obstacles in the jumping test is to start to relate the standard of U.S. jumping to the world standard at these levels.

Here’s a breakdown of the proposed changes in speed for cross country and height for show jumping:

Cross Country Beginner Novice Novice Training
Speeds @ optimum time 300 350 mpm 350 400-430 mpm 420-470 *450–480 mpm
Speed faults 420 520 mpm 450 520 mpm 520 mpm

* When multiple divisions of Training level are offered, Open Training speed is 480 mpm.

Show Jumping Beginner Novice Novice Training Preliminary
Heights 0.79m (2’7”) 0.90m (2’11”) 1.0m (3’3”) 1.10m (3’7”)
Height Option* 0.85m (2’10”) 0.95m (3’1”) 1.05m (3’5”) 1.15m (3’9”)
Spreads of oxers 1.00m (3’3”) 1.10m (3’7”) 1.20m (3’9”) 1.30m (4’3”)
Spreads w/ height option 1.05m (3’5”) 1.15m (3’9”) 1.25m (4’1”) 1.35 (4’5”)
Spreads of triple bar 1.20m (3’11”) 1.30m (4’3”) 1.40m (4’7”) 1.50m (4’11”)
Spreads w/ height option 1.25m (4’1”) 1.35m (4’5”) 1.45m (4’9”) 1.55m (5’1”)

* One vertical and one oxer permitted at these heights

The USEA Board of Governors has also proposed numerous wording adjustments under rule change #292-14 for the Levels of Horse Trials appendix in the USEF eventing rule book, with the intent “to more clearly define the progression of difficulty in the cross-country and jumping tests as a horse/rider moves up through the levels. In particular, the changes are recommended in order to prepare horses and riders to make the step from Training to Preliminary.”

Click here to view the proposed changes to the USEF Levels of Horse Trials appendix. Bolded words are new additions, whereas any strikethrough words would be eliminated under the proposed rule change.

The proposed rule changes would go into effect Dec. 1, 2015, and is currently scheduled to be voted on at the USEF annual meeting in January.

What do you think of the proposed rule changes, EN? Will increasing the heights in show jumping help bring U.S. eventing at the lower levels up to a world standard? Will increasing speeds on cross country help create a “meaningful” pace that competitors can remember? Weigh in with a comment below.

Update 12:30 p.m. EST: Beth Davidson weighs in with her thoughts on the proposed rule changes over on Bloggers Row. Click here to read.

Update 3:45 p.m. EST: We’ve learned that the USEA Board of Governors is proposing the rule change, and we are waiting on comments from the USEA. The proposed rule change will be discussed at the USEA Convention in December before being voted on at the USEF Convention in January.

If you want your voice to be heard, contact your Area Board of Governors representative, as they have the vote. Click here to find your BOG rep. You can also email the USEA at [email protected] with “Rule Change Proposal” in the subject.

[EV 140 Proposed Rule Change]

[Levels of Horse Trials Appendix Proposed Changes]

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