- What is
a horse trial?
Where can I find all of the rules?
What types of memberships do I need to compete
at an event?
Where do I find dates and locations of horse
trials in Ontario?
- How do
I get an omnibus?
- What is
What are the differences between the
different levels? (Entry and above)
What are the different distances and
speeds for cross-country & stadium at each
level? (phase D)
- What are the different heights and jumps
for cross-country & stadium at each level?
- Should I ride in the Regular or Open?
- How do I enter an event?
- Where do I find the Dressage Tests?
- Where do I get a Medical Armband or
cross-country pinny holder?
- What age is a Junior?
How do I qualify for an OHTA
How do I challenge a ruling at an event
If I get eliminated in one phase at an
event, am I allowed to continue? What things may
get me disqualified?
What do the numbers mean on my dressage
test? How do I convert it to penalty points?
- Dressage 4-1-1
- What can and cannot get me eliminated in
- What should I wear on cross-country?
- Cross-country 4-1-1
- What is un-authorized assistance?
- How is cross-country penalized?
- Stadium 4-1-1
is a horse trial?
Good question! A horse
trial, or one-day event, is a test for horse and rider that consists of:
DRESSAGE as the first phase of the day. This tests the gaits, suppleness and
obedience of the horse through a series of prescribed movements. While judging
the Dressage Test is based on specific criteria, it is basically an evaluation
of beauty of movement and obedience. The CROSS-COUNTRY test (which is often
next in the day, but not necessarily) proves the speed, stamina, courage,
boldness and jumping ability of the horse and the rider's knowledge of pace and
use of the the horse across country. Although the rider walks the course
beforehand, the horse doesn't see any of the course until it leaves the start
box. STADIUM JUMPING, in an arena, is the third component of the day. This is a
test of the horse's athletic ability, conditioning and training. The
stadium-jumping test is a matter of jumping the obstacles cleanly. The horse
must now move at a more sedate pace and not touch the obstacles, which are not
solid and will fall down.
can I find all of the rules?
Your Eventing Rule book
(titled Section D, Eventing: Horse Trials and Two and Three Day Events) can be
downloaded from the Equine Canada website...just
What types of memberships do I need to compete at an
|Level of Competition
||EC Sport License
||EC Horse Passport
|* At these levels, OHTA day
memberships may be purchased at each competition, instead of a full OHTA
PLEASE NOTE: Points achieved at an event on a Day Membership
do not count for OHTA year end points or as a qualification for the OHTA
Championships. You must be a full (not day) OHTA member to receive points on
the leader board and therefore qualify for an Ontario Championship.
It is also suggested, but
not mandatory, that you vaccinate for strangles and for West Nile Virus. It is
mandatory however at some events (especially if you are stabling) that your
horse has a negative Coggins test. A Coggins test is a simple blood test-give
your vet a call and she will draw some blood from your horse and send it away
to be processed. It is a test for EIA (Equine Infectious Anemia) which is
basically AIDS in horses.
Please note below the following re: OHTA memberships:
- You can NOT take
out a full OHTA membership at an event-it must be done before
- Accumulation of
points for year-end awards will not commence until a competitor is a full
member of the OHTA. Points earned before this time will not be counted.
- You can take out
an OHTA Day Membership only in the Pre-Entry and Entry levels and
Day Memberships may be taken out at an event. Day memberships are to be paid on
the entry form along with the regular show fees. Day Memberships are purchased
on a one-time basis.
- Points achieved at
an event on a Day Membership do not count for OHTA year end points or as a
qualification for the OHTA Championships
- You must be a full
OHTA member to receive points on the leader board and therefore qualify for an
Where do I find dates and locations of horse trials
The 2012 Calendar of Events can be found here. All dates for shows, general information and
directions, some rules and regulations for Horse
Trials are all found in the Omnibus.
How do I get an
You can get a copy of the omnibus with your
yearly membership to Canadian Eventing or you can
purchase one by contacting: Sandra DeGraff at
Equine Canada at 1-866-282-8395 ext. 109 or via e-mail to
What is Pre-Entry?
For a description of the local pre-entry division
offered at some horse trials in Ontario,
What are the
between the different levels? (Entry and above)
Click here for all
information that describes the different levels at Horse Trials in Ontario from
Entry level and above.
What are the
distances and speeds for cross-country & stadium at
each level? (phase D)
here to see a chart that explains what speeds
and distances are used for both Cross country (Phase
D) and Stadium for all levels (Entry and above).
What are the
and jumps for cross-country & stadium at each level?
Click here to see a chart that
explains what Heights, Drops and Water concerns are used at both Cross
Country and Stadium for all levels from Entry level and
Should I ride in the Regular or
Open? (Eligibility Chart)
Please note that CEC rule modifications now
require riders to qualify in order to move up to a
higher division. All the information is available in
your omnibus or
How do I enter an event?
Competitors must complete and sign the current
entry/waiver form for each event they enter. If
stabling, a Stabling Form and negative coggins test must
also accompany the entry. A copy of both the entry
and stabling form is included in your omnibus.
Where do I find the Dressage
All Dressage Tests can be found
Where do I get a Medical
Armband or cross-country pinny holder?Medical armbands must be worn on the arm and be visible for all
jumping phases. Medical Armbands are mandatory and must be worn as per Equine
Canada regulations. Medical armbands MUST be updated yearly!
Please note a new rule: During the Cross-Country and
Jumping tests an approved and completed medical card/armband must be worn on
the arm outside the riders clothing. You are no longer allowed to wear
the medical band on your leg or boot.
Each person must wear his or her own armband, properly filled out
each year! TD's (Technical Delegates) and Stewards may conduct spot checks at
any time. Penalties will be the same as if you have an illegal bit in your
Armbands are available from Sue at Horsin' Around who attends most of
the horse shows in Ontario. Please give her a call at
Armbands are also available through
the Equine Canada Online Store
An armband insert is included inside your omnibus,
The OHTA Cross Country Number Pinnys are
$25.00 each and are available through:
- Horsin' Around Tack Shop. Sue
travels to most Ontario events. Please contact
Sue at Horsin' Around 398247 County Road #21,
RR#6 Shelburne, ON L0N 1S9 or call 519-923-6376
email@example.com to make sure she
has one for you at the event.
- Nobleton Feed at (905) 859-0762, Fax
(905) 859-1382 or email
- Dudley's Tack Shop
What age is a Junior?
A junior rider is one who is under 18 years of age as of January 1,
of that year. A junior may not compete a stallion.
How do I qualify for an OHTA
championship?The period of qualifications goes from the first event
after the championships to the last event before the next year's championships.
This allows one full year to qualify. Please note: you MUST be an OHTA member
to receive points on the leader board and therefore qualify for an Ontario
Championship. If a horse/rider combination qualifies at more than one level,
they may compete at the level of their choosing, except that they may not
compete at a particular level (unless it is the highest level at which they
have qualified) if they have completed two or more events at a higher level or
levels with no jumping penalties cross country. All qualifying rides MUST be at
Pre-Entry, Entry and
Pre-Training Level: The same horse/rider combination must have placed in
the top four (4) at an Entry or Pre-Training level competition during the
Training Level: The same
horse/rider combination must have placed in the top six (6) at a Training level
competition AND completed three (3) events at the Training level (2 with no
cross country jumping penalties) during the current season
Preliminary Level: The same
horse/rider combination must have placed in the top ten (10) at a Preliminary
level competition AND completed two (2) events at the Preliminary level (both
with no cross country jumping penalties) during the current
Intermediate Level: The same
horse/rider combination must have completed one Intermediate event without
cross country jumping penalties during the current season.
How do I
challenge a ruling at
an event (protest)?
The owner, agent or rider
can make inquiries and protests to the TD on the day of the horse trial. The TD
can then take the protest to the Organizing Committee, if necessary. In the
event that a disagreement occurs over the response, (except in the case of
horse abuse, where the decision of the official is final) you can then appeal
in writing and the concern will escalate from there. There is a cost, $50.00,
for escalating the concern.
If I get
eliminated in one
phase at an event, am I allowed to continue? What
things may get me disqualified?Elimination from one
of the phases of an event MAY be cause for disqualification from the entire
event. An eliminated competitor can ask the organizing committee or TD if they
would be allowed to continue-it is at the committee's discretion. Please
remember to ask when you pick up your number what the policy is.
The ground jury MAY but not
necessarily eliminate you for the following general cases: (don't
you are not above begging
Allowing someone else to
school your horse on the grounds. However, a mounted groom is allowed to walk
or trot your horse on a long rein from one place to another. A groom may also
lunge your horse.
Riding in an undesignated area,
jumping practice fences not flagged, jumping them in the wrong direction,
jumping them if they are being held by someone, jumping them if they have been
raised above the allowed height and spread.
Entering the dressage arena or
stadium arena on foot after the competition has started (why would someone do
this?) Not riding in order and at your scheduled time in any phase. Inspecting
cross-country fences before they are officially shown to all competitors.
Inspecting the jumping course when the arena is closed. Abuse of a horse.
Improper saddlery or headgear. An unfit competitor, either horse or
Your horse's identification number
(horse and rider number) must be worn and be visible on horse or rider, at all
times in the exercise, schooling and/or competition areas. Failure to display
this number incurs a first warning, in the case of second or subsequent
offences, the ground jury can eliminate you.
What do the
numbers mean on my
dressage test? How do I convert it to penalty
10 Excellent, 9 Very Good, 8 Good, 7 Fairly Good, 6
Satisfactory, 5 Sufficient, 4 Insufficient, 3 Fairly Bad 2 Bad, 1 Very Bad and
0 Not Preformed.
How an event converts your Dressage score to penalty
points is as follows:
marks from 0 to 10 awarded by each judge to a competitor for each numbered
movement of the Dressage Test together with the collective marks are added
together deducting any error of course or test.
For each judge the percentage of maximum possible good marks
obtainable is then calculated. (Percentage is obtained dividing total good
marks of the judge (minus any error of course or test) by maximum possible good
marks obtainable and then multiplying by 100 and rounding the result to two
decimal digits. This value is shown as the individual mark for that judge.
Average percentage for the competitor
is obtained by adding together the percentage for each judge and then dividing
by the number of judges, always rounding the result to two decimal
In order to convert average
percentage into penalty points, this must be subtracted from 100 and multiplied
by 1.5, with the resulting figure being rounded to one decimal digit. The
result is the score in penalty points for the test.
Dressage tests for each individual event are found in
your current omnibus. Make sure you read it carefully
lots of people have
arrived at an event to find out they have been practicing the wrong test!
Martingales, boots, bandages, flysheets, fly masks, etc. are only
permitted in the warm up ring, not in the test. Dressage tests have no time
limits, however approx. times are given. All trots are sitting unless otherwise
stated. Pre-Training levels of dressage test may say, "sitting or rising trot
are allowed"....you may sit the entire test, rise the entire test or blend the
two throughout the test-all are allowed. All tests at the Pre-Training,
Training and Prelim level may be memorized by the rider or read by a reader,
with no consideration from the Judge (but not at championships
you to remember the test then!) Riders are not required to remove their helmet
if they have a safety harness when saluting the judge. Dressage whips are
allowed in the warm up ring only. No whip is allowed in the dressage test.
Spurs may be worn in the dressage test (prelim and above=spurs are mandatory) ,
they must NOT be capable of wounding a horse and must not be made of plastic.
Bits: ordinary snaffle bits of metal, leather, rubber or synthetic material are
only allowed (See your EC rule book for a complete list of legal bits) dropped
nose-bands, crossed (figure 8) or flash nose-bands are allowed, but they must
be made entirely of leather.
What can and cannot get me
eliminated in dressage?
A competitor will
be eliminated if they do not enter the dressage ring within 60 seconds of the
start signal or if they enter before the start signal. Proper show attire is
required and don't forget your choker/stock collar and gloves
these will get you eliminated! The dressage judge will eliminate you for a lame
horse (no appeal here folks!) In the case of a fall in Dressage, the competitor
is NOT eliminated, but penalized on the execution of that movement. A horse
leaving the dressage arena with ALL four feet is eliminated. If one, two or
three feet leave the arena and then re-enter, the competitor is NOT eliminated,
but penalized on the execution of that movement. Resistance that is longer than
20 seconds is punished by elimination. Outside intervention by voice or signs
is considered assistance and the rider will be eliminated. Use of the riders
voice is penalized by a reduction of two marks for every movement where this
What should I wear on
You'll see lots of different looks out on the cross country field,
but we suggest a comfortable shirt (with some sort of sleeve is now
mandatory!), your breeches and boots (don't forget half chaps are allowed in
all phases ONLY if they are completely made of leather (not suede or elastic of
any kind) and resemble a proper field boot), a crop, your number, your approved
if you want them, and of course your approved safety cross
country vest and medical alert arm band! Your horse can wear his flashiest
saddle pad, leg protection, an unrestricted running martingale (none others)
and please see your EC rulebook for a complete list of approved
Cross-country 4-1-1Some General Cross Country
Stuff: A horse does not have to stand completely still in the start box-but he
cannot get any advantage of a flying start. An attendant may lead the horse
into the start box and may hold that horse till the start signal is given-the
horse and rider are now considered "on course" and no other assistance can be
given. If you are eliminated for a technical reason (you forgot to wear gloves
in Dressage..something like that!) the Ground Jury and Organizers may
allow you to continue.
Here's the bad
stuff in Cross-Country!
If you are late for your
start time at cross -country you may be allowed, at the discretion of the
starter, to start when you are ready, as long as it does not interfere with the
previous or following competitor. You will NOT be allowed to start if you are
more than 90 seconds late. You may not anticipate the start from the start box
and may be eliminated if you do so, however if the ground jury feels that you
inadvertently started early you will be allowed to continue and be timed
accordingly and a 10-sec penalty will be added.
You must be mounted when passing
all red and white boundary flags (these are compulsory parts or obstacles on
the course). Falling or dismounting in all areas with red and white boundary
flags (voluntarily or not) will be penalized. Elsewhere on course you may
dismount with NO faults (other than maybe time faults) If you loose your helmet
or the harness comes undone when you are on cross country (or stadium) you will
be eliminated if you jump or attempt to jump any fence without your helmet
properly on your head. To recover your helmet or redo the harness, outside
assistance is allowed and not penalized, however time faults may occur.
Here's some other ways to
get eliminated in cross-country! Error of course not fixed, jumping an obstacle
not on your course, jumping one of your fences again, forgetting a jump or
jumping a fence in the wrong order. Not going through the red and white
boundary flags (don't forget red on the right-white on the left!!!!) Failure to
stop when signalled or failure to go through tack check.
What is un-authorized
(solicited or not) is forbidden under penalty of elimination. Some examples
would be: Catching up or slowing down to meet another competitor in order to
ride together. Being followed or accompanied or preceded by anyone with the
intention of helping. Anyone giving you directions or riding tips! To have
anyone at a fence or obstacle who will give your horse encouragement.
Authorized or permitted Assistance would be: After a fall or a
dismount, a rider may be assisted in catching the horse, adjusting tack, given
a leg up, handed any part of the saddlery. While still mounted, it is permitted
to hand a competitor a whip, headgear or glasses and no penalty will be
How is cross-country penalized?Faults at Obstacles: first
refusal, run-out or circle = 20 penalties, second refusal, run-out or circle at
the same obstacle = plus 40 points (20+40=60 penalties), third refusal, run-out
or circle at the same obstacle is elimination.
Falls: The first fall of
competitor at obstacle on the cross-country course or on the show jumping
course will result in elimination
Elimination of competitor after third refusal anywhere on cross
country at Training level and above or after the 4th refusal for Pre-Training
Requirement of competitors to
leave the cross country course after
Delay: 20 penalty points will be added to your score in cross-country if you,
between the last fence and the finish line, halt, walk, circle or do
serpentines to slow your time down. You may, however, come down to a trot as
long as you progress in a direct route to the finish.
For Information re: timing and faults at
the Pre-Entry, Entry and Pre- Training divisions, please click here. This
is important information and will affect scoring this season!
Speed Faults for the Training and above levels see below:
- 0.4 penalty points will be added
for each second exceeding optimum time ( in other word you went a tiny bit too
- 1.0 penalty points will be added
for each second exceeding the 30 second window UNDER the optimum time (in other
words you went a tiny bit too quickly
- Exceeding the time limit (this is
usually twice the optimum time) will result in elimination.
For Example...you go to an event and your cross country map shows that your
Training course has an optimum time of 4:00 minutes and an allowed time of 8
If you complete the course and
your time is 3 minutes and 29 seconds you will get 1 penalty point (in other
words you went a tiny bit too fast and you will be penalized one full time
If your time is anywhere between
3 minutes and 30 seconds and 4 minutes you will have no penalty points (you
were perfect...not too fast and not too slow)
However, if you come in at 4:01 you will have 0.4 penalty point. (In
other words you were a tiny bit too slow, but you will not be penalized as much
as if you went too fast...that is a no-no and that is why more penalties are
given for the too fast rider than the too slow rider.)
Think of optimum time as your MAXIMUM time and the 30
seconds BEFORE the optimum time as your goal time!
Now, if you come in at 8 minutes or longer, you will be
eliminated for having gone over the Time Allowed.
Run-Outs & Circles...
fence with a height more than 30 cm (about 12") a horse is considered to have
had a refusal if it stops in front of the obstacle. At all other obstacles: A
horse is considered to have refused a jump if it stops, in a sustained or
prolonged way, in front of it. A stop followed immediately by a standing jump
is not a refusal. Your horse MAY step sideways, but not backward (refusal!)! If
he hesitates, but the forward movement is sustained, not a refusal! A horse is
considered to have run-out if having been presented to the fence he avoid it
and has to be re-presented to the fence. You may change your mind as to where
you want to jump the fence and not be penalized, but the horse must not avoid a
part of the fence. You may have two refusals/run out/circles at any given
fence...but if you have four refusals in total on course...you are
At a single fence or
obstacle, a horse has circled if while trying to jump the fence it crosses its
original track before successfully jumping the obstacle. At a fence or obstacle
of more than one component, the above is also true but it includes all the
components of the fence. If you have a run out or a circle and then you make
another attempt and in doing so cross your path, you are NOT penalized again.
Falls: You have had a fall
on cross-country from your horse if you and your horse are separated in a way
that you need to remount or vault into your saddle. Your horse has fallen when
both the shoulder and hindquarters have touched the ground or an obstacle.
Don't forget, one fall and you are eliminated.
Faults at Obstacles with
Several Elements: At an obstacle with several elements you may refuse, run-out
or circle only twice without being eliminated. If your horse refuses any part
of an element you may re-take any part of the element to get over the fence,
but your horse refuses an element that you previously went over, you will be
penalized for that refusal. If there are two fences close together, but
numbered separately, they are considered two separate fences. You may refuse
each obstacle twice, and not be eliminated, but if you re-take one obstacle you
already jumped to get a better approach to the other one
eliminated! (cause you are off course!)
Stadium 4-1-1Your stadium course will be posted for you, with your
time allowed and you will be given an opportunity to walk your jump course
beforehand. You must wear your show attire, medical alert band and approved
helmet to compete in show jumping. After entering the show jumping arena, you
must salute the judge and wait for the signal to begin. After the bell (or
whistle) has sounded, you have 45 seconds in which to cross the start line, if
you cross the start line before the bell has rung or if you don't cross the
line in the allowed time you are eliminated. (Don't forget
different than "normal" show jumping
don't confuse the two!) The stadium
arena MUST be enclosed and while a horse is in the arena the entrances or exits
must be closed and for reasons of safety ground poles are NOT used. No
unauthorized assistance is allowed, whether it is solicited or not! Tell your
Mom and Dad NOT to cluck! Any help given to a MOUNTED rider is elimination! The
ring crew can't hand you your crop during your round- however to hand a mounted
competitor their helmet or glasses is NOT considered assistance! If you have
had a fall and are UNMOUNTED assistance can be given to you (they can bring
back your horse, help you mount etc.)
Scoring a Fault in Stadium:
Knocking down a rail, a refusal or run out is 4 penalties. In the Pre-Entry,
Entry, Pre-Training and Training divisions you are eliminated if you have three
refusals. For the higher levels you are eliminated if you have had two
refusals. A fall of a rider is 8 penalty points.
Elimination from Stadium:
Jumping an obstacle in the wrong order or in the wrong direction or a course
error not rectified. Unauthorized assistance or exceeding the time. Fall of
horse and/or rider.
Time Faults: Completing the
course in less time is not rewarded, but exceeding the time allowed is
penalized by 1 penalty point for each second or part of a second over.
An obstacle is considered
to be knocked down if a competitor or horse displaces the top rail (middle or
bottom are OK-if nothing else is touched!), displaces the standards or any
other part of the jump. If your horse is being bad in the ring and without
attempting to jump a fence, knocks down a fence, this is not scored as a
knockdown but as disobedience. If you rattle a rail on a fence and it does not
fall till after you cross the finish line
no fault! However (there is
always a "however") if the fence in question is the LAST fence on your course
and it starts to fall before you cross the finish line, it is scored as a fault
even if it falls after you cross the finish line.
Faults/Refusals/Run-Outs/Resistance... Did you know that if you cross
the start line in the wrong direction, before jumping the first fence, and then
re-cross your line in the correct direction it is NOT a fault and the time will
only start on the second crossing? (I just thought this was
A refusal is a refusal when
a horse halts in front of a fence (with or without jumping it). If the horse
slides into a fence and knocks it down, the judge will have to determine if
this is a refusal or disobedience. Stopping in front of a fence (without
knocking it down) and then immediately jumping the jump is NOT a refusal,
however if the halt is sustained or if the horse steps back even one step it is
a refusal. If you have a refusal at an obstacle with more than one element
involved (a fence that has an "a" and a "b" element to it) you must re-take the
fence in it's entire form-not just the element that your horse had the problem
A run-out is when a horse
escapes a rider's control and avoids an obstacle to be jumped.
Resistance is when a horse
refuses to move, go forward, halt or rears-this is scored as a disobedience.
Resistance for more than 60 seconds is elimination.
Falls in Stadium : A rider
has fallen if they are separated from their horse that they have to re-mount. A
horse has fallen if the horse's shoulder and quarters touch the ground at the
same time. A fall of horse and/or rider is