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Eventing - I want to start - a few thick questions for you all.

14 replies

skihorse · 08/09/2009 12:38

hi everyone, I've recently moved yards and feel a lot more positive about my riding than I've done in years - also watched Burghley at the weekend and have felt very inspired and want to try a little eventing.

I haven't done any competitions for 20 years! I live in The Netherlands and they don't seem to have hunter trials/local shows here, it would all be affiliated.

Now, this is my dumb question - I can enter at the lowest, lowest level but would I (in the UK at least) need to have won points at dressage/SJ before making the transition to eventing?

I'm feeling quite enthusiastic about it all and although the season is nearly finished here I'd have all winter to get us both fit and score any points needed to enter properly.

OP posts:
FiveGoMadInDorset · 08/09/2009 12:40

No, you need to register with the appropriate body and then enter the competitions.

skihorse · 08/09/2009 12:45

OK, thank you fivegomad. I've just emailed the body who seem to control everything over here to see what my next steps are and then I can get a plan in to action.

Do you event yourself? If yes, or even a knowledgeable no - do you know of any good websites/forums I could have a look at for tips and tricks? I remember Captain Mark Phillip's book was the bible for getting a horse in to training - I will have see if I can locate a copy of that.

I'm not sure why I'm suddenly so inspired to go for it - "most" people over here are just in to the dressage which doesn't excite me at all - I've always been about the x-country.

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FiveGoMadInDorset · 08/09/2009 14:45

Been there done that, very amateur, but also was a BHS scorer for a bit and then was Entries Secretary for our horse trials which endeed up being a World Cup qualifier before we finished.

My tip, find yourself a good teacher and go for regular lessons.

Butkin · 08/09/2009 16:40

Skihorse - sounds great. We're so lucky here surrounded by one-day events which are so popular. Just go to to find out all about the sport over here.

You can start at very novice levels here and then progress as you get points and more confident.

Southwestwhippet · 10/09/2009 17:59

Hi Skihorse,

In the UK, in order to take part in 'affliated' eventing, you need to register yourself (costs about £120 p/annum) and your horse (costs about £80 p/annum p/horse) with British Eventing. On top of this, entries are around £50 a go for the lower level (gets more expensive as you go up the grades) and you will need to pay a £10 start feel on the day as well so it is NOT cheap.

Classes in the UK used to start at Pre-Novice which was around Prelim dressage standard, 90cm XC and 1m SJ. Before this most riders would event at either unaffiliated or riding club level. However, the BE has recently restructured to scrap prenovice and include some smaller classes. BE80 has XC fences at 80cm and SJ at 85 cm. BE90 has XC fences at 90cm and Sj at 95cm. BE100 has XC fences at 1m and SJ fences at 1.05m.

After this you would move up to Novice level, the intermediate... then it gets seriously scarey

You don't need to have points in any other discipline but if you had them, it wouldn't affect you. You gain BE points whenever you win or get a decent place and once you have a certain number of points, you can no longer compete at that level and have to move up a grade.

Usually affiliated events are over subscribed so balloting is used to reduce numbers. You get a certain number of priority numbers with your membership and if you use this you are unlikely to be balloted. However, otherwise it can be a bit of a lottery.

Because it is so expensive, you can choose instead of becoming a full member, to to buy 'day tickets' which basically mean you can choose to compete at a certain event. However, you will be more likely to get balloted if you are riding on a ticket and you can only buy 4 tickets a season. On top of this, if you get placed, your horse will not gain any points.

I don't know if it is similar where you are but I know over here, eventing is the most expensive affiliated equestrian sport going which is why most people riding at lower levels compete unaffiliated. This is what I do... I have no interest in hurling myself over 1.05 solid obstacles anymore so my local riding club does the job for me perfectly.

skihorse · 10/09/2009 18:41

Thank you whippet, it all seems quite similar here and I was battling through the Dutch rules this evening. Alas it's not a "popular" sport over here - they love dressage and jumping - the x-country must be a residual from British Hunting. So there are no local hunter-trials which is pants but at least I'm close to the Belgian border and there are some opportunites there too.

I will have to pay to join the official body - a couple of hundred euros a year, however at starter level (B or even BB) the entry fees for the actual event are very low.

There is a one-day-event in a few weeks about 40 miles from here so I'm planning on attending that as a foot-visitor just to have a look around and try and figure out what's going on - and with any luck get to speak to someone from KNHS.

Meanwhile my trusty steed can stop backing herself on to the geldings begging for a shag until she finds one prepared to mount her who then gouges out tracks from her rump with his shoes. Dirty cow.

OP posts:
skihorse · 10/09/2009 18:43

PS Because so many people are in to dressage here they are as a "nation" absolutely bloody terrified of x-country and think popping over a log in the forest is akin to riding Aintree blindfold!

Seriously, I've met people who've owned their horse for TEN years who've never hacked! So with any luck over-subscription won't be a massive problem.

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Southwestwhippet · 13/09/2009 09:21

An entire nation terrified of XC???? But... what other possible reason could there be to own a horse?

Best of luck, I am so jealous . I bought my pony in December, so missed the end of the hunter trial season and got pregnant just as the ODE season started. I am longing to take him round a XC course (nothing big of course)!

skihorse · 13/09/2009 11:36

Well I am hoping that by joining the body and signing up for something and/or investing in some expensive equipment I can tempt a BFP!

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skihorse · 04/10/2009 15:17

I just wanted to give you a quick update.

I went to one of the last ODE in this country for 2009 yesterday and it was brilliant! It was ponies (2 classes) and Novice horses yesterday. We rolled up just in time for the last of the dressage, nothing too scary - just walking and trotting. I was also very surprised to hear a judge reading out instructions - is that normal?

Saw some SJ and it was a bit higher than I'm used to - but on 17.2hh nothing to worry about. Just one double and one big spread but no tight turns and it wasn't racing across the clock. I was very surprised to see many riders doing this class in their x-country clothes. But straight after this class (20 minutes) they had their x-country.

Anyway, we then went off and walked the x-country which was gorgeous. There was only one jump which I thought was "big" but it was a nice solid spread with a good run-up on a straight track, so not complicated at all. We saw a lot of refusals at the sunken road which really surprised me because it was only 1'9" or so and most of the horses could've just stepped down it.

Water jump was fine - small jump down in to it and just riding out the other end - again, some horses threw wobblies. Thank god for varied hacking!

Anyway I got a massive shot of confidence - there were a couple of larger ladies, one Scottish lady and a few who were all over the place.

On another positive note, there was a teenage girl approached the water really "wishy-washy" and her horse put in a stop. She wasn't riding forward at all and not giving clear aids and then the little bitch pulled out her crop and hit it around 10-12 times on the rump and STILL giving no visitble aids. Anyway, we were delighted to see her at the end of the course in floods of tears having been eliminated and given a bollocking! Christ - if that was my daughter she'd have been told to get off there and then and sent back to the box to wait!

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MookySpinge · 06/10/2009 08:43

Sounds fun and accessible - might move there and join you! Do you mean the judge called out the dressage test for everyone?

skihorse · 06/10/2009 10:15

mooky yes! I couldn't believe it - I mean as a teen I remember trying to memorise tests myself and you'd get points (be eliminated ?) if you needed verbal help during your test.

I asked my yard owner about it last night and she said it's always done here! She says it's a blessing because when she takes 3 horses to a show in 3 different levels - each level has 2 tests - she said there's no way she'd be able to memorise 6 tests.

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skihorse · 06/10/2009 16:57

mooky They've also got a person stood either end of the jump who will lower the pole as you approach if you give the secret signal!

OP posts:
MookySpinge · 07/10/2009 22:46

Noooo, higher! Higher!

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