Event Levels

After you and your instructor decide that you are ready to compete, you need to choose at which level. Even if you have been competing in other equestrian sports for a long time, it is still a good idea to start at the Beginner Novice level. Going to your first event is stressful enough, so by having the jumps low and dressage test relatively straight-forward, you will be able to get your bearings in a less intense environment.

There are six levels of eventing at horse trials in the United States which are run under the rules of the United States Equestrian Federation. There are also international-level horse trials which are run by the FEI. These events have levels designated by the star system.

Explanation of levels:

Level

 Dressage

 Cross-Country 

 Show Jumping

Beginner Novice

 Beginner Novice A

 Beginner Novice B

 Distance -1400-2000m

 Speed – 300-350mpm

 Number of Obstacles–  14-18

 Height – 2’7” (3’ Brush)

 Speed – 300mpm

 Number of Obstacles – 9-11

 Height – 2’7”

Novice

 Novice A

 Novice B

 Distance – 1600-2200m

 Speed – 350-400mpm

 Number of Obstacles –  16-20

 Height – 2’11” (3’7” Brush)

 Speed – 320mpm

 Number of Obstacles – 9-11

 Height – 2’11”

Training

 Training A

 Training B

 Distance – 2000-2600m

 Speed - 420-470mpm

 Number of Obstacles – 20-24

 Height – 3’3” (3’11” Brush)

 Speed – 325mpm

 Number of Obstacles – 10-12

 Height – 3’3”

Preliminary

 Preliminary A

 Preliminary B

 Preliminary C

 Distance – 2200-3300m

 Speed – 520mpm

 Number of Obstacles – 22-30

 Height – 3’7” (4’3” Brush)

 Speed – 350mpm

 Number of Obstacles – 11-13

 Height – 3’7”

Intermediate

 Intermediate A

 Intermediate B 

 Distance – 2600-3800m

 Speed – 550mpm

 Number of Obstacles – 26-34

 Height – 3’9” (4’5” Brush)

 Speed – 350mpm

 Number of Obstacles – 12-14

 Height – 3’11

Advanced

 Advanced A

 Advanced B

 Distance – 3200-4400m

 Speed – 570mpm

 Height – 3’11 (4’7” Brush)

 Speed – 375 mpm

 Number of Obstacles – 13-15

 Height – 4’1”

 

Level Criteria:

Level

 Rider Age

 Horse Age

 Qualifications

Beginner Novice

 Any Age

 4 or older

 None

Novice

 Any Age

 4 or older

 None

Training

 Any Age

 4 or older

 None

Preliminary

 14 or older

 5 or older

 Rider must have obtained an NQR at 4 Horse Trials at the Training Level

Intermediate

 16 or older

 6 or older

 Both the horse and rider must have obtained an  NQR at 3 Horse Trials at the Preliminary level or higher plus an additional NQR with no more than 20 jumping penalties on Cross-Country.

Advanced

 18 or older

 6 or older

 Both the horse and rider must have obtained an NQR at 3 Horse Trials at the Intermediate level or higher plus an additional NQR with no more than 20 jumping penalties on Cross-Country.

 

Once you have chosen the level at which you wish to compete, and you are certain that you meet the qualifications, you are ready to choose an event to attend.

Glossary Term

The second day of a classic long format event which consists of Roads and Tracks, Steeplechase, and Cross-Country.