1 4 • T H E S TA R T I N G B O X 2.
On course • Pray you know the Rule Book. • Make sure Top Gun’s prepared for that ﬁrst fence. • Don’t talk to anyone on your way. • If you know you’ve been eliminated or if you’re having a very bad go you should leave the course at the walk.
There’s no point in pushing yourself or your horse into an unhappy experience.
There will be another and better day. • If you’re in the way of a following horse at an obstacle, get out of the way and let him pass. • Canter over the last obstacle and on through the ﬁnish line. • Now’s the time to stop your watch, which you’ll probably forget to do. 3.
The Eagle has landed • Dismount and praise Top Gun for the job you both started and ﬁnished – make him feel good about it even if it wasn’t everything you’d hoped for. • At most trials, now is the time to turn in your pinny—it is important that the organizer not lose any of them—so don’t forget to return it (you may lose your deposit or be charged for it). • Before returning him to his stall, make sure you walk Triple Threat Top Gun until he’s cool and his pulse and respiration have returned to normal. • Give him a nice drink and a ﬂake of hay in his stall, then leave him alone.
He’s probably had it with you for a while. • After you’ve taken care of your horse, you can check the scoreboard for your cross-country score. • Read Rule EV 141 – 142 for Scoring. SHOW JUMPING 1.
Read Rule EV 143 – 149 2.
Planning ahead • Depends again on the order of the phases. • Make sure your horse is still drinking and nibbling and is sound and well. • Ready your tack and attire well in advance of the start of show jumping. • Determine the order of go so that you can be ready on time without getting ready too early.
At this point your horse may still need some space. 3.
Walking show jumping course • Be available when the course is open for walking for your division (walk with a knowledgeable person, if possible). • Of course, you must know the plan of the course, but note in particular the location of the start and ﬁnish ﬂags. • Note the boundary lines if the course is an open ﬁeld. T H E S TA R T I N G B O X • 1 5 4.
Warm-up and Your Round • Do give yourself plenty of time for warm-up. • Check the number of the rider before you. • Make sure you’re visible to steward or starter as your turn approaches. • Enter promptly when your number is called. • Stop where everyone else has been stopping. • Salute the judge. • Wait for the whistle or bell. • Make sure you pass between the starting ﬂags after the whistle. • Don’t race through the course – 300 mpm is not fast. • Make sure you go between the ﬁnish ﬂags. 5.
Holy Fireworks, We’re Finished • Dismount and loosen the girth and make Top Gun comfortable. • In most instances, your show jumping score will be announced immediately (if this phase goes last, your ﬁnal score will be announced as well). • If you disagree with your penalties, follow the same procedure listed below. 1 6 • T H E S TA R T I N G B O X INQUIRIES AND PROTESTS 1.
You guessed it – READ THE RULE BOOK – GR1216.
In this instance, I’ll insist that you read the rule before bringing your inquiry to the ofﬁcial.
You should know the rules and it is possible, even likely, that you may have inadvertently broken one somewhere.
In the hope that your good sportsmanship will guide you, I will say this: If you have ever been charged in error, you SHOULD press your inquiry; however, it should be well thought-out and brought to the Ground Jury with courtesy and respect for the ofﬁcials, organizers, and volunteers.
Remember – everyone wants you to have fair treatment in this and every aspect of the competition. 2.
After you’ve read the rule – • Only you or your trainer can lodge the protest. • It must be done within the time allowed. OFFICIALS They really are nice people who don’t want to intimidate you with impressive titles.
They are there to help. 1.
Ground Jury • Judges dressage and show jumping. • Approves courses, etc.
After the T.D.
Has veriﬁed legal aspects. • Serves as the ultimate decision maker. 2.
Technical Delegate • Is the USEA/USEF representative at the event. • Approves technical aspects of the entire event: safety, facilities, proper provisions for the competition, etc. • Serves as a mediator or ombudsman between ofﬁcials, organizers and competitors to assure all concerned receive fair, courteous and prompt attention within the rules of the USEF and the USEA. ORGANIZER 1.
The individual, family or organization that has undertaken the responsibility of staging the horse trials. (Aren’t you glad you don’t have to read the rule book?) 2.
Remember – • They don’t have to do this. • They don’t do it for the money more than once, because stealing would be easier and the punishment would probably be less taxing. T H E S TA R T I N G B O X • 1 7 • If this is their ﬁrst time to put on a trials, they are probably much more nervous than you are. • If they’ve been doing it for years, they’re insane. • They may not do it again if it brings them too much grief. • They will probably do it again if all their volunteers do their jobs, the ofﬁcials are efﬁcient, not ofﬁcious, and the competitors are blissfully unaware of anything except the good time they’ve had because of the efforts on the part of the many volunteers it takes to conduct a horse trials. — WHEN YOU GET HOME 1.
Assess the following: • Doesn’t eventing have possibilities? • Don’t the possibilities outweigh the problems? • Isn’t there a great potential for productive, competitive success? 2.
Ask yourself these additional questions • Did I have a good time? • Did I learn a lot about the sport? • Did I make some new friends? • Did I ﬁnd those weak areas in my horse and myself that need improvement? • Was it worth reading the Rule Book? • Where can I go next month? • What am I going to do next time? • What am I NOT going to do next time? • Where did my good old buddy Lead Bottom go? I brought home an EVENT HORSE named TOP GUN! • NOW…
Where am I going to hang the ribbons? T H E S TA R T I N G B O X • 1 9 CHECK LISTS There is no way to list all that might be needed, and certainly not everything listed here is a necessity.
These lists are intended to stimulate your thinking so you won’t forget the obvious or overlook the obscure.
Our thanks to Lee Jorgensen for the lists on the basic needs of the event rider and to Nick Nickles for the trailer check list. • HORSE Shoes – Caulks, studs Shipping boots or bandages Tail bandage or guard Poll guard and knee pads (for poor shippers) Halter and lead shank Saddle – Dressage, forward seat Bridle – Necessary bits, reins (braided, rubber, canvas for C.C.) Breastplate, if needed Martingale, if needed Overgirth, for C.C.
Lungeing equipment Extra tack (in case of breakage) – reins, stirrup leathers, girth, halter, lead shank Saddle pads (dressage and jumping) One of the following (depending on weather): Horse blanket, cooler, anti-sweat rug, sheet, ﬂy sheet Leg protectors, as needed Brushing boots Overreach boots Bandages Cotton wraps Masking tape Adhesive tape • STABLE EQUIPMENT Water buckets (2) Feed tub Screw-eyes and snaps for hanging Extra bucket Tools: Leather punch, wire cutters, hammer, nails, screwdriver, 24” chain, padlock with two keys Stall-keeping equipment: Fork, shovel, rake, broom, muck bucket Folding chairs Feed 2 0 • T H E S TA R T I N G B O X Hay Hay Net Incidental nutrition (salt, carrots, vitamins) First Aid Kit: Sterile gauze squares, sheet cotton, betadine or hydrogen peroxide, wound powder, Furacin ointment, thermometer, scissors, vet wrap, elastoplast (drug store), ice pack, eye wash (such as Clear Eyes), electrolytes (add to drinking water if heat is a problem.
Condition horse to drinking before event), liniments, body brace, leg wash.
Grooming Kit: Brushes you prefer, curry comb, hoof pick, rub rags, large sponge, sweat scraper, bucket, ﬂy spray or wipe, braiding equipment, stool for braiding Tack cleaning kit: Rags, sponges, saddle soap, silver polish • RIDER EQUIPMENT Work clothes Rain gear Rubber boots Lots of socks Miscellaneous: Safety pins, rubber bands, bobby pins, sewing kit, extra buttons, hairnets, clothes brush, all kinds of goodies Shoe cleaning kit Bootjack Boot pulls Small ﬁrst aid kit Notebook/pencils Rulebook Map/directions to horse trials Omnibus schedule • EVENT ATTIRE Dressage: Light breeches, formal jacket (black or dark blue preferred), shirt, stock tie, stock pin, black boots, spurs, gloves, hat, hairnet (if hair is long), dressage whip (for warm-up ONLY) Cross-country: Sport shirt (polo, turtleneck, etc.), approved jumping helmet with safety harness, medical armband completed with updated information, gloves, boots, spurs, breeches (color of your choice), whip, stopwatch (if you insist), body protector. (See if you can borrow a body protector from a friend until you are sure—and we’re sure you will be sure—that you want to pursue this new career.) • TRAILER
Read more about Holy Fireworks, We’re Finished • Dismount and loosen the girth and make Top Gun comfortable: