The Judges should bear in mind that they are looking for potential for the future. Unfortunately, all too often, the horse with the most potential may not be the one which is presented in the best manner. We are looking for an athletic, loose moving horse with a promising jumping technique and attitude, which with correct training will develop physically and mentally into a world class three day event horse.
In the dressage phase, unlike a normal dressage test, we are not assessing the state of training and marks are not given for individual movements. The judge may watch from wherever he will get the best view. Most judges prefer to position themselves down the long side to help assess the true suppleness, natural ability to engage the hind legs and acceptance of the bit. Three correct, elastic and regular gaits through a swinging back are what we are seeking. The Judges will have to weigh up the influence of the rider; a good rider may present a well balanced, smooth test from perhaps a moderate, unscopey horse while a novice rider may even hinder a good horse from showing its true worth. It is the horse’s, and not the rider’s real potential we are looking for.
In the jumping phase we are looking for a bold athletic horse with good technique and a horse with these qualities, should not necessarily be penalised for knocking down one fence (or a four year old having one refusal), providing they learn from their mistake. Four year olds may find it easier to jump out of trot. However, 3 cumulative refusals or a fall of horse or rider will result in elimination.
The horse’s conformation and quality should enable him/her to withstand the demands of the sport in terms of soundness, speed and stamina. Lack of quality and other defects which might reduce stamina or speed should be penalised, even though the horse maybe a nice dressage or show jumping prospect. However, a lack of size should not be held against him/her. Equally one should not allow a possible prejudice against mares to affect any judgement. It is essential to encourage producers to give mares more of a chance if we are to establish a better breeding policy using proven mares. The conformation should be marked out of 12 and the type marked out of 8 to achieve a published total score out of 20.
In the suitability and potential section, only the top ten horses are required to come forward. They will be judged for potential international quality to make a world class three day event horse. The 5 year old horses will be required to gallop one at a time. The 4 year olds will only be required to show a forward moving canter indicating they could learn to gallop with further development and maturity. The horses must be brought into line in the order that the judge sees their potential and only in exceptional circumstances should this line-up be changed. Remember this section has no bearing on the previous sections, hence the scores will not be available to the judge of this section who should not watch the previous sections. Ten marks will be awarded to the horse placed first, 9 to the second, 8 to the third etc., down to 1 mark to the tenth horse. These marks will then be added to the respective cumulative score of these ten horses awarded after completing Section III. This will produce the final score and placings.
Use Of Marks In Dressage, Jumping and Conformation Section
Careful thought must be given as to how the marks are used. In order to have enough of a gap between the indifferent and good horses, it is necessary to use the full range of marks. Beware of not leaving yourself enough marks.
In conclusion we could sum up by asking the question “which horse would I buy to make the best top class three day eventer?” We are not buying the rider …. only the horse.
Section I – Dressage Test : 30 Marks
Marking: 1-10 poor; 11-20 adequate; 21-30 good
TEST (To be ridden from memory)
|A||Enter at working trot|
|From X proceed directly to|
|C||Serpentine 3 loops each loop to go to side of arena finishing at A|
|F X H||Change rein showing some lengthened strides|
(Not required for 4 year olds)
|H & C||Working canter right|
|C||Circle right 20m diameter|
|M X K||Change rein with transition to trot between X and K|
|K & A||Working canter left|
|A||Circle left 20m diameter|
|A & F||Working Trot|
|F & B||Medium Walk|
|B||Half 20m circle left in free walk on a long rein to E|
|E||Directly to A – leave the arena free walk on a long rein|
To be followed immediately by:
Section II – Jumping : 40 Marks
Marking: 1-15 poor; 16-25 adequate; 26-35 good; 36-40 excellent
No time will be allowed between these sections for any adjustment to tack or riders dress. Maximum height of fences 0.90m (4 years) 1.05m (5 years). Fall of horse or rider or a total of 3 refusals will result in elimination.
Note: fence height at Final 1.00m (4 years) and 1.10m (5 years).
Section III – Conformation (12 marks) & Quality (8 marks) : 20 Marks
Note: Following Section III, the ten horses with the highest marks will proceed to Section IV. In the event of equality of marks at this stage, the horse with the higher jumping mark will be given precedence. Should this still produce an equality of marks, all horses on that same jumping mark will come forward.
Section IV – Suitability and Potential : 10 Marks
Top ten horses only are required for this section, to be judged for potential international quality of a WORLD CLASS THREE DAY EVENT HORSE. 5 year olds will be required to gallop one at a time. 4 year olds will only be required to show a forward moving canter indicating they could learn to gallop with further development and maturity. The horses must be brought into line in the order that the judge sees their potential and only in exceptional circumstances should this line-up be changed. Remember this section has no bearing on the previous sections, hence the scores will not be available to the judge of this section. Ten marks will be awarded to the horse placed first, 9 to the second, 8 to the third etc., down to 1 mark to the tenth horse. These marks will then be added to those from the previous 3 sections to find the winner.
Note: In the event of equality of marks after all four sections, the jumping mark will take precedence. Should this still produce an equality of marks, the highest mark attained in the final section will be the deciding factor.