Photo: Natalie Jayne competing in the equitation at WEF 2017
By Intern Emy Lucibello
Equitation has become a huge part of the equestrian society, as riders compete for a place in the huge indoor championship medal finals in the fall. These competitive medals in the equitation include the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal and the ASPCA Maclay. To win a final is to be crowned equitation royalty. However, before you can win, you have to qualify.
The Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal, commonly referred to as ‘the Medal,’ runs on a point system with different states requiring different amount of points to qualify. The Medal also doesn’t have regionals like the Maclay does which means that once a rider is qualified, they can go straight to the finals. The following states and districts need at least 13 points to qualify: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Canada, Washington D.C., Hawaii, Idaho, Wyoming, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. States such as Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and Utah need 21 points to qualify for finals. The following states need 31 points to qualify: Illinois, California, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Delaware. For Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, 41 points is required. Finally, 50 points is necessary to qualify for Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. These points are obtained by earning a certain placing in a Medal class. A first place prize is worth a certain amount of points according to the number of competitors in the class. For example, if there are 6-15 competitors in the class, a first place ribbon is worth 10 points, second is 8 points, third is 6 points, and fourth is 4 points. For more information, click here.
Unlike the Medal, the ASPCA Maclay, or just the ‘Maclay,’ has a regional competition before a certain number of riders from each region advance to the Maclay Finals. According to the official rulebook, In order to qualify for the Maclay Regional Finals, contestants must win the following: in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York a rider must win 50 points. In Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, they must win 38 points. In Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nebraska, North Dakota, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin, 25 points is required. In Indiana, Texas, Michigan, Missouri, Colorado, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Washington, Arizona, Kentucky, Oregon, Kansas, Idaho, Arkansas, New Mexico, Hawaii, Montana, West Virginia, Alaska, Wyoming, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Utah along with Canada and Puerto Rico, they must win 13 points. The point system is the same as the system for the Medal. Also, a rider can only compete in 14 Maclay classes at most. However, if the rider hasn’t qualified for regionals in 14 classes, he/she can compete in as many more shows until they are qualified. For more information, click here.
The qualifying periods for both medals is September 1st through August 31st the following year. In this time, riders must acquire their required number of points for the Medal final or Maclay regional.