A Medal Finals Primer

2010
Maclay flat at The National Horse Show (Lexington, Kentucky) in 2014. Photo © Piper Klemm.

BY EMMA DUBINSKY

For equitation riders, the fall season means one thing: finals are coming. It means longer days at the barn, no stirrups, and prep over harder courses. But with all the finals available for riders, it is sometimes hard to keep them straight. Below is of many of the finals, and what each rider must have accomplished to be able to attend.

PESSOA/US HUNTER SEAT MEDAL FINAL

Date and Location: October 11, 2015 at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Class Structure: Two rounds. The first is a normal over fences round, and the top 4 are called back for a final test. The judge can call back more if necessary.

Qualifying Criteria: Riders accumulate points by placing 1st-4th all the way to 8th, depending on the number of riders in the class. The number of points needed ranges from 13 in states with less horse shows like Oklahoma and Minnesota to 50 in large states like New York and New Jersey with lots of shows and exhibitors, adding point bonuses. According to USEF rule EQ110.5f, “The points required by each individual state will be determined by the population density of that state for Junior riders designated Hunter or Jumper combined with the number of USEF Medal classes held in that state.”

Final Structure: All riders compete in a preliminary round and the top 25 are called back for second round. Then the top 4 test, and sometimes the judge will ask for a horse switch.

ASPCA MACLAY FINALS

Date and Location: November 1st, 2015 at the CP National Horse show at the Kentucky Horse park in Lexington, Kentucky

Class Structure: One over fences round and then the top 12 riders are called back for a flat phase.

Qualifying Criteria: Riders accumulate points by placing 1st-4th in the class. The points the riders receive for each placing go up the more riders are in the class. Once riders obtain the points they need for their state, which once again ranges from 13 to 50. After June 1st, if a rider has more than 60 points, he or she cannot compete in another ASPCA Maclay class until the regional final or they are ineligible to compete at regionals for that year. At regionals, the riders complete a course and then they are called back on the flat, no more than 24 at a time, in groups A, B, C, and so on. The flat counts for 50%, and the top riders move on to the finals.

Final Structure: All riders compete in a preliminary round, and the top 20 return. There is also a flat phase for the top riders.

Spencer Smith won the USEF Medal Finals at The Pennsylvania National Horse Show (Harrisburg, PA) in 2014. Photo © Maria Donovan.

USEF TALENT SEARCH – EAST

Date and Location: October 2-4, 2015 at the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, NJ

Class Structure: 1* (3’7), 2* (3’9), and 3* (3’11). The course must be over jumper style jumps. The top 12 return for a flat phase, and the riders must do a lengthening of stride at both trot and canter, as well as counter canter.

Qualifying Criteria: A rider must earn 90 points, as well as a ribbon in a 2* class. A win in a 3* qualifies the rider for finals automatically.

USEF TALENT SEARCH – WEST

Date and Location: September 17-19, 2015 at Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, CA

Class Structure: 1* (3’7), 2* (3’9), and 3* (3’11). The course must be over jumper style jumps. The top 12 return for a flat phase, and the riders must do a lengthening of stride at both trot and canter, as well as counter canter.

Qualifying Criteria: A rider must earn 30 points, as well as a ribbon in a 2* class. A win in a 3* qualifies the rider for finals automatically.

Hunter Holloway in the WIHS Medal (Washington, DC) in 2014. Photo © Piper Klemm.

WIHS EQUITATION CLASSIC

Date and Location: October 23-24, 2015 at the Washington International Horse Show at the Verizon Center in Washingon, DC

Class Structure: The riders compete in two phase: the hunter phase, in the hunter ring over 3’6 fences, and a jumper phase, in the jumper ring, over 3’6 jumper-style fences. The course use a timer. A point is subtracted from the score for each fault.

Qualifying Criteria: The rider’s accumulate points, and the top 30 from the east coast and the top 10 from the west coast are invited to participate at finals.

Finals Structure: All riders compete in both the jumper and hunter phase. Then the top riders return for a test before final ribbons are awarded. The order for the jumper phase is the reverse order from the standing after the hunter phase, with the top scoring rider performing last.

WEST COAST EQUESTRIAN MEDAL

Date and Location: End of Summer 2016 at the Blenheim Summer Classic II in San Juan Capistrano, CA

Class Structure: The course must be over jumper style jumps set at 3’6. A liverpool may be used, and the round is timed. There is no work-off required.

Qualifying Criteria: For every class, riders accumulate points set at 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2,1 provided there are at least 8 riders. For every less rider, the points start at the lowest number possible. For example, if four riders competed, the points would be 4, 3, 2, 1. Each rider must accumulate 10 points to be eligible for the finals.

Finals Structure: The first two rounds of competition are open to all riders. The top 15 will return for a third round. The first round is a power and speed class, but if a rider has a knockdown in the first part the pair continues on to the speed phase. Ribbons 1-6 are awarded. The second phase will be a normal jumper course, but must include a liverpool. The riders will return in reverse order from the round before. Ribbons 1-6 are awarded as well. The third round is a jump-off, and the top 15 riders return with averaged scores from rounds one and two. The score from round three is added to the average, and the class is pinned. No more testing is allowed. Ribbons and coolers are given for 1-10 separately for both juniors and amateurs.

Originally printed in the October, 2015 issue.