More from WE-US

Perhaps the most important contribution the rules committee implemented in the new consolidated US-WE rulebook is a new way of looking at the way a competition championship tie is resolved.  This is a cause that WET has long championed.USFWEA

In the past, if riders were tied for a class  Championship in a competition, the highest score in Dressage prevailed.  But WE is not about Dressage horses “doing other things”, it is about horse and rider teams who exhibit the ability to perform well under a variety of circumstances.   Under the old system, if two children, (who would only have two trials, Dressage and EOH) were tied for the championship at a show, the child with the higher Dressage score prevailed, without regard to how much better the other child had performed in EOH.

At the request of High Country Working Equitation Club in Colorado, Tarrin Warren had occasion to ask the President of WAWE his opinion on the tie resolution method you will see below.  He agreed, this is acceptable.  So here it is, implemented in WE-US, page 23.

In the event of a tie for champion at a given level, the competitor who earned the highest average of the combined Dressage and EOH score will be placed higher. If there is still a tie, the competitor with the highest score in EOH will be placed higher. If there is still a tie the fastest time in the Speed trial will place higher.

Other opportunities for Resolving Ties have been addressed as well.

Dressage ties are resolved using the higher Collective Marks.  If these are equal the tie remains.

If a tie occurs in the EOH trial, the rider who incurred a 0 will be placed lower than the rider who did not. If the tie remains, the collective marks are used to break the tie. If these marks are equal, the entries remain tied and each will be awarded the points associated with the placing for which they are tied.

The Speed Trial is still placed in order of lowest time.  In the event of a tie, the tie is resolved by the least number of time penalties placing higher  If these marks are equal, the entries remain tied.

The EOH tie rule was implemented because of another  rule improvement.  The implementation of scoring riders in the kids and Level 1,2 & 3 classes with a 0 for unsuccessfully performing an obstacle.  In the past, the rider was disqualified and took the “walk of shame” out of the arena.  Now those riders continue on the course, learning as they compete, and enjoying the show the experience. As in the past, experienced riders in Level 4 up must perform the obstacle correctly, or they will be disqualified from the EOH Trial as in the past.WEIA

Here are some applications of the Zero rule.

Under Section 6.8 Course Errors  Refuses an obstacle (e.g., the horse stops, steps backwards, or circles before entering the obstacle). Children, Introductory (L1), and Novice A/B (L2/L3) riders are allowed three refusals; each refusal is penalized. If the third try is unsuccessful, the rider can, with the authorization of the Judge, move on to the next obstacle and a score of 0 is given for the obstacle not completed.

Here are applications of the Zero rule from execution criteria for the various obstacles such as:weunitedlogo_hr_rast

Earthenware Jug  If the jug is dropped, a member of the ground crew will hand the jug to the riders  competing at Children and Introductory (L1) levels.  Novice (L2/L3) level riders must dismount, retrieve the jug, remount and replace the jug on the table.  Failure to dismount, retrieve the jug and remount will result in a 0 for the obstacle.

 However : Intermediate (L4) through Masters (L7) riders must dismount, retrieve the jug, remount (with jug in hand), and replace the jug; failure to do so will result in disqualification.

Here is how the Zero rule applies to the Pole Obstacles If the pole is dropped, a member of the ground crew will hand the pole to the riders competing at Children and Introductory (L1) levels.  Novice (L2/L3) level riders must dismount, retrieve the pole, and remount with the pole in hand or receive a 0 for the obstacle.

Essentially, whatever you drop, you can only place after you have remounted with the dropped item in your hand.

Level 2&3 Riders, be aware!  If you receive three 0s during your EOH Trial, you are not eligible to participate in the Speed Trial! US-WE page 34.

Riders at all levels can still be disqualified from an EOH or Speed Trial in a number of other ways.  The position has remained firm on riding obstacles out of order.  All riders, even the kids will be disqualified from an EOH (or Speed trial) for riding the course out of order.  US-WE Page 36

All rider at all levels will be disqualified for incorrectly or incompletely performing an obstacle.   The same rules apply as in the past, if you perform any obstacle incorrectly, or incompletely, you can fix it, provided you do not start performing the next obstacle, including passing through the markers for the next obstacle.

Understanding US-WE page 36 is fundamental to your success in Working Equation, download the rules and spend some time becoming familiar, your success will surely depend on it.

Here are links to the complete rule sets from your favorite national organization.

WEIAUS          USFWEO       WE United

The New Rules are Out

The United States Rules for Working Equitation, a new rule book used by all three Working Equitation Organizations have been finalized and are available in complete PDF Versions on each organization website.

Each organization had to make some concessions for this rule set, so you as an individual may not be 100% happy with everything contained here, but keep in mind another rider who has performed under an earlier version or another organization may have some displeasure with the changes as well.  That’s the thing about change, it is inevitable, and not everyone is happy about it, but if everybody is just a little unhappy, then this committee did a great job.  Having quite a lot of familiarity with all three prior rule books I am surprised how well the committee managed to keep synchronicity with the prior books and coordinate those attributes within the new set. WEIA

The most immediate change evident for WEIAUSA and WE United riders are the change in the Performance Levels descriptions.  There are now seven performance levels plus Children.  The introduction of the new levels was to permit a smoother transition opportunity for horses that are being developed in the canter changes.  There are also a few new obstacles that are Western in nature, these are only ridden in Levels 1-5.

The levels are now called: Children, Level 1 (Intro), Level 2 (Novice A), Level 3 (Novice B), Level 4 (Intermediate A), Level 5 (Intermediate B), Level 6 (Advanced) and Level 7 (Masters/International) 

Classes up to Level 5 may ride with one or two hands.  Level 6 and Level 7 are one hand only.  Class Levels 1- Level 6 may be offered as Youth, Amateur and Open, and a young horse division is permitted for Level 1, 2 and 3.

Here are overviews of the requirements at each level.  Consult the rule book for more detailed information prior to a competition.  

Children classes are Walk/Trot classes in both Dressage and EOH, either a Sitting or Rising Trot are permitted. During EOH Children are permitted to Walk or Trot between obstacles, Riders are permitted to walk when involved in the Pole Pickup, catching the Ring and Pole deposit.  Riders are permitted to halt to Pick up the Sack and then walk while carrying the sack to the destination.  Excluded obstacles are the Jump, Side Stepping Rails, Backing in the L, Rounding Posts, Riding through a Water filled Ditch, Bank Jump, Drag Item and Herding Animals.  There is no Speed or Cattle Trial.  A very nice Dressage Test has been written for riders at this Level, a test reader may be used.  This class may be offered as Youth, Amateur and Open.

Level 1 is a Walk/Trot class in both Dressage and EOH, either a Sitting or Rising Trot are permitted. Riders are required to Trot between obstacles but are permitted to walk when involved in the Pole Pickup, catching the Ring and Pole deposit.  Riders are permitted to halt to Pick up the Sack and then walk while carrying the sack to the destination.   Excluded obstacles are the Jump, Side Stepping Rails, Backing in the L, Rounding Posts, Riding through a Water filled Ditch, Bank Jump, Drag Item and Herding Animals.  There is no Speed or Cattle Trial.  A very nice Dressage Test has been written for riders at this Level, a test reader may be used.  This class may be offered as Youth, Amateur and Open.USFWEA

Level 2 requires 20 meter Working Canter in the Dressage test, but the test has no lead changes. Sitting or Rising Trot is permitted. During EOH the Canter is required between obstacles but trotting is permitted on the circles and serpentine obstacles.  If Canter lead changes are performed they are permitted through the trot.  All obstacles are required, with several corridor obstacles offering walk-in or trot-in entry options, such as Bell at the End of the Corridor.  The jump is required but may be performed at the Trot.  Riders are permitted to halt to Pick up the Sack and then may move the Sack at the Walk or Trot.  Level 2 is permitted to Walk or Trot in the Livestock Pen.  This level and all higher levels includes the Speed Test and Cattle Trial.  A very nice Dressage Test has been written for riders at this Level and a test reader may be used.  This class may be offered as Youth, Amateur and Open.

Level 3 and all higher levels requires the trot to be ridden while sitting.  Level 3 has 15 meter canters with a change through the trot in the Dressage test.  This level and all higher require the canter to be performed between each obstacle.   Canter is required on all the serpentine and circle obstacles with all canter transitions through the Trot.  Walk or trot is permitted in the Pen and Walk-in or Trot-in entry is permitted on obstacles such as Switching a Glass from one Pole to another and other corridor obstacles. The move a Sack obstacle may be performed at the Trot or Canter but halting to pick up the sack is not permitted.    An excellent Dressage Test has been written for this Level and a test reader may be used. This class may be offered as Youth, Amateur and Open.

Level 4 introduces the rider to a Dressage Test divided with the first half at Walk and Trot including Leg Yields at the Collected Trot.  The second half of the test is performed in the Medium and Collected Canter with 15 and 20 Meter circles. All changes of lead are performed with a simple change (through the walk). This is the only Level with Simple Changes.  All circle and serpentine obstacles are performed with Simple Changes.  The Pen may be performed at a Walk or Canter, and the entry to obstacles like the Backing up in the L may be entered at the Walk or Canter. The Move a Sack is required at the Canter and it must be picked up without a halt.  The Dressage Test must be performed from memory.  This class may be offered as Youth, Amateur and Open.

Level 5 introduces the rider to an excellent Dressage Test divided by Walk, Trot and Canter sections. As to be expected, riders at this level and up are required to employ flying changes during all parts of the Dressage Test and EOH.  The Pen is permitted at the walk or canter, as are the entries into the Bell Corridor and the Backing up in an L.  The entry to Rounding Several objects is required at the canter. The Move a Sack is required at the canter and riders are not permitted to halt to pick up the sack.  This class may be offered as Youth, Amateur and Open.weunitedlogo_hr_rast

Level 6 introduces the requirement to ride one handed at all times. The Dressage test contains nineteen movements, with the first half of the test at the Walk and Trot,  the remainder of the test is in Extended, Medium and Collected Canters describing circles of 20, 15, and 10 meters respectively as well as other movements.  Half pirouettes at the canter are required in both directions. EOH requirements are identical to Level 5.  The Additional Non-WAWE (Move Sack, Drag Item etc.) obstacles are not a requirement at this Level.  This class may be offered as Youth, Amateur and Open.

Level 7, Masters (International Level) The published Dressage Test is the WAWE International 2015 test.  This contains the 18 required Masters Level elements.  All WAWE requirements are mandated at this class level.

Please return soon for more details about the United States Rules for Working Equitation