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.
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.
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.
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.