EV141 Cross Country Scoring [CHAPTER EV-3 Rules for Horse Trials] change to read:
- First fall of competitor in which the competitor lands on his/her feet and remains standing (Beginner Novice and Novice) 65 Penalties
- Second fall of competitor (Beginner Novice and Novice) Elimination (RF)
- First fall of competitor (Training, Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced) Elimination (RF)
- First fall of horse Mandatory Retirement
Note: the rule change is not effective until 12/1/13, which means it will be in effect for the 2014 competition season (not this year!).
While this isn’t back to the glory days of old– in which most everyone fell off once at some point, and got back on to finish– it does at least acknowledge the “oops- DARN IT!” moments when you find yourself gently swinging from a stopped horse’s neck and put your feet on the ground. Now, when such a mild fall (I prefer the term “unplanned dismount”) happens to land you on your feet, Beginner Novice and Novice competitors will be allowed to continue. Falls at those levels in which you do NOT land on your feet will still result in elimination.
Though there were some opponents to this rule, overall I think it is a positive rule change. Rider safety was clearly the big factor in designing the rule, and it has been shown that falls at N/BN are generally less severe than at higher levels. A lot of thought and discussion went into the decision, and we’re thankful to those involved in the various committees for their time and input.