What is a Riding Test?
The Riding Test is designed to reward basic training and correct riding. The Riding Test is scored using five directives and judges can award half marks to fully utilise the full scale available. The feedback given should be constructive and positive to not only draw attention to the highlights of the test but also show where improvements can be made to encourage better riding and higher marks. All this emphasises the correct priorities: put the rider first! The better we ride, the better our horses go.
The great thing about the Riding Test is that it is open to all levels of rider and any type of horse or pony. The Riding Test is different to a Dressage Test as it focuses on the rider, while the Dressage Test focuses more on the horse, the horse’s movement and way of going
There is currently the opportunity for riders to compete using the Prelim and Novice riding test, which can be found in Downloads and in the BRC Rule Book. These are the tests used at the National Championships. However, the great thing about the score sheets for both Riding Test and Style Jumping is that they can be used at Club level alongside any test; from walk and trot tests right through to Advanced Medium if the need requires it at your Club.
What is Style Jumping?
The course is made up of between 8-12 fences and this usually involves a skinny or a stile fence to give the opportunity to see the rider’s straightness and preparation. There are two heights in the Championships - 75cm and 85cm. However, as is the case with the Riding Test, the score sheets can be used at any level within your Club from riding a course of poles on the ground up to 1m courses and beyond.
The new scoring system means that judges can now focus on the rider and spend their time analysing their strengths and weaknesses around the whole course of fences.
The scoring involves four general aspects. The first is the assessment of the rider, which looks at a simple figure of eight in a 325mpm canter with a change of leg through trot or with a clean flying change. During the round the judge looks for feel and skill, position, balance and rhythm. On jumping the final fence you continue to canter at 325mpm. The feedback given should be constructive and positive to not only draw attention to the highlights but also show where improvements can be made to encourage better riding and higher marks. The judge can also give half marks.
There are penalties given but they are not the same as a Show Jumping round. The course is timed and for every second over the optimum time the combination receives one penalty however the course is not jumped against the clock. Knocking a pole off will incur two penalties, first refusal will incur three penalities and second refusal will incur six penalties. Other errors, including a fall or error of course, result in elimination. It is best to familiarise yourself with the BRC Rule Book where you can find more information on the rules for both disciplines.
How can I get involved?
There are so many ways that members can get involved. Talk to your local Club and Area Representative about competitions and training days that are local to you. If they don’t think that the interest is there then they may not create as many opportunities.
The Riding Test and Style Jumping Points League is a great way to compete across all levels and Areas and is new for January 2016. Your placing in the class converts to points you then fill the information out at each event on your record card, which will be available to download from the BRC Website, post it back to the BRC Head Office and the member who has scored the highest amount of points across the competitions will receive a fantastic prize.
Areas also run qualifiers for our National Championships so if you are looking for a top competition goal then this could be perfect for you. There is the opportunity to compete as an individual or as part of a team.
BRC run multiple Judges training days each year. As a member you can go along to spectate and learn more, get to know the judges and ask questions. These training days are also open to potential new judges if you would like to join our panel.
For more information please contact the BRC Office at email@example.com.
Becoming a Judge
If you are interested in becoming a Judge for Style Jumping or Riding Test you can check our available dates and book online. Alternatively, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.