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HORSE TRIALS  (One Day Event)




Below is a checklist to help you prepare for your first Horse Trials competition

[Note: Horse Trial handbooks are available for purchase from club office or download from PCAV]


Before the Competition


·         Collect an entry form for the competition in which you wish to compete. These forms are displayed at Rallies but also available on the PCAV website. Our club is in the Central Zone so it’s a good idea to start close to home. Begin by looking up the Oaklands Pony Club website, This is a terrific website and you will find lots of local competitions advertised. It also has links to our zone which is Central Zone, and to Pony Club Association of Victoria,  where you will find calendars with many more competitions.


·         Forward your entry form, money and stamped addressed envelope to the Event Secretary by the closing date. Like Oaklands PC, many clubs are changing to on-line entry. In this case you will receive your competition times via email or the times will be posted on the organising committee’s website.


·         Check that you have been graded by your DC at a rally. This is recorded in your PCAV (Pony Club Association of Victoria) grading card/attendance record book. This grade is the level at which you will compete until such times as you are regraded. When you attend competitions at other venues you must always take your grading book with you. You will not be allowed to compete if you don’t have it with you –talk to your DC if you lose your book. Remember that is your responsibility to have your card correctly filled out.


·         Buy a medical armband from the office to wear at the competition. You cannot compete without one.


·         You will need  a copy of your dressage test. Remember to check the publication date of the test –it will be printed on the entry form (At the office you can buy copies of PCAV rule books for Dressage, and Horse Trials – they can also be downloaded from the PCAV website).


·         Remember to ride your horse regularly so that he/she is fit for the competition


On the Day of competition


·         Arrive at least one hour before your dressage test. This is a minimum as it will take this much time to register, tack up, present at Gear Check, and warm up.


·         Register at the office, collect your back numbers, map of the cross-country course and also the information booklet. It is your responsibility to have a regulation helmet(spot checks will be carried out at competitions).


·         Gear Check: Remember you must be gear checked 15 - 20 minutes before each phase of the competition

ie.before Dressage / before Cross Country / before Show Jumping

Failure to do this leads to elimination


·         Walk both the cross country(40-6-mins) and show jumping course. Listen for instructions throughout the day. You will be advised as to when you can walk the courses.

Remember to be in full uniform and to carry your whip etc when walking the showjumping course



End of the Day


·         Return your back numbers to the office  and your grading book will be returned to you.





·         Am I allowed to wear spurs in dressage? (only at grade 1 and 2)

·         Is my riding whip the legal length?(see rule book)

·         Is my bit suitable for dressage tests? (see rule book)

·         Is my hair tied back and up so that my front and back numbers can be clearly seen?

·         Do I know that I can’t change my gear once that I have been gear checked (unless I am checked again)?

·         Do I know that I must not get off my horse after the cross-country stage until the vet tells me? The vet will then check the health of my horse.

·         Did I refer closely to the map when I walked the cross-country course? Are there any compulsory flags in the course?

·         Do I know the speed at which I should be travelling? Do I know how much time I have to complete the cc course?

·         Do I know that if I am eliminated I must immediately leave the course at a walk?

·         Am I aware that three refusals at one jump, or four refusals over the whole course, will lead to my elimination?

·         Do I know the colour code for the grade level at which I am competing?

·         Do I know what the proper procedure is if I think that the organizers have made an error with my results?

·         Have I warmed up my horse before each stage?

·         Have I got hay and water for my horse?




Have fun and ride safely