Part of a series of emails to our exhibitors in an effort to provide helpful information about their interaction with the show office and other staff at the show. If you have a particular question you would like addressed, please feel free to make a suggestion.
Why care who goes in the Under Saddle?
A horse that is exhibited in the first performance class of an "A" rated division must pay a division entry fee. However, exhibitors may enter individual classes at management's discretion. HU 157 It is RMI's policy to always allow an exhibitor to enter individual classes at an appropriate prorated fee as the rule permits. This would include being allowed to enter just the Under Saddle class of a division.
At USEF horse shows, an Under Saddle class cannot be the first performance class held in a rated section. HU 158.5. This rule applies regardless of rating, e.g., it may not be the first class of the Adult Amateur Hunter division, no matter how convenient it might seem. Having the under saddle class first does give the horse and rider an opportunity to be acclimated to the ring before jumping. Further, it is often better to have the Under Saddle class go first so that competitors need not wait until the entire class has finished the over fences classes.
When calculating the Champion and Reserve for a division, titles are awarded to two of the four horses that acquired the most points over fences. In addition to points won over fences, only the top four horses are awarded full points for ribbons won in an Under Saddle class [see full rule for Model points]. HU 148.1.a
To be eligible for an Under Saddle class counting toward a Championship in any "A" or "B" rated section, horses must be entered in at least one over fences class in the same section during the competition. In theory, to meet this requirement, a horse could be entered in an Under Saddle class scheduled as the second class of the division and entered in an over fences class scheduled as the third class of the division. To maintain awards or points won in the under saddle classes, the competitor must complete the course in at least one class.HU 137 It is not enough to be entered, or to compete; you must complete the course.
So why care who gets ribbons in the Under Saddle Class? If you have points in an "A" or "B" division putting you in the top four over fences, you need to be sure that the Under Saddle winners completed the course or it may change the outcome of your Champion or Reserve. Furthermore, if you got a lower ribbon, you may end up with more points for HOTY and Qualifying if any of the Under Saddle winners are unable to maintain a placing. It doesn't happen often, and certainly the show office would like to catch the disqualification, but the exhibitors are in the best position to be sure all Under Saddle ribbon-winners are eligible. The most likely scenario would be a fancy Green Pony who did not make it around an over fences course but placed in the Under Saddle. So if you have any doubts, ask the show office to check that the Under Saddle ribbon winners in your "A" or "B" division did complete a course.