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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.   Please note that every effort is made to ensure that all rule citations are current and correct as of the publishing date, however, USEF and other organizations continuously make rule changes throughout the year and with each new year. 

2012 October Newsletter
What's the Point?

Starting in 2012, USEF revamped the point system for qualifying points, HOTY awards and Zone awards.  This article focuses on points for Year-End Awards, but qualifying for some Championships and some horse shows are dependent on the Awards point system as well.  See for example, GR915.3.a.(1) and JP150.2.a.   



Though as a general rule, classes with three or more entries will count for "points," the 2013 Competition year will see more sections of split divisions be combined resulting in a minimum of six competitors.

When a class has a small number of exhibitors, what still counts?   No credit will be given in classes if less than three entries have shown and placed . . .HU1113.2  Except Hunter Breeding and Pony Hunter Breeding which earn scaled points with at least one entry.  See HU 184.4 and HU 185.5


For Jumper Classes when a minimum of three entries have competed, points are awarded.  JP 133.13 defines "compete" as "after he has entered the ring and received the signal to start."


And the key exception: GR1113.2b "At an "A" or "AA" rated hunter/jumper competition where it is required that the division be held over two days, if there are less than three exhibitors the second day, Zone and National Horse of the Year points will still apply."



Staff has applied GR1113.2 in the following manner:

For application of the Hunter Increment chart, the number of entries is determined by the number of entries shown in the first performance class of the section.  GR1131.7 If less than three entries complete in the first class, whatever class in the section first meets the minimum of three entries, will be used for applying the increment chart. 


If at least one class of an "A" division is held on the first day which meets the minimum of three entries, then any class held on the second day will receive points. 


A Hunter Championship can be awarded if at least two over fence classes and one under saddle class are complete.  Through 2012, if the under saddle was held on the second day of an "A" division, the Championship would still be awarded. 


Effective 12/1/2012, clarifying language has been added that a Championship will be awarded only if at least three entries have placed in at least two over fence classes and an under saddle class. 


USEF staff is still contemplating how they will apply this new rule, but we think it means that even with the exception set forth in GR 1113.2b, two over fences and the under saddle must have three entries to award a show champion even if the division classes count for points.  For example, the first day an "A" division offers two over fence classes; one class is completed with three exhibitors.  The second day, the division has two over fence classes and the under saddle.  Only two exhibitors complete.  There would be no Show Champion credited for this division but the 3-exhibitor class on day one and all classes on day two would have class points credited.


Classics and Derbies award points to twelve places yet often only eight ribbons are awarded; be sure the competition is properly reporting twelve places so you get all your points.  For point distribution, take a look at HU 144.9 & 144.10 (Classics), HU 186.4 (International Derby) HU 187.5 (National Derby - Zone points only).


Rating      "C"        "B"       "A"       "AA"
1st             10          20       30         40
2nd              6          15       25         35
3rd               4          10       20         30
4th               3            6        15         25
5th               2            5        14         24
6th               1.5         4        13         23
7th               1            3        12         22
8th                 .5         2        11         21

Base above PLUS 1 point for each exhibitor in first class of a section.  The revised chart is fundamentally the previous chart minimum (3-8 participants) with points added to eight places since hunters must award ribbons to at least eighth place.  GR1113.3


Note that the base above is DIFFERENT than the points used to calculate the Show Champion.  Show Champion remains 10, 6, 4, 2, 1, awarding points to only the first six places.  GR808.6


Hunter division champions are awarded 2.0 times the point value of the first place of the first performance class (that is, the first performance class where at least three have completed) of the section.  Division reserve champions are awarded 1.2 times the point value of the first place of the first performance class.   GR1131.8.


So let us take for an example an "A" competition with 5 Small Junior Hunters and 12 Large Junior Hunters.  By rule in 2013, the sections MUST be combined.  Therefore 17 horses are competing.  Class points then are -
30+17 = 47
25+17 = 42
20+17 = 37
15+ 17 = 32
14+ 17 = 31
13+ 17 = 30
12+ 17 = 29
11 +17 = 28


What if the entries shift slightly and there are 6 Small Juniors and 11 Large Juniors?  The sections MUST be held separately and the points become:

30+6=36    30+11=41
25+6=31    25+11=36
20+6=26    20+11= 31
15+6=21    15+ 11=26
14+ 6=20   14+11=25
13+6=19    13+11=24 
n/a               12+11=23
n//a              11+11=22
At which show would you rather compete?  It depends; and you will not know until you get there what the applicable point schedule will be.  For purposes of the point calculation, the first class of a section, where at least three complete, is the basis by which the points are awarded.  GR1131.7  In other words, if the first Children's Hunter class has 12 entries, first place earns 18 points. If the under saddle has only 3 entries, the winner still earns 18 points.  BUT if the under saddle has only 2 entries, no points are awarded and NO SHOW CHAMPION is awarded. 

Zone-Only sections (e.g. Childrens, Adults, Pregreen) are all "C" rated divisions regardless of the overall rating of a competition.  "A" or "B" rated HOTY sections (e.g. Junior, Green Working, Amateur-Owner), that also earn Zone standings, are credited with "B" level points for Zone award calculations.  GR 1131.11


In addition to the point system, seven Hunter divisions have concurrent awards based on money-won:

 High Performance
 First Year Green Working
 Second Year Green Working
 Green Conformation
 Regular Conformation
 Performance Hunter 3'6
 Performance Hunter 3'3


For the Hunter divisions/awards where prize money is the basis of an award, champion is equal to 10% of the total prize money offered in the section and reserve champion is equal to 5%.  GR1131.8



Jumpers do not receive points from USEF for a show championship.  If a show championship is awarded at the discretion of Management, a minimum of three classes must be held in the section.  JP110.1     Ties for Champion remain tied unless a bonus point class is described in the Competition prize list.  JP110.3


JR/AO Jumpers receive HOTY/Zone points based on one point for every one dollar earned.  GR 1133.3. 


Young Jumpers receive HOTY/Zone points based on points in the Jumper Increment Chart (see below).


CH/AA and Pony Jumpers receive HOTY/Zone points based on points in the Jumper Increment Chart.   Points are individual to each class and not based on the first class of the section.  GR1133.



Exhibitors     3-8      9-15      16-25     26+

   1st                15         20            25         30
   2nd               10         15            20         25
   3rd                  5         10            15         20
   4th                   4           5            10         15
    5th                  3           4              5          10
    6th                  2           3             4             5


What about Table II (Clear Round )classes?  Do they count?  Yes: for sections that count money-won, if any money is paid in a Table II class, that money is credited for "point" purposes.  For Pony Jumper, Table II classes are credited with points.  For example, if three ponies compete, two are clean, the tied ponies each get 15 points while the third pony in the class gets 5 points.  For CH/AA Jumper, Table II classes are credited unless Zone Specifications state otherwise.



Add-backs are more common on the West Coast than elsewhere in the country, but the rules anticipate their use by stating, "Points for competitions offering add-backs will be determined in the Federation Office when results and amount of prize money paid are received."  GR1131.6   The reason for this escape clause is that the final rating for a competition and for individual sections will be determined when results reflect total money awarded.  So pity the exhibitors; they not only do not know if their section will be combined or held as offered but they can only have minimal assurance that their section's rating will be as anticipated.   



So what's the point?  Exhibitors compete for a variety of reasons, but for many, if not most, points which measure progress to a goal are a key factor in selecting classes and horse shows.  Know the rules for YOUR division, check your posted results.  Know the consequences of YOUR class, check your competitor's record when the occasion warrants it.  All points are not equal.  USEF staff and/or reporting secretaries are not infallible.  Make your points count.