Fancy stepping up to international competition?

Are you stepping up to international this year? Then we have a number of FEI CCI1*’s for you to consider, including two new 1* events – Alnwick Ford and Catton Park! This season, there will be 7 fixtures running over 18 weeks with a geographical spread of 487 miles from Blair to Wellington. International classes are identified by the class code CCI followed by the star level from 1* which is at 105cm level.

International competitions are the pinnacle of many event riders’ careers and for good reason. An international can be held over one or more days, depending on whether it is short or long format, with the dressage taking place first followed by the show jumping and cross-country. The order in which the two jumping phases takes place depends on the individual event. Most 1* are short format so the show jumping takes place before the cross-country. International events often have more of an atmosphere too, with more spectators and ‘crowds’ for horses to contend with.

During the dressage phase which is held in a 20mx60m arena, riders are allowed to wear tailcoats, and there will be two or three judges. Riders are not allowed to carry a whip in the dressage phase.

For the jumping phases, check your horse’s boots meet FEI regulations.

2024 dates and venues
Belsay- 30th May-2nd June
Catton Park – 15th-16th June
Alnwick Ford 19th-24th June
Aston Le Walls- 5th-7th July
Blair 22nd-25th Aug
Wellington 23rd-26th Aug
Osberton 3rd-6th Oct

Qualification criteria
For 1*, you need a (minimum) standard BE membership, be in the year of your 12th birthday or older, and need to have done three BE100s, BE100+ or BE105 with Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MER) results. MERs for CCI1*-Intro are competitive rounds with dressage test with no more than 45 penalties, no cross-country jumping penalties, and no more than 30-time penalties (75 seconds), no more than 16 show jumping penalties.
You can use the Qualification Checker to check that you are qualified. Full details can be found in annexe 2 of the BE Rulebook.

Things to consider

  • You and your horse need to be registered with the FEI through BE in order to compete in an international event, and all horses require a readable microchip. FEI registration forms can be found here
  • Be aware of the vaccination rules (BE now follow the same guidelines as the FEI) and anti-doping to ensure you aren’t feeding any feeds, medications or supplements that contravene FEI anti-doping rules, and that your horse isn’t exposed to potential contamination which could lead to a positive test.
  • You will have to take your horse’s temperature every day for three days in the run up to the competition, and then twice a day during the event. The readings will need to be entered onto the FEI Horse app.

<case study> “I really enjoyed the atmosphere” 
Laura Patterson contended her first two 1* events last season at Blair and Belsay.
“I’d done a lot of BE100s and had become too old for U18’s, so I decided I needed something else to aim for and made the step up to 1*. Before my first 1* I’d done a few novices to help prepare as I think you’d really notice the jump up if you were going straight from BE100.
“The atmosphere was very different, especially at Blair with the dressage being in the main arena. The event being over multiple days gives you the feel and atmosphere of a bigger show. My horse boiled over a lot in the dressage at Blair because he wasn’t used to the crowds, but he was as good as normal in the jumping and cross-country.
“There are quite a few different rules when you are competing under FEI and a few of my friends got caught out, so I advise reading the rules and checking you are fully compliant. One of the differences was having a vet check on entry of the event, and having to take the horse’s temperature in the lead up to and during the event. It was straightforward once you’d done it a few times.
“I was one of the odd ones out not wearing tails in the dressage, so I’d definitely think about investing in a set if you haven’t got any. I also advise being prepared for the longer cross-country courses, especially if the ground is wet, and have your horse that bit fitter.
“Overall, I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the international events – they feel really professional and I’d like to have another go with a newer, younger horse when she is ready.”

To find out more about competing internationally, please click here

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