Rallies Bits, Saddlery, and Equipment Officiation
Team Formation  Mounts Championships
Competitor Attire Coaches  
Safety Chaperones  


Rallies

Q: What is the difference in a standard and modified rally?

A: Standard rallies are always preferred as they specifically follow the discipline rulebooks including a chief horse management judge from the approved CHMJ list and any other specified licensed officials. By attending a standard rally, members are eligible for certain divisions of Championships.

Modified rallies may not be utilizing specified officials, attire or equipment per the discipline rulebook.  Participation in a modified rally makes some members eligible for modified divisions of Championships as long as the age, certification, and discipline specific competition eligibility requirements outlined in the discipline rulebook are met.

Q: Can modifications be allowed in a standard rally?

A:  Modifications may be made for a rally, specific division within a standard rally or for an individual participating in a regional rally.  Modified divisions or modifications made for specific competitors may include additional competition level or allowing competitors to compete utilizing attire or equipment designated as not allowed per the discipline rulebook. 

Q: We are hosting a standard rally.  Should we offer standard and modified divisions of each competition level?

A: When hosting a standard rally, there is no need to create modified divisions for those who wish to compete in the modified divisions at Championships. All competitors should be placed into the appropriate competition division based on skill and age.  Members then progressing forward to Championships will be placed into the appropriate standard or modified divisions.

Q: I am participating in my region’s eventing rally, which is held in conjunction with a USEF/USEA recognized horse trial.  Does this count as two competitions towards championships competition eligibility?

A: While participation in a rally that is conducted within the framework of a recognized event may seem to be fulfilling two obligations at one time, it does NOT count as two qualifying outings for your Eventing Affidavits. You are still only completing one competition. The purpose of requiring two affidavits is to show that you have two experienced separate competitions at your level of competition.

Q: Why don’t the minimum certification requirements for competition divisions correspond to the competencies shown by those members?

A: Achieving a certification level confirms that a member has proven his/her riding ability and Horse Management knowledge to a certain level and is now working toward a higher level. It clarifies for an instructor what abilities an individual or group can be expected to have. Often riders are riding at a higher level than their current certification because they have not achieved the knowledge portion or had the opportunity to test up.

A minimum certification level is required for Championships competition to demonstrate that the rider has the maturity and Horse Management knowledge necessary to take care of his/her mount at an overnight/multi-day rally. What a certification does not do, is restrict the level of the lesson or competition. For rallies and Championships the rider enters the competition at the level of their competency and the mount. If there is a question as to a rider’s competency at a level, his/her regular Instructor, DC, CA, or RS --whichever is most familiar with the rider-- should be consulted.

Q: My club/center isn’t having a testing until after the next rally and I would like to attend Championships.  What should I do? 

A: Members seeking to meet Championships competition eligibility may pursue this based on Article 5 of the discipline rulebook.  By participating in the regional rally at the minimum certification, level required for Championships, then earning the certification and have it entered into the Pony Club database prior to the closing date of Championships. 

For example a 12 year old member with a D-3 Eventing certification participates at Show Jumping rally as a C-1.  They then earn the C-1 Eventing certification and have it submitted to the National Office prior to the Championships closing date, and therefore would be eligible to participate in standard championships based on meeting the other competition eligibility requirements.  Should the member not attain the minimum certification and have it submitted prior to the closing date, they are not eligible for Championships.

Team Formation

Q: My 14 year old daughter would like to participate on a team with her 25 year old friend. Is that allowed?

A: Junior competitors (those below the age of 18) can always compete up a division as a senior to fill out a team. Senior competitors can never compete down in a Junior division. Juniors wishing to compete on a senior team must have the permission of their parent/legal guardian, Pony Club leadership and utilize the Junior/Senior Team Formation Form.

Q: My rally doesn’t have enough competitors to separate the competition level into junior and senior divisions.  What do we do?

A: Merging junior and senior teams into one division is different from a junior competitor competing up on a senior team.  Combining the divisions does not require member or parent approvals, combining juniors on team with seniors does requires member, parent/legal guardian and Pony Club leadership approval.  Please see the Competitions Divisions article of the appropriate discipline rulebook.

Competitor Attire

All Discipline Rulebooks include significant updates on attire.  Please review Section 2, Chapter 3 of any Discipline Rulebook for full details and all current discipline newsletters.

Q: What should I wear during a rally?

A: Each discipline has specific allowed apparel for competition; please review the Competitor Attire section of the appropriate rulebook for full details.  Note, unless an item is specifically defined as allowed, it is not allowed.  When in question, it is the competitors’ responsibility to prove their requested apparel meets with discipline rules.     

Q: Can I wear half-chaps and boots during rally?

A: Each discipline has specific parameters on the allowance of wearing half-chaps during competition.  Please review the Competitor Attire section of the appropriate rulebook for clarification.

Safety

Q: Why do I have to wear a medical armband or bracelet?

A: Per USPC Policy 0800.D, USPC requires that members participating in any USPC affiliated mounted or unmounted activity must wear either a Medical Armband or Medical Bracelet during the activity. The member may choose which one to wear. Medical Armbands must include a curren,t completed copy of the individual's USPC Medical Release or USEA Medical Card. It must be worn on the upper arm. If the member has small arms, he/she may safety pin the armband to his/her upper sleeve. (Armbands are available for purchase from Shop Pony Club.)

Q: What information is required on my medical bracelet?

A: Medical Bracelets must visibly list these six items on them:
• Name
• Date of Birth
• Emergency Contact Information
• Known Allergies
• Current Medications
• Existing Medical Conditions

More information is acceptable, but these six items are required to be on the bracelet.

Q: Do I have to wear a Safety Vest?

A: USPC Policy 0800.E requires wearing a properly fitted body protection whenever a member is jumping cross-country/solid obstacles. Information regarding vest fit and certifications are available on the Safety page of the USPC website, USPC Safety Booklet and USPC Horse Management Handbook.

Q: Can I wear an air-vest?

A: Use of inflatable vests is at this time a personal decision on the part of members and their parents. Most air-vests are designed to be used in conjunction with a safety vest and do not take the place of a properly fitted body protector, unless the vest is designed to also meet body protector standards.

Q: Can I wear a mouth guard while competing?

A: Pony Club does regulare mouth guards and believes that their use is a personal decision to be made by members, their families and the professionals who advise them. Pony Club will create no hindrance to any member’s decision to wear mouth guards in any activity or discipline.

Bits, Saddlery, and Equipment

Full details on bits, saddlery and equipment for competitions are outlined in Section 2, Chapter 3 of the Discipline Rulebooks.

Q: What are the rules for tack and equipment at rally?

A: Specific rules for all disciplines are included in the appropriate discipline rulebook.  Members seeking to participate in Championships must compete at the regional rally specifically following the tack and attire rules.  Those members not seeking Championships may request a modification approval from the rally organizer and RS to allow anti-grazing reins, kimberwick bits in Dressage, etc. Note, unless an item is specifically defined as allowed, it is not allowed.  When in question, it is the competitors’ responsibility to prove their requested tack and equipment meets with discipline rules.

Mounts 

Q: Can I ride a four-year-old mount at rally?

A: All mounts for Pony Club activities must be a minimum of five years of age. There is an allowance for members with a C-1 certification or above to ride four-year old mounts.  See USPC policy 0910 for full details. 

Q: Can I compete on a mule at a rally?

A: Mules are acceptable mounts for all Pony Club rallies with the exception of Eventing rallies held in conjunction with USEF/USEA recognized events.  USEF eventing rules prohibit the use of mules in recognized eventing competitions.

Q: Can I participate in my regional rally with two mounts?

A:  With the approval of the rally organizer and RS, a competitor may enter and compete two mounts at a rally. Competitor is responsible for the full Horse Management aspects of both horses. Multiple mounts are not allowed at Championships.

Q: Can two members share a mount at our regional rally?

A: At regional and local rallies, the RS and rally organizer will review all requests for sharing of mounts.  Age and fitness of mount along with rally scheduling concerns should be taken into consideration. 

Q: Can two members share a mount at Championships?

A: The ability of members to share a mount at Championships depends on the discipline and the approval of the discipline committee chair and discipline organizer.  Please see the appropriate discipline rulebook for full details on sharing.  Abbreviated information is listed below.

Dressage - Two riders may request to share a mount at Championships, if the mount is fit enough to complete four dressage tests per day.  The discipline chair/organizer will review each request on a case by case basis for approval or denial.  Age and fitness of mount along with rally scheduling concerns should be taken into consideration.  The welfare of the mount will be the highest priority in this situation and all competitors must agree that if the organizers or HM onsite feel that the health of the mount is in jeopardy at any time, they may be removed from the rest of the riding portion of the competition. 

Eventing – Mounts may not be shared, because USPC Eventing Championships is a recognized competition in which mount sharing is not allowed by the USEF rules.

Games – Mounts may not be shared due to the amount of work the mounts do in this discipline. 

Gymkhana – Mounts may not be shared due to the amount of work the mounts do in this discipline. 

Polocrosse – Mounts may not be shared due to the amount of work the mounts do in this discipline. 

Show Jumping - Two riders may request to share a mount at Championships, if the mount is fit enough to complete four jumping rounds per day. The discipline chair/organizer will review each request on a case by case basis for approval or denial.  Age and fitness of mount along with rally scheduling concerns should be taken into consideration.  The welfare of the mount will be the highest priority in this situation and all competitors must agree that if the organizers or HM onsite feel that the health of the mount is in jeopardy at any time, they may be removed from the rest of the riding portion of the competition. 

Tetrathlon – Mounts may be shared by competitors, but may not exceed three rounds per competition day.  The welfare of the mount will be the highest priority in this situation and all competitors must agree that if the organizers or HM onsite feel that the health of the mount is in jeopardy at any time, they may be removed from the rest of the riding portion of the competition. 

Western Dressage - Two riders may request to share a mount at Championships, if the mount is fit enough to complete four dressage tests per day.  The discipline chair/organizer will review each request on a case by case basis for approval or denial.  Age and fitness of mount along with rally scheduling concerns should be taken into consideration.  The welfare of the mount will be the highest priority in this situation and all competitors must agree that if the organizers or HM onsite feel that the health of the mount is in jeopardy at any time, they may be removed from the rest of the riding portion of the competition. 

Horse Management - Shared horses in the same competition present to Turnout Inspection together, with scores based on each rider’s certification level.  Shared horses in separate disciplines do own Turnout.

Coaches

Q: I am competing at a rally and would like to also coach other competitors.  Is that allowed?

A:  Rally competitors can also coach other competitors provided they meet and agree to the following parameters in addition to discipline coaching specifications:

  • Must be 18 years of age as of January 1st of the competition year.
  • No scheduling changes to accommodate.
  • Own competitor’s responsibilities and mount’s care always takes precedence.

Chaperones

Q: I am 23 years old and participating in a rally.  Do I need a chaperone?

A: Competitors under the age of majority (minors) participating in rallies must have a chaperone. Competitors above the age of majority (adults) participating in rallies must submit a completed Emergency Contact Form to rally organizers.

Q: I am serving as a chaperone for a rally team.  Am I responsible to transporting the team members to and from the rally?

A:  It is the responsibility of the competitors’ parents to provide/arrange transportation to, from, and during USPC competition and activities. In doing so, they may make arrangements among themselves. Clubs/center and regions shall not have rules concerning transportation. Transportation is the responsibility of a parent, not the Pony Club. Adults that are transporting others might want to consider getting additional trip insurance.  USPC Insurance does not cover transportation. 

Officiation

Q: Can a current member serve as an Assistant Horse Management Judge at a regional rally?

A:  Current  Pony Club members may be utilized as AHMJs based on the approval of the Regional Supervisor and Rally Organizer.  Current members would be considered appropriate candidates for serving as AHMJ if of an appropriate maturity and knowledge level, based on the needs of the rally.

Championships

Q: Who is eligible for Championships?

A: Championships competitors must meet three specific criteria, minimum age requirements, minimum certification requirements and discipline specific competition requirements.  Minimum age and certification requirements are listed below.  Discipline competition requirement information is found in the appropriate discipline rulebook and the Guidebook to Championships.

Championships Divisions: Modified Championships Divisions:
Must be 12 years old by Jan. 1 of competition year Must be 10 years old by Jan. 1 of competition year
Mounted: C-1 Riding Mounted: D-2 Riding
Unmounted (Stable Managers & Quiz): D-3 HM Unmounted (Stable Managers & Quiz): D-2 HM

    
 
    
  

 

There are no exceptions to minimum age and certification requirements for Championships.

Q: How do I enter Championships?

A: Members who meet the three requirements for Championships participation (age, certification and competition eligibility), may enter Championships online through the Pony Club Championships registration system once their RS has indicated their competition eligibility in the Championships database.  Visit the Championships Competition Information page for directions on entering. 

Q: What is the USPC competition year, in regards to earning Championships competition eligibility?

A: The USPC competition year begins on the closing date of the previous year’s Championships and ends on the closing date of Championship.

Q: What is the difference between Championships divisions and Modified Championships Divisions?

A: All Championships divisions will focus on competitor preparedness and a rigorous competition schedule.   Competitors are encouraged, but not required, to attend discipline educational workshops.

All Modified Championships divisions will include required educational workshops, a shortened competition schedule competition and will include more one on one time with the HM staff.

Q: Can members participating in standard Championships divisions be placed on teams with members participating in modified Championships divisions?

A: Because standard competitors and modified competitors will be competing over different courses and are being pinned separately they cannot be placed on the same team. 

Q: I am having difficulty meeting the competition requirements for my desired discipline.  What should I do?

A: Recognizing that local conditions vary across the country and individual circumstances may sometime affect a member’s ability to meet minimum competition eligibility requirements, exceptions to specified Championships competition eligibility requirements may occasionally  be granted.  There is a specific process for requesting these exceptions, which are outlined here

Q: I would like to request an exception to the discipline competition eligibility requirement.  When can I make that request?

A: Through their RS and the specified process, a member may request an exception at any point in the competition year.  This will accommodate members planning their upcoming competition season

Q:  The mount that I compete on at Show Jumping rally is now lame and unable to attend Championships.  Can I bring a replacement mount?

A:  Through their RS and the process specified in the discipline rulebook, a member may request a substitution of mount for Championships. 

Dressage

Eventing

Q:  I was received a technical elimination at Eventing rally because I jumped the wrong fence on Cross-Country.  Am I still eligible for Championships?

A:  While you would not be eligible for standard Eventing Championships, which requires the completion of the competition without elimination.  You may still be eligible for modified Eventing Championships where a technical elimination does not prohibit you from earning eligibility.  Please review the current rulebook and current Guidebook to Championships for full details. 
 
Games

Gymkhana

Polocrosse

Quiz

Show Jumping

Q:  I was received eight jumping faults and five time penalties during Show Jumping rally.  Am I still eligible for Championships?

A:  Yes! Time penalties do not count towards the maximum number of penalties outlined in Show Jumping Championships competition eligibility. Please review the current rulebook and current Guidebook to Championships for details on maximum jumping faults per competition division. 

Tetrathlon

Western Dressage