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Event descriptions 

What is Eventing?

Emerging as a comprehensive cavalry test, the sport of eventing includes three phases to challenge each single horse and rider combination. Also known as an equestrian triathlon, each horse and rider competes against each other ultimately for the lowest score after completing the three phases. The first stage, Dressage, consists of learned movements in an enclosed arena judged by one or more judges for the initial base score that the horse and rider will hold onto throughout the next two phases. The purpose is to demonstrate a series of graceful and relaxed movements that must be mastered at each level. 


The following phase, cross-country, requires a high level of physical shape for both horse and rider. Including around 12-20 solid jumps, the horse and rider must travel through memorized tracks proving the ability and endurance of the pair. Each level increases in speed and technical jumping questions. This phase is scored by optimum time and whether or not the pair adds any jumping faults to their base dressage score. 

The final phase is referred to as stadium or show jumping. This phase tests the control of each horse and rider pair through the technicality of 10-15 show jumps set up in a ring. Each pair again must finish the course within a certain time period to not add points to their score. Each rider attempts to jump the course “clear” without adding points to their base score by knocking any of the poles down, which results in four points each. Once each rider in the level has finished this phase, placings (typically 1st-10th) can be determined by whoever has the lowest score.


Credit: United States Eventing Association 

Advanced- Jump Height: 3'11". The Advanced level is the highest national level of horse trials. It offers tests of significant difficulty designed to prepare competitors and horses for either international Four or Five-Star events.


Intermediate- Jump Height: 3'9". The Intermediate level is an examination of increasing technical difficulty, preparing competitors and horses for international Three-Star events.


Preliminary- Jump Height: 3'7". The Preliminary level is a moderate examination of competitors and horses in a regular training program preparing for international Two-Star events.


Modified-Jump Height: 3'5". The Modified level is for the Training level horse with the intent of progressing to the Preliminary or international One-Star level.


Training- Jump Height: 3'3". The Training level is an elementary examination of competitors and horses with some experience and training.


Novice-Jump Height: 2'11". The Novice level is a continuing introduction to horse trials. It is designed for competitors and horses with some experience at lower levels or for experienced riders and horses new to the sport.


Beginner Novice- Jump Height 2’7”. The Beginner Novice level is designed to introduce green horses and riders to horse trials, combining dressage, cross-country, and beginner jumping tests. It is for competitors and horses that have already had experience in schooling competitions in all three disciplines. The entire experience should be safe, inviting, and educational to build confidence and a desire to progress.


Starter- Jump Height 2’3”. To serve as the entry point into the sport by providing a low-impact introduction to the sport of eventing, competing in all the three phases of a horse trial: dressage, cross-country and show jumping. The experience should be fun and educational.


Grasshopper- Jump Height 2’0”. The grasshopper level, otherwise known as green bean level, provides horse and rider with an introduction before the starter level, not recognized by USEA this consists of cross rails in show jumping and small logs for the cross-country phase.

Arena Eventing- 

Combining the two jumping phases of eventing, show jumping and cross country, we offer riders an early season laid-back show environment to sharpen up their skills for the upcoming season. This is hosted mainly in the sand arena with some cross-country terrain incorporated. Levels include grasshopper through preliminary, offering a show jumping-only class before the two combination classes for each level. 

Open Fun Show- 

New to Revel Run we introduce our “Open Fun Show” open to English and Western riders offering a variety of ring classes. Classes including equitation, flat, bareback, games and more will have prizes determined by our judges. Similar to the well-known 4-H format, we invite people of all ages to participate in the new event.

U.S.E.A. Event-

Averaging around 300 competitors from across the nation, this classic three-day format event is the largest of equestrian competitions at Revel Run. Being the largest eventing competition in Michigan we invite all horse lovers and curious neighbors to come and watch and enjoy concessions as we host levels from grasshopper through preliminary.  

T.E.A.M. Event- 

This competition is a Michigan-sanctioned event through The Eventing Association of Michigan (T.E.A.M) following the classic eventing format through two days.  Hosted once or twice a year at Revel Run with levels including grasshopper through modified. 


Our well-known derby shows include a learning environment for people wanting to get some experience before the show as we open the cross-country up for schooling your horse the day before the event. Instead of the classic three phases, we also include the stadium phase into the cross-country course by having the first five jumps on cross-country in show jumping format before continuing on. 

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