Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but I need some clarification and can't seem to find this topic after a search. I even waded through the rule book and can't seem to find a description of the levels.
I have a young horse, four years old, who has just started at the beginner novice level. I have competed up through training level, but not at the recognized level.
Are we beginner novice HORSE, or RIDER? I said BNH rather than rider, but someone I school with competes beginner novice rider and she obviously has tons more experience than her green horse.
I figured in the true spirit of the sport the proper place for us is in a group of like horses, where the rider can be of any level....because I don't really consider myself a beginner, though I "technically" qualify I guess. And the beginner novice rider competes against people more new to the sport on horses who can maybe have a little more training??
I believe you do qualify for the RIDER div. because you have not competed at a recog. event at that level. But I agree with you, if you are more than capable then it is more sporting to go in the HORSE div.
Your friend may be within the rules if she once competed higher, but has not competed for a certain amount of time. Like, I think you can drop down and be in the RIDER div. if you have no competed at that level or higher for a certain length of time. I cant remember what that time frame is though... I'm sure someone who knows the rules better will be along to give the exact particulars.
I have competed through recognized N and unreocognized T with my now-retired mare, but that was eight or so years ago.
I'm running BN with my gelding now, and usually enter the Rider division so I'm not lumped in with the pros on their up-and-comers in the Horse division. Although I have some experience at a slightly higher level, it was a long time ago, and I don't consider it to be enough to put me even remotely on a level playing field with the pros, or to give me an unfair advantage over others in the Rider division.
I competed BN this year on my 6 yo WB gelding. I have been riding and showing forever (hunters, jumpers, dressage) but am new to eventing (first event was in March). I generally try to avoid the riders division because the warm-up area is an absolute nightmare. I'd rather go in the horse division and place lower because I'm going against the pros than deal with the stress of the rider's division warm-up. But at this point, I am mostly competing for experience and don't much care about the ribbons.
I consider myself a strong rider. I've stayed active in riding but haven't competed (in eventing) since 2000. When mynew baby is ready, I'll be going in BNR because quite frankly, I don't think I should be out there riding against Karen O'Connor and the likes. A lot changes in eight years. There will be plenty of time higher divisions as we work our way up but in the beginning, I'm going in BNR because according to the rules, I fit there.
You are technically qualified for either, so it depends on your preference. The way I see it, you are likely to have better riders on green horses in Beginner Novice Horse and green riders on better horses in Beginner Novice Rider. Your horse would be likely to be in a more equal field in the 'horse' division. Here horses are more likely to have a bad dressage test or jumping ride - more likelihood for rails and refusals.
At this level there isn't usually much of a difference between Horse and Rider divisions. Ultimately it is up to you.
I would also aim for the BNH division in that I HATE being in the warm up with folks who focus so much on their horse that they are a danger to ride around. The BN warm up is scary enough without adding rider inattention to it. Just my 2 cents
Thank you everyone. I guess I never considered riding against pros since we haven't even worked our way up to a recognized event. Either way we're having a great time, so good to know it's not a mistake on my part to pick one over the other.