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Average age for prelim?

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  • Average age for prelim?

    What do you think is the most average age for riders to reach prelim? What about horses? I understand that it is different for everyone I was just curious. What do you think for *, **,***, and ****? Kimberly Severson was 28 when she won her first **** I think. Thanks for your input I am interested to hear about this!

  • #2
    I think it totally depends on when you start.

    For horses, many pros start them at prelim as young as 5. At the same time, plenty of future prelim horses are probably still racing at 5. I've known horses to move up to prelim in their late teens as well, either because they started in another sport or their riders just decided to stay at training until then.

    For riders, the minimum age is 14 and I think that is very do-able if you start early and are always mounted on the right horse for your level as you progress. But plenty of people don't start riding or eventing until they're adults.

    I did my first prelim at 17, my first event (novice I guess) at 15. Had been riding all my life but more as a backyard hooligan type--probably became interested in eventing about a year before I started. My youngest prelim horse was 7, almost exactly 2 years off the track. But I am no pro--15 years later I have still never gone above prelim.


    • #3
      I rode in my first Prelim a few weeks after my 39th birthday.
      Click here before you buy.


      • #4
        I am 17 and have a 7 year old (pasture potato for 2 years before purchase) and we have only gone BN. We are schooling higher, but have only competed BN.
        Please visit the Donate page!



        • #5
          i'd bet for prelim its the mid-20s, and probably the same for intermediate and perhaps a little higher for advanced (but not much). most UL riders start young, so they are doing prelim in the 16-18 range. plenty of ammys make it to prelim at a later age, but not enough to dramatically increase the average age. there is such a drop off of riders at intermediate and advanced that most of them are professionals or good young riders, so again, you're looking at late teens to early 20s for their first go round.

          horses will depend on if they are started by a pro or ammy. if its a pro start, then a talented one will be doing prelim at 5, intermediate at 6/7, and then on to advanced. for the ammy started, you'd probably add 2-3 years.

          for what its worth, i ran my first prelim at 18, and at that time, I don't' even think there were enough people running to fill a Prelim Rider division.


          • #6
            I'll put in my vote for
            50 +

            chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


            • #7
              My horse did his first Prelim this year at age 19. It was also mine, at age 21.

              I would think the average age for the horse is probably around 7-10 and the rider, well that depends on a lot more factors than it does for the horse. You cant be younger than 14 anyway. I think it takes a pretty mature 14 year old on a pretty experienced horse to go Prelim these days.

              I did my first Training at 13 and I was not mentally mature enough to deal with it all. And I was a pretty mature kid. That said, to this day I think I put more thought into my riding than most at my level. I just, dont take things lightly.


              • #8
                DH was in his 30s with a 9 yr old horse. It was his 2nd yr eventing. He was not new to horses, just new to eventing.

                DD grew up here in eventing. She did her 1st rec HT at age 7 on a great 6 yr old Connemara Pony. She did her first prelim at age 14 on her own 5 yr old OTTB.

                She had to wait to go I and wait again to go A. She did her first **** at 19.

                I competed happily at novce, again not new to horses just new to eventing, until I became a full time groom, LOL


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ~Sarah~ View Post
                  Kimberly Severson was 28 when she won her first **** I think. Thanks for your input I am interested to hear about this!
                  According to her bio at the age of 15 Kim won the Area X Preliminary Championship aboard her mare, Meersluft. She had brought 3 horses up to Intermediate by the time she was 16. Don't know when she first rode Advanced, but would assume it was the year she turned 18.
                  Kim was around 25 when she won the Rolex Kentucky CCI*** on Over the Limit.

                  Of course, Kim Severson is not your typical rider...how many Eventers do you know that were competing at 3rd level dressage when they were 11 and have won Rolex four times?

                  If you really want it, you will get to Prelim. In the meantime, it sounds like you need a horse fix. Come keep my kid company and ride with her at my farm over Christmas. I'm sure we can scare up a horse for you.


                  • #10
                    First prelim at age 32 on my 8 year old OTTB.
                    5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO - you're on course!


                    • #11
                      I was 37 and my OTTB was 8 (he had done his first event at novice just a year before).
                      OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


                      • #12
                        I was 21 on my 7 year old horse who did a handful of prelims and a * with my trainer that year.


                        • #13
                          I was 14 for my first prelim, was second at my first CCI* the day before my 15th birthday. My horse at that time was a 6 year old green bean appy cross. With how the courses are today though, I don't think I would have been able to do it again. I had the young rider prelim horse of the year (for my area) when I was 16 (different horse), and went through 4th level and had my bronze medal at 16 (with the appy). The courses have changed drastically since then though, so I think we are seeing slightly later starts at prelim for the riders as the courses are more demanding. The horse ages seem to be about the same though with 5-6 year olds with experienced riders moving up to prelim.
                          Last edited by mjrtango93; Nov. 4, 2009, 11:49 AM.


                          • #14
                            I was 16 at my first prelim and my younger horse did his first prelim this summer at 8.


                            • #15
                              I did my first prelim when i was 17 and my horse was just barely 6 ( her first prelim as well) she was about 18 months off the track.
                              eventer do it
                              ~3 ways 3 days~


                              • #16
                                i guess this thread shows just how much it varies! my horse and i did our first prelim together, i was 23 and he was 10-and i will never forget it
                                "Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson~


                                • #17
                                  I haven't done a prelim yet ... I had a green 6yo holstiener doing novice this year he was pt champ and hopefully will be training champ nxt year. But I really doubt he would be ready for prelim until he is 8. He was def not ready for prelim as a 6yo but he wasn't broke till he was 4 and didnt really do xc till jan 09. I had a horse that was 2nd at the * at taupo in NZL after only eventing for a few weeks...Hopeing to do one by the time I'm 16 because I have a more experienced horse now. I think 14 is a reasonable age if you have an experienced horse. The average age is probably 16-20 for people though. As for horses probably 6-8. But again it ALL DEPENDS


                                  • #18
                                    i am 18, running prelim with a 8yr old horse. however, my coach is in his mid twenties, and has 5yr olds running prelim. it all depends on when you start them, and when you start yourself


                                    • #19
                                      Is prelim the equivilant of 1*? If so, I did my first 1* when I was 14. I think that is considered fairly young. Most kids the same age as me did 1* when they were 16 or 17 maybe.

                                      My horse was oh, 10? 15hh Stock Horse that I had trained myself.

                                      I think professionals get their horses started earlier. Average age of 1* horses would be 7 for professionals I'd say.

                                      Average age for riders, no idea. Lots of people start riding later in life!


                                      • #20
                                        I think if we found out what the average age of event riders is, we'd probably get a good idea as to the average age of a prelim rider. They go across the board.

                                        Horses do, too. Like others have said, ones started by pros or very competent ammies and started young can often be going prelim at 5. But lots of horses start later in life or slowly work their way up the levels with their owners. I've known a few in their 20s competing still happily at prelim.

                                        I was 24?? when I first moved up to prelim....I didn't start eventing until I was 18, though, and was 21 before I started doing it seriously. The horse I moved up with was 8...however, I broke him the beginning of his 7 year old year!!! (he went from first backed to prelim in a bit more than a year, but he was a prodigy or idiot savant...one or the other). I haven't had a horse to go prelim on in a few years, but will more likely than not be moving my guy up next spring. He'll be 6. He IS a prodigy.