Monday, February 1, 2010

How Jumpers Are Scored

At first glance, jumper scoring can appear simple. You need to keep all of the rails up and go fast, right? Actually, that's not always the case. There are several different ways in which jumper classes can be scored, and each variation requires a different plan on the rider's part. You will need to look at each show's prize list or schedule to see how each class will be run. This will also be written on the course diagram before you walk your course. Each variation is called a "table".

I will explain what each table means and then, for extra clarity, I will give you the results from a hypothetical class scored under that table. These are the most common tables used; the rulebook gives a complete list.

Table A (USEF: Table II, Sec. 2(a) and (b))

These are the most common classes that you will see in the jumper ring. It is run over two rounds. In the first round, your only consideration is to have a clear round (no rails or disobediences) without going over the time allowed. All horses tied for first place (which are almost always the 0-faulters) go on to the shortened jump-off course, which can be either immediate (USEF: Table II, Sec. 2(b)) or delayed (run after all riders have completed the first round, USEF: Table II, Sec. 2(a)). In the jump-off, your goal is to keep all of the rails up while going fast. Horses are placed by number of faults first, and then by time when placing within each category of faults. A horse with a rail, however fast, cannot beat a horse that jumps clear.

A rail down or a refusal/circle will cost you 4 faults. Faults are also awarded for going over the time allowed.

If you have faults in the first round, it's usually a good idea to try to finish your round in a fast time in order to place at the top of those with rails.

Table A class

Horse A: 0 faults, 72 seconds
Horse B: 4 faults, 70 seconds
Horse C: 1 fault, 77 seconds
Horse D: 8 faults, 73 seconds
Horse E: 0 faults, 71 seconds
Horse F: 0 faults, 69 seconds

Horses A, E and F will compete in the jump-off. Their jump-off results are:
Horse A: 0 faults, 32 seconds
Horse E: 0 faults, 30 seconds
Horse F: 4 faults, 29 seconds

The results of this class are:
1. Horse E
2. Horse A
3. Horse F
4. Horse C
5. Horse B
6. Horse D

Table A Speed (USEF: Table II, Sec. 1) 

This class is run similarly to the regular Table A class, but there is no jump-off. Instead, the time from the first round will act as the tie-breaker between those with the fewest faults. The strategy in this class is therefore to go as quickly as you can without knocking any rails down from the start.

Table A Speed class

Horse A: 0 faults, 72 seconds
Horse B: 4 faults, 70 seconds
Horse C: 1 fault, 77 seconds
Horse D: 8 faults, 73 seconds
Horse E: 0 faults, 71 seconds
Horse F: 0 faults, 69 seconds

The results are:
1. Horse F
2. Horse E
3. Horse A
4. Horse C
5. Horse B
6. Horse D

Power and Speed (USEF: Table II, Sec. 2(c))

This is a class that is run over a single course, with the jump-off incorporated into the second half. Usually the course consists of around fourteen numbers, with the first "round" being the first seven or eight jumps and the second "round" being the last six or seven jumps. Every horse competes over the first "round", but only those that have not accumulated any faults in the first part of the course can then go on to complete the second part of the course. This is why the first phase is about power - all you need to do is jump clear. The second part is where speed comes in. It is essentially a jump-off that is done without stopping after the first round. Again, keeping the rails up is more important than going quickly.

After each horse has completed the last jump of the first phase, the judge will determine whether they are allowed to continue. If no bell or whistle sounds, the horse is to continue on to the next jump without stopping. If the bell or whistle does sound, the horse must stop and exit the ring without jumping the next jump.

There are variations on the Power and Speed in which all riders are allowed to complete the entire course, but the most common practice is what I described above.

Power and Speed class

Horse A: 0 faults, 4 faults, 32 seconds
Horse B: 4 faults
Horse C: 0 faults, 0 faults, 33 seconds
Horse D: 0 faults, 0 faults, 30 seconds
Horse E: 8 faults
Horse F: 0 faults, 8 faults, 35 seconds

The results are:
1. Horse D
2. Horse C
3. Horse A
4. Horse F
5. Horse B
6. Horse E

Table C (USEF: Table III)

The main difference between Table C classes and the others is that faults are converted to time in Table C. This gives a horse with a rail the chance to beat a horse with a clear round. Each class is run over one round. For each rail down, four seconds are added to the time. At the end of the class, the horse with the fastest time wins.

This format allows riders to take more chances because hitting a rail does not mean that they are out of the ribbons.

Table C class

Horse A: 1 rail, 56 seconds
Horse B: 0 rails, 61 seconds
Horse C: 0 rails, 58 seconds
Horse D: 2 rails, 55 seconds

The adjusted times are:
Horse A: 60 seconds
Horse B: 61 seconds
Horse C: 58 seconds
Horse D: 63 seconds

The results are:
1. Horse C
2. Horse A
3. Horse B
4. Horse D

2 comments:

  1. Thank you SOOOO much for this post!! Even after reading the rulebook, the table distinction just wasn't making sense to me. This helped immensely!

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  2. I love this, thank you! But I have 2 questions? How do you get 1 fault?? Is that a 1 because the rider went over the time allowed by 1 second so if they went over by 2 seconds it would be 2 faults?
    And what are the usual names for these classes? I've seen Power & Speed on the schedule but the others don't have names and the don't but tables on the schedule.

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