A term used in demographic classification of societal groups.


The following information on the American Horse Trials Foundation comes from their AHTF website:

The AHTF is a non-profit corporation established to assist Three Day Event Riders and Organizers in raising tax deductible financial support for national and international competition. Eventing is one of three Olympic Equestrian sports, with its origins in cavalry training – combining the very diverse disciplines of dressage, cross-country riding and show jumping.

Event riders who are bona fide national or international level competitors are eligible to apply for grants from the American Horse Trials Foundation to further their preparation for Olympic or World Championship competition. After serving only upper level competitors for its first three years, in 1990 the American Horse Trials Foundation expanded its program to include grants for qualified Young Riders as well as for Horse Trials that offer competition at the preliminary level or above.

The Foundation has enabled athletes with limited financial resources to train and compete at the national and international levels. At this time our beneficiaries include many of the top Eventers in the country including three of the four members of the 2000 Olympic team and three of the individual competitors; all of the members of the 1999 Pan Am Games team, all of the members of the 1998 World Equestrian Games team as well as the two individual competitors, and three of the four members of the 1996 Olympic team and two of the individual competitors.

Since its inception in 1987 the American Horse Trials Foundation has distributed over million directly to Eventers for competitive activities. At this time only 6 percent of each contribution is deducted for administrative expenses.

The American Horse Trials Foundation has been granted tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions are deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law. The American Horse Trials Foundation is a member of the American Horse Shows Association, the United States Equestrian Team, and the United States Combined Training Association. Donations should be directed to the American Horse Trials Foundation, Inc.

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When an event is over-subscribed, only so many horses may actually participate, and the horse trial’s entry committee will have to determine who runs. In some events there is a “first come, first served” policy. Other events require horses to qualify, thus ensuring the more experienced horses get to run. This is the case with Badminton, for example.

The Three-Day Eventing season in England runs from early March to late October. For administration purposes it is split into 10 “ballot periods,” which are colloquially referred to as the spring, summer, and autumn programmes. Riders are given one “sticker” per ballot period. These stickers, when turned in at an event with the registration application, are given preference, as it shows the rider has a strong desire to run that particular event.

Balloting is important in ensuring participation in an event, since the number of horses entered can exceed the capacity of the events, particularly at the beginning of the season, and particularly if the weather is bad… which it often is over here in England.

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Concours Complet International, or “the Complete International Competition.” CCIs are assigned a star rating according to their level of difficulty. Four star competitions are Badminton, Burghley, World, Olympic, and European Championships; three star competitions are national championships; and two star are the first level of major international competition. CICs are a shortened version of CCIs.

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Galloping at racing speed, the team of horse and rider must complete a course which includes large natural obstacles such as walls, water, ditches and banks. This phase is a test of the partnership’s speed, stamina, skill and courage. Although not without considerable risk, this exhilarating phase is the most popular aspect of the sport.

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Similar to compulsory figures in figure skating and often compared to a ballet of horse and rider. This phase tests the horse’s obedience and suppleness. Required to complete a set number of movements, the partnership is judged according to their serenity, flair, technical mastery, and elegance.

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Head Girl

The stable manager and competition groom. “Head girl” or “Head boy” are actually traditional racing terms, denoting the head honcho of the yard!

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A shorthand term for “hands high.” A hand is the standard unit of measurement to determine a horse’s height, measured from the whithers, or highest point of the shoulder. A hand is equivalent to four inches.

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hors concours

French for (literally) “outside the contest,” i.e. the horse is competing but not to be judged.

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Horse Country



The long-list is the list of the most highly qualified horses and riders selected by the US National Federation, which covers all types of equestrian sport in the US. The long list will be whittled down to a short-list. From that short-list the national Three-Day Eventing team will be selected for international competitions, such as the World Equestrian Games or the Olympics.

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Long option

Difficult cross country fences will generally have two options available for the riders to chose from, in regards to how the fence will be taken. The shorter, more direct option will either be more technical or higher, and is the fastest route. The longer option may be “safer” — less complex or involving a smaller fence — but will also be more time consuming. Hence the “long option.”

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A horse that runs well in heavy footing.

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“Scopey” jumper

A horse with the power to effortlessly jump large fences.

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Show jumping

Precision jumping over numerous coloured and easily movable obstacles. Timed against the clock, both horse and rider must overcome the pressure of performing before stadium crowds.

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A shorthand term for thoroughbred, a breed of horse.

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Three-day Eventing

Comprised of three disciplines, Three-Day Eventing is the ultimate test of horse and rider. The same horse and rider partnership complete all three phases: dressage, cross-country, and show jumping.

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