The Charles Owen Technical Merit Award was founded by the USEA Professional Horseman's Council. The hope is that this award will provide incentives for amateur riders who demonstrate safe and appropriate cross-country technique, and will also educate riders and trainers as to what constitutes safe riding across country. Eligible Amateur riders entered in the designated divisions will automatically be judged during their cross-country rounds and will receive score sheets with written comments, which will provide valuable feedback for them and their trainers. Judges qualified to evaluate riders to receive the award are: Level III and IV ICP instructors, USEF licensed eventing officials, and USET Senior Team riders.
New in 2018, the USEA has changed the eligibility of the COTM award to be judged at the Training Level for amateurs (seniors) and juniors, who have not competed at the Intermediate level or above. This enables Organizers to choose from two options: They may have a Training Rider division, and then judge only the Amateurs competing in that group, OR if an Organizer does not offer a Training Rider division, then they may still hold Training Amateur divisions, and the USEA will provide a list to the organizer of all eligible riders in that division, who have not competed at the Intermediate level or above.
The Charles Owen Technical Merit Award is now presented at one event in each USEA Area each year at the Training level to one junior rider and one adult amateur rider, who have not competed at the Intermediate level or above. Every eligible rider at the Training level is automatically judged during their cross-country round on the five criteria listed below and receives a score sheet with written comments, providing valuable feedback on their cross-country riding technique. Level III and IV ICP instructors, USEF licensed eventing officials, and USET Senior Team riders are all qualified to judge the Award.
Winners of the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award receive a Charles Owen Body Protector (pictured below) and helmet bag. In addition the highest scoring junior and highest scoring senior at the end of the year will receive a Charles Owen helmet at the USEA Annual Awards Ceremony.
The judging criteria are based on technical merit and safe riding on cross-country. It includes the following elements:
- Gallop: Appropriate speed for level, terrain, conditions, type of obstacle, and balance.
- Preparation Period: Demonstrates change in balance appropriate for type of obstacle. Choice of line of direction/approach, riders demonstrates proper aids, horse responsive to aids.
- Execution of Jump: Jumped in proper balance with no twisting or drifting. Safe negotiation by horse with no badly hanging legs, rider stays in balance.
- Rider Position: Secure, effective position, use of upper body, fitness.
- General Impressions: Horse appropriate for level, rider in control, partnership of horse and rider, confidence of horse and rider, competence and preparation for level.
Pine Top Advanced H.T. | February 22-25, 2018 | Thomson, GA (Area III)
Golden Spike H.T. | June 16-17, 2018 | Ogden, UT (Area IX)
Coconino Summer I H.T. | July 6-8, 2018 | Flagstaff, AZ (Area X)
The Event At Rebecca Farm | July 18-22, 2018 | Kalispell, MT (Area VII)
Fitch's Corner H.T. | July 21-22, 2018 | Millbrook, NY (Area I)
Cobblestone Farms H.T. | August 3-5, 2018 | Dexter, MI (Area VIII)
Shepherd Ranch SYVPC H.T. II | August 24-26, 2018 | Santa Ynez, CA (Area VI)
Seneca Valley Pony Club H.T. | September 8-9, 2018 | Poolesville, MD (Area II)
Otter Creek Fall H.T. | September 14-16, 2018 | Wheeler, WI (Area IV)
Texas Rose Horse Park | November 10-11, 2018 | Tyler, TX (Area V)
For more information on the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award, contact Kate Lokey, (703) 779-9897 or ext. 3020.