First Time Competitors

Interschool competitions have many different events and classes to suit those beginning their interschool journey, right through to the more senior competitors who are moving into open equestrian levels.

A guide for first time competitors can be found in the ISV handbook, however below are some frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

The first time competing at Interschool competitions can be a little daunting and there is so much to know. For those that have been before there are always still common questions. ISV is more than happy to answer any question but also we thought it would be helpful if some of them were listed here, along with some additional helpful information.

EV runs the Interschool State Championships each year over 5 days, in the April school holidays, at Werribee Park (WPNEC) with over 500 young riders. At this event, riders may also qualify to compete at the Australian Interschool Championships. The schedule for the event is published at the commencement of each year. Questions related to the State Championships should be directed to the Organising Committee Chairperson- Lisa Hocking lisa@equino.com.au

The Victorian Equestrian Interschool Series (VEIS) events are hosted by various schools around Victoria throughout the year with a Grand Final in June. Points are earned at designated competitions towards determining individual champions in each of the classes but also the champion school teams. These events provide a qualification pathway for riders to compete at the Australian Interschool Championships. VEIS contact person- Julia Gibson jegibson@tpg.com.au

All interschool age groups are based on a calendar year

1. Who can ride at Interschool events?

Any student for Prep-Year 12 who is current enrolled in a school or is home schooled through Distance Education may compete. Families should inform their school that they may be riding under their school name and check if there are any requirements in regard to behaviour, dress or safety. Many independent schools will include Equestrian as part of their sports’ program.

2. Do I need a school team?

Riders may enter any competitions as individuals with placings and prizes awarded. They may require a signature or agreement from their school. Most competitions also have a team component, with many taking the top 3 or 4 scores of riders from each school and awarding further prizes or points. Some schools may have multiple campuses for team scoring purposes. These campuses must come under the same Governance/Board and same Principal (Head of School). For example a school may have a Senior Campus Year 7-12 and Primary Campuses Prep-Year 6. Some schools have an Equestrian Coordinator.

3. What insurance do I need?

Equestrian Australia Insurance through Equestrian Victoria is preferable. This insures the rider 24 hours a day, not just at competitions. It includes personal and public liability. Any competitions (including the EV State Championships) run by Equestrian Victoria require this insurance. Interschool competitions hosted by schools and other groups require insurance by may accept PCV, HRCAV or school sport insurance. School insurance requires the organisers to receive a Certificate of Currency from the school for the year, for both personal and public liability.  Link to Equestrian Victoria Insurance.

4. Do horses have to be registered to compete in Interschool events?

Interschool horses DO NOT have to be registered to compete at the Equestrian Victorian Interschool State Championships or at VEIS events. However, should the horse and rider combination qualify for the Australian Interschool Championships the horse will then need to be registered to compete.

5. How do I enter competitions?

There is a calendar of Interschool events on the ISV website. Each event will have entry details shown. Most events have entries open 6-8 weeks prior to the event and online entry through Event Secretary, Nominate or Global Entries etc.

6. What do we wear to compete in?

Interschool competitors need to wear light coloured jodhpurs and school equestrian uniform. This may be a sports shirt, windcheater or shirt tie and jumper. No riding jackets are allowed unless you are selected for the Victorian Interschool Team. Gloves are compulsory for Dressage, preferably light coloured jodhpurs and school equestrian uniform. This may be a sports shirt, windcheater or shirt tie and jumper. No riding jackets are allowed unless you are selected for the Victorian Interschool Team. Gloves are compulsory for Dressage, preferably light coloured.

Protective headgear must conform to one of the current approved safety standards:

  • Current Australian standard AS/NZS 3838(2006 onwards) provided they are SAI Global marked.
  • New Australian standard ARB HS 2012provided they are SAI Global marked.
  • Current American standard ASTM F1163(2004a or 04a onwards) provided they are SEI marked.
  • Current American standardSNELL E2001.
  • Current British standard PAS 015(1998 or 2011) provided they are BSI Kitemarked.
  • Interim European Standard VG1(01.040: 2014-12) with or without BSI Kitemark.

HORSE TRIALS REQUIRE ALL HELMETS TO BE INSPECTED AND TAGGED FROM JANUARY 2020. Helmet tagging is only currently required at Horse Trials and Combined Training in Interschool and open competitions. It is NOT required at other Interschool competitions.

Riding boots-smooth‐soled, low‐heeled boots (short or long). Gaiters and long boots may be worn in all disciplines except Show Horse, where top boots and gaiters can only be worn by competitors 18 years and over as per Show Horse rules.

Each discipline may have specific requirements in regard to dress and approved horse gear. For example the use of back protectors in Eventing.

7. I have never competed in Interschool events before and I am unsure of the level I should be riding at?

Interschool events are in set year levels groups and have classes within these levels. Primary Prep-Year 6 and Secondary Year 7-12 with Dressage divisions- Senior Year 10, 11, 12 and Intermediate Year 7, 8, 9.

In most competitions, the rider selects the class that is suitable for their horse and themselves according to their year level and EA minimum eligibility requirements (MER). This may be based on prior experience, a coach’s advice or a school coordinator’s assistance. It is advised to commence at a safe and lower level than practised at home. If the horse carries a performance card, has points or has competed at high levels this may set rules for entry. This occurs mainly in Dressage and Horse Trial competitions. Equestrian Victoria would have further information available through the horse’s registration details.

8. How can I qualify to represent Victoria at the Australia Interschool Championships?

There are currently 3 pathways to qualify for the Victorian team:

  1. EV Interschool Equestrian State Championships – March/April School Holidays
  2. VEIS Qualifier events and Grand Final – February to June
  3. Interschool Eventing – qualification events run as part of EV Official Horse Trial Events

9. Does the competitor have to be a member of Equestrian Australia/Victoria to compete at the State Championships?

Yes, every competitor at the Equestrian Victorian Interschool State Championships needs to be a current financial, competitive member of Equestrian Australia through EV membership. Membership is renewable every year through Equestrian Victoria either online or by contacting the office before 30th June. Without a current EV Competitive Membership riders will not be allowed to compete.

10. How do we enter the State Championships if we are not a member when entries close?

Those riders who are not EV members at time of entry will need to take out membership for the year commencing 1st July. At time of putting in your online entries on Nominate, enter the membership number as 99999 and contact the EV Office to process a membership renewal or process a new membership online via http://www.vic.equestrian.org.au. Memberships will be checked.

11. Do I have to qualify to enter the EV State Championships?

The combination of the horse and rider must compete at a “participation event” on the ISV, Interschool calendar between April of the previous year and the end of February in the year of entry. This excludes the Australian Championships. Riders do not technically need to “qualify” in a certain discipline.

12. What are VEIS qualifier events and how do I qualify to go to the Australian Championships through that pathway?

Certain events on the calendar are nominated as VEIS Qualifier Competitions. There will be 8 VEIS qualifying events –4 Dressage and 4 Showjumping – that run between February and June. The accumulated best 3 scores (if 4 competitions are attended the lowest score is dropped) for each of the events, designated as being an Australian Championships qualification event, will determine the qualified riders. Please note the full details on this process should be reviewed in the VEIS Handbook on the VEIS website.

Please note that not every event offered at VEIS qualifying competitions or State Championships is offered at National level.

13. How do I qualify in the Interschool Eventing Team?

ISV and the Eventing committee trialled a new section criterion for Australian Championships in 2020.

EA events accept Interschool riders as part of their events, either concurrently with the regular classes or where there are sufficient entries, a separate Interschool class.

Classes to National level will be: EvA80, EvA95, CCN1*, CCN2*

Classes to National level will be: EvA80, EvA95, CCN1*, CCN2*

The top four competitors in each class, as determined by a committee upon submission of scores, will qualify for the Victorian Team and be invited to compete at the Nationals. If a rider/horse combination does not take up the offer to compete at the Nationals the place will be offered to the next ranked combination(s).

Link to qualification information