There are several British Eventing levels consisting of Intro, Pre-Novice, Novice, Intermediate Novice, Intermediate and Advanced Intermediate.
Horses are graded according to the number of British Eventing points they have won.
And eligibility for different eventing levels and classes is dependent on the points the horse has won.
Gaining points moves the horse up the eventing levels and makes them eligible for entry to different competitions and classes.
Intro is the lowest of the British Eventing levels
The Intro level is a reasonably recent addition to the eventing calendar and is ideal for those new to the sport.
The intro level comprises a relatively simple dressage test, roughly equivalent to a preliminary level British Dressage test plus a round of showjumping at 95cms high and a cross country course at 90cms high.
Riders who have competed at Advanced level in the preceding two years cannot enter an Intro event; and horses with BE points are also excluded.
However, you can enter Intro level eventing competitions as ‘Hors Concours’ or ‘HC’ (which means ‘without competing’), and you will not be counted when calculating the competition placings.
The Pre-Novice BE Eventing Level
The pre-novice is the next step up from novice and has an open section designed for horses who have won two or more PN events but whose riders are not yet ready to make the step up to novice.
The open sections are designated ‘OPN’ in schedules and are often entered by some of the top professional riders and you may find yourself competing against the likes of William Fox-Pitt or Mary King.
Heights at this level are 1.05m in the showjumping and 1.00m in the cross country. The jumps are more complex and there may be corners and other technical fences on the cross country course.
The Novice BE Eventing Level
The third level of eventing and the final level where you can enter without qualifying.
This was once the lowest level of British eventing, however, fences are now larger and more technical and you should always try an Intro or a PN event before progressing to novice, just to reassure yourself that this is the correct level for you and your horse.
Heights at this level are 1.15m in the showjumping and 1.10 in the cross country.The novice level has an open section for horses that have too many points to compete in the restricted section.
Intermediate Novice – Advanced
Intermediate Novice (IN) events are designed to help you take the step up to Intermediate (I). The same applies to Advanced Intermediate (AI) with respect to Advanced (A) events.
In order to compete in Intermediate events, riders must have achieved 5 clear rounds in cross country, and your horse 3 clear rounds cross country at novice events.