Penalties

What is the penalty system and how do you incur penalties?

Penalties are incurred in all three of the phases of eventing, the aim is to finish on the lowest penalty score possible.

Dressage

In dressage, the dressage judges mark each movement out of 10. These are then added together and converted into a penalty score - the lower the penalty score, the better the placing. The following penalties can be picked up in the dressage phase. 

Action Penalties
First error of course 2
Second error of course 4
Third error of course Elimination

 

Other dressage errors can incur penalties, see  BE Rules and Members' Handbook for more details.

Show jumping

The following penalties can be picked up during the show jumping phase; these penalties will then be added to the dressage score. For example, you may score 30 penalties in the dressage and have one fence down in the show jumping, therefore your two phase score would be 34.

Action Penalties
Knocking a fence down 4
Refusing at a fence 4
Second refusal at a fence 8
Turning a circle in between fences 4

 

Elimination 

There are several reasons that a combination could be eliminated; for example, falling off, starting the course before the bell has sounded or for incurring more than 24 penalties during their round. 

Full details on show jumping penalties can be found in the BE Rules and Members' Handbook.

Cross country 

Any penalties you collect from the cross country phase are added to the penalties that you have accumulated from the first two phases to give you your over all completing score. For example, if you jumped all the fences clear in the cross country but were 10 seconds over the optimum time, you would have four time penalties to add to your score, i.e. 30 from dressage, plus four from show jumping, plus four from cross country would give you a finishing score of 38 penalties. This score would be used to decide your placing based on the penalty scores of your competitors. 

Action Penalties
First refusal, run out or turning a circle in front of a fence or between a combination 20 
Second refusal, run out or turning a circle in front of a fence or between a combination 40
For every commenced second in excess of the optimum time 0.4
For every commenced second in excess of 15 seconds under the optimum time 0.4

 

Elimination

Combinations can be eliminated for four cumulative refusals at BE105 level and below or three cumulative refusals at Novice level and above, falling off, missing a fence or jumping fences in the wrong order.

Full details on cross country penalties can be found in the BE Rules and Members' Handbook.

 

An example result at a BE national event:

Dressage

Judge scores = 28 penalties

Show jumping 

Two fences down = 8 penalties

Cross country 

Two refusals at one fence on cross country = 60 penalties (20 for the first and 40 for the second)

Total completion score = 96 penalties

BE Rules and members' handbook

Contact us

If you have any questions about BE rules, that you cannot find in the BE Rule and Members' Handbook, please contact the Sport Team on sport@britisheventing.com or 02476 698856 (select the option for Sport/Rules).