Here’s something new and exciting: Area II has over a dozen horse trials scheduled to hold the new “Modified” division this year! Modified has been on the books a few years, but it’s taken course builders and organizers a few years to ramp up new cross-country jumps for the courses, which are set in height between Training Level and Preliminary level. It looks like Area II will be offering the most Modified competitions in the nation this year!

Are you considering Modified this year? It’s a great fit for those who are competent at Training level, but perhaps don’t have the time to condition their horse for the increased speeds and distances of the Preliminary requirements, or have other reasons to keep to the 3’5” basic height parameters of the Modified division.

Here’s the specifications from the 2019 Rulebook:
• The MER for Modified is as follows: (from Rule 3.4 in Appendix 3) MODIFIED (M) – Open to competitors of any age, on horses four years of age or older. The competitor must have obtained an MER at two Horse Trials at the Training Level or higher.
• Appendix 2 – Specifications (Modified): Cross country distance: 2200m - 3000m; speed 490 mpm; speed faults N/A; jumping efforts 22-28; Heights, (fixed) 1.05m (3’5”) or brushed 1.25m (4’1”); spreads, at the highest point 1.30m (4’3”); at the base 2.04m (6’5”), or without height 2.6m (8’6”); and drops 1.5m (4’11”).
• For show jumping, the following apply to Modified: length of the course, Maximum 600m, at a speed of 325mpm, with recommended 10-13 efforts. Height 1.05m (3’5”), overall spread of oxers 1.25m (4’1”), with an allowed overall spread of a triple bar to be no more than 1.45m (4’9”).
• There are two dressage tests for Modified level, linked here: and In dressage you will be asked for leg yield, lengthenings, and in Test B, halt and rein back.

The Area II Awards Committee have a new Modified Division trophy for year end awards this year as well, and are looking for sponsors!
Here’s the real fun stuff: Area II riders will be able to choose from 10 different venues, and 16 competitions! And several competitions are scheduled to hold the level TWICE this year; Waredaca (spring and fall), Virginia Horse Trials (spring and fall), and Maryland Horse Trials (both July recognized events). All of these competitions also have Training level as well, making the step up easier for anyone wishing to move up during the season. In addition, three Area II events – Carolina Horse Park in March, Five Points HT in September, and Marlborough Horse Trials in September – will be holding Combined Tests at the level (show jumping and dressage only.)

Is the USEA Modified level equivalent to the new FEI CCI 1 star level? The answer is no, not exactly. While the new FEI division will set up cross-country to use similar heights and specs, the show jumping will be at our national Preliminary height and specs. There are also different MER’s – for instance, FEI rules say for this level the horse must be six years of age to compete, and there is an age requirement for junior riders. Check the rules carefully if you plan on trying to go for the new CCI 1-star competition.

Important: be sure to DOUBLE CHECK the USEA Omnibus online at for each event holding Modified that you plan to enter in case of possible changes and/or updated information. Organizers all want these divisions to fill, so if you are going to try Modified, please enter EARLY so that they can plan the cross-country courses and scheduling accordingly. Adding in another division means they are committed to holding it for you, so if you’re ready – go for it!


Area II 2018 Modified Year End Champion Nicholas Hinze and Dakota Blues over a "modified" jump. (GRC Photo courtesy of Gary! Thanks Gary!)

Here’s a list of Area II events who are scheduled to hold the Modified division (in addition to their regular compliment of other divisions) in 2019:

Apr. 3-7 The Fork at Tryon
May 4-5 MCTA
May 23-26 Virginia CCI & HT
June 1-2 Waredaca HT
June 2 NJ Region’s HT
June 15-16 Seneca Valley Pony Club Spring HT
July 4-7 The Maryland HT at Loch Moy Farm I
July 12-14 The Maryland HT at Loch Moy Farm II
July 27-28 Hunt Club Farms HT
Aug. 4 Olney Farms HT
Aug. 17-18 Waredaca Farm HT
Sept. 7-8 Five Points HT (CT and HT)
Sept. 21-22 Marlborough HT (CT)
Oct. 11-13 MDHT at Loch Moy Farm Classic BN 3Day Event & HT
Oct. 19-20 Hunt Club Farms HT
Oct. 24-27 Waredaca Classic P,T and N 3Day Event & HT
Oct. 31-Nov. 3 The Virginia CCI & HT


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Lulu Malinoski

Lulu Malinoski

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