Today we’ll go over the international competition levels of eventing. As compared to US Eventing Association recognized levels, these competition levels follow international rules governed by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI).
CIC and CCI are types of competitions. The chief difference between CIC/Short Format and CCI/Long Format is that CCI has a significantly longer cross country course. Historically, CCI/Long Format included 2 additional phases: Steeplechase, and Roads and Tracks. Those phases were removed in 2004.
The stars (***) indicate the level of competition. Generally one-star is equivalent to Preliminary, two-stars equivalent to Intermediate, and three-stars equivalent to Advanced. Four-star competitions have no equal – they are the absolute highest level of eventing competition in the world.
CIC: Concours International Combiné
This is the FEI Short Format Competition and runs at one-star, two-star, and three-star levels. The competition may take place over one or more days. Dressage must come first but the jumping phases can go in either order. The cross country course is shorter than in CCI/Long Format.
CCI: Concours Complet International
This is the FEI Long Format Competition that runs one-star through four-star levels. Competition takes place over 3 or more days. Dressage is first, followed by cross country, followed by stadium jumping. “The Cross Country course will be of such a length that the Horse is required to be supremely fit and stamina will be required for success” (FEI Rulebook Section 502.1.2).
Both types of competitions use the same dressage tests for each level. The tests are more complex than the USEA counterpart levels, and require 2 judges instead of 1. Vet inspections (jogs) are required at both types of competition.
All levels have minimum eligibility requirements (MERs) for horse and rider teams that include performance standards for each phase of competition that must be reached at competitions within the past year.
|CCI*** jump judging at Galway Downs|
Let’s take a closer look at the Advanced/3-Star level:
Cross Country Comparison
FEI Short Format
FEI Long Format
|Max distance||3990 meters||3990 meters||6270 meters|
|Max # of efforts||40||35||40|
|Max speed||570 meters/min||570 meters/min||570 meters/min|
|Max time||7 minutes||7 minutes||11 minutes|
|Max height fixed||3’11”||1.2 m (3’11”)||1.2 m (3’11”)|
|Max height brush||4’7″||1.4 m (4’7″)||1.4 m (4’7″)|
|Max drop||6’7″||2 m (6’7″)||2 m (6’7″)|
Stadium Jumping Comparison
|Identical for all 3:
Max efforts 15
Max height 1.25 m (4’1″)
Max distance 600m
Max speed 375 meters/minute
|Same FEI tests for CIC & CCI
Advanced and CIC*** have just 1 difference in XC: the max # of efforts. Meanwhile the CCI*** has a 57% increase in course distance. All 3 have identical stadium jumping, and my anecdotal understanding is that the FEI dressage tests are more challenging than the USEA tests, but my personal understanding of dressage is not developed enough to be able to review, confirm, and explain this.
Again, the only 4-star competitions are available in CCI/Long Format, with an even longer and more challenging XC course than 3-star.
Comments and questions welcomed!!
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