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Important Note: This document is designed to assist District Commissioners and Members in general, to understand the grading process. However, this document is not intended to replace the current rules. Therefore, this document must be read in conjunction with all of the current PCAV Rule books which are available from the PCAV.

What is Grading

Grading is based on the ability of the horse and rider as a combination, thereby providing the opportunity for each combination to compete at a standard commensurate with their ability. The grading is achieved by assessing the capability of the horse and rider as a combination, irrespective of the age of the rideror the size of the horse, or the horse's previous grading or performance. A separate grading is required for each discipline. A competition is not the place for schooling or instruction. Grading should only occur when the combination is capable of competing safely, and this applies to all age groups.Downgrading of combinations is allowed in special cases, and this is at the discretion of the District Commissioner. The District Commissioner is responsible for all grading, and this decision shall be final. The grading may be achieved by one of the following procedures:

(i) if sufficiently experienced, the District Commissioner may grade on their own initiative after taking into consideration all relevant information such as competitive ability performances.

(ii) Alternatively, the District Commissioner may solicit assistance from a Grading Panel consisting of Club Instructors, otherknowledgeable persons, the Zone Chief Instructor or their Appointee. Care should be taken to ensure that parents do not unduly influence the grading of their children. The combination must have attended two Club Rallies before being graded. The initial grading must take place at a Rally Day. Re-grading may be done at a time other than on a Rally Day.All gradings must be recorded on the rider's current Membership Card and signed by the District Commissioner.

The Following Must Be Noted When Grading

(a) HORSE TRIALS - Grades range from Grade 1, to Grade 5. Combinations are graded according to their level of safety and competence in dressage, cross country and show jumping.

(b) SHOW JUMPING (other than in Horse Trials) grades are PA, PB, PC, PD, PE and PF. The combination needs to be competent enough to negotiate second and third rounds over obstacles with increased heights and spreads. NOTE: There that the dimensions for Pony Club Show Jumping differ from those in the Horse Trials Show Jumping phase.

(c) DRESSAGE GRADES (other than for Horse Trials) are known as Stage 1, Stage 2,Stage 3, Stage 4 and Stage 5.It is often wrongly assumed that no harm is done if a combination is over-faced (i.e.graded higher than their true competency level) in Dressage. However, it is in the dressage arena that we see riders losing patience and sometimes tempers, with the horses nervously anticipating nothing but trouble when the combination is attempting a Test beyond their capability. Refer to the Dressage rule book for further information.

(d) COMBINED TRAINING GRADES are Grade 1, to Grade 5. Combinations are graded according to their competence and safety in dressage and show jumping. It should be noted that there is no relationship between the heights and spreads in the Show Jumping phase of Horse Trials and those in Pony Club Graded Show Jumping.