Eventing FAQ on new 50 penalty rule | An Eventful Life

Eventing FAQ on new 50 penalty rule


Under the new rules brought in January 1st riders now incur 50 penalties for jumping outside the flag on cross country under Rule 548.1 Faults at Obstacles.

Under Rule 549.2 where the horse has clearly attempted to jump the element or obstacle and may have missed a flag, the athlete can choose either

a) To represent (accepting automatically 20 penalties), or

b) To continue on course incurring 50 penalties (no elimination) in case the element or obstacle was not correctly cleared.

 In line with this the change in the Exceptions for Unauthorised Assistance 540.1 means that an Athlete may no longer ask for or receive clarification of jumping penalties from the Fence Judge


With competition now well underway, there have obviously been some queries regarding the new ruling and the FEI has issued an Eventing FAQ on Rule 549.2


Q: How many penalties are issued to a combination who missed the flag at first attempt, chooses to retake, miss the flag again and decides to continue?

A: First attempt = 20 penalties Second attempt misses but continues = 50 Total = 70


Q: How many penalties should be awarded when a competitor misses a flag and then chooses to retake the option twice but misses again on the 3rd attempt and then chooses to continue?

A: The situation described would incur 110 penalties. No elimination as missing a flag and deciding to continue does not count as a runout.  This is true also if happening at different fences on course. As an example, one runout at fence 3, one at fence 10 and missing a flag without 2 representing at fence 15 would incur 90 penalties and not an elimination.


Q: Could a combination be penalized with 50pts several times on the course?

A: Yes, that is correct as long as the horse clearly attempted to jump the fence


Q: If a combination jumps fence between the flags and the athlete thinks out of flags and repeats fence is it an elimination or a penalty of 20 penalties?

A:  This combination would be penalised with 20 penalties.


Q:  Does the athlete still have the possibility to ask the fence judge if the horse jumped the fence between the flags?

A:  In relation to the introduction of this new rule, the possibility for the athlete to ask the fence judge has been removed.


View FEI clarification document