FEI Competitions Explained

International Competitions Classification explained

All international competitions are run by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). They use codes to signify the level of international shows. The code to designate an international show jumping show is ‘CSI’. The highest level international show is a CSI 5* down to the lowest which is a CSI 1*. While the show level is indicated with an asterisk it is actually called a star! The top level shows are referred to as ‘CSI five stars’. The level of prize money generally dictates the star ratings of the show but maximum and minimum heights apply at each level. In general, the highest height jumped at a 5* would be 1.60m which is the height all top level Nations’ Cups are jumped at. If a Nations’ Cup is taking place at a show then the show will have the letter ‘0’ appended i.e. ‘CSIO’. For World Cup qualifiers, which take place indoors during the winter, the letter ‘w’ is appended i.e. ‘CSI-W’. In general, the FEI allows only one Nations’ Cup in each country per year and only one World Cup Qualifier per country per year.

GradeInternational ExamplesClasses in Ireland
Olympic GamesLondon 2012 
World ChampionshipsWorld Equestrian Games 
European ChampionshipsMadrid 2011 
CSI 5*All Meydan/Super League Nations’ Cups, All Global Champions Tours, Most World Cup Qualifiers.CSIO 5* Dublin
CSI 4*Hickstead Derby, Most non-Super League Nations’ Cups.
CSI 3*Some non-Super League Nations’ Cups 
CSI 2*Several around EuropeBalmoral CSI 2*, Mullingar CSI2*.
CSI 1* Cavan CSI 1*, the 7 and 8 year old classes at the RDS.
CSIOPInternational Pony Show with Nations CupFontainbleau, Weirden, Hagen.

International underage show with Nations Cup- CH refers to Children on Horses (U14), J to Junior riders (U16) and YR to young riders (U21).

 Wierden, Bonheiden, Hagan

The FEI classify Eventing in classes rather than shows. The codes ‘CCI’ and ‘CIC’ are used to describe an international Eventing class. Historically, most events were ‘CCI’ three day events but in recent years a shorter version of CCI competitions called CIC classes have become common. For clarity, the difference between CIC and CCI events is that while the classes are at a similar level in terms of the difficulty of the jumps and the dressage test, the cross country element is shorter which means that horses can compete more frequently and the competition can be run off quicker. In some cases all three phases are run off on the same day. The ‘CIC’ classes are often referred to as the ‘one day’ version of 3 day Eventing. The highest FEI level in Eventing is actually 4*. There are no 5* classes. In fact there are only five four star events in the world each year, the best known being Badminton. World Cup qualifiers are run at CIC3* level and generally carry the addendum ‘W’ i.e. CIC3*-W. The table sets out how the classes are rated.

GradeInternational ExamplesClasses in Ireland
Olympic GamesLondon 2012. 
World ChampionshipsWorld Equestrian Games 
CCI4*There are only five in the world: Badminton, Kentucky, Luhmuhlen, Burghley, Pau. 
European ChampionshipsLuhmuhlen, Germany, 2011. 
CCI3*Brahman, Blenheim, Saumur.Ballindenisk (Sept.).
CIC3*Belton, Burnham Market, Barbury Castle, Hartpury, etc.Ballindenisk (Spring) and Tattersalls
CCI2*European Young rider (U21) Championships.Tattersalls
CIC2*Various locations.Ballindenisk, Camphire.
CCI*European Junior (U18) rider championships.Tattersalls
CIC1* Ballindenisk, Camphire.

Each week Horse Sport Ireland publishes the list of Irish riders who will be representing Ireland in international competitions in the upcoming fortnight.
In many cases these riders will be riding Irish-bred horses.
Successful results for Irish competitors are subsequently published on the HSI website.
You can follow Team Ireland Equestrian on Facebook and Twitter.
Horse Sport Ireland also provides comprehensive results for Irish-bred horses to the Irish Field each week which can also be viewed on the HSI website on: www.horsesportireland.ie/breeding.95.html


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