It probably would have helped had I known that the CDS Championship classes are referred to as Horse of the Year classes. (Holy crap. Nothing like adding extra pressure!) But since I didn't know that at the time, I kept reading, looking for the Championship classes since I knew (or thought I did) that Speedy couldn't possibly be in contention for Horse of the Year.
This dressage show is not run like any other I have been to, so it did take me a while to complete the entry. Most of the information required was typical: ID numbers for horse and rider, stabling requests, and so on. The part that threw me was figuring out which classes to enter.
It took some time and a phone call, but I finally figured out that for the championships, riders will ride Test 2 on one day and Test 3 on another day which is actually one class, 2AB. The scores are then averaged to determine the Horse of the Year winner for each level. Normally, for a two-day show, I would ride two tests each day to maximize my time at the show. For the championships, you only get two rides over the course of the entire show (unless you qualified on multiple horses or at multiple levels).
Riders are also allowed to ride in ONE warm-up class on Thursday, but only one. The other thing that makes this show tricky is that the schedule is not made in advance. In other words, you don't know which day your tests are being judged until a week or so before the show begins. When I completed my entry, I had no idea which days I was going to be showing.
Stabling was also high. No matter how many days you stay, the price for a stall is $175. And, according to USEF's rules, if you are entered in more than one championship class (who isn't?), and they are not scheduled on the same day (whose is?), you MUST stable on the show grounds rather than just paying the $20 haul in fee. I live too far away to haul home, but there are a lot riders who do live close enough to take their horses back home each afternoon.
The last little thing I should mention about this entry form is that quite a lot of money is at stake for the top riders, relatively speaking.
So. What did these three dressage tests cost me? A whopping $664 which includes the three tests, stabling, fees, and camping. It does not include shavings brought from home ($40), a shared tack stall ($35), trainer fees ($200?), gas ($100?), food ($50?), or other incidentals.
I hope I enjoy it!