Join Date: May 2010
Location: Queensland, Australia
I can't speak for the other states and territories, but here in Queensland, for Pony Club, the showjumping grades are 12&U, Pony & Galloway, D, C, and A/B. If I remember correctly, the starting heights are:
12&U - 80cm with 90cm spreads
Pony and Galloway - 90cm
D Grade - 90cm
C Grade - 100cm
A/B Grade - 110cm
I'm assuming that heights for the other states/territories will be similar, but the grades may have different names.
For EA (Equestrian Australia):
D grade- 1.05-1.15
C grade- 1.15m to 1.30ish
B grade- 1.25-1.40
A grade- 1.30+
(^ Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong people, I'm not sure how recent those heights are).
Generally, to start competing in Graded competition, you need to gain a card from your state office (for both EA and PC) by registering your horse. To register a horse with EA, it needs to be microchipped and it costs quite a bit of money to register the horse and you'll also need to pay quite a large amount for yourself to join. I think it costed me around $300 to re-register myself as a senior this year. PC is quite a lot cheaper and it only costs $5.50 to gain a card (in Qld), and approx $70 to join PC. If you are just starting out on a horse that hasn't competed officially before you'd start at D Grade with 0 points. The amount of points you get depends on your placing. Once you get to a certain amount of points, you move up to the next grade. Once you've upgraded to the higher grade, you cannot compete in the grade below unless you feel your horse is not ready. Then you can apply for a downgrade and if the Committee deems you and your horse unable to compete at that level, they will allow you to downgrade.
Have a look around the PCA, FEI and EA websites. You should be able to find more information on there than I can give you.
I hope that helps. Show jumping isn't really my thing, but the PC stuff is similar in all disciplines and the EA stuff wasn't hard to find with a bit of research. :)
...Every rider has that one horse that changes everything about them...