04-12-2010, 11:25 AM
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This is how Phyllis explained it to me:
There USED to be a big difference between CCI and CIC. One was long format, one was short. Now that the long format has been done away with (with the exception of Classics), they are both short format designations. CCIs are considered the top test of a level, and a CIC is a slightly less intense version. So it would go like this:
You ride Prelim horse trials. (no CCI or CIC designation) After you collect enough USEA points, you can enter a CCI* or CIC* - a CIC is harder than just a Prelim horse trial, and a CCI is harder than CIC. This is not to say the jump heights are different, because they won't be - they will still have Prelim limitations. At the CIC/CCI you will have a jog, and the event will be literally a three-day - not like the one or two day horse trials. Technicality on course will be more intense, and dressage scores will be harder to come by.
Then at Intermediate it would be the same sort of thing - horse trials, then CIC**, then CCI**.
At Advanced you have horse trials, then CIC***, then CCI***, then CCI****.
This is not to say that you MUST do CICs before CCI. You can skip them altogether, which most people do if the CICs aren't near them.