Old Peoples Riding Club
Old Peoples Riding Club | A riding club for the over 21 equestrian and for all disciplines!
" …for the learning experience, the fun, the camaraderie; not the ribbon, or the glory, but for the memories ..."
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Ratings FAQ
Ratings Tests
OPRC Ratings Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to some of the questions we are most often asked, but if you still have a question, please email us at Ratings Coordinator .




Where can I find the ratings forms ?
Please click here.
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Why does OPRC have ratings?
OPRC has ratings for two basic reasons: (1) safety and (2) opportunity for accomplishment.� (1) One of the basic tenets of OPRC is safety.� One aspect of safety is ensuring the rider has at least a basic knowledge of horses, horse management, safety requirements, and riding skills.� By passing the D1 test (the lowest OPRC ratings test and the only required test), the rider is demonstrating these knowledge and skills and can thereby safely participate in OPRC mounted activities.� For OPRC members who want to test at higher levels, OPRC offers a series of ratings tests at increasing levels of difficulty.� Although passing these additional tests is not required for membership in OPRC, riders may complete them to attain a sense of accomplishment.
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How were the ratings tests developed?
The OPRC ratings tests are based on U.S. Pony Club (USPC) ratings tests.� However, to accommodate adult riders, the tests are not as strenuous and, for the jumping options, the jumps at the highest level do not exceed 2'6".�� Additionally, OPRC has added a safety component to the ratings tests.
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Do I have to jump or ride English to take the ratings tests?
No.� All levels of OPRC ratings tests have a non-jumping option.� There are also English and Western versions of each test; the Western versions have a trail option.
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What are the OPRC ratings test levels and what do they represent?
OPRC D Ratings (D1, D2, and D3) The D Rating is an introduction to the fun and challenge of riding, establishing safety habits, and knowledge of the daily care of a horse and tack. The D rated member learns to ride independently, with control, maintaining a secure position at the walk, trot/jog, and canter/lope and, for the jumping option, over low fences.
OPRC C Ratings (C1, C2, and C3): The C rated member is learning to become an active horseperson, to care independently for a horse and tack, and to understand the reasons for what he or she is doing. �The C shows development towards a secure, independent balanced seat, and increasing control and confidence in all phases of riding.
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How often can I take a ratings test?
A D level OPRC member may obtain no more than three (3) rating tests per year; a C level OPRC member may obtain no more than two (2) rating tests per year.� Two D tests may be taken on the same day (D1 and D2 or D2 and D3).� A minimum of six (6) months must elapse between testing at any of the tests.� See below (How are two D ratings conducted for a candidate in one day?) for further information.
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Can I take the ratings tests in any order?
No.� You must follow the sequence D1, D2, D3, C1, C2, and C3.
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Am I required to pass a rating?
Before participating in OPRC mounted activities, all OPRC members must attain at least an OPRC D1 rating.� Non-riding OPRC members are not required to pass a ratings test.
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I am a former USPC member.� Do I have to take OPRC ratings?
Former USPC C1 or C2 graduates may have the OPRC D1 test waived and no further rating is required for participation in OPRC mounted activities.� Former USPC C3 or higher graduates may have the OPRC D1, D2 and D3 tests waived if they can send OPRC National a copy of their USPC C3 (or higher) rating certificate. Former USPC D3 or lower graduates must take the OPRC D1 test prior to participation in OPRC mounted activities.
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What are the rater qualifications?
Raters must have the qualifications in at least one column of the following table.� For example, for the D1 test, the rater must have attained at least a USPC D3, or an OPRC D3, or be a qualified instructor (a person approved by the OPRC Chapter President who is aged 18 or older).� For the D2 test, the rater must have attained at least a USPC C1, or an OPRC C1, or be a qualified instructor (a person approved by the OPRC Chapter President who is aged 18 or older).� Etc.

Rating

USPC Rater

or

OPRC Rater

or

Other Rater

D1

Minimum D3

or

Minimum D3

or

Qualified instructor1

D2

Minimum C1

or

Minimum C1

or

Qualified instructor1

D3

Minimum C1

or

Minimum C1

or

Qualified instructor1

C1

Minimum C3

or

Minimum C3

or

Qualified instructor1

C2

Minimum C3

or

Minimum C3

or

Qualified instructor1

C3

Minimum B

or

Minimum B

or

Qualified instructor1

1. Qualified instructor = A person approved by the chapter president.� Must be age 18 or older.
2. BOD = National OPRC Board of Directors, email board@oprc.us . Back to top

How much does a rating cost?
The cost of ratings is determined by each OPRC chapter.� The following is provided as recommendations to help chapters and raters set fees:

Rating

Recommended Cost

D1

$10

D2

$10

D3

$15

C1

$50

C2

$50

C3

$75

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Can horses be shared during a rating?
All OPRC members should be tested riding a safe and reliable horse.� Any concerns about a given horse should be discussed with the rater well before the rating test. The borrowing/sharing of suitable mounts on the same testing day is allowed at the D levels, but only if the rider is familiar with the mount and has ridden it "prior to the testing" on the flat and over fences (for the jumping option) safely and successfully at the level being tested.� At the C1 and above level, a mount may not be shared by candidates at the same testing, unless required by the test.
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What does the OPRC chapter do to assist in ratings?
Chapter officers and/or the Chapter Ratings Coordinator provide the following:
1. Education/Instruction Program: If requested by the chapter membership, facilitate an education/instruction program based on the OPRC Standards.
2. Evaluate Readiness for Testing: If requested by members, help evaluate OPRC chapter members as to their readiness for a testing. Candidates should be competent in all requirements of the rating level prior to the testing.
3. Facility/Site for Testing: Select and contract to use a facility/site that is appropriate for the requirements of the rating level. Secure hold harmless insurance for the facility/site or ensure the facility/site has appropriate insurance.
4. OPRC Rally and Activity Release Form: Ensure that all candidates have signed the OPRC Rally and Activity Release Form for the current calendar year.�Candidates may also be required to sign a release form provided by the testing facility/site and rater.
5. Rater: Choose raters from the local area or invite them from a neighboring USPC or OPRC.�Compensation for the rater is at the discretion of the chapter (see above); reimbursement for all travel expenses should be offered. Ensure the rater is covered by appropriate insurance and/or is covered by the policy of the testing facility/site.�Treat raters with consideration and provide them with a quiet place for lunch and for writing up test sheets.�Provide raters, well ahead of the test, with a copy of the test sheets and time schedule.�Ask how they interpret a certain skill or requirement.
6. Candidate Disability Information: Inform the rater if any candidate has a learning, physical, or other disability if this information disclosure is requested by the candidate, and with their written permission.
7. Inform Candidates About the Rating: Notify candidates about details of the test with as much notice as possible, ideally at least four weeks before the testing date. Ensure each candidate has a copy of the test sheet (posted on www.oldpeoplesridingclub.org).
8. Oversee the Rating: Be present to oversee proceedings and handle any unusual circumstances or conflicts that might disrupt the test. These are your OPRC Chapter members know what your raters expect of them. As much as possible, be available to answer questions. Be aware of the nearest Emergency Medical Facility and its telephone number.
9. Courtesy and Safety: Be sure that raters, candidates, and other spectators understand that there will be no unauthorized assistance, misuse of equipment, carelessness while working with horses, or unsportsmanlike behavior. Candidates are expected to show courtesy to one another, to examiners, and to their mounts.
10. Food and Beverages: Provide lunch and refreshments for raters, and fluids for candidates and their horses.
11. Safety Gear: Ensure all candidates are wearing an approved helmet, are wearing heeled boots designed for equestrian activities, and are wearing a medical armband.
12. Know Reasons to Dismiss a Candidate: The Chapter President, Chapter Ratings Coordinator, and/or the rater may dismiss a candidate deemed to be unsafe at the testing (for any reason, to include being over-mounted, unsafe tack, ill-fitting tack, etc.) OR if the horse is unsound.
13.�Retesting: If a candidate does not pass the rating, he or she may retest that portion of the test within three months.
14. Thank the Property Owner, Respect the Property: Make sure, after the test, that the landowner (and anyone else involved) was thanked and the property left as it was found.
15. Disposition of Paperwork: Chapters should retain a copy of the test and provide the original to the candidate
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What should the chapter do to prepare the rater for OPRC ratings?
The Chapter President and/or Chapter Ratings Coordinator is responsible for preparing the rater.
1. Safety, Education, and Fun: Most importantly, the rater must understand that OPRC is based upon safety, education, and fun.� The rater should be encouraged to run a safe, educational, and FUN test!
2. OPRC Test Sheets: Raters should be familiar with the OPRC test sheets.
3. Approach Toward Candidates:
a. Raters should be sensitive to adult riders and be able to conduct the rating in a positive and educational framework.� b. Ratings can be stressful for candidates and raters should empathize with candidates' moods and diverse personalities.�
c. The rater should set the tone of the testing as a teaching situation, drawing the best from each candidate.
d. Outgoing, confident candidates should not be allowed to intimidate those who are less assured; rather, each candidate must be encouraged to demonstrate what he or she does know.
4. Facility/Site and Equipment: The rater should be provided details of the facility/site and equipment available.
5. Candidate Disability Information: The rater should be advised of any learning and/or physical disabilities of candidates, if release of this information is requested, in writing, by the candidate.� If a disability exists that limits performance, but the candidate can ride safely and still meet the requirements of the Standard, he or she should pass the test.�
6. Pass/Fail and Comments: OPRC ratings have a Pass or a Fail score for each testable item, with a comments box after each group of ratings topics.� The rater is encouraged to provide comments. Comments should be specific and encouraging, with suggestions for correcting any problems.� Even when a candidate does not pass the standard, the rater's comments should be as positive and encouraging as possible.
7. Keep to the Standards:
a. For the jumping option, candidates must be asked to jump only to the Standard.� Testing should never be above the Standard.�
b. Although raters may suggest a particular exercise as a teaching aid, ONLY THE REQUIREMENTS LISTED ON THE TEST SHEET MAY BE TESTED.�
8. Complete the Test Sheets: Raters must complete the Test Sheets and make written comments, especially for those sections where the candidate did not pass the standard.�
9. Comments to Candidates: Care must be taken when notifying candidates of test results to avoid uncomfortable situations among candidates. In addition to continuous feedback during a test, a complete critique should follow the test.
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Who is responsible for evaluating proper testing conditions?
The Chapter President, the Chapter Ratings Coordinator, and/or the rater should be prepared to evaluate and adjust to different conditions that may exist at the time of a testing. Under no circumstances should OPRC members be kept mounted for long periods; riders should dismount while others are performing individual skills. �If inclement weather before and/or during the rating has created unsafe footing or other conditions that could increase the chance of injury to horse or rider, the rating must be postponed to another day.
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What is the recommend number of candidates to be tested?
D level: 4-6 candidates
C level: 4-5 candidates
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How long is a ratings test?
D level 1� hours unmounted, 1� to 2 hours riding
C level: 1� to 2 hours unmounted, 2 to 2� hours riding
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What is the usual schedule for a rating?
The ratings test is conducted in this sequence:
Horse Knowledge (HK) (oral) must pass 75% of questions to continue.
Horse Management (HM) (working with horse on the ground) must pass 75% of questions to continue.
Safety Check (SC) must pass 100% of questions to continue.

Riding (R) (riding on the flat, jumping or non-jumping, non-jumping or trails, and riding in the open) must pass 75% of questions to pass rating.

Pass HK

Pass HM

Pass SC

Pass R

Awarded rating

Fail HK

No HM

No SC

No R

No rating

Pass HK

Fail HM

No SC

No R

No rating

Pass HK

Pass HM

Fail SC

No R

No rating

Pass HK

Pass HM

Pass SC

Fail R

No rating

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How is the Horse Knowledge (HK) section of the rating conducted?
The Horse Knowledge section of the rating is an oral test without a horse present.�All candidates need a relaxed, safe, educational, and fun test atmosphere.�Oral questioning can take place in a quiet room, under a tree, at a picnic table, etc. Pass = at least 75% of questions answered correctly.�The candidate must pass the Horse Knowledge portion of the test before they take the Horse Management portion of the test.
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How is the Horse Management (HM) section of the rating conducted?
The Horse Management section of the rating is an oral test with a horse present.� Conditions must not be crowded or noisy so the candidate can adequately demonstrate his/her horse management skills.� Pass = at least 75% of questions answered correctly.� The candidate must pass the Horse Management portion of the test before they take the Safety Check portion of the test.
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How is the Safety Check (SC) section of the rating conducted?
The Safety Check section of the rating is conducted after the horse is tacked but before the candidate is mounted.� The rater ensures all safety requirements have been met and are understood by the candidate.� Failure of any question in this section results in failure of the rating the candidate may not mount the horse and the Riding section may not be conducted.
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How is the Riding (R) section of the rating conducted?
The Riding section of the rating is conducted only after the candidate has passed at least 75% of the Horse Knowledge, 75% of the Horse Management questions, and 100% of the Safety Check questions.�The candidate is first tested on the flat, then tested with the jumping or non-jumping option (English tests) or the non-jumping or trail option (Western tests), then is tested riding in the open (except the D1 test).�The rater may stop the test at any time if s/he feels the conditions are not safe, if the horse is not safe or sound, or for any other reason that, based on his or her judgment, the testing must stop.
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How are two D ratings conducted for a candidate in one day?
Candidates may take two D level tests in one day (D1 and D2, or D2 and D3).� The candidate and rater must have copies of the Test Sheets for both levels and all components of both tests must be tested.� The Horse Knowledge (HK) sections of both levels will be tested first, with the lower rating tested before the higher rating level. �The Horse Management (HM) sections will be tested next, with the lower rating tested before the higher rating level.� The Safety Check (SC) portion is then tested.� If at least 75% of the HK and HM questions and 100% of the SC questions are passed, the Riding (R) portion is then tested, with the lower level riding on the flat rating tested before the higher level riding on the flat, then the lower level jumping/non-jumping rating/trail tested before the higher level jumping/non-jumping rating/trail, then the lower level riding in the open is tested before the higher level riding in the open is tested.� Possible scenarios:

Pass lower level HK

Pass higher level HK

Pass lower level HM

Pass higher level HM

Pass SC

Pass lower level R

Pass higher level R

Awarded lower and higher level ratings

Fail lower level HK

Cannot take higher level HK

Cannot take lower level HM

Cannot take higher level HM

Cannot take SC

Cannot take lower level R

Cannot take higher level R

No rating awarded

Pass lower level HK

Fail HK

Pass lower level HM

Cannot take higher level HM

Pass SC

Pass lower level R

Cannot take higher level R

Awarded lower level rating

Pass lower level HK

Pass higher level HK

Fail lower level HM

Cannot take higher level HM

Pass SC

Pass lower level R

Cannot take higher level R

Awarded lower level rating

Pass lower level HK

Pass higher level HK

Pass lower level HM

Fail higher level HM

Pass SC

Pass lower level R

Cannot take higher level R

Awarded lower level rating

Pass lower level HK

Pass higher level HK

Pass lower level HM

Pass higher level HM

Fail SC

Cannot take lower level R

Cannot take higher level R

No rating awarded

Pass lower level HK

Pass higher level HK

Pass lower level HM

Pass higher level HM

Pass SC

Fail lower level R

Cannot take higher level R

No rating awarded

Pass lower level HK

Pass higher level HK

Pass lower level HM

Pass higher level HM

Pass SC

Pass lower level R

Fail higher level R

Awarded lower level rating

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What is the recommended pace for the ridden portion of the ratings tests?
The pace is not part of the test; however, the test should not be run at an excessively fast pace.� The Chapter President, Chapter Ratings Coordinator, and/or Rater may stop a candidate if they feel the pace is not safe or appropriate.� In this situation, the candidate is not automatically failed, but may be failed if a determination of recklessness is made by the Chapter President, Chapter Ratings Coordinator, and/or Rater.
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What rider equipment is REQUIRED for ALL LEVELS?
1. ASTM/SEI approved riding helmet
2. Heeled boots designed for equestrian activities
3. Medical armband
4. Correct informal attire (attire determined by Chapter President)
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Are body protectors required for cross-country jumping?
Body protectors are not required; however, their use is highly recommended.
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For the OPRC jumping options, how high are the jumps?

Rating

Jump Height

D1

Poles

D2

18”

D3

24” (2’)

C1

2’3”

C2

2’6”

C3

2’6”

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What facilities and equipment are required for ratings?

D-1 Level

Horse Knowledge

         Comfortable quiet location to conduct the test

         Saddle and bridle to demonstrate the parts

         A quiet horse or diagram of a horse

Horse Management

         Horse in a stall or cross ties

         Grooming equipment: brush, curry comb, hoof pick

         Tack: saddle, bridle

Safety Check

         Candidate in riding attire

         Tacked horse

Riding - Flat

         Enclosed (fenced) indoor or outdoor riding arena

Riding - Poles

         Enclosed (fenced) indoor or outdoor riding arena

         6-8 poles

D-2 Level

Horse Knowledge

         Comfortable quiet location to conduct the test

         A quiet horse or diagram of a horse

         Collection of grooming tools to name and describe use

Horse Management

         Horse in a stall with halter and lead rope

         Enclosed (fenced) indoor or outdoor area for leading and walk/trot transitions in hand

         Protective boots and bell boots

         Grooming equipment: brush, curry comb, hoof pick

         Tack: saddle, bridle for tacking and untacking

Safety Check

         Candidate in riding attire

         Tacked horse

Riding - Flat

         Enclosed (fenced) indoor or outdoor riding arena.

         Mounting block

Riding - Jumping Option

         Enclosed (fenced) indoor or outdoor riding arena

         Four to five obstacles, not to exceed 18"

Riding - Non-Jumping Option

         Enclosed (fenced) indoor or outdoor riding arena

Riding - Trail Option

         Enclosed (fenced) indoor or outdoor riding arena

         Four ground poles

Riding - in the Open

         Safe open area with hills and trail type obstacles (not to exceed 18"

D-3 Level

Horse Knowledge

         Comfortable quiet location to conduct the test

         A quiet horse or diagram of a horse

         Stall

Horse Management

         Horse in a stall with halter and lead rope

         Protective boots, bell boots, stable wrap

         Tack: saddle, bridle

         Enclosed (fenced) indoor or outdoor area for leading and walk/trot transitions in hand

Safety Check

         Candidate in riding attire

         Tacked horse

Riding - Flat

         Enclosed (fenced) indoor or outdoor riding arena

Riding - Jumping Option

         Indoor or outdoor riding arena with five to seven obstacles, not to exceed 24" (2'), set up as a stadium course

         Open area with simple cross country obstacles, not to exceed 24" (2')

Riding - Non-Jumping Option

         Indoor or outdoor riding arena with markers to define a small (20m x 40m) or large (20m x 60m) dressage arena

Riding - Trail Option

         Indoor or outdoor riding area

         Trail obstacle course

Riding - in the Open

         Safe open area with hills and trail type obstacles, including shallow water and small ditches

C-1 Level

Horse Knowledge

         Comfortable quiet location to conduct the test

         A quiet horse or diagram of a horse (to describe clipping and conformation)

         Collection or photographs of farrier tools

Horse Management

         Horse in a stall with halter and lead rope

         Shipping bandage or boots

         Blanket or sheet.

Safety Check

         Candidate in riding attire

         Tacked horse

Riding - Flat

         Indoor or outdoor riding arena

Riding - Jumping Option

         Indoor or outdoor riding arena

         Trotting poles set up as a gymnastic exercise followed by one fence, not to exceed 2'.

         Small grid of three fences, not to exceed 2'

         Jumping course with six to eight obstacles, including a two-stride combination, not to exceed 2'3"

         Open area with cross country obstacles, not to exceed 2'3"

Riding - Non-Jumping Option

         Indoor or outdoor riding arena with markers to define a small (20m x 40m) or large (20m x 60m) dressage arena

Riding - Trail Option

         Indoor or outdoor riding area

         Trail obstacle course

Riding - in the Open

         Safe open area for riding

         Optional - Safe open area with trail type obstacles, including hills, ditches, low banks, flat open areas, and streams

C-2 Level

Horse Knowledge

         Comfortable quiet location to conduct the test

         A quiet horse or diagram of a horse

         Candidate brings: (1) written outline of a 6- to 8-week conditioning and feeding program for goal of choice; (2) records of horse's health, maintenance, and immunizations over past 9 months

Horse Management

         Groomed horse

         Thermometer

         Shipping bandage and stable bandage (shipping boots with Velcro attachments may be used)

         Horse trailer (hitched to vehicle) and horse that loads easily

Safety Check

         Candidate in riding attire

         Tacked horse

Riding - Flat

         Indoor or outdoor riding arena

Riding - Jumping Option

         Indoor or outdoor riding arena

         Poles set up as a gymnastic grids

         Equipment to develop and ride a jumping course, not to exceed 2'6"

         Open area with cross country obstacles, not to exceed 2'3"

Riding - Non-Jumping Option

         Indoor or outdoor riding arena with markers to define a large (20m x 60m) dressage arena

Riding - Trail Option

         Indoor or outdoor riding area

         Trail obstacle course

Riding - in the Open

         Safe open area for riding

         Optional - Safe open area with varied footing such as water, mud, rocks, ice, bog, hard ground, sand, and pavement

C-3 Level

Horse Knowledge

         Comfortable quiet location to conduct the test

         A quiet horse or diagram of a horse

         Optional: candidate brings Record Book

Horse Management

         Groomed horse

         Thermometer

         Shipping bandage, stable bandage, and tail bandage (shipping boots with Velcro attachments may be used)

         Longing equipment

Safety Check

         Candidate in riding attire

         Tacked horse

Riding - Flat

         Indoor or outdoor riding arena

Riding - Jumping Option

         Indoor or outdoor riding arena

         Gymnastic grids, not to exceed 2'

         Handy hunter stadium course requiring advanced balance of horse and rider, spreads may be used, not to exceed 2'6"

         Open area with cross country obstacles, including spreads and ditches, not to exceed 2'6"

Riding - Non-Jumping Option

         Indoor or outdoor riding arena with markers to define a large (20m x 60m) dressage arena

Riding - Trail Option

         Indoor or outdoor riding area

         Trail obstacle course

Riding - in the Open

         Open riding area with uneven ground

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What do I do if I fail a rating?
A candidate fails a rating if up to 1/3 of the sections in the Stable Management or Ridden portions of the test are failed.� A re-test may be scheduled on failed sections in one day within one month of the original testing. �Failure to pass any part of the re-test will require the candidate to take the entire test again when next scheduled by the club, but not sooner than three months after the original testing. �If the re-test is not completed within a month, the entire test must be taken again at a regularly scheduled test.
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After I pass a rating, will I receive a certificate suitable for framing?
Yes!  After you pass a D1 or D2 rating, ensure your chapter enters your newly achieved rating into the OPRC portal.  As soon as they accomplish that your rating certificate will be available to you in your "My Records".  After a D3 or higher rating, ensure your chapter completes the rating update form included on the rating test sheet and emails or snail mails it to ratings@oprc.us. Please ensure your rating is recorded correctly in the National database. The D1 and D2 ratings are updated by the chapter membership coordinator, D3 and above is updated by National. It is important that you safe guard your ratings certificate in order to be able to show proof of your latest achieved rating in case you transfer to a new chapter. Chapter awards ceremonies for presentation of certificates is highly recommended.
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