The CEI star qualification level of an Athlete or Horse must be determined according to the FEI’s records and database, and attested to by each National Federation. Once an Athlete or Horse has qualified for a CEI star level, he/it may be referred to as an Athlete or Horse (as applicable) of that star level.
The qualification procedure for CEI star levels is set out below:
833.3.1 CEI 1*: Athletes and Horses are qualified to compete at the CEI 1* level once they have successfully completed all the novice qualifications, but no earlier than six months (for Athletes) and one year (for Horses) after the successful completion of their first novice ride. Athletes and Horses must successfully complete a CEI 1* within two years of qualifying for the CEI 1* level. If they fail to do so, they will lose their CEI 1* qualification and must update their novice qualifications to re-qualify for the CEI 1* level.

CEI 2*: Athletes and Horses are qualified to compete at the CEI 2* level once they have successfully completed two out of three consecutive CEI 1* within a two-year period.
CEI 3*: Athletes and Horses may only compete at the CEI 3* level if they are qualified as a Combination. To so qualify, they must have successfully completed (i) two out of three consecutive CEI 2*, and (ii) one CEI 2* together as a Combination (except for Athletes with Elite Status, see Article 861), all within a two-year period. (The Combination ride may be one of the two qualifying successful rides or may be a separate third ride).

Once qualified for the CEI 1* and CEI 2* levels, there are no further requirements to compete at those levels.
If the Athlete and Horse are both individually qualified for the CEI 3* level, but in other Combinations (i.e. with other partners), they have to successfully complete one CEI 2* as a Combination to compete together in a CEI 3*. (Further to Article 833.3.3, Athletes with Elite Status are exempt from this Combination requirement).


Each CEI star level qualification achieved will be valid:  for Athletes, for five years; and for Horses, for two years.

To qualify for Championships, Horses and Athletes must have: graduated through the qualifying processes for novice and CEI star qualifications, up to and including the star level of the Championship (for example, for a 2* Championship, the Athlete and Horse must each be qualified for the CEI 2* level); and
successfully completed the relevant additional number of CEIs (or CEIOs of the same star level) specified in the table below. Of those additional rides: (a) one or two (as specified in the table) must have been undertaken by the relevant Athlete and Horse as a Combination; and
(b) that ride (or one of those two rides) must have (i) been a single-day event over the same distance as the Championship (or greater distance), and (ii) taken place prior to, but no more than two years prior to, the deadline for Nominated Entries for the Championship or 60 days prior to the Championship (whichever comes first).  See page 31 of 2020 Rules for details about Combination Requirements.