Riding is one of the few sports where age and gender is unimportant. To become a skilled rider you first and foremost need to have insight and understanding of another living creature – your horse. This knowledge is used by the rider to train the horse correctly. This is a sport where the cooperation and teamwork between the person (the rider) and the ‘tool’ (the horse) determines the level of success.
Eventing – The Formula 1 of Riding
Eventing is one of the three Olympic equestrian disciplines, with Show Jumping and Dressage. Eventing is a discipline, where the horse and rider have to complete three tests, in the following order: a dressage test, a cross country test and a show jumping test.
The dressage test consists of a sequence of predetermined movements in walk, trot and canter. The cross country course is the main test of eventing, which needs speed and agility to complete a course of 30 or 40 natural solid obstacles. In events with steeple chase, two roads and tracks and a steeple chase are prior to the cross country. The jumping test proves the good shape of the horse and rider after the cross country who have to jump around 12 obstacles without mistakes.
The dressage test is judged on the suppleness and the fluidity of the movements, each figure is marked from 0 to 10. The quality of paces and the rider’s position, are also judged. Penalties occur when the movement is not executed.
On the cross country test, if a horse refuses or runs out at a fence, the couple incurs 20 penalties points. If a horse refuses to attempt to jump a particular fence three times, they are eliminated. 5 refusals involve elimination, first fall of the competitors at an obstacle is 65 penalties, the second one eliminates the couple, and any fall of the horse elimination. Riders are normally required to jump around the course within a set time. If they fail to do this they incur time faults at a rate of 0.4 point per second over the time.
A horse inspection takes place before the Jumping test, to check the horse’s condition.
Riders are normally required to jump around the course within a set time. If they fail to do this they incur time faults at a rate of 1 point per second over the time. The scoring for the show jumping is 4 points for a fence down, 4 points for a refusal, elimination for 2 refusals, 2 falls of the rider or one fall of the horse.
The final placing depends on the sum of the penalties accumulated over the cross country and jumping, added to the dressage score.
If you've ever wondered what it was like to ride a CCI4* Cross-Country Course, now you can experience the ride.
Peter Atkins from Australia, on his horse Henny, galloped the 2010 Alltech® FEI WEG Eventing Cross-Country course wearing a helmet cam. The camera has a built in gyro which makes the video images incredibly stable.
So climb into the saddle and experience 4-star cross-country for yourself