ABOUT EVENTING

DRESSAGE • CROSS COUNTRY • SHOW JUMPING

EVENTING: A HORSE AND HUMAN TRIATHLON CONSISTING OF 3 PHASES

The Olympic sport of Eventing combines dressage and show jumping with an additional phase to make it unique. This phase, generally called cross country, separates eventing from any other horse sport worldwide. Events were historically designed to test and prepare horses for use in the cavalry. Today, eventing forms a horse and human triathlon consisting of three phases which horse and rider must complete together. At the end of the three phases, the pair with the least number of cumulative penalty points wins the competition. The sport is easy to understand and thrilling to watch. Spectators are always welcome at events, please see the competition Calendar page to locate when Valerie will be competing near you!

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PHASE 1: DRESSAGE

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PHASE 2: CROSS COUNTRY

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PHASE 3: SHOW JUMPING

PHASE 1: DRESSAGE

Dressage is the first phase performed by the horse and rider combination at an event. Often times dressage is compared to a kind of ballet on horseback. A specific test divided into objective sections is memorized and performed by every competitor. Judges assign each movement within the test a score anywhere from zero to ten. The movements in the test require the horse and rider to think and act as one. In a good dressage test, it appears as though the rider isn't riding at all.

PHASE 2: CROSS COUNTRY

The second phase of eventing is referred to as cross country. Cross country takes place over several miles of varried terrain. While negotiating jumps, water, ditches, and other fixed, natural obstacles, horses mustprove speed, courage, fitness, strength, and jumping ability. Furthermore, the horses are not allowed (under penalty of elimination) to see the course before they compete. A pair is penalized for any disobedience (horse refusing to jumpan element, for example) and for taking longer than a preset time to finish the course. Jumping a course without any jump or time faults can really get the adrenaline pumping!

PHASE 3: SHOW JUMPING

Show jumping occurs inside an arena over a course of highly decorated, portable jumps. These jumps are composed of wooden rails and planks that are set in cups at certain heights and widths. These cups are designed to release the rails when they are hit, resulting in penalty points. The horse and rider are also penalized for taking too long to finish their show jumping round. Show jumping tests a rider’s ability to focus and handle pressure... penalty points resulting from knocking down just one rail usually separates the top five competitors.

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SHOOTING STAR SYNDICATE

If you’d like to be a part of the eventing excitement, find out more about joining our syndication and help support a horse through its journey of developing into a top competitor!