“Eventing is the most complete combined competition discipline recognised by the FEI where men and women compete as equals in both individual and team events.”
What is Eventing
Eventing demands of the competitor considerable experience in all branches of equitation and a precise knowledge of the horse’s ability and of the horse a degree of competence resulting from intelligent and rational training. It covers all round riding ability and horsemanship: the harmony between horse and rider that characterise Dressage; the contact with nature, precise knowledge of the horses ability and extensive experience essential for the Cross Country; the precision, agility and technique involved in Jumping.
Eventing is one of the three disciplines in competition at the Olympic Games, the other two being Jumping and Dressage.
Modern competitions consist of three distinct tests: Dressage, Cross-Country and Jumping. They take place on separate consecutive days during which a competitor rides the same horse throughout.
1. Dressage Test After an opening Horse Inspection, a Dressage test is performed, the object of which is the harmonious development of the physique and ability of the horse. The test consists of a series of compulsory movements at walk, trot and canter gaits, within a rectangular arena 60 m. long and 20 m. wide. To perform a good Dressage test, the horse needs to be flexible and fluid. To keep the strong Eventing horses under the firm control required by the exacting Dressage movements involves great knowledge and understanding. A good Dressage test lays the foundation for the rest of the competition and horses that are found wanting in this phase face an uphill struggle to get up amongst the prize-winners.
2. Cross-Country Test The focus of the entire event is on the Cross-Country test, the objective of which is to test the ability of athletes and horses to adpat to different and variable conditions (weather, terrain, obstacles, footing etc...) and jumping ability of the horse, while at the same time demonstrating the rider’s knowledge of pace and the use of his horse. Exceeding the time allowed and refusals result in penalties. All penalties are added together and recorded for inclusion in the final classification. Fall of a horse and/or of a rider entails immediate elimination.
3. Jumping Test The Jumping test takes place on the last day after a second Horse Inspection. Riders may voluntarily retire their horses if they seem unfit to continue. This test is run in reverse order of merit and its main objective is to prove that the horses have retained their suppleness, energy and obedience in order to jump a course of 11 to 15 obstacles.
The winning individual is the competitor with the lowest total of penalty points. The winning team is the one with the lowest total of penalty points, after adding together the final scores of the three highest placed competitors in the team.
The Premier Eventing Competitions are...
- Olympic Games
- FEI World Equestrian Games
- HSBC FEI Classics™
- HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing
- Continental Championships