Show Jumping

What is it?

Show jumping is a sport for horses and riders which tests the horses ability to jump over a course of fences at a pre determined pace.
Show Jumping is one of the three Olympic equestrian disciplines, with Eventing and Dressage.


If a horse knocks a fence they incur four faults. If they refuse at a fence they incur four faults. If a horse refuses to attempt to jump a particular fence three times, they are eliminated.
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 0.25 point per second over the time. There are also specified speed classes where if riders finish on equality of faults the rider with the fastest time wins the class.
If the horse or the competitor falls, they are eliminated.


The most common class is a called a Grand Prix where riders jump a standard round with the aim of achieving the lowest number of faults. If a number of riders finish with zero or an equality of faults, they jump off over a shortened course against the clock.
Courses vary in the level of difficulty and are generally graded according to the height of the fences being jumped. The height can vary for 80 cm for ponies up to 1.60 m for international championships. National grand prix’s would generally be a 1.40/1.50 m classes.
One of the most high profile competitions is the Puissance where riders attempt to jump a high wall that gets progressively higher after each round.

International Show Jumping

International Shows are overseen by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) and are graded according to the level of prize money on offer. The highest level show is a ‘5 star’ show, there are also 2 star, 3 star and 4 star shows. Ireland only has one 5 star show which is the Dublin Horse Show.
There are four international two star shows planned for Ireland in Cavan, Mullingar, Tattersalls and Balmoral.
For a copy of the up to date international show schedules click here.

Irish teams

The selection Irish team is overseen by Horse Sport Ireland with an input from the Show Jumping Association of Ireland.
The Irish Senior Team Manager is Robert Splaine
The Performance Coaches are John Ledingham for Junior/Young Rider and Ian Fearon for Pony/Children on Horse.
The senior team will compete in 2008 in the Samsung Super League with the FEI. This competition consists of a league of the eight top Nations Cups in the World, including the Nations Cup for the Aga Khan trophy that takes place in the RDS in Dublin. The top eight countries in the world compete in this competition.
For up to date results of Irish riders competing abroad click here. To view the list of Irish riders due to compete in upcoming shows click here
Horse sport Ireland also selects pony, children on horses, junior and young rider teams for more information on these click here .

National Show Jumping

The sport is administered in Ireland by the Show Jumping Association of Ireland. To find out more about getting involved in Show Jumping at national level click here.

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