Eventing is one of the Olympic equestrian disciplines.
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.
Courses vary in the level of difficulty and are generally graded according to the height of the fences being jumped, and the difficulties of the dressage test. The height of the fences on the cross country can vary for 80 cm for ponies up to 1.40m (brush fences) for international championships.
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 ‘4 star’ event, there are also 1 star, 2 star and 3 star events. Ireland hosts the following 3 star events;Tattersalls, Camphire and Ballindenisk.
The selection Irish team is overseen by Horse Sport Ireland with an input from Eventing Ireland.
- The Irish Performance Coach is Nick Turner.
- The performance coaches are Terry Boon – Dressage, Ian Fearon – Showjumping
The sport is administered in Ireland by Eventing Ireland. To find out more about getting involved in Eventing at national level contact Eventing Ireland.