From Academic Kids

Eventing, is an equestrian event which comprises dressage, cross-country and show-jumping. This event has its roots as a comprehensive cavalry test requiring mastery of several types of riding. It has two main formats, the one day event (1DE) and the three day event (3DE). It has previously been known as The Military and Horse Trials.

The governing body of the sport is the FEI.

Eventing is commonly seen as a triathlon of the competitive equestrian world, due to the broad areas of competence required. The dressage phase (held first) comprises a highly exact pattern ridden in a small ring. Rider and horse are judged on their ability to communicate with each other in performing prescribed delicate maneuvers. The challenge is to demonstrate that a supremely fit horse, capable of completing the cross country phase on time, also has the training to perform in a relaxed, precise manner.

The next phase, cross-country, requires both horse and rider to be in excellent shape and to be brave and trusting of each other. This phase consists of approximately 12-20 fences (lower levels), 30-40 at the higher levels, placed on a long outdoor circuit. These fences consist of very solidly built natural objects (telephone poles, stone walls, etc.) as well as various obstacles such as ponds and streams, ditches, drops and banks - based on objects that would commonly occur in the countryside. The course is usually several miles long. This phase is timed, with the rider required to cross the finish line within a certain time frame. Crossing the finish line after the allowed time results in a penalty. Penalties are also incurred if the horse refuses to jump a fence or if the rider falls off. Fitness is required as the time allowed will require a strong canter at the lower levels, to a steady gallop at the higher events.

Unlike 1-day events, 3-day events also include Phases A, B, and C along with Cross Country (Phase D). Phases A and C, Roads and Tracks, are several miles long and usually ridden at a trot to make the time. Phase B, Steeplechase, is a very fast gallop over several Steeplechase-like fences. All four phases together require an extremely fit horse at the top level of the sport.

The last phase, showjumping, tests the technical jumping skills of the horse and rider, as well as their fitness. In this phase, 12-20 fences are set up in a ring. These fences are brightly colored and consist of poles set in shallow cups. If the horse and rider are not in adequate shape or do not have the technical skill, then they will knock down the poles, incurring penalties. This phase is also timed, with penalties being given for every second over the required time. In addition to normal jumping skills, eventing showjumping tests the fitness of the horse and rider, generally being held after the cross country phase so the horse and rider will both be tired.

The winner is the horse and rider with the fewest penalties. Ribbons and prizes are usually presented while mounted, before the placegetters take a lap of honour around the arena.

In the United States, 3-Day Eventing is broken down into the following levels:

  • Pre-novice: X-C and Stadium fences 2'6", usually 350 mpm (meters per minute) on cross country

  • Novice: X-C fences 2'11," drops 3'11", 350-400 mpm; Stadium fences 2'11" <p>
  • Training: X-C fences 3'3", drops 4'7", 420-470 mpm; Stadium fences 3'3" <p>
  • Preliminary: X-C fences 3'7", drops 5'3", 520 mpm; Stadium fences 3'7" <p>
  • Intermediate: X-C fences 3'9", drops 5'11", 550 mpm; Stadium fences 3'11" <p>
  • Advanced: X-C fences 3'11", drops 6'7", 570 mpm; Stadium fences 4'1" <p>

(Novice through Advanced is recognized by the USEA).

Thoroughbreds and part-thoroughbreds usually dominate the sport because of their stamina and athletic ability, although many warmbloods and warmblood-thoroughbred crosses excel.

Three day events

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