What’s the deal?
Eventing is an amazing test to see whether or not a horse has legs. This three-day affair involves competition in three different disciplines:
- Cross-country – This is a test of endurance involving 40-45 obstacles, such as jumping over natural barriers and water elements, over a 5.7 km course that athletes must finish in a certain amount of time. They get penalties for faults (refusing to jump over an obstacle) and for being over the time limit.
Men and women compete against each other in mixed individual and team events. The top three individual scores from one country are combined to determine the team winners.
Why should I watch?
It’s teamwork of a most unusual kind: human and horse, working together to get through each event. It’s exciting to see horses be able to do all elements of equestrianism well, and the cross-country portion is the ultimate test of endurance and ability. Danger is also at play here–earlier in 2016, an eventing athlete lost her life during a competition.
Possible drinking game:
Every time a horse refuses to do something: a dressage move, a jump or an obstacle, drink.
The perfect snack:
The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) is the international governing body for the sport. Learn more about eventing at their site.
Another great way to becoming involved with the sport is through officiating. Learn how to become an equestrian official here.