From Wikipedia, www.wikipedia.org
Eventing, is an equestrian event which comprises dressage,
cross-country and show-jumping. This event has its roots as a
comprehensive cavalry test. This requires 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. The USEA runs
eventing in the United States.
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,
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 place getters take a lap of honor around the arena.
In the United States, 3-Day Eventing is broken down into the
Beginner Novice: X-C and Stadium fences 2'7", drops 3'3", 300-350
mpm (meters per minute) on cross country.
Novice: X-C fences 2'11," drops 3'11", 350-400 mpm; Stadium
Training: X-C fences 3'3", drops 4'7", 420-470 mpm; Stadium
Preliminary: X-C fences 3'7", drops 5'3", 520 mpm; Stadium fences
Intermediate: X-C fences 3'9", drops 5'11", 550 mpm; Stadium
Advanced: X-C fences 3'11", drops 6'7", 570 mpm; Stadium fences
(Beginner 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