Equestrian Eventing is one of the most popular sports in Olympics. Learn about the rules and regulations of this game and also look at the long list of records in this discipline.

Equestrian Eventing

Highly adventurous and entertaining, Equestrian events are one of the most popular events in Olympics, pulling fat crowds every time. Equestrian Eventing is one of the three types of Equestrian events and consists of three parts - dressage, cross-country riding and jumping. Dressing part illustrates the concordance between the horse and the rider in cross-country riding while cross-country is all about speed, power and nerve, and jumping is the test of rider's precision, agility and impeccable technique. The competition may be conducted either as a one-day event, completing all the three events in a single day or a three-day event or even as a 4 day event in which dressage events are conducted in the first two days, followed by cross-country on the third day and show-jumping (in reverse order) on the fourth day. A combination that challenges all the aspects of horse riding - Equestrian Eventing is truly an adventurous entertainment sport. Included in Olympics from 1912, Equestrian Eventing is celebrating its 100th year in Olympics during this London Games.

Equestrian Eventing Rules And Regulations
  • Any object should not be lowered during the event and if that happens, it will be considered as a knock down.
  • The rider with lowest number of penalties is declared as winner and the medal is usually awarded while the rider is mounted.
  • By weight rule, the event horses have to carry a minimum weight of 165 lbs. This includes the rider and the saddle. 
  • Jumping part should be done in traditional horse riding attire whereas the dress for cross-country is less formal.
  • The Jumping attire is more or less similar to Grand Prix Dressage for intermediate and advance levels. The dress code includes shirt, dark coat, stock tie, and pin. Shadbelly tailcoat and top hat is allowed at FEI level. Riding breeches should be either in white or light color. Any color is acceptable as far as gloves are concerned but black is most preferred color for boots. Boots should be in normal or patent leather.  
  • Dress code for cross-country is less formal and the rider is free to choose an ’eventing color’ that matches with their horse’s track. However, protective vests and ASTM/SEI/BS approved equestrian helmet and medical band stating the rider’s medical history is mandatory. Any colored breeches are acceptable and the rider may choose a long-sleeved, light-weighted rugby or polo shirt. Tie or stock is not used. Rider may wear stopwatch to track the time so that they can adjust the game plan accordingly.
  • Show jumping attire is similar to the dressage segment. The only thing extra is an equestrian helmet with harness. The riders wear short hunt coat unless weather is hot. Medical armband is also mandatory.
  • Knocking down, First Disobedience (any one) and Second Disobedience in the whole round cause 4 penalties. First Disobedience includes run-out, refusal, moving backwards and circle whereas Second Disobedience includes First fall of rider, fall of horse and jumping an obstacle in the wrong order results in elimination.
  • Exceeding the allotted time results in 1 penalty per second.
Equestrian Eventing History
When Equestrian Eventing was first included in Olympics, only the male military officers in active duty could participate in this event. The 1924 Olympics permitted male civilians to participate. However, non-commissioned Army officers were not allowed to participate in Olympics until 1956. The 1964 Olympics permitted women participant in this event and became one of the few Olympic sports where men and women compete against one another.