Equestrian Jumping is one of the most popular sports in Olympics. Learn about the rules and regulations of this game and check out the records created in this discipline.

Equestrian Jumping

Also known as "stadium jumping" or "open jumping",. show jumping is a popular Olympic sport pulling fat crowds. Being an event that includes segments dressage, eventing, hunters, and equitation that require precision and balance, this game is highly adventurous. Featured in major horse shows across the world, including the Olympics, this event is governed by a set of rules determined by International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI, Federation Equestre Internationale). Being an exciting and tense competition that tests the competitor's skill, speed and power in a short course that contains 12-14 fences, this horse event requires boldness, accuracy and nerves of steel not only for the riders, but also for the horses. Equestrian Jumping was the first event in Equestrian discipline to feature in the Olympic Games. Equestrian jumping is taking place both in individual and team events. There is no separate competition for men and women.

Equestrian Jumping Rules And Regulations
  • Placing of the team event is determined by two rounds of jumping competition.
  • Refusals and knockdowns are charged as penalties – each of them results in charging four faults to the rider’s total score.
  • Penalties are charged only if the knockdown results in any change on the height or width of the obstacle.
  • Each refusal is penalized with four faults. However, refusals like displacing poles, flowers, gates or large clumps of turf, running into the fence instead of jumping over it etc., will not receive four faults for the knockdown, instead, an additional penalty will be given while the timer is stopped for the repair or replacement of the jump.
  • Each second or fraction of a second taken beyond the allowed time would result in 1 time penalty.
  • If a horse refuses any jump in combination, then it has to repeat the entire course of obstacles once more. For instance, if there is a combination of three obstacles A, B and C and if the horses jumps both A and B while it refuses the third one C, then the horse have to return to the first obstacle again and perform the course once again.  If any one obstacle of this combination is knocked down, the rider will be charged a penalty of 12 faults (4 penalties per each obstacle).
Equestrian Jumping History
Relatively new in the category of equestrian sport the first major show jumping competition in England took place in 1907 at Olympia. Most of the participants belonged to military forces and for some years, there were no specific rules and regulations to regulate the game, judges declared winners depending on their own opinions. There were no penalties charged for refusal and in fact, some competitors were asked to miss the obstacle to please the spectators. Before 1907 there were no penalties for a refusal and the competitor was sometimes asked to miss the fence to please the spectators. First courses for this game were of not any difficulty as it consisted of only a straight bar fence and a water jump. American Horse Shows Association was formed in in 1917 and started regulating this game and this organization adopted a new name 'United States Equestrian Federation'. Though an early form of this event first was included in the Olympic Games in 1900, it was reorganized to give a more organized structure. The current format is adopted since 1912.