History of Eventing


Eventing is the ultimate test requiring total trust, supreme athleticism, fitness and courage on part of both horse and rider.

Eventing combines three distinct phases Dressage, Cross Country and Showjumping. The three main types of Eventing are as follows:

One Day Events (ODE) - the three tests normally take place on one day, but, due to increasing entries, may be held over two days

Two Day Events (2DE) - intended to give competitors practice at the additional technical and practical skills required in Three Day Events. They follow the same pattern as One Day Events, the only difference being that the Cross Country test is extended to include a modified steeplechase and roads and tracks. The competition is conveniently spread over two days.

Three Day Events (3DE) - the ultimate form of Eventing and the three tests take place on separate days. Dressage is spread over one or two days. This is followed on the next day by the cross-country test, comprising two tests of roads and tracks, one steeplechase and the cross-country test itself. The object of the third day's Jumping Test is solely to prove that, after a severe test of endurance, the horse has retained the suppleness, energy and obedience necessary for him to continue in service.

Dressage Phase The first phase of an ODE is the Dressage test. This phase is conducted in a fixed arena and involves a set of specific movements, which is ridden by all competitors in the same class. The Dressage test is to show the horse performing movements and to demonstrate the calmness, flexibility suppleness and submission of the horse.

The horse is marked on each individual movement. The movements are given a score out of ten - 0 = The movement was not executed to 10 = Excellent. The points are added to give an overall score, and by subtracting the marks scored from the maximum possible score, the number of penalty points is calculated.

The second phase should be the cross country, however it is usually run as the last phase as availability of volunteers/ jump judges etc dictate this practice.

Cross Country Phase The CC phase involves the competitors riding across undulating country with jumps and obstacles set out on a course which they must negotiate in order to complete the round. Depending on the level of competition the distance of the course can range from 2kms-4.5kms. Riders may inspect (walk the course) the day prior to the CC phase, but the horses would not have seen the obstacles prior to the competition. This phase is designed to test the speed, endurance, jumping ability and fitness of the horse. Riders incur penalties on course if their horse refuses to jump an obstacle, if they miss compulsory flags, exceeding the time allowed for the course or fall off horse. The penalties incurred over the 3 phases are totaled, and the horse with the fewest penalties is declared the winner.

Jumping Phase The Jumping phase requires competitors to complete one round of a jumping course. The object is to show the stamina, suppleness and obedience of the horse. Horses are required to jump a course of brightly coloured obstacles of varying height and width. Penalties are incurred for exceeding the time allowed for the course, knocking down obstacles, refusing to jump obstacles and for errors of course.

Starting Out In Eventing? If you're just starting out in Eventing there are a few things to remember. If you are entering a competition you must be a current member of the EFA. If you enter a graded class EV 95cm above your horse must be registered with a current eventing card, (If your competing in an ungraded class your horse does not need to be registered) Junior riders can compete in graded competitions from the beginning of the calendar year in which they turn 14.

Know the rules for Eventing (rule books available from the EA website free of charge) Be courteous to other riders. Don't be afraid to ask questions, most riders are more than happy to help. If you can, volunteer to help out at your club (volunteers are scarce and we need them). Above all have a GOOD TIME!

Who To Contact In Tasmania! the State governing body for Eventing is the Tasmanian Eventing Association. Through its organising event committees TEA administrates and represents the sport at the EA level. If you are interested in eventing and want to know more go to the contacts page and talk to someone at TEA today!