Equestrian eventing: official rules of the game briefly
Equestrian eventing is a type of equestrian sport, the peculiarity of which is the combination of three separate disciplines:
- riding arena;
- cross country;
- show jumping.
Each stage of the competition is traditionally held on different days. Participants must pass all trials on the same horses, therefore, endurance of an animal and a trainer are equally important in triathlon. On the first day there is a demonstration of horse discipline, on the second – its speed, endurance and jumping ability when overcoming barriers, the third day it checks the horse’s performance in difficult field conditions.
This triathlon has long been used as a test for cavalry horses for the presence of all the abilities necessary for military operations. Riding in the arena checked the readiness of animals to participate in the parade, cross-country and show jumping helped to draw a conclusion about their physical condition. For a long time, these disciplines were the basis of military training of horses, until they gradually became sporting.
In 1921, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) was created, which professionally engaged in the global popularization of all varieties of equestrian sports. Today, the organization includes more than 130 national federations. FEI hosts many major international tournaments. The most prestigious of them in eventing is considered to be the World Championship for young horses. In addition, equestrian triathlon is included in the program of the Summer Olympic Games (OI).
Official eventing competitions are held within 3 days. This applies to individual competitions, and team, in which 4 riders from each team (quartets) participate.
The first day the riders always devote to the riding ring, in which the judges evaluate the skill of the athletes as trainers. For judges, it is important that the horse technically performs the basic elements on the established route. Each exercise is rated on a 10-point scale.
During the second day, field trials, also called equestrian cross-country, take place. In this discipline, the distance consists of the following segments:
- classic roads and paths (elements A);
- steeplech track, that is, a segment with indestructible obstacles (element B);
- other types of roads and paths (elements C);
- cross (element D).
Riders are required to adhere to the exact route and not exceed the established time period. For exceeding the control time, disobedience to the horse or falling from the saddle to the athlete penalties are awarded.
Competitions on the third day are held on a special track with temporarily collapsing obstacles when touched.
Victory in triathlon is won by a rider who scored the least penalties in the overall standings in 3 days.
Equipment and ammunition
Equestrian equipment at official equestrian events should include:
- a jockey;
- protective leggings;
- protective vest;
The horse ammunition kit includes:
- bridle (horse control);
- mouthpiece (iron bits);
- hakamor (leather straps for the headband of a horse);
- nails (a device for protecting the limbs of an animal);
- blanket (special cover);
- Waltrap (protection for the horse’s back, mounted under the saddle);
- cinch (design for fastening the saddle);
- chombur (rope for a leash);
- halter (bridle without fishing).
To date, all international and national equestrian tournaments are divided according to difficulty levels with their requirements. The more stars the competition is given, the more significant and authoritative it is. The classification is based on a 4-star scale:
- 1 Star Tournaments.
Manege riding should be carried out on segments A and B. During the cross-country, the participant passes the distance from 4160 to 4680 m. The average control time for the cross-country is 8-9 minutes. The height of fixed obstacles is up to 1.3 m, and the maximum number of such barriers is 32 pcs. The difference in height on the track is up to 1.6 m. In a show jumping, the height of obstacles reaches 115 cm. The number of jumps varies from 10 to 13. The maximum length of a distance in a show jumping is 600 m.
- Tournaments with 2 stars.
Manege riding is carried out along sections A and B. The distance for the cross is from 4400 to 5500 m. The participant is given up to 10 minutes to complete the route. On the way there are 35-37 obstacles up to 1.35 m high. The vertical drop is up to 1.8 m. Jumping distance is 600 m. 10-14 obstacles 120 cm high are located on the track.
- Tournaments with 3 stars.
For riding, segments A and B are mandatory. In cross-country, the distance is from 5700 to 6270 m. For its passage, it is usually given 10-11 minutes. The number of obstacles for cross-country race is from 38 to 40 with a height of up to 1.4 m. The height difference reaches 2 m. The show jumping track has a length of 600 m. From the athlete there are 11 to 15 obstacles with a height of 125 cm.
- Tournaments with 4 stars.
Manezhnaya ride takes place on the track with elements A and B. During the cross-country participant must go from 6270 to 6840 m. Control time – from 11 to 12 minutes. At a distance there are 42-45 motionless obstacles with a height of 1.45 m. The difference in elevation is up to 2 m. The distance for jumping is standard (600 m). The number of required jumps is from 11 to 16. The height of obstacles is 125 cm.
The highest rank in this discipline is considered the “Master of Sports of the international class.” To obtain the title of MSMK, it is necessary to fulfill 2 requirements:
- Become one of the 5 best riders in the individual competition at the international 2-star tournament without penalty points for passing field trials.
- Complete 2 international competitions of the “2 star” level without penalty points for the cross over the past two years.