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Equestrian sport: official game rules briefly

Equestrian sport is a general term that combines several methods of riding a horse at once. This also includes a number of official and alternative types of competitions, exercises and games using horse riding. In each particular discipline, the rider must actively interact with the horse in motion or static. The horse is driven by reins, moving weights or rider commands.

The leading body of this sport is the International Equestrian Federation (abbr. FEI). Its headquarters is in Lausanne. The organization was formed in 1921 by the national equestrian federations of Denmark, Belgium, Italy, France, Norway, Sweden, Japan and the USA. Today, it includes about 150 representative countries, including Russia.

The FEI Code protects the rights and health of not only riders but also horses. It strictly spells out the requirements for animals, penalties for physical violence against them and the use of doping in their direction.


Equestrian sport finally entered the system of the Olympic Games in 1912. Then at the Games in Sweden, competitions were held in dressage and eventing. On the territory of modern Russia, classical equestrian sports became widespread only after the revolution. Mostly large tournaments were held among the army, but there were also amateur competitions among participants in equestrian schools and clubs.

In 1952, the Soviet Union entered the structure of the International Equestrian Federation, thereby entering the world stage. This made it possible for domestic riders to win several medals at the FEI World Games in Warsaw next year. In 1960, Soviet horsemen took the first gold at the Olympics.

To date, the most significant tournaments in equestrian sports are:

  • Olympic Games;
  • World Equestrian Games;
  • World Cup;
  • World Cup
  • continental championships.

The official FEI equestrian sports include:

  • show jumping;
  • dressage
  • triathlon;
  • vaulting;
  • driving;
  • distance runs.

Each of them has its own rules for conducting competitions, requirements and features.

Jumping Rules

Jumping is understood as a jump with obstacles. This is the most famous variety of equestrian sport. Its essence lies in the harmonious passage of the horse all sections of the path with wooden barriers. It is important to understand that the slightest touch of a wooden structure entails its fall, so that in fact the rider cannot be envied, and for a horse this is an absolutely safe task.

The obstacles in the show jumping can be bars, fences, tees, ditches, walls, bridges and other structures with light poles. Depending on the rank of the tournament, the height of the barriers can reach up to 1.8 m. In total, from 8 to 16 obstacles of different designs are encountered on the rider’s path. The rules for their passage depend on the nature of the competition.

Penalty points are awarded to competitors in:

  • destruction of any obstacle;
  • horse refusal to perform an element;
  • a rider falling from a saddle;
  • the fall of the animal;
  • crossing the border of the field;
  • delay in time allotted for the task.

Before each competition, the field is decorated with greenery and flowers, and beautiful architectural slopes and other attributes are mounted next to the obstacles. The riders themselves put on bright readings to stand out from afar. In a show jumping competition, everything is aimed at enhancing the festive atmosphere of the audience.

Dressage Competitions

This discipline is a performance of riders of increased complexity. Riders must graduate from high school riding and then train at a professional level. Otherwise, they will not be able to demonstrate the performance of gait at different speeds in the competition.

In dressage, the smoothness of transitions from one element to another while maintaining a clear posture, posture, and lateral folds is important. A rider has to work with one horse for years to achieve a complete unification of thoughts and feelings. The horse must fully trust the rider, that is, repeat every movement after the command. This understanding is achieved only by painstaking long daily training.

For the convenience of evaluating participants, judges use percentage values. They express the number of points in relation to the total allowable amount of points.

Principles of Eventing

Experts consider this variety the most difficult in professional equestrian sports. She demands a horse and a rider of endurance, courage and complete understanding. The following exercises are included in modern eventing:

  • overcoming barriers;
  • dressage competitions (in the arena);
  • cross country races with water and steady obstacles.

Traditionally, the official FEI eventing event lasts 3 days. However, the tournament participants must arrive at the disposal of the referee and supervisory board in advance to fully check the physical condition of the rider and the horse, as well as ammunition.

When passing the test participants are given 2 attempts. If the horse stopped in front of the barrier or ran the other way for the third time, immediate disqualification follows. A similar rule applies to a rider falling from a saddle.

Victory in triathlon is won by a couple who scored a minimum of penalty points in the overall standings.

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