What Are the Three Types of Olympic Equestrian Events?
Watching equestrian events during the Olympics allows you to see the majesty, grace and athleticism of these animals and their riders. The three types of events that riders compete in during the Olympics are dressage, jumping and eventing. Here’s an overview of the sports you’ll get to see in the next summer games.
Horse jump walls are spaced out throughout an arena to challenge the horse and rider to jump over varying heights and spaces. This event requires a superior level of athleticism from the horse and rider. A course typically includes 10 to 16 jumps that each contestant must complete within a specified time range. Penalties are given for knocking rails over and going over the time limit.
Known as the ballet of horseback riding, dressage showcases the grace and agility of a horse. It requires a high level of training, with the horse and rider able to communicate fluidly with each other to complete a series of movements. The moves may include turns, sidestepping, diagonals and circles. The event is choreographed to music to showcase the artistic ability of the pair.
Eventing is a competition spaced out over the course of three days. It includes dressage, cross country jumping and stadium jumping. A horse needs to have a high level of endurance and skill to make it through this intense series of events. The cross-country portion may include up to 40 obstacles over a span of four miles. Penalties can add up for refusals, going over time and falls.
Watching the highest level of competition can be an exhilarating way to see how a horse can move through the world. The communication seen between the horse and rider is an astounding testament to the training and time each pair takes to get to the highest level of the sport.