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Hughes eyes Rio success in new Equestrian role

Dan Hughes has set his sights on success in Rio 2016 after being announced as new Performance Director for the British Equestrian Federation.

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Phillips eager to get her hands on gold at Rio 2016

Equestrian rider Zara Phillips admits she has unfinished business when it comes to the Olympics, with the prospect of a gold medal at Rio 2016 d...

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Countdown to Rio: Summer sports week in review

Tiffany Porter made sure to end a successful season on a high as she broke Jessica Ennis-Hill’s British 100m hurdles record on the way to silver...

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Phillips turns attentions to 2016 Rio Olympics

Zara Phillips admits thoughts of the 2016 Rio Olympics are already filling her mind, adamant she has the perfect horse for the job.

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Tattersall in dreamland after fifth-place Burghley finish

Gemma Tattersall admitted she was still pinching herself in disbelief after finishing fifth at this year’s Burghley Horse Trials.

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History

The history of Equestrian sport dates back over 2,000 years, to when the Greeks introduced Dressage training to prepare their horses for war.

It continued to develop as a military exercise through the Middle Ages, with the Three Day Event - which includes Dressage, Cross Country and Show Jumping tests - designed to reflect the range of challenges horses faced in the army.

In its modern form, Equestrian owes much to its inclusion in the Olympic Games, which led to the creation of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) in 1921.

Through its development of international competitions, the FEI has helped to spread the popularity of horse sport outside its traditional army base.

Historically, Eventing was the military mission of a cavalry officer that had to deliver a message through enemy lines and back to his base.  The first Eventing competition was recorded in France in 1902 and became an Olympic sport in 1912. Eventing in the UK started in 1949 when Badminton Horse Trials were held for the first time. Since then, Britain has become one of the most successful nations in the history of the sport

 

Olympic History

Jumping was the first Equestrian discipline, which was included in the Paris 1900 Olympic Games. In the 1906 IOC Congress in Athens, the Count Clarence von Rosen, Master of the Horse to the King of Sweden, under the guidelines of the IOC President Pierre De Coubertin, formed a detailed proposal to include all three Equestrian disciplines in the Olympic Games.

The IOC accepted von Rosen’s proposal but it was after a 12-year interval that Jumping, together with Dressage and Eventing were included in the competition schedule of the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. Since then, these three Olympic disciplines have been part of the Olympic Games, with minor modifications in the way they are conducted.

It is worth mentioning that, until 1952, only men riders who were cavalry officers could participate in the Olympic Games. Starting from 1952, under an IOC decision, these restrictions were lifted, and both men (civilians) and women were given the chance to compete in the three Olympic disciplines, under common rules of evaluation and marking.

The International Equestrian Federation (Fédération Equestre Internationale – FEI), which was founded in 1921, is the governing body of the Equestrian Sport and includes 135 member countries.

Technical

The modern Eventing competition (formerly called the Three Day Event) takes place over four days. Days One and Two are Dressage, Day Three is Cross Country and Day four is Jumping.

The Dressage and Jumping phases are similar to the pure Dressage and Jumping competitions. In the Cross Country event, riders have to complete a course over natural terrain of between 6270m and 7410m.

The course contains solid obstacles that test the nerve, boldness, scope and partnership of horse and rider; faults are awarded for run-outs, exceeding the specified time limit and falls of either horse or rider.

The rider with the fewest penalties at the end of the competition is the winner, with the Team Medals decided by the best three scores from each nation.

equipment

Rider’s Clothing

The rider’s basic items of clothing include: a Top Hat for Dressage or a Hard hat for the Jumping and cross-country events; coat, white shirt and stock (hunting tie) for gentlemen and choker for ladies (in Dressage, black or dark blue tailcoat for ladies and gentlemen); breeches; riding boots; spurs and gloves for ladies and gentlemen.

Horse’s Equipment

Saddle

The purpose of the saddle is to help the rider adjust his balance and sitting on the horse. Saddle types differ to allow and permit different Equestrian activities. The Jumping and Eventing saddle is forward cut with knee rolls for close contact while the Dressage saddle has a deeper seat and straight flaps.

The saddle is made of steel, glass fibres or wood. The saddle’s exterior is mainly made of leather.

Girth

The girth holds the saddle firmly in place. It is similar to a belt.

Martingales

The purpose of the martingale is to help prevent the horse raising his head.

Bridle and Bit

The bit provides the principle means of contact and communication between horse and rider. The majority of bits rest on the mouth between the canine teeth and the grinders. There are different kinds of bits and the rider chooses accordingly to what suits the horse. The most commonly used bits are the ordinary bridoon bit (snaffle), the bridoon bit with two joints, the egg-butt bridoon bit, the pelham, the kimblewick etc.

Dressage horses use a double bridle, which consists of two bits on separate pairs of reins, a snuffle compared with a curb bit and a curb chain attached. The double bridle gives greater control to the rider.

rules

Eventing is concluded over four competition days and is a combination of Dressage, Jumping and Cross-country tests. The aim of the rider is to achieve the lowest number of penalties in all three disciplines.

1st and 2nd day: Dressage

The rider has to execute a predetermined test of movements within an arena 60 x 20m. This test proves the harmonious development of the physique and ability of the horse, as well as the harmony and perfect understanding between the rider and the horse.

3rd day: Cross-country

Riders have to complete a course over natural terrain of between 6270m and 7410m. The course contains solid obstacles that test the nerve, boldness, scope and partnership of horse and rider; faults are awarded for run-outs, exceeding the specified time limit and falls of either horse or rider.

4th day: Jumping

First showjumping Round

The first round decides the placing of the team event; the winning team is the one with the lowest total number of penalty points, after adding together the scores from the three highest placed athletes in the team. Riders and horses are given penalty points for any jumping errors and time faults, which are added to their carried forward score from the dressage and cross-country rounds.

Second showjumping Round

This round determines the individual placing. The team scores from the previous jumping round determine which riders (the top 25) will go through to this round. The individual winner is the athlete with the lowest penalty score after penalty points incurred from all three phases have been totalled, including results from the first jumping round.

 

Jargon buster

· Fault: A set number of penalty points for making a mistake.

· Schooling area: The warm-up area outside a Show Jumping ring.

· Run-out: When a horse gets out of the rider’s control and runs around a fence instead of jumping it.

· Half Pass: A forward and sideways Dressage movement where the horse crosses its legs as it moves sideways.

· Gallop: The fastest movement of a horse - equivalent to running.

Team HeroesEntire Team

William Fox-Pitt was the first British rider to become world number one in eventing in 2002 and he is a board director for the Event Riders Association.

Fox-Pitt is married to Channel 4 racing presenter Alice Plunkett and together they ...

 

The Queen’s granddaughter and 14th in line to the throne, Zara Phillips follows in the footsteps of both parents, Captain Mark Phillips and HRH Princess Anne, in competing at the Olympics.

Captain Phillips won team ...

Nicola Wilson was called into the British team as a replacement for Piggy French, who was forced to withdraw at the start of July.

Wilson has been pathfinder for the team at the last two major championships; she was part of the team tha...

 

Kristina Cook will be made her second Olympic appearance at London 2012 after securing two bronzes in Beijing four years ago aboard Miners Frolic.

Her father, Josh Gifford, was a four-time champion jockey and her mother, ...

Mary King, née Tucker, joins British archer Alison Williamson and jumping rider Nick Skelton in making her sixth Olympic appearance in London – the trio joining just three others on such a number. She is the oldest and most experie...

Our Results

Total: 20 medals
  • 5 Gold
  • 7 Silver
  • 8 Bronze
Stockholm 1912
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Paris 1924
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Berlin 1936
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 1 Bronze
London 1948
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Helsinki 1952
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Melbourne 1956
  • 1 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 1 Bronze
Rome 1960
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Tokyo 1964
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Mexico City 1968
  • 1 Gold
  • 1 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Munich 1972
  • 2 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Montreal 1976
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Los Angeles 1984
  • 0 Gold
  • 1 Silver
  • 1 Bronze
Seoul 1988
  • 0 Gold
  • 2 Silver
  • 2 Bronze
Barcelona 1992
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Atlanta 1996
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Sydney 2000
  • 0 Gold
  • 1 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Athens 2004
  • 1 Gold
  • 1 Silver
  • 1 Bronze
Beijing 2008
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 2 Bronze
London 2012
  • 0 Gold
  • 1 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
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