Equestrian riding is a unique sport that pairs a rider and horse together in performance. Within equestrian, there are three Olympic sports that riders can participate in and these areas involve dressage, showjumping, and cross-country. All three Olympic equestrian disciplines are very different and each demands its own skills from the rider and horse. Unlike horse racing, equestrian sports focus on a rider’s command over his or her horse as well as the completion of various tasks on the riding ground. Equestrian and horse racing fans can follow the sports with Betmgm and wager on the latest horse-based sports events including the British Champions Day.
The Summer Olympics in 2020 will feature three disciplines in equestrian. So, what are those disciplines and how do riders compete in the events?
Dressage is all about the control a rider has over the horse. In the event, judges want to see how well a rider can get his or her horse to respond and obey commands. During dressage, a rider and horse must complete a set of instructions. This dressage test will then be examined by a panel of judges that will score the contestants.
Judges give the rider and horse a score out of 10. The higher the score, the better the team performed in their test. The lower the score, the worse the pair did during the dressage event. The winner of the dressage event is the rider and horse who scored the best out of all the competitors.
Showjumping is an exciting, adrenaline-pumping event in equestrian. The event features horses and riders leaping over fences and barriers. The purpose of show jumping is to test the athletic abilities of both the rider and horse. The event also demonstrates the accuracy of the pair as they must not only clear the fence and barriers, but land fluidly.
The rider and horse must jump a variety of fences and barriers. These obstacles vary in height and range from 70 centimeters to 1.60 meters. In addition to jumping over the obstacles and landing, the pair must complete the showjumping course in a specified sequence. The rider and horse to jump and clear all the obstacles in the fastest time is crowned the winner.
Cross-country is similar to showjumping as the rider and horse must leap over obstacles. The difference between cross-country and showjumping has to do with the size of the course and the obstacles the pair must jump over.
Cross-country tests a horse’s endurance, quickness, and leaping over the length of the event. A cross-country test can be done as part of a full evening show alongside showjumping and dressage. However, it can also be held by itself due to the nature of the event.
One of the biggest differences between cross-country and showjumping is the size of the courses. A cross-country course can be two to three kilometers in size. This gives a horse ample opportunity to showcase their speed and endurance during the event. No two cross-country courses are alike.