Eventing gives Pony Club Members a competition which needs courage, determination and all-round riding ability combined with the careful and systematic training of the horse. Riders gain a deeper understanding of the different sports open to them.
Its main aim is to encourage a higher standard of riding throughout The Pony Club and to give younger Members a greater interest in riding as both a sport and as a recreational activity.
The sport could be termed an “equestrian triathlon”. It involves working with your pony/horse both on the flat and over jumps. Today, the sport is most known for its cross-country phase where horse and rider gallop over an outside course of solid obstacles which the horse has never seen before.
Eventing is an Olympic sport in which Great Britain has a long tradition amongst very competitive fields. The entire Great Britain Eventing team at London 2012 and Rio 2016 were ex-Pony Club Members!
Eventing is split into three phases: Dressage, Show Jumping & Cross Country.
Dressage is a French word meaning training. Precision, smoothness, suppleness and complete obedience show off the horse’s gymnastic development.
Ideally it should look as if the horse is performing of its own accord, carrying its rider in complete harmony. The test is scored on each movement, rather like the scoring in figure skating, and the overall harmony and precision of the whole exercise is taken into consideration.
The second phase takes place in the show jumping arena over coloured knock-down fences.
Finally, the cross country phase is designed to test the horse and rider’s ability over a variety of fixed fences and undulating ground, it should also demonstrate the rider’s knowledge of pace and the use of his horse across country.
At the end of the competition, scores for all the competitors are totalled. Each test is scored individually and the penalties accrued are added together for the final results. The lowest score is the winning score.
In the case of a team competition, the individual scores of each of the four team members are added together. If all four team members have completed the competition the best three scores count and the team with the lowest team total is pronounced the winner.