The Olympic sport of Eventing is the most complete combined competition discipline recognised by the FEI. Sometimes described as an equestrian triathlon, Eventing demands considerable experience in all branches of equitation.
Eventing originated as a military competition which tested officers and horses in challenges that could occur on or off duty. It also provided a basis to compare training standards between the cavalries of different countries. The modern competition comprises dressage, cross-country and jumping on consecutive days. The competitor rides the same horse throughout the three phases.
Cross-country is the highlight, testing the speed, stamina and jumping ability of the horse, as well as the rider’s knowledge of pace and the use of his horse. The course will have between 25 and 45 specially constructed jumps over solid obstacles such as logs, woodpiles and stone walls, with water and ditches increasing the technical difficulty.
Eventing has a huge following with crowds of up to 250,000 recorded at the British spring feature at Badminton. In 1976 the Princess Royal was a member of the British Olympic team, and her daughter, Zara Phillips, is also an accomplished Event rider. Meanwhile New Zealand’s Mark Todd wrote a 112-page biography of his horse Charisma, with whom he twice won the Olympic Eventing title.
A demonstration of Olympic spirit and determination at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, where the first three Australians were well ahead of the field when one of their horses went lame, saw their fourth rider, 45-year-old Bill Roycroft, who had broken his collarbone in the cross-country, leave his hospital bed, to go clear in the Jumping and secure team gold for Australia.
Eventing demands of the competitor considerable experience in all branches of equitation and a precise knowledge of the horse’s ability and of the horse a degree of competence resulting from intelligent and rational training. It covers all round riding ability and horsemanship: the harmony between horse and rider that characterise Dressage; the contact with nature, precise knowledge of the horses ability and extensive experience essential for the Cross Country; the precision, agility and technique involved in Jumping.
Eventing is one of the three disciplines in competition at the Olympic Games, the other two being Jumping and Dressage.
Modern competitions consist of three distinct tests: Dressage, Cross-Country and Jumping. They take place on separate consecutive days during which a competitor rides the same horse throughout.
1. Dressage Test After an opening Horse Inspection, a Dressage test is performed, the object of which is the harmonious development of the physique and ability of the horse. The test consists of a series of compulsory movements at walk, trot and canter gaits, within a rectangular arena 60 m. long and 20 m. wide. To perform a good Dressage test, the horse needs to be flexible and fluid. To keep the strong Eventing horses under the firm control required by the exacting Dressage movements involves great knowledge and understanding. A good Dressage test lays the foundation for the rest of the competition and horses that are found wanting in this phase face an uphill struggle to get up amongst the prize-winners.
2. Cross-Country Test The focus of the entire event is on the Cross-Country test, the objective of which is to test the ability of athletes and horses to adpat to different and variable conditions (weather, terrain, obstacles, footing etc...) and jumping ability of the horse, while at the same time demonstrating the rider’s knowledge of pace and the use of his horse. Exceeding the time allowed and refusals result in penalties. All penalties are added together and recorded for inclusion in the final classification. Fall of a horse and/or of a rider entails immediate elimination.
3. Jumping Test The Jumping test takes place on the last day after a second Horse Inspection. Riders may voluntarily retire their horses if they seem unfit to continue. This test is run in reverse order of merit and its main objective is to prove that the horses have retained their suppleness, energy and obedience in order to jump a course of 11 to 15 obstacles.
The winning individual is the competitor with the lowest total of penalty points. The winning team is the one with the lowest total of penalty points, after adding together the final scores of the three highest placed competitors in the team.
The Premier Eventing Competitions are...
The following British Eventing Reverse Frangible Pins (for rails up to 60 kg) have been approved and added to the FEI register of products having met the Updated Standard for frangible/deformable cross country fences to be used as from 1st January 2021.
FEI16GBR - BE Reverse pin – Short (for rails up to 60 kg)
FEI17GBR - BE Reverse pin – Long (for rails up to 60 kg)
All information is available on our website
The Report and Annexes of the Online Eventing Risk Management and NSO Seminar, 23 – 24 January 2021 have been published on the FEI website.
The sessions are also available to watch on "replay".
The FEI Education & Officials Department have recently published explainer videos for the major FEI Eventing Rules Changes 2021.
These videos are mainly aimed at Officials and Athletes who are required to be up-to-date with the different rules. For the wider audience these videos will serve a rather informative purpose, providing a deeper understanding of our sport. The goal of these short videos is to highlight the most impactful rule changes and their rationale in each discipline, as well as more general regulations including the Equine Anti-Doping Controlled Medication Regulations and the Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes which underwent a full review in 2020.
You can access all the videos on FEI Campus by clicking on the relevant discipline pages as well as the Veterinary hub. Here are the direct links to:
The Eventing Statistics Report 2009 – 2020 has been finalised.
It is published on the FEI website under Eventing / Risk Management: http://www.fei.org/fei/disc/eventing/risk-management
The FAQ-Tack & Equipment as well as the Cross Country guide for Officials have been updated. They are available on the FEI webiste page
As per the 2021 Eventing Rules, Article 547.2.4, the compulsory use of frangible devices on certain type of fences has been extended to all levels as from 1st January 2021.
The following MIM kits have been approved and added to the FEI register of products having met the Updated Standard for frangible/deformable cross country fences to be used as from 1st January 2021.
FEI09SWE - Oxer kit - 80329
FEI10SWE - Post & Rail Kit – 80321
FEI11SWE - Post & Rail Adjustable Kit – 80325
FEI12SWE - Post & Rail Narrow Kit – 80322
FEI13SWE - Wall Kit – 80324
FEI14SWE - Table Kit- 80320
FEI15SWE - Corner Kit – 80326
The MIM FAQs (with a list of Frangible Device Advisors) has also been updated and new videos insturctions are available.
All information is available on our website
The Online Risk Management and NSO Seminar, 23-24 January 2021 will be live web-streamed.
The links for Saturday and Sunday are available on our website
The Eventing Categorisation of Athletes has been updated on 8 January 2021 and takes into account MERs obtained between 1 July 2012 and 31 December 2020.
The lists of categorised Athletes are available on the following webpage.
Final FEI World Eventing Athlete Rankings 2020 - Final Rankings
The Eventing Zone Rankings have been updated and are available on the following webpage, click here.
2020 Leaders of the Eventing Zone Rankings:
North Western Europe: Oliver Townend (GBR)
South Western Europe: Felix Vogg (SUI)
Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia: Aleksandr Markov (RUS)
North America: Boyd Martin (USA)
Central and South America: Carlos Lobos Muñoz (CHI)
Africa and Middle East: Usman Khan (PAK)
South East Asia and Oceania: Tim Price (NZL)
Note: Eventing Zone Rankings are processed once a year and take into account results obtained between 1 January and 31 December 2020
Anne-Mette Binder (DEN) has been appointed as FEI Course Director General (CDG) for Eventing, as of 1 October 2020.
She will act as an Advisor in all matters concerning the education of FEI Eventing Officials (Judges, Technical Delegates, Course Designers and Stewards). Her assignment is for a four-year period. The FEI Eventing Dpt and Committee thank her very much in advance for having accepted this mission, as we are at a crucial moment of the Eventing Officials Education, with the upcoming new level structure. This review of the Education system will include the split between Ground Jury member and President functions, and the format of the in-person courses. C-19 situation has highlighted the necessity of developing expanded and enhanced online education courses and tools. Anne-Mette’s extensive knowledge of the sport, her recognised experience as a top FEI Eventing Judge, as well as her background in Education in general will be of great benefit to all.