Welcome to Eventing

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...

  • Olympic Games
  • FEI World Equestrian Games
  • FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing
  • Continental Championships

Latest Department Updates

  • 30 Aug 2021

    MIM Corner and Post & Rail Narrow kits

    Fences fitted with the new Corner and Post & Rail Narrow MIM Clip frangible devices have been jumped by many horses already this year, we continue to learn and improve as these devices are used at competitions.  

    The FEI Frangible Device Working Group has agreed with MIM that the following change be made to the fitting instructions of the Corner (80326) and Post & Rail Narrow (80322) kits: 

    • For all levels, the bolt should no longer be removed as it was previously recommended

    MIM Table fences

    Instructions to fit Yellow Clips on Table fences built prior to 2021 are now available and have been published (Table kit 00320).

    The animation as well as the PDF version of the instructions can be found on the FEI website.

    MIM CLIPS Important Notice

    Clips must always be removed before moving the fence


    All information relating to frangible devices is available on the FEI website under Eventing / Risk Management / Frangible Devices. You can also refer to the MIM Clip website.



  • 1 Jul 2021
    EVENTING - Athlete Categorisation update

    The Eventing Categorisation of Athletes has been updated on 01 July 2021 and takes into account MERs obtained between 1 January 2013 and 30 June 2021.

    The lists of categorised Athletes are available on the following webpage.

  • 29 Mar 2021
    Eventing Risk Management Programme - FEI approved Frangible Devices

    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 

  • 24 Mar 2021
    New FEI Eventing Calendar Measures

    Following the announcement on Friday 19 March regarding four FEI Jumping calendar recommendations approved by the Board, the two Board resolutions for Dressage announced on Monday 22 March, we would now like to share with you the FEI Eventing Calendar measures which have been approved by the FEI Board. Once again, these measures seek to mitigate the negative effects of Covid-19 and EHV-1, and in particular to allow as many Events as possible to take place leading up to Tokyo 2020. They will provide Athletes more opportunities to compete to obtain the Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs) and Confirmation Results, and to train for the Olympic Games as well as for other Championships, while for Organisers, these measures provide more flexibility to re-schedule their cancelled or postponed Events. 
    The FEI Eventing Calendar measures approved by the FEI Board are:

    • Application of Date Clash Rules until Tokyo 2020 (Emergency Board Resolution)

    The FEI Board approved that all Eventing Event Organisers may, until the end of the Tokyo 2020 Games (Sunday 8 August 2021), organise their Events (subject to the Calendar applications deadline mentioned below) on their selected dates and no Dates Clash Rules shall apply during that time.

    • Deadlines for Calendar Applications (Emergency Board Resolution)
      In order to give National Federations and Organisers more flexibility when applying for their Events in the FEI Calendar (and consequently providing more options for the Athletes to compete), the FEI Board agreed to reduce the deadlines for Calendar applications as follows:
    • CCI5* L CCI4* L CCIO4* L or S: from 6 weeks to 4 weeks
    • CCI4* S and all other Eventing Events: same 4 weeks deadline as approved before remains.

    Please note that, as stated in the Olympic Regulations, any additional Event which has not organised a CCI4* on a regular yearly basis will be included as “non-OG MER” as per current procedure.
    All the Calendar Measures for Jumping, Dressage and Eventing can be found in the FEI Covid-19 Resolutions & Decisions hub. We will also be announcing additional Calendar Measures for other disciplines in the coming days, following input from the relevant Calendar Task Forces. 

  • 16 Mar 2021

    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".

  • 15 Feb 2021
    FEI 2021 Rules Explainer Videos now available on FEI Campus

    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:

  • 21 Jan 2021
    Eventing Risk Management Programme - Eventing Statistics Report 2009-2020

    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

  • 20 Jan 2021
    Updated FAQ-tack & Equipment and Cross Country guide for Officials

    The FAQ-Tack & Equipment as well as the Cross Country guide for Officials have been updated. They are available on the FEI webiste page

  • 19 Jan 2021
    Eventing Risk Management Programme - FEI approved Frangible Devices

    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 

  • 16 Jan 2021

    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