What is the sport of Eventing?
Eventing originally evolved from the training of cavalry horses. It is rather like the pentathlon in that it combines different disciplines in one competition and is run on a cumulative penalty basis. The competitor with least penalties at the end is the winner.
The ultimate form of Eventing competition is the THREE DAY EVENT when each test takes place on a different day. The first test is Dressage, which comprises a set sequence of compulsory movements in an arena 20 metres wide and 40 metres long (60 metres at higher levels of competition). The test is judged by one or more judges who are looking for balance, rhythm and suppleness and most importantly, obedience of the horse and its harmony with the rider.
Day two consists of the challenge of the Cross Country course, where a course of natural obstacles has to be jumped - again inside an optimum time - being over the time, stopping at obstacles or rider/horse falls also incur penalties.
On the final day, there is the show-jumping test consisting of one round of jumping with a maximum time allowed, and the objective is to jump all the fences clear inside the time. The fences are not as high as top level show-jumping but are quite substantial for horses which are not specialists at show-jumping. Fences knocked down and refusals incur penalties as does exceeding the time allowed.
The sport also has ONE DAY EVENTS with all three tests on one day.
Eventing is a discipline at which New Zealand has excelled with numerous Olympic and World Championship successes. It is also one of a handful of sports where men and women of all ages compete on equal terms and the genuine amateur can compete against a world or Olympic champion.