Equestrian Jumping In The Olympics

This video is truly amazing! I cannot believe how skillfully the horses jump, and how much second-to-second communication there needs to be between the rider and the horse to pull something like this off. I am sure each one of these riders has amazing memories of this Olympic event, and hopefully they have some tangible items to strengthen these as well, like canvas prints from photos of the beautiful jump!

Origin:

Equestrian jumping started from necessity as more and more fences went up throughout the English countryside. This was a result of the Enclosures Acts which were put in place in England in the 18th century.  Prior to this legislation, foxhunters could gallop at will across open fields as they pursued their prey.  These new obstacles required foxhunters to ride horses who could jump.  The actual discipline of show jumping began as competitions among these same foxhunters.

Starting in 1900, equestrian show jumping started allowing both non-military and military riders, along with their mounts to compete.  Military school horses were still excluded, but now all men could conceivably compete in show jumping.  The sport continued to evolve and today both sexes are welcome to ride on any horse.

Over the Years:

The actual course for Equestrian Jumping in the Olympics has changed over the years.  In the early days, fences were built to appear more natural than the brightly colored poles which are the standard today.  Additionally, the fences were shorter and the course itself not quite as technical.  In today’s sport, riders attempt to clear all the jumps on a course in the fastest time without touching a fence and without garnering any points.

In the Olympic Games in Stockholm in 1912, there were 31 riders competing.  These riders were from eight countries and each team could have four riders and two alternates.  Team scoring factored in the scores from the top three riders.  Additionally, there could be six riders entered into the individual competition, along with three alternates.

The course for the Stockholm Games had 15 obstacles comprising 29 jumping events.  During this Olympics competition, riders were requested to jump some of the obstacles twice.  This is no longer allowed.

Equestrian Jumping Events in the Olympics Today:

Today, the competition for Olympic Equestrian Jumping consists of more than five rounds.  The first round is individual competition first qualifier.  Additionally, the start order for the team competition is determined by the top three scores.  Round two and three determine the team medals.  This is a maximum of four riders per team and the top three scores are counted toward the overall team score.  These two rounds are held on different courses.  Out of round two, the top eight nations move into round three or the Team Medal Final.  The gold medal is awarded to the team with the fewest penalties or points.  In addition to determining the overall team winner, rounds one and two contribute to the individual competition line-up.

Each of the individual rider’s scores are added up for both rounds one and two and then the top 50 riders with the lowest scores move onto round three.  This number is whittled down to 35 after round three and these riders then move to round four.   Of note, however, only three riders from each country may move into round four.  Medals are awarded to the top three riders.

The sport of Equestrian Jumping in the Olympics is a difficult and challenging one.  These riders and horses are all extremely skilled and possess incredible determination, discipline and endurance.

Overview Of Equestrian Jumping Equipment

Equestrian jumping has quite the history and has been around for a significant amount of time. It has been a part of the Olympics and is cherished around the world by one and all. Horse lovers rave about this sport and the intricate attention to detail it requires. However, what about those who are going to be involved in the process? What type of equipment is required to ensure one is ready to go and is going to be able to participate in any related event? Let’s take a look in this read for more information in relation to equipment requirements. And if you are looking to buy some of this stuff, you can find it at many riding stores. Of course, if you are looking for jumping equipment for very high-end competitions, or if you are looking to go the Olympic Equestrian Jumping competition, then of course you will need highly specialized equipment.

Bit

This is a little mouthpiece that is attached to the bridle and is used by the horse in order to garner more control for the rider.

Bridle

This is what is going to be holding the bit and is going to go around the horse’s front in order to help control as needed.

Blinkers

These are essentially used to further  control the horse from looking to its sides and/or backwards. This ensures they are heading in the direction that is needed of them on a consistent basis. But whether the use of blinkers on horses during jumping is a good thing or a bad is thing is up for debate, and really depends upon the preferences of the horse and the rider in question, how they have been practicing, and so on.

Obstacle/Fence

This is a major part of equestrian jumping. It is an obstacle that is going to be jumped over by the horse during the course. Its height can vary depending on the event, setup etc. The course designs can vary depending on the preferences of the course designer with things such as flowers, small puddles, and other options being used.

Saddle

This is used for the rider to sit on when she or he gets onto the horse. It helps reduce the pressure that is placed on the body while the horse is jumping. It is essential when the horse jumps otherwise the rider can be thrown right off.

Reins

These are used to control the horse at all times and will give it the signals that are needed with regard to jumping and ensuring the timing is up to par.

These are the main items of equestrian jumping equipment that are going to be required in the short and long-term. This is a fascinating sport for those who take advantage of all it has to offer. It is one of those sports that is going to provide a lot of excitement for those who have the right equipment and have a horse that is going to create a bit of excitement as well.