Love riding horses, but unsure whether showjumping is a sport you would enjoy? Read on for an overview of the sport that will help you determine whether or not showjumping is something that’s right for you and your family. It is an expensive sport that will take a lot of dedication, so keep that in mind before jumping in headfirst.

What is Showjumping?

Showjumping is a sport in which a rider and horse jump over a set of fences, held up by Horse Jump Cups, in a course. The goal is to leave all of the fences standing and complete the course within a given time limit. Your teammate in show jumping will be your horse, and you’ll need need to work well together in order to accomplish your goals. As you advance your skill level, you will be able to clear higher fences and compete at higher levels (the highest level is Olympic level standards). Showjumping events can be stand-alone competitions or can be part of an eventing. Eventings include three events; show jumping, dressage and cross country.

What Happens at Showjumping Competitions?

Riders within each level compete by clearing a certain number of fences in a particular order within a set time frame. One competitor goes through the course at a time in show jumping. All competitions have at least one judge who assigns scores and penalties. Judges score subjectively but must follow certain guidelines. 

What do You do to Enter a Competition?

Go to the showground and enter yourself into the correct division for your skill level. The division or class will determine the difficulty of the course such as jump height, speed requirements and obstacles.

What Will Help You Succeed?

Memorize each course ahead of time. You can normally obtain a course guide at the administrator’s desk. Your time on a course could make or break your performance, so be aware of when the timer begins, different competitions start the timer at different times. Make sure you understand the faults and eliminations for the course. Common faults include:

  • knocking down polls
  • refusing or running out at jumps
  • going off-course
  • exceeded the allotted time for course completion

Showjumping can be extremely rewarding. You depend only on yourself and your horse rather than an entire team as in many other sports. A strong understanding of the sport and each course you plan to compete on will give you a good chance at excelling in showjumping.

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