For the ‘Final 4’ in Jumping, the four best placed competitors must jump the course with each of the four horses qualified for the final, starting with his/her own horse. Riders have the opportunity to school each of the horses for three minutes over two obstacles at a maximum height of 1.30m. Riders can change the saddle but the horse must remain in its own bridle, bit and boots. The rider with the lowest total penalties over all of the rounds of the final will be declared World Champion! In the event of equal penalties for first, second and/or third place there will be a jump-off against the clock over the same course but each competitor gets to ride their own horse.
Classical dressage first came to prominence during the Renaissance as it was developed for the Cavalry. There is even some evidence that some of the manoeuvres used in dressage were developed by the ancient Greeks.
The 1956 Olympic Games were held in Melbourne. However, due to Australia’s strict laws, horses entering the country would have had to endure a lengthy quarantine. As a result, the equestrian events were held in Stockholm, Sweden!
Although Eventing became an Olympic sport in 1912 only male military officers were allowed to compete. It wasn’t until 1964 in Tokyo that the first woman took part in an Eventing competition.
Driving is the oldest competitive equestrian sport. Evidence suggests that horses were driven long before they were ridden. The discovery of the Sintashta chariot burials in the southern Urals show driving dates all the way back to 2000BC.
In the 1952 Olympic Games before Para-dressage was an official discipline itself, Danish rider Lisa Hartel, who was paralysed from the knees down, won a silver medal in Dressage!
Organised endurance riding as a formal sport began in 1955, when Wendell Robie and a group of equestrians rode from the Lake Tahoe area across the Sierra Nevada Range to Auburn, in under 24 hours. They followed the historic Western States Trail. This ride soon became known as the Tevis Cup and it remains one of the most difficult of any 100-mile rides in the world because of the severe terrain, high altitude and high temperatures.
The youngest competitor at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy is 8-year-old vaulter, Ksenia Ermolaeva from Russia.
Reining is often described as the western form of dressage. It originated from the herding of cattle in Mexico and south-western states like Texas and California. The horses needed to be able to move in certain ways for the rider to remain in control of the cattle, movements not unlike those performed in dressage.