The FEI is in charge of arranging and overseeing the Olympic equestrian events. These sports have been a source of fierce competition and excellent standards of horsemanship since the 1912 Stockholm Olympics (equestrian events were first performed in 1900). A dressage Grand Prix, a three-day event, and a jumping Grand Prix are available to both teams and individuals.
The rider must perform the walk, trot, canter, collected paces, and numerous conventional dressage figures and movements in the Grand Prix de Dressage. Each item scores between one and 10, with ten being the highest and one being the lowest.
The three-day event includes dressage, endurance or cross-country riding, and show jumping. On the first day, there is dressage. On the second day, participants must complete an endurance test that includes marsh roads, tracks, steeplechase obstacles, and cross-country sections over a distance of 25 to 35 kilometers (16 to 22 miles). Instead of the Prix des Nations jumping event, less difficult jumping tests are conducted on the third day.
The Prix des Nations comprises 13 or 14 obstacles ranging in height from 1.30 to 1.60 meters (51 to 63 inches) and a 4 meter (13 foot) wide water jump, all of which are located 60 meters (200 feet) apart on a course with 60 meters (200 feet) between obstacles. Penalties are imposed for disobedience, knocking down or touching an impediment, and falling. The rider who receives the fewest penalties wins.
Aside from these events, the modern pentathlon adds a riding portion governed by FEI rules. Over a 1,000-meter (3,000-foot) circuit, competitors must ride an unusual horse chosen at random through 20 obstacles. Other international contests began in the 1950s under the aegis of the FEI.
Shows and horseback riding
Horse racing is supposed to have started shortly after humans began to ride. Since the 7th century BCE, Olympia has staged organized mounted games. The Romans held race meetings, and tournaments, jousting, and horse fairs were common in medieval Europe. Polo was introduced to England from India circa 1870, after centuries of practice in Persia. The rodeo was born in North America due to Western ranch riding.
Horse groups and pony clubs dominate today’s equestrian sport. Riding instruction, competitive dressage, hunter trials, and show jumping contests have all been taken to new heights. The latter became a main event after the first “competition for leaping horses” was added in the Agricultural Hall Society horse exhibition in London in 1869. The Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI), which was founded in 1921 and had its headquarters in Brussels, is affiliated with national organizations such as the British Horse Society, the American Horse Shows Association (AHSA), the Federazione Italiana Sports Equestri, the National Equestrian Federation of Ireland, the Fédération Française des Sports Équestres, and similar organizations from more than 50 countries.
Horse shows are very popular.
Horse exhibitions are a well-known institution that evolved from the horse sections of agricultural fairs. They started as informal exhibitions to attract clients and encourage the development of various species of horses. Expert committees and organizations now create and operate them, enforcing consistent rules, appointing judges, resolving disputes, keeping records, and disseminating information. Riding competitions have become a more important aspect of the program.
In 1864, the Royal Dublin Society organized the first international horse exhibition, which took place in Dublin. It conducts an annual show featuring all varieties of saddle horses, broodmares, and ponies. There are international jumping competitions similar to Olympic competitions, children’s events, and auction sales during the five-day show.