The three major equestrian sports in Hong Kong are Dressage, Eventing and Jumping. The elegant movements performed by the dressage horses, the boldness exhibited over cross-country fences by the eventers, and the skillful precision of the showjumpers are awe-inspiring to behold.
What is Jumping?
Jumping event started in the early 1800s and it is still the most popular equestrian event. In this sport, a combination of horse and rider tackles a course of colored jumps including a variety of fences and riding challenges. Depending on the standard of class and its rules, a jump-off may take place to determine the winner. The jump-off course may be shortened with fences raised, and or against the o’clock. A second jump-off may take place in certain cases.
What is Dressage?
Dressage, derived from the French word “dresser” meaning “to train”, dates back to the Renaissance era, when it gained recognition as a great training method for European cavalries. Often described as horses performing ballet, it is looked upon as a team sport of a horse and rider working together to perform a routine of beautifully choreographed Dressage movements. Dressage consists of the horses and riders performing set movements in 60m x 20m or 40m x 20m arena. Tests are tailored to suit different standards. National federations set their own tests and rules based on those of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) which governs the discipline worldwide and schedules the international calendar.
What is Eventing?
Eventing is like an equestrian triathlon that combines three disciplines into one. The first phase consists of a dressage test suitable for the standard competition set. This is usually followed by one round of cross-country. The final phase is the jumping. In the second phase, horses and riders tackle a course of solid fences including ditches, banks, water jumps and multiple combination obstacles within an optimum time. This format takes place over one, two or three days. The total score of the three phases will determine the winner.