Horse jumping is one of the most popular, and classiest sports in the world. In the past decade, the number of these shows has increased by more than 70 percent, and even though there was a point when this sport became less attractive, nowadays it is becoming more popular than ever.
If you have always been amazed by the skills of the riders and the grace of the horses, you have come to the right place. Here, we are going to teach you something new and we will list some interesting horse show jumping facts that you probably didn’t know. Keep on reading to learn more about this sport and if you are interested in it, what you need to become a part of it.
1. There are three types of classes
When we talk about jumping competitions, you should know that there are several types of classes, and they are all different, distinct, and they are scored in a separate way.
The main three that you can see in most of the competitions involve jumper class, seat equitation, and hunter. Note that depending on the exact class, the competition may be stronger and more complex, and the jumper may require a different type of preparation for the show.
2. There is special attire
When watching these shows, you have probably noticed that both the jumpers and the horses have some sort of distinguished colors and outfits, depending on the type of show. You should know that depending on the type of class, the dress codes change and if the competitors do not meet them, they will get lower points.
For example, in the hunter class, the outfits play a huge role in the scoring process, and in case the requirements are not met, the competitor is going to lose points. Note that this does not only involve the things that the rider is wearing, but also the accessories, and overall look of both the human and the horse.
3. There are strict rules
During these shows, everything is closely watched, and there has to be a synergy between the rider and the animal. Every single detail will be observed by the judges during the show, starting from the way that they first appear on the stage, up to navigation and the obstacles.
There are different obstacles depending on the type of show, and there are also very strict rules that the competitors have to abide by. Know that if the horse does not follow the orders of the rider, or if they knock off some of the obstacles on the course, points will be deducted.
Know that for these things to go without any problems, the attire and the equipment are going to pay a huge role, and on places like getjumps.com, you can easily find all the things that are going to meet your standards and get you one step closer to victory.
4. Eventing is the most popular show
Now let’s talk about the most popular event in this sport, and this is the one that all the riders want to become part of. It combines Dressage, Cross country, and Show-jumping, and it is also one of the most challenging things that one can be involved in.
The reason why this is so difficult and competitive is that the riders and the horses will be judged on everything starting from how the horse reacts to the commands that the jumper gives them, up to the way the jumps are completed, and even galloping and overcoming obstacles that may be pretty complex and difficult.
This happening may last up to three days, depending on the number of contestants that are going to be part of it, and it is said that it is the one who is the most physically and emotionally demanding. Note that beginners and people who are not yet advanced in this sport are not recommended to try and compete, because the competition is more than fierce.
This is something that you probably didn’t know about, but the highest jump ever recorded was in the late 1940s and it was set by Captain Alberto Larraguibel Morales and ‘Huaso’. The event was happening in Chile, and it stands at 8 feet and one inch, or almost 2.5 meters.
This Guinness record did not come easy, and the competitor needed three attempts to finally set it, and the rider and his horse were fiercely preparing for this event for several years.
One competitor that got close to breaking this record was Franke Sloothaak in an event that happened in France at the beginning of the 1970s. The jump was recorded at 7 feet and 10 inches, or about 2.4 meters. Even though they did not break the record that was set in 1949, the rider and his horse got the closest than anyone else before or after them.
6. The shows require physical and mental strength
These competitions are not a show only of the athleticism of the competitors, but they also need to have a deep connection and understanding with their animals. Know that in most other sports, the only thing that needs to be done is develop the skills and stamina of the players and competitors. Here, there needs to be synergy between the horse and the rider, and both need to be prepared.
The riders need to develop the needed skills, they need to be physically prepared for days ahead of them, and they need to be emotionally and mentally strong. The horses need to be properly trained and they need to listen to all the commands that the riders give them. Overall, this is one of the most demanding and most difficult sports in the world.
There are many more interesting things about horse show jumping, and each of them is special and extremely captivating. The deeper you delve into this sport, the more amazing things you will discover, and know that once you start researching, you will experience newfound love and respect for horses, as well as the riders. It is a challenging sport, and even if you don’t want to participate in it as a rider, you should go and watch at least one of the shows in your life. You will be captivated by the experience and you will want to know as much as possible.