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Eventing is an equestrian event which comprises dressage, cross-country and show jumping. This event has its roots as a comprehensive cavalry test requiring mastery of several types of riding. It has three main formats, the one day event (ODE), two day event and the three day event (3DE), which in reality now runs four days at some competitions. The sport was once referred to as "Militaire", andthere is such a format that riders complete all three events in one day, called a "horse trial". Also, a "combined test" is a spin off of eventing which encompasses dressage and show jumping, but leaves out the cross country phase.

The Phases
Eventing is an equestrian triathlon, in that it combines three different disciplines in one competition set out over one day (one day event) or threedays (three day event).
[edit] Dressage

The dressage phase at a 3-day.
The dressage phase (held first) comprises an exact sequence of movements ridden in an enclosed arena (20x60m for International 3DE but usually 20x40 for ODE). The test is judged by one or more judges who are looking for balance, rhythm and suppleness and most importantly, obedience of the horse and its harmony with therider. The challenge is to demonstrate that a supremely fit horse, capable of completing the cross country phase on time, also has the training to perform in a graceful, relaxed and precise manner.
At the highest level of competition, the dressage test is roughly equivalent to the USDF Third Level, and may ask for half-pass at trot, shoulder-in, travers, collected, medium and extended gaits, singleflying changes, and counter-canter. The tests may not ask for Grand Prix movements such as piaffe or passage.
Each movement in the test is scored on a scale from 0 to 10, with a score of "10" being the highest possible mark and with the total maximum score for the test varying depending on the level of competition and the number of movements. Therefore, if one movement is executed terribly, it isstill possible for a rider to get a good score if he reorganizes and does well in the following movements. The good marks are added together and any errors of course deducted - to convert this score to penalty points the average marks of all judges is converted to a percentage of the maximum possible score, multiplied by a co-efficient decided by the governing body then subtracted from 100.Cross-country

A rider on cross-country.
The next phase, cross-country, requires both horse and rider to be in excellent physical shape and to be brave and trusting of each other. This phase consists of approximately 12-20 fences (lower levels), 30-40 at the higher levels, placed on a long outdoor circuit. These fences consist of very solidly built natural objects (telephone poles, stonewalls, etc.) as well as various obstacles such as ponds and streams, ditches, drops and banks, and combinations including several jumping efforts based on objects that would commonly occur in the countryside. Sometimes, particularly at higher levels, fences are designed that wouldn't normally occur in nature. However, these are still just as solid as other jumps. Safety regulations mean that many jumpshave a frangible pin system, allowing part or all of the jump to collapse if hit with enough impact. Speed is a factor, with the rider required to cross the finish line within a certain time frame (optimum time). Crossing the finish line after the optimum time results in penalties for each second over. At lower levels, there is a speed fault time, incurring penalties for horse and rider pairscompleting the course too quickly. Penalties are also incurred if the horse refuses to jump a fence or has a run out. Should the horse fall, a mandatory retirement is taken. Should the rider fall off the horse at any point in the competition, he/she is automatically eliminated. The penalties for disobediences on cross country are weighted severely relative to the other phases of competition to...
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