11.02.2020
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A brief introduction to the “royal sport”

Horse racing, show jumping and dressage: what is the difference

Reading time 3 minutes

Equestrian sport is historically one of the most popular activities among kings and other noble persons. Today some of them choose it as a hobby, for others horse riding becomes a profession, for others – even a lifestyle.

Many people don’t take horse riding seriously, considering it as an entertainment and a pleasant way to spend time. They may have a ride once or twice. In fact, this is one of the most dangerous sports. Among those who have been involved in equestrian sports for a long time, few have never fallen from a horse or been injured.

Конный спорт: выбор смелых и решительных
Equestrian sport is the choice of the brave and decisive people

Horse racing at hippodromes is the most popular equestrian competition among spectators. It is considered not as a sport, but as a test. In real equestrian sports, the most common types are jumping and dressage. They are both Olympic sports.

Скачки — испытания лошадей на резвость, по итогам которых делается вывод о пригодности к дальнейшему разведению.
Horse racing is an agility test for horses. The results helps to make a conclusion about the suitability for further breeding

Show jumping is the most spectacular and dynamic one. At first glance, the most important thing here is the speed of the route. However, according to the rules, victory is won not by the fastest, but by the most accurate one: for every mistake, whether it is a tumble (obstacle destruction) or disobedience of a horse (refusal to jump over a barrier), the rider receives penalty points and can often be disqualified. The victory will go to the one who completed the route “cleanly.”

Людгер Бербаум — один из самых успешных конкуристов Германии
Ludger Beerbaum is an internationally successful German equestrian who competes in show jumping and has been ranked the No. 1 Show Jumper in the world by the FEI on multiple occasions. He is also a four-time Olympic Gold medalist

There is even a “director” in a show jumping. His role is played by a course-designer. This professional is adept at creating precisely calibrated routes for a specific category of riders. He is responsible for the design, height and location of obstacles, as well as (up to a centimeter!) for the distance between them. After the route is completely ready, even before the start of the competition, each athlete has the right to familiarize himself with it, walking between all the barriers on foot and having pre-estimated the trajectory of movement from one to the other.

In dressage, speed does not matter. The main thing is attention to detail. This is a kind of elegant and graceful “dance” which consists of many complex elements. To hone them a lot of rider’s patience is required, likewise painstaking work and dozens of rehearsals. The pace, rhythm, accuracy and quality of the figures are all judged. The athlete is free to combine the elements contained in the ride and arrange them in the desired sequence, creating his own unique show. He also chooses musical accompaniment for it. Preparation for a sporting event turns into a fascinating creative process. Each participant gets a chance to show creative abilities and discover all facets of talent in his partner – a horse.

Эдвард Гал и Тотилас: звёзды мировой выездки
Edward Gal and Totilas are world dressage stars

 

 

 

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