Updated: 25/07/2012 09:04 | By pa.press.net


Equestrian - Jumping

Jumping, which is more widely known as showjumping, is arguably the most popular of all the equestrian disciplines.

However, the sport only developed out of necessity in England in the 18th century when the Enclosures Act passed by the government meant that fences were built across the countryside and so riders taking part in fox hunting were forced to adapt and took to jumping over the fences.

Jumping as we know it today was the first equestrian discipline to be included at the modern Olympic Games.

At Paris 1900, an 850-metre long jumping competition involving 22 obstacles was held alongside one-off events like the high jump and the long jump, which were won with distances of 1.85m and 6.10m respectively.

After being dropped from the Olympic programme for 12 years, jumping eventually returned along with the other equestrian disciplines - dressage and eventing - in time for Stockholm 1912.

The event was only open to male cavalry officers initially until Helsinki 1952, at which point civilians - both men and women - were invited to compete on equal terms against each other.

The competition format of the jumping involves riders and their horses aiming to complete a course of between 12 and 14 jumps, incurring penalties for knocking an obstacle down, being over the time limit or for a horse refusing a jump.

At the Olympics, riders compete individually and as part of a team. The medals in the team competition are decided by the opening two rounds, before the field is shortened for a further three rounds to determine the medal placings in the individual event.

If two or more competitors are tied in first place after the final round then a jump-off is used to decide the winner.


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