Showjumping is one of the many equestrian disciplines and competitions that you can do with your horse. It involves a horse and rider combination navigating over a series of jumping obstacles in an arena. The winner is the combination with the least amount of faults and the fastest time.
For every rail that you knock down, you recieve 4 faults
The time starts once you go through the starting flags and finishes once you go through the finishing flags
If you fall off your horse, you are eliminated
There are many types of jumps including verticals, oxers, triple bars, walls, water jumps and combinations.
Showjumping horses can vary in breed, size and colour. Many people pupose breed showjumpers to be the most competitive that they can be. Warmbloods are one of the most popular breeds for performance jumping horses, however other horses such as thoroughbreds, pintos, clydestale crosses, welsh cobs, standard breds and appaloosas are all very capable at showjumping.
Showjumping is available at many different heights and levels. Young children, beginner riders and novice horses can begin jumping at low heights, such as cross rails or 45cm. Professional riders can jump big courses such as 1.65m high and up to 2m wide! Other competitions such as the puisannce or high jump can reach over 2 meters!
Did you know that showjumping is an Olympic sport? It is! Equestrian is one of the only sports where males and females compete against each other at the Olympics (the others are sailing and doubles tennis). Equestrian athletes at the Olympics are also among the oldest competitors - competing well into their 70's!!
Showjumping is great fun and a fantastic way to grow in both skill and trust with your horse. It is always important to remember to wear a helmet and riding boots for your safety. Some riders choose to wear body protectors for extra safety. Showjumping horses wear special boots themselves to protect their legs from injury and sometimes wear special girths to protect their bellies. Sometimes when the ground is slippery, showjumping horses wear 'studs' in their shoes to help them grip the grass a bit easier. They are similar in purpose to football studs.
Showjumping at Forest Park Riding School
Showjumping is loved by many at Forest Park Riding and Equitation School. One of the owners and instructors of Forest Park, Grant Hughes is well known showjumper in Australia. Grant began jumping at a young age and has gone on to compete at the top level in Australia. He has competed around the World Cup circuit in Australia on many home bred showjumpers and has been very successful. In 1996 Grant was shortlisted for the Olympic Games, however unfortunately his horse was injured and unable to compete. Grant still competes in showjumping with his family and continues to breed and train horses up to the top level. Many of your instructors at Forest Park have had lessons from Grant and continue to learn many skills and tips from him everyday.
Showjumping is definitely a fantastic sport that is enjoyed by many people all over the world. It requires years of training, patience and a lot of skill.
If you have any questions about showjumping, your instructor is more than happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Thank you and happy riding!
(On a personal note: I absolutely love showjumping - it is one of my favourite disciplines! It is such great fun and a way to really learn to trust your horse! One day I hope to be able to ride as well as my dad Grant Hughes!)