Introduction to Equestrian

Equestrian is the only Olympic sport where man and animal are established team mates, and one of the few sports where men and women compete on equal terms.

Four equestrian disciplines are included in the 15th Asian Games: dressage, eventing, jumping and endurance.


Dressage is the most elegant equestrian discipline, with a horse performing set movements or tests in response to its rider's signals.

The event is conducted over three rounds. In the first two, horse and rider perform a set routine of dressage movements, including passages, pirouettes and piaffes in a walk, trot and canter. The third round is freestyle, with routines individually choreographed and performed to music.


The three disciplines of dressage, cross-country and jumping are tested in the eventing competition.

Riders must be versatile to excel in all three categories; they need patience and composure for dressage, fearlessness and speed for cross-country and precision and timing for jumping.

For the cross-country competition, riders have to jump a number of obstacles on a set course.


Equestrian at the 15th Asian Games will finish with jumping, a popular sport that is exciting to watch and easy to follow.

Riders are required to guide their mount over a course of up to 14 obstacles that are laid out inside an earth covered arena. Obstacles can include triple bars, parallel rails, water jumps and simulated stone walls. Jumping tests the horse's leaping ability and the rider's skill to urge the horse over challenging obstacles.



Man and horse have long shared a special relationship and man has trained and worked with these beautiful animals for many centuries.

Dressage developed as a method of training horses for war, teaching them precise movements. There is some evidence that dressage-type manoeuvres were developed by the ancient Greeks. Modern dressage began during the Renaissance when Federico Grisone founded a riding academy in Naples in 1532.

Eventing began as a test for a cavalry horse. Military horses were required to travel long distances, negotiate many natural obstacles, and then perform strict parade manoeuvres.

Modern jumping events are based on the foxhunting tradition. Competitions for horses were first organised in the 19th century in Ireland, while the modern jumping techniques we see today were developed by the Italian Federico Caprilli, considered the "father of modern riding".

Equestrian events have been on the Olympic programme since 1900, when jumping contests were held in Paris. They next appeared in Stockholm in 1912 and have been a part of the Olympic Games since.

The Asian Games embraced equestrian sport at the 9th Asian Games in Dehli, India in 1982 and it has been a regular part of the Asian Games programme since the 12th Asian Games in Hiroshima, Japan in 1994.



The equestrian competition at the 15th Asian Games will be conducted in accordance with the Rules of the Federation Equestre Internationale, as follows:


Both individual and team dressage events feature at the 15th Asian Games. In the individual event, a National Olympic Committee may enter no more than two competitors, while a maximum of four competitors and four horses are allowed to compete in the team event. The sum of the percentage scores of the three best riders from each team decides the classification in the team competition.

Judges award scores to a competitor by evaluating how well the horse executes the moves.


The three eventing phases are marked individually and then totalled at the end of the three-day competition.

In the dressage test, each competitor's marks are converted into penalty points. These results are then brought into the cross-country event where a competitor can receive penalties for hitting fences (faults) and exceeding the allowed time.

Finally, in the jumping test, riders again receive penalties for faults at obstacles and time penalties. The three scores are then totalled and the individual or team with the least amount of penalty points wins.

A team result is calculated by adding together the final scores of the three highest-placed competitors of each team.


The team jumping competition takes place in the first and second qualifying rounds, with the score from the best three riders providing the overall team score. Two jumpers from each team will then be allowed to compete in the individual competition, although the number of places is limited to the best 20 riders.

Penalties are incurred if a horse refuses a jump or knocks down a rail, and if time limits are exceeded.

The winner is the competitor with the lowest number of faults and the fastest time, if that applies.