The final phase to the eventing discipline is usually stadium jumping. Stadium jumping can also be called show jumping though that can confuse some people into thinking that the stadium phase and the show jumping discipline are the same thing.
There is a difference between stadium jumping and show jumping. Stadium jumping is a phase in eventing whereas show jumping is its own discipline. Horses in the show jumping discipline, also known as jumpers, train specifically for jumping. They work on accuracy, speed and scope. A stadium jumper is not only training for jumping but also for dressage and cross-country. They have to make sure that their horses are capable to complete the dressage moves and have the endurance to last through a cross country course.
In both stadium jumping and show jumping, they are scored the same way. The rider must memorise a series of jumps and race against the time allowed. The horse and rider combination that can complete the fastest clear round will win. Penalties, otherwise known as faults, are added to your score for making mistakes on the course. Four faults are added when a rail in knocked off the jump, one fault is added for every second the horse has exceeded the time allowed and if a horse refuses a jump the first time, four faults are added. Depending on the competition level, a second refusal will be 8 faults or immediate elimination. If your horse refused for a third time and if the rider or horse falls during the course, that will lead to elimination as well.
Where stadium and show jumping really differ is when it comes to jump offs and the height of the jumps. There will only be a jump off in the show jumping competition to determine the winner of the competition. In eventing, the scores for their dressage, cross-country and stadium jumping rounds are added up to make one total score. The horse and rider combination with the best overall score will be determined as the winner.
There is a jump height difference between stadium and show jumping. The Olympic height for stadium jumping is around 1.2 metres whereas show jumping is around 1.6 metres. The size of the jumps in the stadium jumping phase of the competition is usually going to be the same as those in the cross-country phase.
Eventing is truly an art that seems to be overlooked sometimes. Being someone who has trained in both hunter/jumper and eventing, I have learnt to appreciate the difficulty of the discipline. Each rider will be stronger in one of the phases, but the trick is to work on those that you aren't so good at so that you are a well rounded rider.
If you're not too sure what type of discipline you would like to ride, but you know you want to ride English, why not try eventing? Maybe you will also come to appreciate the challenge of finding the balance between strength, endurance and scope. Or maybe you'll surprise yourself and find out you want to pursue dressage instead of show jumping like you might of thought.
Whatever you decide to do, I believe that all disciplines should be admired equally as they all have their different challenges. Whether you enjoy barrel racing, show jumping, vaulting, eventing or even pleasure riding, there's something out there for all horse lovers to enjoy.
So that is it for this week and the end of the three part Eventing Overview series. You can check out the first two parts by searching for them in the blog post archive titled Blog Posts By Date (found at the top right of this page) if you have missed reading about the dressage and cross-country phases in eventing. Thank you for reading and I hope you are all doing well.
Until next time, happy riding!