Equestrian involves horse riding as a competitive sport, as seen in various formats across the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It includes dressage, jumping, and eventing. Equestrian is also part of the modern pentathlon, first contested in 1912.
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What is equestrian?

Dressage is an exhibition form of riding where highly skilled riders are judged on the quality of their performance, as with dancing or other 'art sports'. Each horse and its rider are expected to perform a series of choreographed movements and manoeuvres.

Show jumping involves a rider leading their horse around a course of jumps and other obstacles, with time penalties for those who make errors. The winning individual or team is the competitor with the quickest time.

Eventing involves riders competing across three disciplines, including both dressage and show jumping. The third event is a cross-country race, an endurance-based course of jumping and running which tests both rider and horse.

Equipment needed

  • Large indoor space (e.g. sports hall)
  • Vaulting boxes
  • Gym mats
  • Benches
  • Low hurdles
  • Cones / markers

A brief history of equestrian

Equestrian made its debut at the 1900 Olympic Games. Germany is the most successful nation in the sport with 56 medals. West Germany also won 25, whilst the United Team of Germany (who competed from 1956-1964) won an additional 14 medals. Great Britain is ranked fourth in the all-time Olympic equestrian table, with 40 medals in total, 13 of which have been gold.

Paralympics GB are by far the most successful nation in equestrian, winning 64 medals since the sport’s introduction to the Games in 1996, including 34 golds. The United States, with nine golds, are the second most successful nation.

Get involved

The School Games is inclusive to all young people and provides opportunities for everyone to get involved, either within school, against other local schools, or at county or regional level.

School Games Organisers

School Games Organisers (SGO) help schools coordinate appropriate competitive opportunities for all young people from Key Stage 2-4, to recruit, train and deploy a suitable workforce, and to support the development of club.

Sign up to find your local SGO

Quick and easy equestrian activities

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