The Equestrian Events are the only Olympic Sports where women and men
compete on equal terms. They are also the only Olympic Sports that include animal athletes. International qualifiers
governed by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) attract equestrian athletes from around the globe to compete at
3* and 4* level events, allowing participants to earn their spots in the Olympics. The 2012 London Games has 200 spots which
have been awarded to various countries around the world.
International Games include the Pan American Games, the European Championships, The Asian Games and the Caribbean Games .
On a national level, there are governing bodies which promote the highest
caliber athletes and competition standards, so that there is continuity among the equestrian community. Developing riders
are also fostered to be tomorrow' greats.
The Three-Day Event is the triathlon
of equestrian events. Sometimes called combined training, horse trials and three phase, eventing comprises of dressage, cross-country
and stadium jumping. This discipline is the most demanding physically on both horses and riders. The stamina and bravery of
the noble horse is unsurpassed in any other equestrian event. This discipline has military roots in training the horse, when
soldiers needed brave and fit horses to be victorious in battle.
Jumping is one of the most popular sports with the general public. Competitions where horses jump technical and challenging
courses against the clock are a favorite to watch. The athleticism of the horse and the abilities of the rider come together
to create precision and timing that is breathtaking to watch.
Dressage, a French term meaning training, is the ballet of the equestrian
events. Devised for military training of mounts for the purpose of war, the intricacy of the movements once defined life or
death. Performed in a 20 x 60 meter arena, dressage tests obedience and submission of the horse to its rider. The artistic
value has been refined and Grand Prix events hold Freestyles where man and horse unite in balance and harmony with music.
The classical art of Dressage is still practiced today and performed with regularity by the Spanish Riding School in Vienna,