Eventing needs schooling shows and here’s why


Eventing needs schooling shows and here’s why

Eventing is a tough sport to start competing in compared to other riding disciplines. There are three very different, but equally important phases that you and your horse have to be able to master. With each of these three phases, comes a completely different set of rules. Some new eventers are fortunate to be partnered with a mount that has been there and done that. However, the majority of riders face their Eventing initiations on horses that are also new to the sport.

Many sanctioned events in North America offer low-level divisions but competing at these events comes with a large cost including membership fees, levies, and of course, strict RULES. It is expensive for riders to take their first crack at Eventing, only to face possible elimination in one of the three phases for a variety of green reasons. It is disheartening to dedicate a weekend and spend a fair amount of money to only complete a fraction of the event. At one time, if you were eliminated for something silly in one phase, the event organizer would still let you complete the event, but this has become a rarity. Sadly now, at sanctioned events, if you are eliminated then your only course of action is to go home, practice more, study the rulebook more, send in another entry and try again. Unfortunately, practicing at home does not always emulate the situations that can arise in actual competition. It is easy to see why Eventing would frustrate many riders and they would be drawn to another discipline.

Dressage and hunter/jumper riders have numerous opportunities at any given show to compete. Eventers only have one chance per horse, per weekend. If a show jumper takes a tumble in one class, he/she can get cleared by the medics and jump in another class or several that same day. Equestrian sports such as show jumping and dressage are much less frustrating for beginners because there are multiple chances for success at every show.

Why are schooling shows important?
At most schooling events, a rider can have an elimination worthy mistake in one phase and still be able to complete the others. Entries are usually way cheaper since you don’t need to buy umpteen memberships, along with paying all kinds of other random fees. Schooling events allow riders the chance to complete a phase more than once. For example, if your horse runs around cross-country feeling green as grass, you can pay for another round to iron out the kinks. Competing at the low levels is not hard on horses so there is no reason why riders cannot ride multiple rounds. Also, coaches are allowed to help their riders out at schooling events. This is a huge bonus for many nervous first-timers; that little bit of assistance can make a world of difference. Overall, schooling events are perfect for riders AND horses that are making their Eventing debuts.

Support schooling shows
It is critical for our sport to grow at the lower levels. Show your support for growing the sport by attending schooling events and bring your green horses and students to these fun shows. Not only will your horses and students benefit, but you will also be doing your part in supporting a crucial element of our sport.

Grow Eventing!

Scroll for more top stories on Eventing Connect