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Originally developed in the cavalries of Europe as a test of the ideal military charger, Eventing has now evolved into an exciting sport attracting interest from all levels of sports enthusiasts. Eventing is a three-phase equestrian sport designed to test the horse and rider’s versatility, fitness, and stamina. Each phase (Dressage, Cross-Country, and Show Jumping) addresses certain elements of the all-around horse. Penalties are incurred in each phase and the horse/rider pair with the fewest penalties at the completion of the last phase are deemed the winners.

Eventing in Pony Club

Eventing in Pony Club is very similar to eventing at USEA competitions with the exception of being part of a team. The ridden competition runs exactly like a regular event but with the Horse Management component is added in as well. Riders compete on teams of three or four riders and a stable manager. Members have the opportunity to qualify for USPC national Championships every other year by completing their regional eventing rally and a USEA recognized Horse Trial at their chosen level. Pony Club also offers many awards for excellence in eventing.


The Eventing certification track in Pony Club is designed to allow a member to progress in three phases of riding: dressage, cross-country, and stadium jumping. Dressage makes up the flat work portion of this certification and is the basis of training for this track, which then supports both of the jumping phases. Each level builds upon the next in all phases of the Eventing track. The jumping heights increase steadily beginning at 18” (D-2) up to 3’9” (A), along with the members ability to discuss the Training Scale and components of self-evaluation.


Competitions start with the Dressage phase. The French term for “training”, Dressage is essential to the event mount as it helps to develop the muscular strength, suppleness, obedience, and maneuverability needed in the other two phases. Mount and rider perform a prescribed pattern of movements and are scored on accuracy, obedience, suppleness, and execution. The Dressage phase is the starting point for the remainder of the competition as the score earned here can determine where you finish.

Cross-Country is the second phase of an eventing competition. The object of this phase is to prove the speed, endurance, and jumping ability of the mount over varied terrain and obstacles. Mounts and riders must be in peak condition to run cross-country well and not incur any time or jumping penalties. The mount must be bold, smart, and obedient and the rider must have knowledge of pace and a good plan to navigate the course. Mounts are asked to jump a variety of obstacles including logs, cabins, drops and banks, gallop through water, and over brush. The entire course is timed and riders who come in within the time allotted with no jump penalties move on with their original Dressage score.

The final phase of an eventing competition is the Show Jumping phase. While similar to a traditional show jumping course the purpose of Eventing show jumping is entirely different. This phase is designed to demonstrate that, after a test of endurance, the mount has retained suppleness, energy, and obedience to the rider. The objective is to leave all the obstacles up and finish the course in the allowed time. A double clear round here adds no penalties to the pair’s Dressage score. The mount and rider combination with the lowest total score after Show Jumping is the winner.