Scoring for Equestrian Show Jumping is relatively simple, you just need to take into account the type of class that’s being scored so that you know which rules apply.
There are different authorities that regulate the sport. The FEI (french for International Federation for Equestrian Sports) is the #1 global authority. FEI rules apply for all international show jumping classes (generally referred to as CSI classes). For non-international classes in the US, the USEF (US Equestrian Federation) is the regulating authority.
In a general sense judges take two things into consideration: penalties and time. Depending on the class type (also known as Table) classes will be run and scored differently.
Horses with a clear round move on to the Jump Off round. During the first round riders must focus on not dropping fences and staying within the time allowed. Once in the Jump Off round, they must go as quickly as possible without dropping any rails.
The designer divides the course in two phases. The first phase contains 8-10 jumping efforts while the second shorter one contains 5-7. If a competitor clears the first phase he or she will start the second one immediately after crossing the finish line without stopping. The first or Power phase is all about going jumping clear, while the Speed round is about, well… speed.
There are several causes for penalties. Incurring in any of them is considered not clearing a round.
|First Disobedience||4 Faults|
|Exceeding the Time Allowed||1 Fault per commenced second|
Other causes for elimination include falling down, taking more than 45 seconds to jump the next obstacle, jumping an obstacle before it is reset, going off-course, leaving the arena before finishing the course, excessive actions against a horse, exceeding the time limit, etc.
This sums up the basics for the rules that are used in most shows and classes in the US. We hope this helps you understand a bit more about the beautiful sport of Show Jumping.
Please refer to the Official USEF Jumper Division rules for a more in-depth explanation of applicable rules. The official USEF rules can be found here: https://www.usef.org/forms-pubs/zDZXGvqBOTk/jp-jumper-division
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