showjumping


showjumping
   From antiquity, horse owners have rarely been able to resist the temptation to demonstrate their steed’s superiority in speed or agility and their own prowess as riders or trainers. Vienna’s Spanish Riding School, founded in 1572, is testimony to long-lived international traditions in horsemanship. Apart from horse racing, now largely (though not entirely) a professional sport, equestrianism attracts many amateurs, although a professional upper tier sets the standard. Emerging at nineteenth-century shows designed to foster general agricultural improvement, showjumping had developed to something very like its present form by the time of the second Olympic Games at Paris in 1900 and the first London International Horse Show seven years later. Showjumping courses, which are all basically similar, are designed to confront horses and riders with a variety of obstacles reflecting the challenges that might be encountered in hunting or crosscountry riding. Accordingly, some jumps resemble a fence, gate or wall, while others involve negotiating a water-filled ditch or two or three obstacles in rapid succession. Though primarily a test of jumping, with points deducted (for example, when a horse fails to clear an obstacle cleanly or refuses to jump) penalties are also imposed for exceeding a given time limit. At every level from international events to local pony club gymkhanas, teams or individuals, whether male or female, amateur or professional, compete on a knockout basis, with later rounds often requiring fewer but more difficult jumps in a shorter time. Puissance competitions, which test to the limit a horse’s ability to negotiate high obstacles, are less popular in the UK than elsewhere. Showjumping also constitutes the final discipline in three-day eventing. This sport, which developed from exercises for gauging cavalry officers’ efficiency, is well described by its French name as a ‘complete test of horsemanship’. The first day is devoted to a ‘dressage’ competition that assesses the training of horses and riders in a prescribed range of movements. A gruelling cross-country ride over a variety of obstacles, against the clock within strict time limits, occupies the second of the three days. Three-day events and showjumping competitions draw large crowds and are popular on television. Enjoyment of the sport is enhanced by attractive venues (such as Gatcombe Park and Hickstead), the riders’ smart traditional turnout and the horses’ physical grace.
   See also: Grand National; horse racing
   Further reading
    The Manual of Horsemanship (1993) Kenilworth: Pony Club.
   CHRISTOPHER SMITH

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • showjumping — ► NOUN ▪ the competitive sport of riding horses over a course of fences and other obstacles in an arena. DERIVATIVES showjumper noun …   English terms dictionary

  • showjumping — noun Showjumping is used before these nouns: ↑arena …   Collocations dictionary

  • showjumping — noun A sporting competition where horses are ridden around a course consisting of several jumps, to demonstrate the skill of both the rider and the horse. Syn: gymkhana …   Wiktionary

  • showjumping — see show jumping …   English dictionary

  • showjumping — noun the competitive sport of riding horses over a course of fences and other obstacles in an arena, with penalty points for errors. Derivatives showjump verb showjumper noun …   English new terms dictionary

  • showjumping — /ˈʃoʊdʒʌmpɪŋ/ (say shohjumping) noun the riding of horses in competitions in order to display skill in riding over and between obstacles. –showjumper, noun …   Australian English dictionary

  • showjumping — n. the sport of riding horses over a course of fences and other obstacles, with penalty points for errors. Derivatives: showjump v.intr. showjumper n …   Useful english dictionary

  • British Showjumping Association — Die British Showjumping Association, kurz BSJA, ist der britische Verband für Springreiten in Großbritannien. Die BSJA wurde 1923 vom damaligen Earl of Lonsdale gegründet und verzeichnete anfangs 197 Mitglieder. Es ist eine von 16 Organisationen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • showjumper — showjumping ► NOUN ▪ the competitive sport of riding horses over a course of fences and other obstacles in an arena. DERIVATIVES showjumper noun …   English terms dictionary

  • Pat Smythe — Patricia Rosemary Smythe (22 November 1928 ndash; February 27 1996), most commonly known as Pat Smythe, was one of Britain s premier female showjumpers. She later married in 1960 after the Summer Olympics of the year to childhood friend Sam… …   Wikipedia