EQUESTRIAN - EVENTING
A rider in action during the equestrian eventing.
Equestrian - Eventing
Eventing - which combines dressage, jumping and cross-country - is the most complex and demanding of the three equestrian disciplines and is considered to be the ultimate test of a rider's skills.
Held over a total of four days at the Olympics, the harmony between a rider and their horse is the first thing to be tested during the dressage competition on the opening two days of the eventing action.
Riders are then required to display their stamina to perform in the cross-country event on day three, as they aim to complete a course of around six to seven kilometres, including over 40 natural and fixed obstacles, in a set time limit.
The competition then culminates on the fourth day with a dramatic showjumping finale, where precision, agility and technique are required to jump the barriers and produce a clear round.
The first round of the jumping is used to determine the medal winners in the team competition before the second round decides the individual gold medal winner.
The aim for each rider over the course of the four days is to accumulate the fewest penalties, which are added to a competitor's score for every fault that is produced.
Eventing was originally developed as a military exercise and was designed to reflect the range of challenges horses faced in the army.
The discipline first appeared on the Olympic schedule at Stockholm in 1912, but at that stage it was only open to male cavalry officers. That was the case until 1952, since when men and women have been allowed to compete on equal terms against each other.
However, it was not until American Helena du Pont featured at Tokyo 1964 that eventing saw its first female competitor.
Hinrich Romeike and his horse Marius won the eventing gold at Beijing 2008, as well as leading Germany to success in the team event.