TAGS:

It can often mean make or break in a showjumping class, but the question is: how do you win a jump-off?

Here’s some helpful pointers from Irish international showjumper, David Simpson, who trained and produced young horses for Shane Breen for seven years, won the Queen’s Cup at Hickstead in 2016 and the Olympia Puissance in 2014.

1. On average a horse’s stride takes half a second, so always make a plan that takes the shortest route. This may sound obvious but sometimes it looks faster to gallop a longer distance, but if this means going two strides wider on the next line, you will be adding a second onto your time.

2. Keep it smooth — smooth is always faster.

3. Know your horse’s weaknesses and strengths, this will help you figure out which part of the course will be better suited for you to go faster.

4. Always start in a good rhythm — there is always half a second to be saved between going through the start and taking off for the first fence.

5. Know your competition. People can surprise you, but if you judge how your competitors normally go in a jump off, it can save you from taking unnecessary risks.

6. Finally, and in my opinion key for your horse and ensuring consistent results, make a plan for the best round your horse can do and execute it. You might not win every time, but it will mean your horse will still be on top form the next day. It is much better to be consistently in the top placings than to ride frantically for the win and spend the next five rounds bringing your horse back jumping nicely.

Now you’ve got that advice in mind, take a look at these showjumping competitions available to enter where you can go for that winning jump-off round…

Unaffiliated showjumping

Date: 19 August
Venue: Beaver Hall, Leek
Details: “This event features a huge range of classes from cross pole clear round and 45cm to 95cm with a variety of qualifiers. Plus, if you enter two classes, you get another two class entries for free.”

Enter now

Mini jumps

Date: 19 August
Venue: Mare and Foal Sanctuary, Coombe Park, Totnes
Details: “This competition is a great introduction to showjumping for both adults and children with classes ranging between poles on the ground with assistance allowed up to 2ft with assisted and unassisted options.”
Enter now

Unaffiliated showjumping

Date: 24 August
Venue: Milton Equestrian Centre, Worksop
Details: “This event features a range of classes from 60cm clear round to 95cm with Trailblazers qualifiers and senior and junior sections. There will be rosettes and prize money up for grabs.”
Enter now

British Showjumping

Date: 26 August
Venue: Codham Park Equestrian, Braintree
Details: “This event offers classes ranging from clear round and British Novice up to 1.30m open.”
Enter now

British Showjumping

Date: 1 September
Venue: Muirmill Equestrian Centre, Kilmarnock
Details: “This show features derby classes ranging between 80cm and 1.20m.”
Enter now

Nervous and novice showjumping

Date: 1 September
Venue: Milton Equestrian Centre, Worksop
Details: “This is ideal for those wanting to build confidence with a clear round at 30cm and classes from 35cm to 55cm with junior and senior sections, plus separate rosettes and prize money for each.”
Enter now

Visit equo.co.uk for full competition and training listings