JumpCross is a team sport over patented knock-down fences across natural terrain against the clock. It combines the skills and accuracy required for show jumping with the thrill of riding cross-country.
The idea of Robin Dunlop and the Grange Farm EC team, the sport is suitable for both professional and amateur riders, enabling them to compete against each other.
“We hope JumpCross will interest a whole new group of people – both riders and spectators,” explains Robin. “The sport has received the thumbs up from top professionals, including Jeanette Brakewell, who helps at our training days, and Karen Dixon, who regularly commentates for us.”
Each JumpCross team is made up of two riders, who compete around the course individually against the clock. The two riders’ total times, including penalties, are added together to make a team score.
Successful teams in Group 1 (1.14m fences) can walk away with £500 for a win, £300 for second place and £200 for third, which makes the £70 team entry fee more easily swallowed. Prize-money and entry fees are less in the other classes.
All the courses are around 2km in length and use natural features, such as water, ditches and hills to make the 25 knock-down fences more challenging.
Each fence down adds 20secs to the rider’s time, while a refusal carries a 100sec time penalty. Two refusals are allowed at each fence before the rider must go on to the next, with a rider being eliminated for a total of six refusals on the course.
“We like to encourage everyone to try and complete the course, although if we feel a rider is unsafe we will stop them on the way round,” says Robin. “The high penalty for a refusal is designed to discourage riders from galloping around the rest of the course to make up time after a stop.”
JumpCross has 0.83cm, 1m and 1.14m classes, called Group 3, Group 2 and Group 1 respectively. There are sections for minis (7-11yrs), juniors (12-15yrs), and seniors (16yrs and over). Senior riders must compete on horses over 148cm, while juniors can ridehorses or ponies of any height.
Riders must have a JumpCross licence and licence-holder (similar to a medical card holder in eventing) before competing. The licence, which is designed to encourage loyalty to the sport, costs £30 for adults and £20 for juniors and lasts for 12-months.
In addition to competitions, a series of training days at locations around the country fulfils the desire to learn and improve while providing the opportunity to have a “taste” of what JumpCross is all about.
“The training days enable riders to try JumpCross without the pressure of competition or having to invest in a licence,” explains Robin. “It also allows riders to hone their skills in preparation for competition.”
The sport is taking place at the following venues during the 2003 season:
Peterborough, PE8 6NR
Contact: Robin Dunlop
Tel No: 01780 782356
Scotland PH1 3QX
Contact: Sarah Houlden
Tel No: 01738 840263
East Sussex, BN7 3AE
Contact: Geoff Gregory
Tel No: 01273 890454
Herts SG8 6EZ
Contact: Gillian Head
Tel No: 01763 263143
Brechin Castle Equestrian
Scotland DD9 6RL
Contact: Tim Bennett
Tel No: 01356 623262
For more information on JumpCross contact (tel: 01780 782356) or visit www.jumpcross.com