Bluffers’ guide to eventing at WEG

  • As we countdown to the FEI World Equestrian Games, we bring you all you need to know about each of the equestrian sports.

    What’s the format?

    This is a three-day event, with the dressage and showjumping at four-star level and the cross-country at three-star level.

    On the first two days (Thursday, 13 September and Friday, 14 September) every competitor rides a dressage test.

    On Saturday, 15 September they all tackle the cross-country course, which will be designed by Mark Phillips.

    Finally, on Sunday, 16 September, those still in the competition will do one round of showjumping, performing in reverse order of merit.

    The competition also has two horse inspections, on Wednesday, 12 September and the morning of Sunday, 16 September, at which horses can be eliminated from the competition if the ground jury consider they are not fit to continue.

    How does the scoring work?

    Horse trials are scored in penalties, so the lowest score wins.

    The best dressage tests will probably receive a score in the 20s or even high teens, with scores stretching up to the high 40s or even worse.

    Jumping problems and exceeding the optimum time across country or showjumping leads to further penalties, which are added to the dressage score.

    Teams consist of three or four riders and the best three scores count.

    How many medals are there and when are they awarded?

    There is one set of individual and one set of team medals, both awarded on 16 September.

    Who’s representing Britain?

    Details of the British squad will be published here in due course. Britain can field five riders — a team of four, plus one individual.

    Do they have a chance?

    Britain historically has a strong record in eventing, and while championship results have been varied in recent years, Britain returned to top form at the 2017 Europeans under the new team leadership to claim team gold and individual bronze (Nicola Wilson riding Bulana). They will hope to continue in a similar vein at WEG.

    At the last WEG, the British team of William Fox-Pitt (Chilli Morning), Zara Phillips (High Kingdom), Tina Cook (De Novo News) and Harry Meade (Wild Lone) won team silver, with William and Chilli Morning also claiming individual bronze. The competition had a tragic twist, though, when Wild Lone collapsed and died after his cross-country round.

    When will H&H report it?

    H&H’s eventing reports from WEG will run in 20 September issues of the magazine.

    We will also carry reports, pictures and video online throughout the competition. Find all our online WEG coverage here >>

    For an early look at the WEG venue, turn to p34 of 18 January issue of Horse & Hound magazine. The full WEG preview will be on sale on Thursday 6 September.

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