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What is equestrian cross country?

5 February 2011 No Comment
Equestrian cross countrySo exactly what is cross country jumping? Cross Country is one of the three stages of Eventing, where the horse and rider's endurance, speed, and jumping skills are tested on a course of obstacles.

The object of this eventing competition is to demonstrate the communication between horse and rider-the conditioning and performance of the horse, and rider's skills and knowledge of his or her horse. Cross country consists of a course that is between two and four miles in length and comprised of anywhere between 24 and 35 fixed obstacles, all of which they have to compete under a certain amount of time or they loose points.

All obstacles are compulsory and the rider must successfully complete every obstacle to retain points; however, there are some obstacles that are optional and are indicated to the rider with a red flag sporting a black stripe.

The terrain is completely unique for each cross country event because they are all held outside through a variety of fields that utilizes the natural topography of the land and incorporate the natural hills, streams, and wooded areas. Course designers will add various logs and fences to test the horse's confidence.

Cross Country riding is considered a very dangerous sport, and is the only "high-risk" event that includes both men and women competing against each other in the Olympics.

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