There are two sets of medals available for showjumping (or jumping as it is referred to at an Olympic Games) - individual and team.
In the Team Competition, teams are made up of a maximum of 4 combinations per nation, the 3 best scores from the first competition and each round of the second competition count towards the team result. All rounds count towards qualification for the ‘final four’ individual competition.
The main characteristics of jumping are speed, agility and accuracy of both the rider and the horse. It takes place in an arena and riders jump up to 14 obstacles in each round of the competition in a specific order; in the first round the time taken to complete the course is used to calculate the score and in later rounds there is a specific time limit to complete the course. The maximum height of obstacles is 1.6m and penalties, called ‘faults’, are incurred for exceeding the time limit, knocking down a fence, falling or refusing to jump an obstacle. In the speed round of a World Championship the ‘faults’ are converted into seconds.
Speed competition (First competition)
All competitors compete in one round against the clock over a course of 12 – 14 obstacles up to 1.5m in height. The time taken to complete, plus 4 seconds for every ‘fault’, is multiplied by 0.5 to give the points for each rider. The competitor with the lowest points after the conversion is given 0 penalties, every other competitor is given penalties which are the difference between their points and the lowest competitors points. The lowest three penalty scores achieved in each team are carried forward to the team result.
Team competition (Second competition, round one)
The second competition is run over two rounds, over two days. In round one, all competitors complete a course of 12 to 14 obstacles with a maximum height of 1.6m; this is not against the clock but there is a time allowed, with penalties incurred for exceeding that time. Riders also receive penalties for falling, knocking down, or refusing an obstacle. The best three riders for each nation in this round is added to the team score, with the top 10 placed teams going through to the second round – the team final.
Team final (Second competition, round two)
The competitors (the 10 best teams plus individual riders) complete a course of 12 to 14 obstacles, as per the first round. The team score is calculated from the best three scores in each of the first competition and each round of the second competition. The team which has the fewest penalties will be declared the winners. Jump offs will be used to decide the team medals in the event of a tie.
Individual competition (Final Qualifying competition)
The top 30 competitors (combined scores from the first competition and both rounds of the second competition) contest the final qualifying round for the individual final. Competitors ride in reverse order over two rounds. These take place over courses of 10 – 12 obstacles with a maximum height of 1.6m. They are not against the clock but do have a time allowed.
The competitor’s individual score is the total of the first competition plus both rounds of each of the second and third competitions. The four competitors with the lowest scores go forward to the final competition.
The final four (Individual Final)
Each athlete must jump the course riding each of the four horses qualified for the final. The course is a maximum of 1.55m with 8 obstacles and is not ridden against the clock, although there is a time allowed. The athlete with the lowest penalties over the 4 rounds of the final is declared the winner. In the event of any equal points there will not be a jump off, instead the medals will be decided using the final standing of the competitors after the previous competition.
Meet the British Showjumping Squad