Showjumping Scoring & Classes
Scoring: In the majority of “classes” the horses and riders who jump the first round “clear” (without knocking any poles down or refusing a jump) within the time allowed continue to the next deciding round or tie break. This is called the “jump off.” In the “jump off’”, the course is set around a “shortened, heightened course” using fewer jumps and it’s the horse and rider completing the course in the fastest time with the least amount of penalties who wins the competition. In the first round the commentator will often say they’ve jumped “clear” for a place in the ‘jump-off’ against “the clock”. If a combination takes longer around the course than the time allowed by the course designer the commentator will say “he has clocked up time faults.”
The competition is based on the number of “faults” or penalties incurred. The “faults” include knocking down poles or elements of a jump, refusing to jump an obstacle, running past obstacles, the rider falling off or the combination taking longer than the time allowed to complete the course.
A refusal is when a horse stops before (or avoids entirely) an obstacle and if you hear the word resistance it refers to when a horse refuses to move forward. Rider and horse will be eliminated if the horse resists for longer than a minute, fails to pass the starting line within one minute of the starting signal or takes more than a minute to jump an obstacle. A rider falling from his mount means automatic elimination.
The basic faults are as follows:
- *Pole knockdown = 4 faults
- *First refusal to jump a fence = 4 faults
- *Second refusal = Elimination
- *Fall of horse or rider = Elimination
- *Time faults = 1 fault for every second or fraction of a second over the time allowed (e.g. with a time allowed of 72 seconds, a time of 73.09 seconds would result in 2 time faults).
- *Foot in water = 4 faults Class:
A “class” is another word for a competition and different “classes” are run under different rules known as “Tables” (Tables refer to the rules used for judging under the national and international rules). The most common is Table A7 which comprises of jumping the first round within the time set but not against the clock. All clears go through to a second round timed “jump-off” where the fastest combination with the least faults wins. A table A4 is just one round against the clock where combinations are placed on faults and time. Table A is when jumping faults or the first refusal generate 4 penalty points.
A full guide to the various “Tables” can be found in the British Showjumping Member Handbook at www.britishshowjumping.co.uk under ‘Member Information’.
A schedule at a show comprises of various classes to suit a wide range of competitor. Classes have been created to cater for every level of rider jumping various heights and under restrictions to make the competition friendly for novice amateurs, young horses up to the experienced international professionals. There are also dedicated classes specifically for junior riders (16 years and under) riding ponies (148cms or smaller).
The types of classes at shows vary and can become more complex as riders progress through the levels. The various classes have a title or “name” and a common example to be seen on a schedule at a national show is as follows:
- British Novice: 0.90m; Discovery: 1.00m;
- Newcomers: 1.10m; Foxhunter: 1.20m.
- You may also see “two phase” and “single phase” classes on schedules.
- A two phase class is just as it says first round and jump-off combined. Riders jump round one and if they are clear they go straight into the timed jump-off against the clock without interruption or halting in between rounds. If they incur faults in the first round/section the judges usually ring the bell stopping the rider going into the jump-off phase.
- In a “single phase” class faults are accumulated in both sections with all riders going through to the timed part of the course against the clock. Other variations of “classes” also held at showjumping competitions include speed classes, accumulators, puissance (high-jump over the big red wall) or those involving multiple consecutive rounds.
British Showjumping is an Olympic Sport and competes under the Team GBR banner at least once a year whether it be at the European Championships, the World Equestrian Games or the Olympics. At the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Team GB Jumping Team showed the world their talent by securing Team Gold.
Looking after the sport in Great Britain, as its governing body, is British Showjumping formulating the rules and codes of practice under which all affiliated competitions are held. Our purpose is to improve and maintain standards of showjumping, while encouraging members of all standards and at all levels to enjoy fair competition over safe and attractive courses.
British Showjumping has classes to cater for all levels of ability whether you simply want to compete occasionally at weekends over a 70cm course or aim eventually, for top class competitions at the Royal International Horse Show, Horse of the Year Show or Olympia
For more information visit www.britishshowjumping.co.uk