Our expert: Gemma Tattersall won a team gold medal at the 2018 World Equestrian Games, and rode for Great Britain at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Why not set yourself an awesome challenge this winter by having a go at arena eventing? It’ll help keep you motivated through the colder months, and is the perfect way to get your cross-country fix all year round!
Be in the know
This super-fun discipline involves jumping a course that’s made up of both showjumps and cross-country style fences, and everything takes place in an arena! You’ll jump round the coloured fences before heading straight on to the XC section. Some competitions may just be run over cross-country jumps, though, and you might even find classes that involve a short dressage test, too!
What’s the score?
As with most jumping competitions, you’ll need to go clear to be in with a chance of winning! However, not all venues run their arena eventing comps in the same way, and some will be scored differently. So, always check the schedule carefully and, if you’re still not sure, contact the organiser.
Time’s usually a factor, too, and will often decide the placings if there’s lots of clear rounds. Usually you’ll need to be as close as possible to an optimum time, but sometimes the quickest rider wins! If you have a refusal or a knock-down, you’ll be given faults or time penalties. Watch out because sometimes the cross-country fences can be knocked down, too. If that happens to you, you’ll pick up extra penalties.
As there’ll be a lot of fences to remember, try to walk the course twice if you have enough time.
For more top tips from Gemma Tattersall on arena eventing, pick up a copy of December PONY, on sale 21 October 2020.