Team chasing is the ideal sport for anyone who loves the thrill of galloping across open countryside and coming across natural obstacles similar to those found on the hunting field.
A British equestrian sport, teams consist of four riders competing on staggered start times (as in cross-country), over approximately 25 natural and rustic style fences across two or so miles. The jumps consist of natural hedges with some brushes, similar to those in a traditional hunter trial.
The aim of the game is speed; the quickest team wins, however you can incur faults and be eliminated. If you have a two or more riders fall, a horse fall or three refusals at the same fence then your team is eliminated. The team with the fastest three riders is crowned the winner.
Anyone can become involved with team chasing, however a brave horse and rider combination is key to being at the top of the leaderboard. Its fast pace suits thrill seekers and hunt enthusiasts alike.
Team chasing requires stamina, so fitness from both horse and rider is a necessity to make it home safely. Hunting is ideal preparation as you and your horse need to be confident and comfortable crossing open countryside at a fast pace and jumping obstacles closely to other riders and friends.
Classes vary in height, starting with novice classes with a maximum height of 3’3”. At this level most fences will be brush style hedges and rails. The novice class has an optimum time set, which will be pre-determined by the judge before the day of the event.
The next step up is the intermediate course, with a maximum height 3’6”. For the true thrill seekers the open class has fences standing at least 3’6”.
Team chasing is seasonal and tends to run in autumn (September to November) and in the spring (March to April).
The governing body is British Team Chasing, although there are no membership fees. Team chasing focuses on having fun. Entry prices are dependent on whether it is an unaffiliated or qualifier event, but range between £15-25, making these events ideal for amateur competitors. Team chasing suits horses of all breeds, shapes and sizes and is encouraging for those wanting a fast-paced, fun day out.
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