Equo's essential guide to eventing aims to introduce you to the sport.


Eventing is an Olympic equestrian sport which consists of three phases; dressage, cross-country and showjumping.

The scores from each phase combine to produce an overall total. Eventing predominantly takes place on one day although most international competitions are held over three days.

Levels of eventing start at BE80(T) with the pinnacle of the sport being CCI4* level such as the likes of Badminton and Burghley Horse Trials.

Eventing is one of very few sports where professionals and amateurs compete on a level playing field with even the most experienced riders having to start at the lower levels with the young horses. Interestingly men and women also compete on equal terms.

It is very easy for any rider to get involved with eventing. There are many unaffiliated one-day events around the country each season (which runs from March to October). Unaffiliated events are a good way to try eventing without the cost of affliated membership fees. Equally it is strongly recommended that you go cross-country schooling with your horse under the watchful eye of a trainer you trust and respect to ensure that you will be safe to compete prior to entering an event.

In affiliated competitions (regulated by the organization British Eventing) there is a comprehensive series of grassroots events for amateur riders across the UK.

The BE80(T) series (‘T’ stands for training) is the introductory level of competition into the sport of eventing. Fences are a height of 80cm and a British Eventing accredited coach is on hand at each BE80(T) competition to help and support competitors free of charge.

The next grassroots level up is BE90 where fences are a maximum height of 95cm and, like BE80(T) classes, involves a dressage test similar to that of a British Dressage prelim.

The final level of grassroots competition is BE100 where fences are no larger than 105cm.