The third stop on this trail ride takes us to a very exciting and fast-paced style of riding – show jumping! There are many reasons why Hercules Truss Arch Buildings work well for jumpers, so while the horses get a drink from the watering hole, let’s talk shop!
The “baby” of the horse show world
Show jumping is a newer style of riding in comparison to some of the other disciplines we have seen along this ride. The first major show jumping competition was held in England in 1907. Since then, the sport has been rising in popularity all over the world. Riders tend most commonly to ride with Warmbloods and Thoroughbreds for show jumping competitions.
Not just for eventing
Show jumping, is an English style of riding that is commonly known for being a phase in eventing competitions. Outside the world of eventing, the jumpers are still quite popular. Not only are they a popular Olympic sport, but across the world there are horseshows dedicated solely to jumper competitions.
You against the clock…and the rails
Unlike dressage and the hunters, the jumpers are not scored subjectively. As long as you complete the course in a specific amount of time, without knocking down any rails or refusing any fences, you can complete a fault-free round. Of course, this is not as easy as it sounds and this style of riding is highly competitive. The horse and rider who score the fewest amount of faults in their round will take the win. In some competitions, there are multiple rounds to decide the winner, with riders eliminated along the way.
Face the rainbow
To eliminate riders in these events, fences come in all different shapes, sizes and colors to test the horse’s bravery and the rider’s accuracy. Some obstacles include oxers, liverpools, flower boxes, combinations, skinny fences and more. The colors tend to be bold and plenty. These courses are designed to be very technical, often including a large number of fences scattered around the arena. For this purpose, course designers like wide open spaces, with no interior support posts so they can design difficult courses with lots of twists and turns. Hercules Truss Arch Buildings from ClearSpan are ideal spaces for show jumping competitions for this reason. They leave the designer plenty of space to create a course, while still having enough open room for horses and riders to safely maneuver from jump to jump.
Reaching new heights
High clearances are necessary in show jumping arenas for more than one reason. First, in advanced levels of show jumping, fences can be as high as five or six feet tall. For this reason, there needs to be quite a bit of space between the jumps and the ceiling so horses and riders stay safe. Also, some of the obstacles used in show jumping are very large. In order to get them into the arena, big doors need to be installed. In structures with low ceilings, large doors for equipment to use are hard to incorporate. In ClearSpan arenas, roll-up steel or fabric doors can be installed easily in the end panels. Very large equipment can move in and out of the arena with ease to bring in fences of any size. That can make for a very fun and difficult course!
You are now free to move about the arena
In many cases, riders are permitted to “walk the course” before climbing aboard their mounts. This is so they can get an idea of how many strides are needed from fence to fence and find the shortest possible path between jumps. A pleasant, peaceful atmosphere, like the one found in a ClearSpan Fabric Structure, will allow the rider to focus and take in the course in a well-lit area to be fully prepared for their ride. It is important for horse and rider to be as prepared as possible to take the win, so a naturally lit, airy space makes for a great ride!
Well trail riders, we’re through with our show jumping stop. Grab your horses and mount up. We’re headed to our next locale: roping!
Do you compete in show jumping competitions? What aspect of an arena do you feel helps you most?