Date: 2nd July 2016
Location: Brook Farm Stables, Alresford Essex
Cost: £26 each per lesson
Rules: The Jumping event has both individual and team competitions. There are five rounds of jumping conducted in two stages. The first three rounds are made up of qualifications. The second and third rounds are also used for the team event.
The course is held over show jumping obstacles; including verticals, double and triple combinations with many turns and changes of direction. The goal is to jump cleanly over the set course within an allocated time. Time-faults are assessed for exceeding the time allowance. Jumping faults are assessed for knocking down posts and refusals from the horse to jump. Horses get a limited number of refusals before being disqualified.
Olympic Gold Medal, London 2012:
Individual: Steve Guerdat, Switzerland.
Team: Brash, Charles, Maher, Skelton, Great Britain.
Sarah: When we started the challenge, we swore we wouldn't leave the horses to the end. And with two months to go, we've pretty much managed it! We've both been really nervous about the horse events, and were unsure how we'd be able to complete them. Luckily, Jo from Brooke Farm really got what we are trying to do and has found a way of enabling us to conquer beginners version of the equestrian events. We were thrown right in to it with the Jumping. Or in our case, stepping. We had a really good introduction on how to handle the horse, and how to relax in the saddle, before completing a multi-'jump' pole-course; steering our horses (Bella and Rudi!) around the paddock. It was definitely less terrifying than I'd been expecting, and six hours later have just about regained the feeling in my bum and thighs.
Ellie: Either me and Rudi had a natural telepathy or this horse knew what he was doing. I imagine it's the former even though this was the first time I've ridden a horse. Learning to control a cheeky horse is very satisfying and when coupled with a course and some 'jumps' I can really see how people get into horse riding. We were talked through a circuit and integrated some poles to jump over. We were able to steer the horses using voice, reins and feet and I was surprised at how those commands became fairly natural. I also like to think that Rudi and I connected and that he enjoyed the daft things I was saying to him but he was probably just humouring me.