The Eventing competition takes places over four days. As with all three Equestrian disciplines on the Olympic programme, the competition features both Individual and Team events, and men and women compete against each other on equal terms.
Dressage fills the first two days of the Eventing competition. Each horse and rider performs a dressage test in front of a panel of judges. The total score is converted into penalty points, which are carried forward to the next stage of the competition.
Day 3 is the cross-country test, held over a beautiful but tough course in Greenwich Park containing up to 45 jumps. Every horse/rider combination is given penalty points for jumping errors and time penalties, which are added to any penalty points awarded during the dressage test to give a total score.
The Eventing competition gets a grandstand finish on Day 4 with the jumping tests (widely known in the UK as showjumping). Once again, riders and horses are given penalty points for jumping errors and time penalties, which are added to their previous dressage and cross-country scores to determine the overall rankings.
The first jumping test decides the placings in the Team event; after this has been completed, a second jumping test determines the winners of the Individual competition.
For a complete set of rules, please refer to the website of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), governing body for the sport.
Scores are cumulative across all three phases, with the best total determining the winner. Teams can consist of up to five athlete/horse combinations, but only the best three results will count towards the team’s score.
After the first jumping test, the best 25 riders (as well as any who are tied for 25th place) go through to the second jumping test. Placings for the Individual event are determined by the sum of the dressage, cross-country, first jumping test and second jumping test scores.
Find out more about the Equestrian Eventing competition at the Olympic Games on the International Olympic Committee website.