How Equestrian Showjumping Began
One of my favourite “horse related sports” has to be equestrian. I became interested in this years ago whilst watching Princess Anne, HRH of Great Britain competing. It was only when I did some further research did I realise this particular sport has been around for approximately 2,000 years. It was introduced by the Greeks as part of their preparation for their war horses.
Initially equestrian sport continued as a military training exercise which now included three day events comprising of Show Jumping,Cross Country and Dressage. These events were set up to test the endurance of the war horses.
In 1921 Equestrian Events as we know it was included in the Olympic Games.
The skills and success of Princess Anne, of Great Britain certainly raised the profile of equestrian showjumping. Princess Anne was born in August 1950 and is the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the reigning monarchs of Great Britain. Princess Anne is tenth in line to the British Throne.
Another member of the Royal Family who has excelled at equestrian showjumping is Mark Phillips, the former husband of Princess Anne. Mark Phillips was born in 1948 and in 1971 and 1972 won the Badminton Horse Trials. He then went onto be part of the team that won gold for Great Britain in Munich in 1972. Mark Phillips is the father of another famous equestrian showjumper, Zara Phillips. The cross country course at Red Hills Horse Trials was designed by him and used as a qualifying event for the olympics.
Zara Phillips is twelfth in line to the British Throne, Daughter of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips and grandaughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Zara is an outstanding horsewoman who not only won an individual gold medal on her horse Toytown but also helped the British team win Silver at the World Equestrian games in Germany. Zara has been voted Sports personality of the year by the BBC and awarded an MBE in 2007
The equestrian events comprise of equestrian showjumping, dressage and cross country. No mean feat I can assure you. They make it look so easy on the television. Cross country tests the jumping, bravery, speed and stamina of the horse. Dressage the control in walking,trotting and cantering. Showjumping reveals control, accuracy and athleticism. The competitor with the least penalties over the course of the event will be the winner.