Before fences began to appear in previously open fields as a result of a series of laws creating legal property rights and boundaries to land, it wasn’t necessary for horses to do a lot of jumping over obstacles. The sport of show jumping developed from these expanded equestrian challenges, with fences showing up in sport arenas during 19th century equestrian competitions in Europe (known at the time as ‘Lepping’ or ‘horse leaping’).  An early form of show jumping competition was included at the 1900 Paris Olympic Games.  The sport was then included in its current format at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, and has continued to evolve and gain in popularity as a spectator sport.


Courage, Control and Technique 

Grand Prix is the highest level of show jumping competition, and one of the most exciting sports to watch.  Held under International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) jumping rules, the horse must jump a course of 10 to 16 obstacles, with heights up to 1.6 meters (5’3”) spread out up to 2 meters (6’7”).

A horse must have courage to jump fences as well as athletic ability and skillful technique to handle the sharp turns and bursts of speed necessary to navigate difficult show jumping courses.  Different breeds of horses have been successful show jumpers, and while most are tall (over 16 hands, 145cm/57in), there’s no correlation between size and athletic ability, and tall horses don’t necessarily have an advantage in jumping competitions.  In fact, pony-sized horses may sometimes compete in open competition with adult riders. The most famous example is Stroller (1950-1986), a cross-bred who was only 14.1 hands, but won 61 international competitions and an Individual silver medal in the 1968 Summer Olympics, jumping one of the only two clear rounds in the individual competition.



The Vilamoura Equestrian Centrelocated on the southern coast of Portugal, is one of the finest equestrian facilities in Europe, and hosts the Vilamoura Atlantic Tour (February 13 – April 1, 2018), one of the biggest show jumping events on the international calendar with 870,100€ in prize money.

2018 Vilamoura Atlantic Showjumping Tour live stream broadcast schedule

2018 Vilamoura Atlantic Tour Schedule


If you missed the live broadcast of the Vilamoura Atlantic Tour, there’s still time to watch video recording.  Just click/tap the “Watch Again” button or select from the video post recordings located on the media player below ↓


The annual Horse of the Year Show is the premier equestrian event in Australasia, attracting thousands of horses, riders and spectators from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand and around the world.  If you missed the live streaming of the 2018 competition or want to see it again, select and click/tap from the video recording posts or the “Watch Again” button located on the media player below ↓

If you missed the live stream broadcast of 2017 Grand Prix show jumping from Princeton Show Jumping, there’s still time to watch a video recording of the competition.  Just click/tap the “Watch Again” button on the video player below ↓


In Erin, Ontario, Canada, Angelstone hosts North America’s top horses during seven weeks of world-class competition and special equestrian show jumping tournament events.  If you missed the 2017 Angelstone International Grand Prix, there’s still time to watch video recordings of the competition.  Just click/tap the “Watch Again” button or on the posts located on the video players below ↓



Jumping Antwerpen 2017 introduced ‘JumpingClash Challenge’, an exciting, new action-packed show jumping format.  If you missed the live broadcast on April 21, 2017, there’s still time to watch the video recording.  Click/Tap ‘Watch Again‘ on the video player below↓ 


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Feature photo is courtesy of Pixabay/Pexels CC0

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Posted by Zola Zeester

Zola is a vagabond playmaker, the On2In2™ recreation guru and primary source of inspiration for this article. Currently resides at Zeester Media HQ.

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