Show jumping, CSIO


Show jumping is an equestrian event that is also popular with people who have no connection with horses whatsoever. It poses a tough challenge, demanding great skill from both rider and horse. The aim of the competition is for each horse-rider combination to clear a set course of usually 15 to 20 obstacles within a specified time. The obstacles are mainly fences but also water jumps. Fences are often made up of horizontal poles supported at each end and the poles are easily dislodged. Some fences are built to simulate a gate or made up of light blocks to resemble a wall. The jumps are often set up as combinations to be jumped in quick succession. The ultimate goal is to complete the course without losing points – a “clear round”. Faults are collected for 1) if a horse refuses to jump an obstacle 2) if part of a fence is knocked down 3) if the time limit is exceeded. The origin of show jumping is not clear, but may well have begun in the UK in the late 18th century as an offshoot of jumping over hedges and gates during fox hunting.

CSIO events
The CSIO – Concours de Saut International Officiel is a ranking system for show jumping and a country may only hold one event per year under the CSIO title. All CSIO events are approved by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the international governing body of equestrian sport. The CSI events are categorized from one to five stars depending on the amount of prize money, which ranges from around 50,000 to 500,000 US dollars. An official team of four riders is sent by the respective National Equestrian Federation to represent its country. The highlights of a CSIO are the Grand Prix and Nations Cup competitions, which count towards the annual world-ranking of riders and nations.

Pictures CSIO St. Gallen, Switzerland
Switzerland has held top-class equestrian events since the late 19th century. The first St. Galler Internationale Pferdesporttage (St. Gallen International Equestrian Sport Days) was held in 1884, the forerunner to today’s CSIO Switzerland. The Longines Grand Prix, at the 2010 CSIO St. Gallen was won by 48-year-old German, Carsten-Otto Nagel on Corradina, securing himself a healthy 75,000 Swiss francs. Second was Irish rider, Cian O’Connor on K Club Lady. Best Swiss rider was Beat Mändli on Louis, who came in sixth with two excellent rounds and just one mistake. Some 18,000 spectators were enthralled when Nagel and O’Connor both achieved clear rounds. German World Cup Champion, Marcus Ehning was well underway at a thundering pace on his mare Sabrina, when he and his mount failed first at the triple bar in front of the main stands and then at the oxer, the final hurdle.

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