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About the show

The Hartpury Showjumping Spectacular comprises three thrilling days of sporting action. The event is free-to-attend for spectators, so why not come along and experience the excitement for yourself?

Showjumping at Hartpury

The first Showjumping Spectacular to be held at Hartpury took place at Christmas 2008. In 2017, the show moved to July to run during the same period as the other major equestrian events including the International Festival of Dressage and International Horse Trials.

While we host a number of British Showjumping competitions throughout the year, the Spectacular is the pinnacle. The 1.50m Area Trial is the show's centrepiece attracting leading riders to fight it out in the International Arena.

Young equine talent is recognised with three age classes running for 4, 5 and 6-year-olds. Novice classes starting at 90cm are also an integral part of the show.

British showjumping has enjoyed a fruitful history glittered with iconic venues like Olympia, Hickstead and Wembley, as well as events such as Horse of the Year Show, the Royal International and London International. 

The first major show jumping competition held in England was at Olympia in 1907. Most of the competitors were members of the military and it became clear at this competition and in the subsequent years, that there was no uniformity of rules for the sport. 

Judges marked purely on their opinions. A meeting was held in 1923 which led to the formation of the BSJA in 1925, now BS (British Showjumping). Following the implementation of rules, showjumping first appeared in the Olympic Games in 1900.

Showjumpers who became household names over the years include David Broome, Harvey Smith, John Whitaker and Nick Skelton. Wonder-horses including Milton, Ryan’s Son, Hello Sanctos and Foxhunter have also surely inspired many budding equestrians.

Successes at the highest level have also placed the sport front and centre in the minds of equestrians with Olympic gold for the 1952 team of Harry Llewellyn, Duggie Stewart and Wilf White being unforgettably replicated on home soil at Greenwich Park 60 years later by Nick Skelton, Scott Brash, Ben Maher and Peter Charles.

There were individual Olympian feats to savour as well, notably that of the mighty Stroller, a 14.2hh pony ridden to silver medal success by Marion Coakes at Mexico City 48 years ago; Ann Moore's 1972 silver with Psalm; Broome's two bronze (1960 and 1968) and one for Peter Robeson at the Tokyo 1964 Games.  

Today, the sport continues to grow at all levels and appeals to a wide audience thanks to glamorous events such as the Longines Global Champions Series which takes in locations such as Miami Beach and Paris.

During a showjumping competition, a horse and rider combination will tackle a course of knockdown obstacles ranging in height and technicality according to the respective level. 

The intent is to jump cleanly over a set course within the allotted time and time faults are awarded for exceeding the time allowance. Four jumping faults are incurred for knockdowns and disobediences such as refusals with horses being allowed a limited number of refusals before being eliminated from the competition. Horses and riders who have not accumulated any jumping faults are said to have scored a ‘clear round’. 

Depending on the format or “table” of a particular class, horse and riders will contest a ‘jump-off’ phase being against the clock. During a jump-off, each combination will attempt to jump the obstacles as quickly as possible, with the quickest clear round winning the competition. 

The jump-off course usually takes place over a shortened course with obstacles slightly higher than in the first round. If no combination jumps a clear round in the jump-off, four-fault rounds are placed according to the speed of their round.

Click here to find out more about the rules of British Showjumping. 

The timetable for the 2020 event will be published here in due course.