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Last Updated: Monday, 28 June 2004, 11:20 GMT 12:20 UK
Beginner's guide to equestrian events
Showjumping event in Sydney
The equestrain competitions take place at the Markopoulo Centre
Equestrian events form a unique part of the Olympics.

Not only are they the only ones to give animals a chance to show what they can do, but they also pit men and women in against each other on an individual basis.

Riders compete for Olympic medals in three different categories: dressage, showjumping and three-day eventing.


The rider must show complete control over the horse by getting it to perform a number of movements, and a panel of judges awards marks for the execution.

The horse is taken through a series of tests, such as the pirouette, piaffe and passage, in a walk, trot and canter.


There is both an individual and a team event at the Olympics.

Competitors attempt a series of 15 to 20 jumps set out in an arena, and the object is to complete the course, regardless of style, with the fewest penalties.

Three-day eventing

The three-day event is an individual and a team event, with the two competitions held separately.

To win rider and horse must excel in three different discliplines - dressage, cross-country and showjumping - and the winner is the rider or the team with the least penalty points at the end of the competition.

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