• Prixview Staff

Show Jumping 101: Competition Formats


Daniel Coyle (IRL). Photo by Catie Staszak Media, Inc.


At its essence, the sport of show jumping is determined simply: The winner completes the course with the least amount of faults in the fastest time.


Getting there is determined in a myriad of ways.


Get to know the FEI competition formats:


Speed: In this one-round competition, the combination that completes the course with the fewest faults in the fastest time wins.


Clear Round Class: In this one-round competition, all combinations that complete the course with the fewest amount of faults are considered winners.


Faults Converted Speed: In this one-round competition, faults are converted into seconds. The combination with the fastest time wins.


Accumulator: In this one-round competition, combinations progressively earn points by clearing the fences on course. The rider that completes the course with the most points in the fastest time wins. A "joker" fence is last on course; if a combination clears it, bonus points are awarded. If the joker is knocked down, the rider loses points.


Jump-Off Class: All combinations producing a clear round or finishing on equal-best faults after a first round against the clock advance to a jump-off. In the jump-off, combinations compete over a shortened course in which the combination that completes the course with the fewest faults in the fastest time wins. Most Grand Prix competitions are conducted in a jump-off format.


Winning Round: Combinations compete over two rounds, with the second round a "winning round." The top 10 riders (or 25%) from the first round advance to the winning round, where they begin on a 0 score, regardless of their first round score. The combination that has the fewest faults in the fastest time in the winning round is the winner.


Two Phase Special: In this competition, all combinations compete over one round divided into two phases. The combination that completes the course with the lowest combined faults with the fastest second phase time is the winner


Power and Speed: In this competition, combinations compete over one round divided into two phases. If a combination incurs faults in the first phase, they do not continue to the second phase. The combination that completes the course with the lowest combined faults with the fastest second phase time is the winner


Nation's Cup: The Nation's Cup is the most historic team challenge in the sport of show jumping. National teams made up of four riders compete over two rounds. Each rider's score is tallied to make up the team score, with the highest score dropped. The team with the lowest score after two rounds is deemed the winner.