One Day Eventing Explained

Eventing (or sometimes referred to as Horse Trials) originally evolved from the training and selection of cavalry horses. Today it is three equestrian disciplines (dressage, show jumping and cross country) combined and competed by horse and rider as a combination.

Each of the three disciplines is designed to test the horses ability – dressage shows how trainable the horse is and its basic paces in walk, trot and canter. The show jumping shows athleticism, control and accuracy while the cross country tests stamina, speed, jumping and bravery. The sport is rather like the triathlon in that it combines different disciplines in one competition and is run on a cumulative penalty basis. The competitor with the least penalties at the end is the winner.



Dressage is the first discipline that will test the horse and rider’s ability to work together. The test includes a set sequence of movements to be preformed and the combinations are judged on balance, rhythm, suppleness, obedience of the horse and the harmony of the rider throughout the movements.

Movements are scored out of ten with the total being added up and converted to a penalty score meaning the lowest dressage score leads the competition going into show jumping and cross country.

Show Jumping

Show Jumping

The second discipline attempted by the combinations is the show jumping phase. It consists of one round of jumping over fences that can be knocked down, the round must be completed within a maximum time allowed. The penalties for show jumping is as follows: 4 faults for a knockdown; 4 faults for a refusal; 3rd refusal means elimination.

Cross Country

Cross Country

The most exciting part of the One Day Event is the cross country where riders must negotiate a course of approximately 30 timber built solid obstacles within an optimum time. Cross Country is designed to test the bravery, stamina, speed and technique. It tests the all round ability of the combination.


The Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing takes place at:

Gatcombe Park
Hampton Fields

If you require more information on the local area please visit:

Visit the Cotswolds

Visit Tetbury

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Directions from the M4

  • Junction 15 – follow A419 to Stroud
  • Junction 17 – follow A429 to Malmesbury and B4014 through Tetbury
  • Junction 18 – follow A46 to Stroud, follow signs to Minchinhampton

The Festival will be signposted as you get closer to the event

Directions from the M5

  • Junction 13 – follow A419 to Stroud then follow signs to the event
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Reach us by Train

For Trains to Stroud or Kemble please use or call National Rail Enquiries: 08457 484950

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Stroud Station to Gatcombe Park (15 minutes approx.£15 – £20)

  • Stroud Station Taxis – 01453 755055
  • A & A Taxis Stroud – 01453 767777

Kemble Station to Gatcombe Park (20 minutes approx.£20 – £30)

  • Kemble Train Station Taxi Service – 033 3800 0750