Cross-Country History

 

Competition in Dressage

World Equestrian Games – Cross-Country History.

 
Lusitano-Cross-Country HistoryCross-Country History:   Cross country competitions began a long time ago.   Initially cross country competitions were designed to test both the horse and rider’s endurance and strength.   The competition was divided in four phases, A-B-C-D.   The first to be executed was “A”.   This was a relaxing ride through roads and tracks that helped to warm up both the horse and the man.   This phase was done at a fast trot which helped to loosen up the muscles and concentrate the team on the work ahead.   The time was used to correct any problems with the gear, the horse and the man.
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Lusitano-Cross-Country HistoryOnce this phase was finished, the real thing started with Phase B, the steeplechase.   The steeplechase took place on mostly flat land with some hills and climbs and six to eight obstacles on the way.   The team galloped through this face at an average of twenty four miles an hour.   The race was considered very intense. Many accidents occurred on the way due to the speed and bunching up of the teams in the different obstacles and terrain.
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Lusitano-Cross-Country HistoryPhase C was another road and track phase.   The horses were walked or cantered so they could cool down, relax and get their breath back.   Some riders even got off their horses and ran besides them to allow for them to recuperate the spent energy while they stretched themselves making ready for Phase D.  Before starting Phase D, the horse and rider were taken to the Vet-box.   The horse’s physical condition was checked and any injuries were taken care off.   The rider was also given a quick checkup to make sure he was okay for the last and final round.   These long, programmed competitions are not done anymore.   Events are on television and the audience does not want too much resting time in between events.   So, phases A, B and C were eliminated and we now go directly to the nitty gritty of the game.
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