About Eventing

About Eventing 

Eventing, once known as Military, is the oldest Olympic equestrian discipline of the three equestrian events in the modern Olympic Games.
It is a multi-skilled discipline in which a rider completes the dressage, cross-country and show jumping events in one single competition and on the same horse. The combination of the fewest penalty points in the three sections is the winner.
The most spectacular event is of course the cross-country. During this circuit through woods, meadows and across hills, the combination overcomes natural obstacles such as tree trunk constructions, jumping up and down and jumping in and out of water.


There are five levels of Eventing which are ranked by stars. Only six of the toughest 5* competitions are held throughout the world every year, in Adelaide (Australia), Badminton (UK), Kentucky (Lexington USA), Luhmühlen (GER), Pau (FR) and Burghley (UK). Due to concerns about animal welfare and safety, some additional terrain components to cross-country, such as the steeplechase and various road events were discontinued in 2006.

Types of competitions

An international Eventing competition CCI (Concours Complet Internationale) is held over two or three days. From 2019 these competitions are known as CCI-S (short) and CCI-L (long). The first day of a CCI-S event will usually be dressage, and on the second day show jumping will be held in the morning and the competition will be decided in the afternoon by the cross-country. At a CCI-L event the cross-country is longer. The first day’s event, the dressage, is followed the next day by the cross-country. On the third day, after a mandatory veterinary inspection, the show jumping will decide the result. A combined competition from basic level up to the Z class is still known as SGW. This takes place in a single day.



After the start of the modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, it was not until Stockholm in 1912 that equestrian sports were given an Olympic platform. Multi-skilled Dutch riders were immediately successful. At the Paris Olympics in 1924, the Dutch Military team won gold, and this was repeated in Amsterdam in 1928.The most successful Dutch Military rider was Lt Charles Pahud de Mortanges with his horse Marcroix. He won the team gold twice in 1924 in Antwerp and in 1928 in Amsterdam, and the individual Olympic gold in Amsterdam in 1928 and Los Angeles in 1932.

From 1956 women were allowed to take part in Olympic equestrian events in all three events; dressage, show jumping and cross country. This makes the Olympic equestrian disciplines the only sport at the Olympic Games in which men and women can compete with each other on completely equal terms.

1928_Amsterdam_Goud eventing OS1928 Amsterdam_Gerad de Kruijff Charles Pahud de Mortanges Dolf van der Voort van Zijp


The Netherlands won Nations Cup team gold in the Military at the Olympic Games in Amsterdam in 1928 with, left to right, captain De Kruijff on Va-‘t en(also individual silver Military medal), Pahud de Mortanges on Marcroix and Dolf van der Voort van Zijp showing Silver Piece. Pahud de Mortanges also won individual gold, as he had done in 1924.